Trusted Relationship

Wilhelm Automotive

NB|AZ helps historic auto repair business continue to grow

There are few companies that have a history as rich as Wilhelm Automotive. The Peoria-based auto repair business dates back to 1889, when it was started by a family of blacksmiths, some of the original settlers who moved to Arizona from Peoria, Illinois.

At the turn of the century, the Jennings brothers bought the business and while they continued to forge, they began to do more mechanical repair to accommodate the needs of the surrounding farming communities. Then, in 1928, Joe Wilhelm bought the garage and did business for nearly 50 years before he sold it to Charley and Mary Jane Gyder in 1979. Today, the Gyder’s son Thom now runs the company.

“When my parents bought the business, they saw the future of automotive repair,” Gyder says. “Farming was slowly moving farther west, so my dad made a commitment to change the direction of the company to meet the needs of the surrounding community.”

With seven locations—five in the West Valley, two in Phoenix—Wilhelm Automotive provides auto repair and services for domestic and import vehicles, spanning a variety of makes and models. From oil changes and brake service, to computer diagnostics and hybrid repair, the company offers a wide range of services.

“We put a big investment in establishing our reputation of being able to work on and fix any car,” says Gyder.

Staying true to keeping the business in the family, Gyder’s nephew Chris Garman is taking the torch and is focused on taking the business into the future.

“NB|AZ is focused on businesses just like Wilhelm,” says Mary Holman, Senior Vice President at National Bank of Arizona. “They’re the perfect example of the type of clients we want to help grow through all the life cycles of the their business. Thom is at a point where he’s ready for a new life cycle, but we can still help Chris continue to grow the company. To me, it’s the perfect relationship.”