Last Call with Neil Patrick, owner at Patrick Motors Inc.

    Neil Patrick has worked as an automotive dealer in Central Massachusetts for nearly half a century. He takes great pride in his family-owned and operated businesses. Patrick enjoys spending time in Florida during the winter months, but he still thinks of Worcester as home. I spoke with him over the phone this week as he made his way back up north.

What is your history with the city of Worcester? Have you always lived here? Yeah, born, bred and raised in Worcester, Mass. We just had our 50th wedding anniversary.

Congratulations. I married a girl from Worcester.

How did the two of you meet? She was complaining about a used car we sold her. How's that for a story?

That's pretty good. Now, where did you go to school? Classical High School on Irving Street, which is now the administrative headquarters for Worcester Public Schools.

Can you describe your career trajectory? I started at a service station back in the 1950s down on Harding Street. We owned gas stations. What do they call that district now?

The Canal District. Right. We owned a bunch of property right there by St. John's High School. Now I think it's the ice skating complex. It has all been redeveloped, obviously. We were there for probably 40 or 50 years with our gasoline service station business. My family has always focused on cars and service. We love taking care of customers. That's how we got involved in the automobile business. My brothers and I had the dream to become car dealers. Saab was our first franchise back in 1970. I became a Saab dealer on Harding Street until Saab closed in 2012. We also had Subaru open in 1971 as our second franchise and we still maintain Subaru today. Then, we had Alfa Romeo and Suzuki. We had a lot of different types of cars. We had British Leyland and Triumph, which was a fun car - a really good sporty car from England. We had a lot of different makes, including General Motors out in Southbridge, which I ran for awhile from 1969 until '81. We still maintained the Worcester dealership throughout that period. We moved from Harding Street to Route 9 in Shrewsbury. Originally, that was Subaru on Route 20 in Auburn back in 1986. We still have the Auburn dealership, which houses Volkswagen.

And what makes you guys so unique? How do you keep doing it? We're just a family that loves automobiles, and we love selling cars, and we love taking care of customers. It's kind of bred in our DNA. My mother really pushed us along into sales. She loves sales. She was a shoe salesman back in the war days. My father was in the Army and he loved dealing with people. His love for helping people out also kind of morphed into automobiles. We had a chance to get the franchises, we've maintained that, and we still have a great following. We have people come in and say, "Oh, I knew your grandfather." What comes around goes around. If you take good care of the customers, they will keep coming back to help you in the long course.

Do you have an anecdote or a special story about a sale that you made? I've helped out some fancy people, some not so fancy people and some regular people. I sold Brian Spinney an Oldsmobile back in the 70′s. My father sold Brian Dennehy a car. He's an actor from Connecticut. We have customers all over the country that we ship cars to. Sometimes, they don't even see the car, they take my word for it and they're happy.

Are they finding you online or are they old-time customers? Old-time customers in that respect. They take our word and they know we're going to stand behind the car. They trust that if we tell them something, it's going to be that way.

What kind of car do you drive? I have a Volkswagen. We drive the brands we sell. My brother usually drives a Subaru. We also bought Volvo and Mazda from Gallo. He was an old-time car dealer. We bought those about three years ago on Gold Star Boulevard. Patrick Volvo and Mazda will be moving out to Auburn eventually.

When you aren't working and you're not in Florida, where do you like to spend your time in Worcester? We have old-time restaurants we love, El Basha on Belmont Street. We also go to their location on Park Ave. All of the Shrewsbury Street restaurants are fabulous. But you know, Worcester has changed quite a bit. As you can see, the demographics seem to be mostly college kids here now. Worcester is growing back to where it used to be. People are moving back from the east because housing is more affordable here than in Boston. It's good to see that kind of resurgence. We have the Red Sox coming. That's going to be really huge. Real estate will go up in that area of the city, which I feel has been poor and bad in the last 10 years on that lower section of Chandler Street. I know Worcester really well, because that's where I've been all my life. I know all the streets and corners. It works out pretty good for us because we know everything about what's there. All the stores. We know where to buy and where not to buy. What services are good and what aren't good.

How do you maintain good service? Our business model says, "We do better when you do better at Patrick Motors." That's been our main theme through all the years. We always kept that philosophy. In other words, when you buy a car from us, you're going to do better than anywhere else because there's always a Patrick there to take care of you. Most dealerships are corporate and there's never an owner present. We have a Patrick at every dealership.

Are those Patricks your siblings or your kids? My brother and two sons.


Patrick Motors Volkswagen

519 Washington St
Directions Auburn, MA 01501

  • Sales: 508-506-8970


  • Monday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Tuesday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Wednesday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Thursday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Friday 9:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Saturday 9:00AM - 5:00PM
  • Sunday Closed

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