Carter Volkswagen celebrates 50 years in Ballard


The folks at 5202 Leary Avenue are celebrating a milestone and sharing some classic photos. Carter Volkswagen is marking 50 years of continuous family ownership and operation in Ballard. Mary Carter and her late husband Wade started the company in 1960. The flagship dealership is still located in the original building on Leary Way, a building we’re told Wade slept in some nights while getting the business up and running in the early days. Wade was also president of the Ballard Rotary and spent 20 years on the board of Ballard Hospital which later became a branch of Swedish.

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Boardbrown
Member
Boardbrown

Love the pictures of the brand spankin’ new V-Dubs. Mmmmm….white walls!

Ballardista
Guest
Ballardista

Yeah… the kids run the dealership now.
Wade Carter Sr. would be rolling in his grave to know how it’s gone to hell.

Silver
Member
Silver

Great old photos! Thanks for the story!

Judy
Guest
Judy

You don’t like getting ripped of by the slimiest car guys around? I hate this business. Hate them hate them hate them hate them.

Jim
Guest
Jim

“The poor man’s Porsche”, as it was known back in the day. I had a GTI in the early 80’s and loved it but it had a lot of electrical problems.

Boardbrown
Member
Boardbrown

Well, staff and management come and go. Not all customers are going to like everything, all the time. But 50 years in business is pretty good testament to doing something right.

Cougar Bob
Guest
Cougar Bob

I used to have a 1959 van and it looked a lot like that one against the wall. The turn signals stick out from the body. They also had semaphores signals on the side just behind the doors.

Jwworkshop
Guest
Jwworkshop

RIP wade.

Ballardista
Guest
Ballardista

Touche’! You would be correct. I just have an issue with the foundation Wade built the business upon being corrupted. But, yes, yes, 50 years is amazing!

Cate
Member
Cate

Carter Volkswagon has always treated me well – bought two cars from them. Like to keep my business in the neighborhood. Congradulations on fifty years!

59thandblake
Guest
59thandblake

I’ve bought four cars from them over the years and have never had a problem. As far as I am concerned they are a good local company. They occupy a lot of Ballard real estate and I am happy that they have not gone the way of other car companies.

Ballardista
Guest
Ballardista

I worked there. Trust me, it is not what Sr. had in mind. If you are a ‘happy’ customer, then all is well that ends well. But if you took a peek behind the curtain, you may feel differently on where you spend your money. Juss sayin.

Tonygumbrell
Guest
Tonygumbrell

I’m glad that something is still here that I recognize.

owlsinsomnia
Member
owlsinsomnia

I bought two cars from them and have had them serviced there every time they needed anything over the course of 15 years. I have had very positive experiences with them, including VW corporate extending my power train warranty by six months to cover major transmission work that they weren’t obligated to pay for. They offered me a loaner for a few days when I called for a referral to a good body shop minutes after a nervewracking car accident. Never mind that they weren’t doing any of the work–they just offered to take care of me while I sorted things out. They have been honest, forthright, and fair with me. Not to discount those of you who have had bad experiences–I’m sorry for your sake and know that is bound to happen with any business. But I do want to balance things out a bit. I’m a happy, loyal customer. In fact, the Jetta is going in on Friday to be serviced and I trust that she’ll be in good hands.

The Mayor
Guest
The Mayor

Wade and Stapleton laundered tons of drug money through Carter. There’s a reason why they showed significant profit at times when all other dealerships were sinking. Why do you have go-fast cigarette boats and yachts with more storage than seats, locking stowage compartments and are able to captain them for days on end? Running cocaine, of course.

Have no fear, they’re clean now. But since they hired “consultants” from big corporate companies like Lithia, they’re going downhill faster than a Beetle you’re trying to compression start.

And some more of my $.02, their Subaru service department sucks, go to Shoreline.

guest
Guest
guest

Just checking back in to say:

a) we bought a Chrysler T&C last weekend.
b) my little sister bought a Honda Civic, instead of a Jetta, on Wednesdsay.

Tally my side 6. I really can’t believe how badly VW treated us. I’m guessing that at this point they could have GIVEN us a new care and the financial repurcussions would have been equalivalent to the lost sales. Tougher to gauge the long term effect. Friends have friends, groups grow, but the story stays the same…

This is how buinesses go under. They get one rare chance to act cool in a unique situation and they blow it. Completely.