The Luther Automotive Group

Four Decades of Service– each

Family Ford celebrates lifelong careers in parts, service

A 40-year anniversary party at Family Ford in Fargo made public what is most likely a first in Luther Automotive history – three people from one store with more than 40 years with a franchise.

Technician Allan Wang began his career with Wallwork Ford, which underwent a few changes in ownership before being purchased by Luther Automotive a decade ago. Tom Nettestad in parts worked for several owners and in three different locations. And, technician Gary Speich came to Ford in June of 1970 after working for Chevrolet two years prior.

Family Ford parts counterman Tom Nettestad, left, and technicians Allan Wang and Gary Speich have been with the franchise for 44, 40 and 43 years, respectively.  Nettestad  is retiring soon, but Wang and Speich will stay on for a time.

Family Ford parts counterman Tom Nettestad, left, and technicians Allan Wang and Gary Speich have been with the franchise for 44, 40 and 43 years, respectively. Nettestad is retiring soon, but Wang and Speich will stay on for a time.

Speich grew up on the farm, fixing things with his uncle, who was “handy.” After attending North Dakota State University, he switched to a two-year program at the ND State College of Science.

When he started at the store, it also offered Kenworth and Ford big rigs and had a large lease operation. “We were told it was the largest dealership between Cincinnati and Seattle at the time,” said Speich, who often works on diesels now. Wang handles used and new car inspections.

Nettestad remembered when Wang first came. “I remember Allan walking in his first day of work with his toolbox about the size of a tackle box,” he said. Speich said air wrenches were just coming into use at that time. “That was a luxury,” said Wang.

Since day one, customer satisfaction has been the priority, explains Speich. “You take care of the customer they take care of you,” said Nettestad. “It’s been a good family-owned organization,” he said.

As Nettestad began his 45th year with the franchise, he drove in with his first new Ford F-150.

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