The Gast Motor Sales Company

The Gast Motor Sales Company is one of the strongest and most important organizations of its kind in the city of Grand Rapids and has recognized leadership among the representative automotive sales agencies of the state of Michigan, the while its new headquarters, located at Wealthy, Lake Drive, Norwood avenue, represent the ultimate in design and equipment, with every modern facility for the effective handling of the large and prosperous business that has been developed by this staunch and progressive organization. From a newspaper article that was published February 11, 1925, incidental to the opening of the fine new home of the Gast Motor Sales Company, are taken, with minor modification, the following pertinent extracts: "The new building of the Gast Motor Sales Company covers 27,500 square feet of space and is in a location where it enjoys the last friendly patronage of east-bound tourists out of Grand Rapids, while its efficient service and polite policy greet the newcomer and give him a friendly permanent impression of the courtesy of the Furniture City. * * * The Gast Motor Sales Company was organized an authorized Ford agency, October 1, 1923, when officers were elected as follows: P. B. Gast, President; John P. Platte, vice-president; C. P. Kampfschulte, secretary; and A. G. Rasch, treasurer. A capital was formed, a site purchased, and plans for the present building were immediately drawn up. From the first day they opened business the Gast company has spared neither expense nor time in trying to give the Ford and Lincoln owners and buyers of Grand Rapids the service and fair treatment to which they are entitled. The popular appreciation of this service has placed the company among the larges authorized Ford dealers in western Michigan. The companyís building is typical of the latest word in present day architecture, and houses the newest of Grand Rapidsí authorized dealers in Ford cars and Ford products in general, and from its sturdiness and beauty the building could scarcely be anything but a model retail branch of one of our countryís greatest industries." In none of the metropolitan centers of the country can be found more attractive and admirably equipped display and sales rooms than those of the Gast Motor Sales Company, and the service department is complete in every detail of equipment and service, with a corps of expert mechanics at all times ready to give attention to the requirements of patrons. This large and splendidly ordered garage and sales agency is open day and night, and its service is thus one of absolute continuity. The Gast organization is one of the most effective harmony and co-ordination of service, and the officers of the company are resourceful and progressive business men who are loyal to Grand Rapids and ever ready to lend cooperation in the furtherance of measures and enterprises tending to advance the civic and material interests of the city. Peter B. Gast, president of the Gast Motor Sales Company, was born in the fine little village of Westphalia, Clinton county, Michigan, a sturdy village that was founded by sterling German pioneers in the early period of Michigan history. Mr. Gast was born in February, 1874, a son of Bernard Gast, and a grandson of Alois Gast, who was one of the honored pioneers of Clinton county. Mrs. Theresa (Platte) Gast, mother of the president of the Gast Motor Sales Company, had the distinction of being the first female white child born in the pioneer village of Lyons, Ionia county, Michigan, both the Gast and Platte families having come to the United States from Westphalia, Germany, and the early settlers of Westphalia, Michigan, having perpetuated in its name that of their old home province in Germany. The writer of this review is able to recall as one of his boyhood experiences a visit to the village of Westphalia, Michigan, in company with his father, who was a pioneer physician and business man of St. Johns, judicial center of Clinton county, and on the occasion of his visit the writer was much impressed with the fine Catholic church buildings that had been erected by the devoted pioneer citizens of the town. It was in the parochial school of this pioneer parish that Peter B. Gast received his early education, though he was still a boy at the time of the family removal to Grand Rapids, where he continued to attend school until he was given employment in the little factory of his maternal uncle, John P. Platte, who was at that time struggling to establish a prosperous enterprise in the manufacture of umbrellas. Mr. Gast has always been a worker, and has never lacked in ambition and progressive resourcefulness. His desire to engage in business in an independent way found definite expression when he was twenty years of age, for he then organized the Gast Soap Company and engaged in the manufacture of high grade toilet soaps. From a most modest inception this enterprise has developed into one of the substantial industries of Grand Rapids, and Mr. Gast continued as the executive head of the business until his sons became old enough and sufficiently fortified in experience to take control of the business, which, with a consistent reorganization, has since been conducted under the title of P. B. Gastís Sons Company. In 1923 Mr. Gast was the prime mover in effecting the organization of the Gast Motor Sales Company, of which he has since continued the president, his able executive administration having been shown in the splendid development of the business. He is a liberal and public-spirited citizen, is a Republican in politics, and he and his family are zealous communicants of the Catholic church. Mr. Gast married Miss Emily Alt, daughter of Nicholas Alt, of Grand Rapids, and they have a fine family of four sons and two daughters, namely: Waldemar, Raymond, Paul, Frederick, Evelyn and Helen.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 24 March 2005