By: Amy Logan—
This year Munson of Muncie will celebrate its 100th year in business being owned and operated by three generations. In order to celebrate this great accomplishment Munson of Muncie will host an open house at their location to thank any past customers and welcome any new customers. In celebration of the many years open, Munson of Muncie will serve pumpkin pie and Minnetrista apple cider, just like Grandpa Munson did when new car lines were introduced. The celebration will be held on October 21st 3pm-6pm at 600 East Wysor Street in Muncie. The celebration is open to the public.
“Your Grand Dad Bought From My Grand Dad” is the slogan on the sign that hangs at Munson of Muncie, located at 600 East Wysor Street, just north of the city’s downtown area. They aren’t just random words on a sign, there is much truth to the statement. Munson of Muncie opened their doors in 1916; a time when car lots weren’t all over the city. Its quite likely that your grand dad bought a car from (or at least knew of) Burr Munson and Munson of Muncie.
Munson of Muncie opened in 1916 by Burr Munson. At that time the lot sold new Allen’s and operated as a new car dealership. Munson had many dealerships throughout the city; one at the corner of Walnut and Washington where the Delaware County Jail currently stands. In 1931 Burr Munson submitted a patent for a wheel that would hide the dirt and grime that tires tend to collect. The drawings for the patent and a brief article about it can be found in the showroom today.
In 1957, Jack Munson, Burr’s son, began running the car lot. Jack made the decision later to stop selling as a dealership and being selling preowned cars. In a recent article from The Star Press Jack Munson said, “We loved the car business, but it was tough…having to be told how to spend our money by (corporate offices). We really liked being able to deal with people here, rather than (higher-ups) who watched over everything we did, so we went into the used car business.” At the same time, Munson of Muncie planted roots at their current location at the corner of Madison and Wysor Streets. This was a very popular corner for Muncie where many car lots positioned themselves near downtown.
Since 2000 Andy Munson, grandson of Burr Munson, has operated the car lot. Andy hasn’t changed the lot much since he began running the lot. Munson of Muncie still sells quality, preowned cars, but they now have an online inventory. Andy sees the importance of having an online presence and continues to evolve the company to fit customer’s needs. In addition to the online inventory, Munson of Muncie has an online presence administered by Andy’s wife, Belinda Munson.
Even though Jack is no longer running the business, he can still be found at the lot telling stories of yesteryear to anyone who will listen. Jack’s son Andy said, “Ask him what happened yesterday, he won’t remember, but if you ask him what happened sixty years ago, he can recall every detail.”