DJ's Classic Cars Search for a new home ends at The former Boutwells Garage on Rt 12 in Ashburnahm
Long search ends at Boutwell's
Dan Kelly's unlucky streak has finally ended. This story was seen with a few changes in the Worcestor Telegram and Gazette in 2013.
After losing a previous rental property to a fire, then fighting a seven-month battle with a nearby property owner for the location he was seeking to lease, Mr. Kelly has found a home for his auto sales business, DJ's Classic Cars.
The business reopened last week at 73 Fitchburg Road (Route 12), which had been the site of Boutwell's Garage for more than 50 years. Under the continual ownership of the Boutwell family since 1956, the garage staggered through its final years, finally folding after a long and complicated process with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection that left the family unable to afford a re-opening. The property has been vacant since 2006, when underground gasoline storage tanks and the above-ground gas pumps were removed.
According to Mr. Kelly, owners Richard and Paula Boutwell, who continue to live on abutting property, are thrilled to have the site used again for a working business.
“People are excited about it,” he said. “I keep hearing around town that for people who live in this community, it's nice to see this place alive again.”
The property consists of a large lot for displaying the cars and trucks , a building with 4,500 square feet of garage space that will be used for detailing and storage, and a second floor with office space and a four-room apartment. While the space is zoned for auto repairs and comes complete with lifts etc , Mr. Kelly plans to keep it simple, and only do repairs for his car lot.
Having opened his business in 1992 on Route 101 in Ashburnham, Mr. Kelly has enjoyed a long career doing what he loves — selling cars, working with cars and being with someone else who loves cars, his 22-year-old son Tim.
“All I ever really wanted was a place for me and Tim,” he said.
During his early years, while his son was small, Mr. Kelly sold more classic cars and to this day, he always keeps a few on the lot. But in the recent declining economy, he started letting demand dictate his supply, and he found that what most people were after was not, in fact, that cherry-red Volkswagen Beetle that occupies prime real estate in the front of his lot, but a solid and reliable used car for a great price.
And so, over the past 10 to 15 years , DJs Classic Cars began to develop a reputation as a place people could go to buy a used car without a hassle.
“With this new place, I have more traffic and better visibility, so the potential is there,” he said, adding that with only one week under his belt he's already made several sales. “And when people are coming up Route 12 into town, this is the first place they see. As time goes on, I plan to slowly but surely get the property looking better.”
Mr. Kelly said he'd always dreamed of having a place to call his own, where he and his son could be partners and co-workers, doing the very thing that they have enjoyed together for nearly two decades.
“Ashburnham has been great,” said Mr. Kelly, . “I want to be here for another 20 years plus .” I live right on the property with my family , which makes me even more available to show the customers the cars when it works for there schedule .When the weather is rough outside, we can show the car inside the garage if needed.
Dan is a great man runs an honest business and has beautiful cars! Bought a 05 Chrysler 300 and I couldn't be more happy the past months with this car. Thank you !
Dan is a great guy, straight shooter that will be up front with you and won't try to take advantage of you. You'll get a fair deal and won't be disappointed if you do business with him. I bought an older pickup from him, he told me exactly what was going on with it and being a mechanic I was okay with it. Everything he told me about the truck was true, nothing was hidden and I'm happy with the deal we made.