History of the Johnson's Automotive Family
In 1916 Arthur C Johnson "Chris" formed a partnership with Ralph M O'Connell Auto Sales & Service. Five years later they built a 70,000sq ft building at 109 South Street; a facility to sell & service Cadillac, Oldsmobile & GMC cars & trucks that they named Berkshire Auto Co Inc. The building is now the entrance for the Colonial Theater and above the doors, in the glass, you can still see the name.
Chris' son, Arthur C Johnson Jr. "Art", joined Berkshire Auto Company in 1939. After his father's passing in 1958 he became Vice President of Berkshire Auto Co.
In 1964 Art sold his interest in Berkshire Auto Co to the O'Connell family and purchased a Lincoln-Mercury dealership from AJ Scarafoni located on North Street in Pittsfield. Art & his son Gary ran the dealership until Art's sudden passing in 1967.
Gary acquired the Ford franchise in 1980 and purchased a building across the street from the Lincoln-Mercury dealership. By then the dealership included Budget Rent-A-Car. Shortly thereafter, in 1982, an opportunity arose to purchase the current location on East St.
A few years later, after a remodel of a small building at 694 East Street to create a showroom, Gary purchased a BMW franchise. Years later he sold it to Thomas Flynn Sr. and in 1991, he acquired the Nissan franchise.
Presently The Johnson Dealerships Inc employs over 40 fulltime & several part-time people.
It's 2016, and the Johnson Family celebrates100 years in the automobile business!
Gary's son Chris & daughter Tary continue as fourth generation in the daily operation of the dealership & its legacy as the oldest family owned dealership in Western Massachusetts!