It wasn't until 1984 that car dealers in Massachusetts could sell cars on Sunday. But the Boch dealerships, located just south of Boston on Route 1, had kept their doors open every Sunday since 1958.
"We were open for viewing," says Ernie Boch Jr., now president of Boch Automotive. "Then we transacted business on Monday.
"That was the work ethic," says Boch, 51. "My father always said if you closed on Sundays, that was 52 days a year that you couldn't do business. Then if you threw in the holidays, that was another 10 days or so. How can you operate a business if you're only open 10 months a year?"
Ernie Boch Sr. was an in-your-face dealer who ran the company until his death in 2003 at age 76.
Actually, the business was started by Andy Boch, Ernie Sr.'s dad. He opened a gas station in the late 1930s and then a Nash dealership right after World War II. But it wasn't until Ernie Sr. joined the business in 1947 that sales started to pick up.
With Ernie Sr. at the helm, the auto empire ran huge Oldsmobile, Mitsubishi, Kia, Dodge, Honda and Toyota stores in the Northeast. In 1971, he acquired one of two remaining Subaru distributorships in the nation.
After the death of his father, Ernie Jr. has concentrated on Toyota and Honda. But the drive for No. 1 still is in place. Today, Boch Automotive has the No. 1 Honda store in the nation and the No. 2 Toyota store. Its Northeast Subaru dealers are tops in the country.