When Gerald Hendricks was first approached about starting a business selling those “funny looking little cars” from Germany, his response was “Sure, let’s do it!”
He was an entrepreneur who liked being in business for himself and loved cars. Gerald left his job and opened up Hendricks Motors, selling imported VW vehicles. They had Cabriolets, Beetles, Micro-buses, Karmann Ghias, Single Cab Pick-ups and more.
So began the legacy of car enthusiasts that would be located in this building. Hendricks Motors, Racine’s first Volkswagen dealership started it all.
Building in a prime location on Hwy. 31 in Racine on a major highway and designed with the largest window panes on a building in Wisconsin at that time, it was truly a work of art.
Green grass and rose bushes surrounded the building and freshly washed and waxed Volkswagens lined the lot. This was all in Gerald’s vision to create a beautiful showcase for his dealership.
Here is one of the first photos of the building as they got ready for their grand opening. The cars are not yet lining the lot.
Now the details begin to be added, with landscaping and all of those gorgeous Volkswagens just waiting to be taken out for a test drive!
Shortly after opening, Gerald Hendricks quickly realized that he needed to have more room. So they began an expansion to the building, as you can see by the red support beams on the North side of the building.
This is one of the Hendricks Motors Car Salesmen showing a customer around the new dealership. Notice in the background, the Volkswagen Used sign, for the lot just North of the building.
Just a typical day at Hendricks Motors for the salesmen but to us, a piece of history that we wish could be transported to modern times. That Microbus could be the Tanin Auto Electronix window display!
Thank you to the Hendricks family for allowing us to share these priceless memories and share the history of this one of a kind dealership in the great city of Racine, WI!