It is the journey of a pioneer company that opened its doors in 1915, the year that Babe Ruth hit his first home run, the first stone was laid on the Lincoln Memorial, and the one-millionth Model T was produced. Nearly a hundred years ago, with the founding of Sanders Motor Company in Smithfield, the region welcomed its first Ford dealership!
In what was affectionately known as the “Roaring 20s,” a tumultuous decade that followed the Great War and ended with the Great Depression, Mr. Sanders moved his growing enterprise to the state capital, where it took root as a pillar of the community and has resided here ever since. More than half a century after its first retail sale, the dealership settled in a second Raleigh location, in what would become a city landmark, on the corner of Blount and Davie Street.
With the 1970s came the well-deserved retirement of Mr. Sanders and the ascension of a close and trusted associate, Charlie Wiygul, a man who revered the company’s history and success, but recognized the need for progressive planning and change. Thus, in 1983 –after a gainful decade at the Downtown Boulevard location-, Charlie Wiygul Ford was moved to 4900 North Boulevard, (now Capital Blvd) which to many naysayers seemed too remote and too “country.” Time has shown Mr. Wiygul to be a visionary, as the remote, country site now rests in the heart of our bustling and thriving metropolis.
On April 1, 1985, a 25-year old man named Tim Michael claimed the third leg of the company’s journey, as Charlie Wiygul Ford became Capital Ford. From the moment he set foot on the premises, Tim conveyed a vigor, enthusiasm and commitment that have never wavered; his passion for the business, with customer service at its core, are heralded by customers and competitors, alike. Today Tim Michael and the 300 dedicated employees who comprise Capital Ford have earned the distinction of being the number 1 Ford Dealership in the Southeast United States. The steadfast hope, faith and purpose that inspired the founding of Sanders Motor Company in 1915, are alive and well at Capital Ford…and the extraordinary journey continues.