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1600 US Highway 27 South
Directions Avon Park, FL 33825

  • Sales: (888) 896-5846
  • Service: (888) 568-4174
  • Parts: (877) 276-8275

Home of No Dealer Fees!

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Our History

The old Orange Tea Room Restaurant in downtown Avon Park on the corner where Wells Gas Station was started in 1928.
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The original Wells Gas Station built in front of the old Orange Tea Room Restaurant where J. Lawler Wells made his residence.
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Ray Wells standing in front of Wells Motor Company in 1931.
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Wells Motor Company expanded in 1940.
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Dodge and Plymouth were the brands sold by Wells Motor Company in the 1940s.
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In the 1960's, Wells Motor Company remodeled the building.
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Wells Motor Company in downtown Avon Park, remodeled again in 1972. This was the last remodel until the move to our new building on US27
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Before the Internet; before Ronald Reagan; before Lee Iacocca; before man landed on the moon; before Vietnam, Korea, and World War II; before jet planes; and before CDs, cassettes tapes, 8 tracks tapes, LPs, 45's and even 78 records, there was Wells Motor Company.

Wells Motor Company is the oldest family owned, and operated Chrysler dealership in the Southeast, serving Central Florida from Avon Park for four generations since its inception in 1931.

J. Lawler Wells, a prominent Avon Park businessman, opened a gas station at the corner of Main Street and Forest Avenue in 1928 in the downtown area. He later added refrigerators and radios.

In 1931, Wells Motor Company was established as a Dodge and Plymouth automobile dealer serving Highlands County, and was the distributor for Chrysler products for five counties in Central Florida.

In 1937, J. Lawler took on the distributorship for Cessna airplanes for Florida, Georgia, and Alabama after teaching himself how to fly. His interest in flying grew to the point that J. Lawler began flying across the country, eventually earning a Commercial Pilot license.  Flights from Avon Park to Detroit to the Dodge factory became common place. In 1940, he flew a party 17,000 miles to "the top of the world" - Nome, Alaska  - at one point using only a part of a map torn off a calendar to navigate by. He did all this without incident. 

J. Lawler Wells met an untimely death in 1941 when he was crushed in a tractor accident on his cattle ranch at the age of 40.

The dealership continued as J. Lawler's brother, E. Ray Wells, took over as owner. He had been working at the dealership since its inception in 1931 and ran the dealership until his death in 1993.

Wells Motor Company is now operated by two of Ray's sons: Stanley and Kenneth. Two of Ray's grandchildren, Scooter Wells and Sarah Jane Bryant, are also active in the operations of the dealership.

Stanley Wells began working for his father at the age of 12 pumping gas on weekends and during the summer. At age 16, he started working in the shop until he graduated from high school. After high school, Stanley attended Nashville Auto Diesel College, and he then returned to the dealership to work as a mechanic. After about two years, he moved to the office to work. Now Stanley is the President of Wells Motor Company

Kenneth Wells, our Service/Parts Director, began working in the shop as a mechanic after completing schooling at Nashville Auto Diesel College over 50 years ago. In 1963 he became the Service Manager and is now the Service/Parts Director as well as serving as Vice President of the company.

Kenneth's son Scooter is the dealership's Comptroller and has been working full time for Wells Motor Company since 1985. Sarah Jane, Stanley's daughter, is an Administrative Assistant and has been working in the office since 1995.

In 1959, Chrysler Corporation decided that Dodge and Plymouth needed to be separated to allow for greater competition with each other, and Wells was given the choice of keeping either Dodge or Plymouth while taking on either Chrysler or DeSoto. It was a difficult decision because at the time, Plymouth was the volume car line while Dodge had the truck lineup that Plymouth did not offer. It was for this reason that Mr. Wells chose to keep the Dodge franchise.  By dropping the Plymouth brand, Wells was able to take on the Chrysler franchise instead of becoming a DeSoto dealer by keeping Plymouth. This proved to be another wise move as the following year, Chrysler discontinued the DeSoto brand.

In 1972 the Wells building in downtown Avon Park underwent major changes including:

            The Sales Manager's desk was re-positioned so that he could see the five car display areas without leaving his desk.

            The waiting area improvements included wall to wall carpeting, a color T.V. with cable, two new restrooms, electric water cooler, convenient tables, and six different color chairs.

             Six offices were surrounded by glass walls, allowing any personnel to see which employees where in and at what station they were needed.

            Communications systems were upgraded to eleven telephones with multiple lines and an intercom system.

 Two hydraulic lifts were installed in the Service Department to speed up the work of the mechanics.

 The Parts Department was enlarged by 400% to better service customers.

When all was said and done, a rundown service station was transformed to a modern building in downtown Avon Park with all the latest improvements.

In 1998, Wells Motor Company built a new state-of-the-art, customer friendly complex on US 27 South between Avon Park and Sebring. This facility was equipped with cutting-edge computers and other advanced technologies designed to serve their customers quickly and easily. The building measured 24,000 square feet and is located on eight acres of land on Route 27. The cost to build: around $2 million.

Featured in the showroom and going through the children's playroom and customer lounge, is the Wells Express. This G-scale model train adds a whimsical touch to the building and is the center of attention for the child in all of us.

The dealership celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2006 and received the Business Excellence Award from Highlands County Economic Development Commission.  The award is given based on three criteria: job creation, facility expansion, and community service.

In January of 2010, a new chapter in the Wells Motor Company history was written. The Jeep franchise was taken from the Alan Jay auto group and was awarded to the dealership as a compliment to the Dodge, Dodge Truck, and Chrysler brands. Wells became the exclusive Dodge, Chrysler, Ram, and Jeep dealership in Highlands County.

The dealership further expanded in 2014 with the addition of four service bays and a larger vehicle detail/clean up area. Currently the dealership offers 20 service bays to accommodate more vehicles each day, which has shortened the wait time for our customers. In addition to the expansion of the Service Department, a Quik Lube lane was added which allows customers to come in for an oil change without an appointment.

With the history of Wells Motor Company, there is much for the Wells family to be proud of. But the greatest source of satisfaction is a high number of repeat customers that return to the dealership to purchase a vehicle again and again. Bottom line: they must be doing something right!

Wells Motor Company has earned top honors from Chrysler Corporation for customer satisfaction for both sales and service, year after year.

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