Tom Henry Chevrolet - The Dealership
The history of Tom Henry Chevrolet is a classic story of a family's success in the quintessential, American business of selling and servicing cars and trucks.
February 14, 1958. Tom Henry opened his Chevrolet dealership in Bakerstown, 15 miles north of Pittsburgh. His entrepreneral spirit, his experience in the car business and an attitude, today, we'd call "customer-driven" had Tom Henry Chevrolet quickly thriving. in 1961, he needed more space and wanted to be on a major highway. Henry moved his business just west of Bakerstown to Pennsylvania Route Eight which runs from Pittsburgh, north, to Franklin.
In the mid-1960s, a young Tom G. Henry swept floors at Dad's Chevy/Jeep store after school. By high-school, he was working summers in Parts and Service. As teenagers with a Chevy dealer Dad, Tom and his sister, Sue, were nuts about Corvettes. At 16, Tom got his first Vette, a '64 Convertible his Dad took in trade. In his senior year, Tom borrowed money from his Dad and ordered a Targa Blue, 1972 Corvette Coupe with the high-performance LT1 engine and a four-speed stick shift. That fall, Tom was off to college and the Blue Vette went with him.
November of '75, fresh out Northwood University in Michigan with degrees in automotive marketing and business management, Tom started, full-time, as a Service Writer. He, also, made his first sale, a left-over '74 Impala. In 1976, he moved to Sales, by '78 was Truck Manager and in '80, General Manager. Finally, in May 1982, with Tom B. wanting a less-busy schedule, young Tom G. took over as Dealer/Operator. By then, his Sis was Office Manager. The founding Tom Henry retired in 1991.
In 1998, Tom's interest in Chevrolet motor sports had him forming a subsidiary, Tom Henry Racing, to sponsor Corvette racers Scotty White and Rick Doria. "THR" also deals in performance cars and trucks from Chevrolet and other GM brands.
By 2001, it was selling "upfitted" Chevys on a "second-sticker" basis. The first was a hot rod Camaro, the "Tom Henry SS". Thirty-two were built in 2001 and 2002. Each had a modified LS1 engine along with special wheels and tires and customized interior and exterior.
In spite of his family's success, Tom Henry hasn't strayed from his hot rod roots. For 40 years, Tom Henry has been a car nut and has a nice collection of Chevys. "Tom's Toys" include the '72 Corvette he bought a generation ago which he drives regularly and keeps in original condition. He, also, has a restored, '64 Vette and two late-model Camaros, a rare 1998 Brickyard 400 Pace Car, one of only 11 in private hands, and one of his own Tom Henry SSes. The '72 LT1 and the SS have been featured in national automotive magazines. Tom's sister, Sue Scott, has her hot rod Chevy, too, owning a modified, ’04 Corvette Convertible, one of 14 Vettes she’s owned.