When it comes to cars, Shaq is certainly not one to play around. Referring to the basketball legend as a mere ‘automotive enthusiast’ would simply be an insult. A car collector seems much better fitted. West Coast Customs alone has built over 30 custom cars for O’Neal. Listen to Shaq share his love of the Buick LaCrosse in this Behind the Scenes clip.


Since 1914: The Story of Wallingford Buick GMC

As one of the nations oldest dealerships, Wallingford Buick GMC has been continuously owned and operated by the same family for three generations! That is some history. And with less than 365 days left until we celebrate our 100-Year Milestone, here’s a look at our company timeline and where it all began:

Founded on February 12, 1914, Wallingford Auto Company is officially incorporated by President and Secretary E.B. Backes. Edward, the grandson of Michael Backes (founder of M. Backes Fireworks Co.) chose to sell Buick, the real first success story of the auto industry, which also holds credit for being the brand responsible for the foundation of General Motors.

Feb1214 Inc Date

Located at 65 North Colony Street in Wallingford Connecticut, The Wallingford Auto Company was the first new automobile dealership built in town.

1920 Wallingford Auto Co Ad

Throughout the decades, Edward Backes bought and sold other franchises, but always kept Buick because of their quality reputation. Dealership Building 1919Dealership Building – 1919

Dealership Building 1977

John B. Backes, better known as Jack, purchased the dealership from his father in 1955He expanded and relocated the business in 1977 to its current address of 1122 Old North Colony Road in Wallingford, Connecticut.

                                                                       Newly Built Dealership – 1977

In 1979, J. Christopher Backes bought the dealership from his father.

Expanded Service Addition - 1987

Due to continued success, an expansion of the facility occurred in 1987 with the Service Department addition.


Winter 1994 Edition of Inside Buick

Winter 94 Buick Inside Article Part1Winter 94 Buick Inside Article Part2

Chris acquired GMC in 1997, adding another quality product with a long history of success since its inception in 1912.

Throughout the decades, the Backes family and their businesses have been a mainstay in Wallingford. Not only have they served the community through various local organizations, they have served their customers well by selling quality brand products and by providing excellent customer service. The experience and knowledge of a business owned and operated by the same family since 1914, in conjunction with the evolution of automobiles, is why Wallingford Buick GMC remains one of the nations oldest family-owned dealerships.   

And here we are today! Starting in May of 2013, the dealership is scheduled to undergo a complete makeover with a remodel and renovation. Stay tuned for updates as we countdown to the 100-Year Anniversary!