It was the year 1971.
All in the Family was the top-rated television program in the country, Flip Wilson hosted a weekly variety show, Marcus Welby was America’s TV doctor, and Matt Dillon was taking care of business in Dodge City.
That same year, in Dyersville, Tauke Motors was getting its start, and now, 50 years later, the business is an Eastern Iowa institution as the dealership celebrates a half-century in the automotive field.
Current owner Dan Tauke explained how Tauke Motors got its start.
“My dad Dave and uncle Marv used to run the farm implement dealership next door and purchased Hogan Motors in 1971,” said Tauke. “In 1972 they kind of split up and my dad went with the car side of the business and Marv stayed with the implements.”
Tauke has had a long-term relationship with Chrysler and its satellite products.
“In the early days, Tauke Motors was a Chrysler, Plymouth and Dodge dealership. Since then we had the Eagle line for a while and we picked up Jeep back in 1991,” said Tauke.
Some of the vehicles on the lot 50 years ago might be seen at a classic car show in 2021.
“We had the Chargers, the Dusters and the Challengers,” Tauke said. “We had Barracudas and they were pretty cool cars back in the day.”
The process of buying and selling vehicles has changed since 1971, with technology playing a major role.
“The internet has really broadened the business scope. We just sold a car last week to a guy in Anaheim, California, and we sold a car to a guy in Lake Tahoe a while ago,” explained Tauke. “It’s just really broadened the scope of the business. If it’s a unique piece, people will go a long way to find it.”
Tauke Motors has been a part of the Dyersville Community for 50 years and makes it work with a simple philosophy
“The Golden Rule still applies to us. We’re kind of a small hometown crew and try to treat people the best we can,” Tauke said. “We try to earn their business and retain it.”
Relocation of Tauke’s respected service department has been a win-win for the dealership.
“We moved our service department across the road to have a little more room for the technicians,” said Tauke. “We get cars in and out more effectively. It’s a lot smoother transition for the customer and for the technicians. We can handle heavy-duty trucks now which we couldn’t do in the past.”
There are reports of shortages of available vehicles and available parts — including computer chips — in some parts of the country, but Tauke Motors has made its way forward due to a loyal customer base and outstanding customer service.
“It sounds like the chip crisis is going to be with us for a while, but we have more inventory now than we’ve had in some time,” Tauke said. “It’s been a very good year and we’re working our way through it. We work as well as we can with our clients and do what we can to expedite them getting into their new vehicle.”
A third generation of the Tauke family — Dan’s sons Matt, Mitch and Nate — is involved in the everyday operation of the business. Look for Tauke Motors to be a part of the Dyersville Community for years to come.
“I haven’t come up with an exit strategy yet, but hopefully, the next generation will carry the torch forward,” Tauke said. “We really appreciate our customers and employees past and present. With the relationships we’ve made over the years with our customers and our employees, it’s been a pretty fun ride.”