Brooks Boys Auto Sales and Capitol Car Care, Augusta, Maine

Brooks Boys Auto Sales and Capitol Car Care, Augusta, Maine

The new Capitol Street facility opened on April 8, 2008. The dealership and service department was located on Western Avenue, a block away, for more than 40 years.

COMPANY HISTORY  | STAFF PHOTOS

In the beginning there was only one Brooks Boy: founder Bob Brooks.

Fortunately, Bob and his wife produced three male offspring who have become integral to the auto business he bought in 1972: sons Steve, John and Dan, all graduates of Winthrop High School.

Bob Brooks started in the car business in Portland, selling Buicks there in 1954 and then American Motors Ramblers for 10 years before moving to Augusta to join Walter Clark, owner of Clark’s Auto Sales.
Bob bought the business, a dealership for Buick since 1948, from Clark in 1972.

With sons Steven (1974) and John (1976) joining Bob shortly after the change of ownership and Dan coming in a little later, the Brooks Boys were in business.

In 1976, the company added Volkswagen to its dealership line. Working together, the Brooks Boys continued their new car franchises until 1990 while building Capitol Car Care into a full-service repair and maintenance division of the company.

As John explained a few years ago, “The fact was 1990 was a time when new car dealers were either getting much bigger or leaving the business.

“We decided to get out of the new car business to concentrate on operating a high-quality service business with a used car business as a secondary part of the company.

“We still have a lot of loyal Buick customers and other owners who look to us for service. Then, when they are ready to trade cars, they often come to me to consider the clean, late-model Buicks, Cadillacs, Volvos
and other top-of-the-line vehicles we offer.”

The family business operates smoothly, John said, because each member has his own area to manage.

“Steve is president and office manager, Danny handles the service department and I am sales manager. Dad is still active. He checks the auctions and private sales to help select the right vehicles for our inventory.”

The used car department is a carefully-cultivated niche, John said. The Brooks Boys sell to long-time customers and new ones who may start out as service customers, frequently people who work for the state, John noted. In all cases, he said, cars are updated and serviced as needed by Capitol Car Care before they ever go out on the lot or in the showroom.

The business grew and prospered for more than 40 years in leased space in what is now Shaw’s Plaza on Western Avenue, John said. Recently, however, the time came to move.

The family already owned the site of their new facility, just west of the Dead River Food Trend convenience store and car wash on Capitol Street and opposite the Maine State Credit Union.
Constructed by Steve Wood of S&J Construction in Winthrop, the new facility opened April 8, 2008.

The future?
There is always the possibility of a new generation of Brooks boys and girls joining the business. Between them, the sons have 4 sons and 2 daughters, any of whom just might catch the fever that has made the Brooks Boys successful so far.