Welcome to Hall Chevrolet Buick
C. Speck Motors, Inc. was founded in 1912. Clayton Speck and his brother-in-law moved with their families from Illinois to Sunnyside, Washington, in the early 1900's. Clayton's first business endeavor was operating a cafe. He also did painting. In 1912, Clayton and his brother-in-law founded the Speck-Rowland Garage with Buick as the car franchise. The Chevrolet division was added in 1917. In 1920 Clayton bought out his brother-in-law.
During the early years, it was not uncommon for customers to trade items such as guns or rings as down payments on cars. Old financial statements list cows, diamond rings, and other items among dealership assets.
A new dealership facility was built on the corner of Sixth and Franklin during the height of the Great Depression. With the economy being what it was, many skeptics thought Clayton had made a huge mistake. During World War II, Speck's service facility was converted to a machine shop manufacturing parts for the Military. Not until late 1945 and early 1946 were they able to get new cars again and those were sold on a lottery basis to their customers.
Clayton passed away in 1953. He was remembered for his generosity over the years to employees, customers, and even people he did not know. Clayton's grand son, James C. Speck, received a letter in the early 1980's from an elderly woman who was living in the Seattle area. She wanted the Speck family to know that Clayton Speck had for many years been a huge financial supporter of an orphanage she managed. No one in the family ever knew of his involvement before her letter. There are countless stories of the great character of Clayton Speck.
In 1950, James R. Speck became the Dealer Principal of C. Speck Motors, Inc. In those days, distributors located in Seattle and Portland wholesaled Buick's and Chevrolet's to the dealers. Most vehicles had to be driven to Sunnyside for retail. It wasn't until the early 1950's that railcars were used to ship the vehicles to the city. However, it was the responsibility of the dealership employees to unload the cars at the railsidings.
One employee that became a fixture of the Sunnyside community was Charlie Barber. Charlie was in charge of the gas pumps in the front of the dealership and was known by every child in town who walked by on their way to school. Speck Motors had the greatest ambassador in Mr. Barber. Mr. Speck made sure that Charlie always had a late model Chevrolet pickup to drive at no cost. Mr. Barber worked for three generations of Speck Men.
In 1975, James C. Speck became the third generation to own C. Speck Motors, Inc. Two years later, his father, James R., passed away. The Nissan franchise was added in 1985 and a separate showroom was built at the south end of the Sixth and Franklin location. James C. Speck was selected to serve on General Motors "Dealer Advisory Board" in 1985. During the late 70's and 80's business flourished and plans were made for a larger facility.
Kathryn "Katy" Speck, daughter of James C. Speck, join her father in the auto business in 1994. In 1996 she married John Paul "JP" Moore. Katy Moore became Dealer Principal of C. Speck Motors, Inc. in 1998, making her the fourth generation of Speck's in the auto business.
Under Katy's direction, the dealership moved from it downtown location to a 60,000 square foot facility with 18 acres of property by I-82. The new facility is one of the largest and most modern in the area.
In 1998, the Moore's opened Moore Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge in Walla Walla. J.P. became the General Manager of the Sunnyside dealership with Katy overseeing the Walla Walla operation.
As the years have progressed, the Moore's purchased another dealership in Pasco, WA. It began as a used car operation in 2002. They then added the Hyundai franchise to that location in 2003. Speck Hyundai of Tri-Cities is operated by J.P. Moore and Katy Moore runs the Sunnyside operation on a day to day basis.