Manleys 2

By Kathryn Menue


BELVIDERE – Manley’s Belvidere Ford and Lincoln car dealership opened at their new location at 1800 N. State St. in Belvidere (the former Wolf Automotive Center) on Monday, Sept. 7.

Manley’s held a ribbon cutting on Friday, Sept. 11 at 1:30 p.m. for their grand opening at their new location.

The ribbon cutting took place in the newly finished showroom in front of the entryway.

Before General Manager Joe Hamblock did the honors of cutting the ribbon, members of the dealership and the community all gave celebratory speeches to Manley’s for all the business they have brought to the community over the last 137 years.

City Clerk Shuana Arco began the congratulatory speeches by reading a speech from Mayor Mike Chamberlain who regrettably could not attend the ceremony due to being away on business for Belvidere.

In his letter, Mayor Chamberlain said that it was a “great day for Manley and for our future [the future of Belvidere].”

Rick Manley continued the celebration by thanking everyone for their support.

“We have been in business for five generations” serving “Belvidere and Boone County customers and those customers are the only reason we are here,” Rick Manley said.

With five generations of Manley’s keeping the business alive, the Belvidere Manley Motors is the second oldest Ford dealership in the world, opening its doors 137 years ago in 1878.


Growth Dimensions Executive Director Jarid Funderburg was pleased the Manley’s were able to keep the business running in Belvidere.

“What’s happened here on this corner is sure to keep Belvidere on the map,” Funderburg said.

To close off the speeches, Hamblock thanked his family for their support and said that this project has “been a long time coming” and that he is proud that the moving project is finished.

With that, Hamblock proudly cut the ribbon to commemorate the big move to Manley Motors new location.

The Manley Motors grand opening was a great celebration with the new car aroma wafting through the air as people snacked on pieces of fruit and cookies, or the hot dogs available from the Weenie Wagon outside or the selection of ice cream bars from the ice cream truck in front of the dealership.

The owners and employees of Manley’s Ford and Lincoln should be proud of the new dealership.

The project of opening the new location took over a year with the construction crew taking down the old showroom and using the old supplies to construct the new showroom and donating old bundles to Habitat for Humanity.

General Manager Hamblock was enthusiastic about being able to give back to a great organization through their move.

He said that when they go to tear down the old Manley location, they will donate the old remnants of the building to Habitat for Humanity as well.

The entire move was all made possible through the efforts of the Manley family, General Manager Joe Hamblock, Jim Bozich, and Ford for helping with the design process and monitoring that the new facility met Ford’s requirements.

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