A Minnesota business with Moody County roots has new owners and a new name.
Amdahl Motors, the Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealership in Pipestone, has been sold to brothers Scott Dahl and Mark Dahl who will operate Dahl Motors. Dealer operator and general manager John Amdahl’s last day is today.
“I have three children. None of them are really interested in coming into the business. I just think that it’s a good time for me to retire,” said Amdahl, 76. He also is glad the new owners are local to the Pipestone area.
“These Dahl brothers that are buying the business are originally from Pipestone,” he said. “The family is really well-known in Pipestone. I just thought that would be a good fit for the owner of the business, somebody that is local and has ties to the community.”
The business has been called Amdahl Motors for 81 years, opening in 1938 in Pipestone, but John Amdahl’s grandfather C.J. (Cornelius John) started his first auto business as a Ford dealership in 1912 in Trent.
He moved the business to Flandreau 1918 but the dealership, which was located where Maynard’s Grocery Store is today, closed during the Great Depression, only to come back as a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership in 1937 in Madison. After losing the lease on the Madison building, he and his son, Virgil, moved to Pipestone and opened Amdahl Motors.
The new owners plan to operate the business much like it has been under the Amdahl name. Dahl Motors will keep the Amdahl employees as well, Amdahl said.
“I don’t expect a lot of change. It’s a very well run, good dealership,” said Scott Dahl, 56. He and his family, including two grown sons Chris and Connor, are moving from the Twin Cities to Pipestone to run the business. He has been in the automotive financing business for 32 years. His brother, Mark, 57, will continue to live in Luverne, Minn.
“We’re blessed to have this opportunity,” Scott Dahl said of moving back to the area and owning the dealership.
Like under the Amdahl name, Flandreau will be an important market for Dahl Motors, he said. “We’re going to work with surrounding communities,” he said. “Surrounding communities will be very, very important.”
Beyond having car dealerships in Moody County in the early days, Amdahl’s roots are deep here. His parents, Virgil and Blanche (Weigel) Amdahl graduated from Flandreau High School. All of his grandparents lived in Flandreau, too.
“I’ve got a lot of relatives in Moody County,” he said. If their last names are Johnson, Ellingson or Weigel, they’re probably related, he said.
Amdahl and his wife will spend winters in Arizona, and he is looking forward to enjoying his retirement.
But there’s one more purchase he probably will make before leaving Amdahl Motors. “Maybe a new pickup, I don’t’ know,” he said.