The Story of Dupont’s Service Center
The Origin of Dupont’s
It all started in Gonic, New Hampshire. Founder Edward Dupont Senior decided working in the mill was not the way he wanted to make a living. Mr. Dupont was always a car fanatic and decided to pursue his passion by entering the automobile repair business.
In the early 1950’s, Edward Dupont Sr. had the opportunity to rent a one bay gas and service station located across from the Mill. Ed obtained a lease and went into business. Ed stayed in business with the help of his wife Madeline (The Bookkeeper). The little shop on Main street flourished.
However, By the mid 50’s the mill closed and with the business becoming less viable, it was time to relocate. In late 1961, Ed decided to move to Dover and lease another gas station from Esso (Now Exxon/Mobil). The shop was located on Silver street across from Woodman Park School in Dover New Hampshire. The business flourished under Ed’s leadership.
Dupont’s Is Moving To Dover
Edward And Madeline had four children, Janice, Edward Jr., David, and Kathy. The current owner Dave Dupont reflects on the beginning of the family business, “The auto service business isn’t for everyone!” says Dave. “My brother Ed Jr. was my Dad’s chief mechanic when we were located on Silver street. I was a gas attendant.”
Ed Jr. decided to go into the fuel/oil business. (He later got hooked on politics and after a long political career, he was elected to President of the New Hampshire senate. Ed Jr. retired from elective office and ran a legislative affairs company in Concord, NH.) Ed is since retired, he still loves cars and comes by the shop occasionally to say hello.
Kathy was a bookkeeper in the business but again decided to move on. She is currently a Registered Obstetrics Nurse in the Women and Children’s Unit at Wentworth Douglas Hospital in Dover.
When Dave was a senior at UNH his father (Edward Dupont Sr.) decided to retire. Dave thought it would be a good business opportunity. After his older brother Ed left. Dave purchased the business from his father.
Dave’s biggest challenge was taking over a business in which he had very little training in the auto repair field. “I had to self-teach everything, or ask my employees on any technical matters that I couldn’t teach myself.”
Through hard work and sweat, Dave gradually grew his clientele base.
“As the business grew, it became nearly impossible to function in the little station. I guess we just did it because we didn’t know better.”
As the business continued to grow, Dave had to make a decision. Dave either had to monetize the gas operation and install a convenience store, or expand the auto repair business and relocate.
“At one point we had almost made up our mind to do convenience stores and even purchased a second location.”
“I just couldn’t do it.”
I had such a skilled and loyal workforce in the bays, I just couldn’t do it. When I considered the quality of work and the productivity of our service operation, I just couldn’t give it up. We knew that if we were to relocate, it would need to be convenient to our existing customers.
The building on Sumner Drive was available. And just like his father before him, Dave jumped at the chance and bought the property on Sumner Drive.
“We sold properties, eliminated debts, sold the gas stations and moved to a large facility.”
This was a leap of faith, moving out of the business model of gas, repair and towing to becoming a full-service auto repair shop in a new facility.
We’re Moving To 28 Sumner Drive
“Although it was in our market area. It is located in an industrial park with no drive by traffic or visibility to the community we serve.”
Dave did a complete renovation on the old building. He let his customers know where he relocated and the rest is history.
It’s been over 55 years since Edward Dupont Sr. founded Dupont Esso, and the business is still going strong. Now called Dupont’s Service Center in honor of Dave’s father Edward Dupont Sr. (1900-1975)
The Current State of Dupont’s
Dupont’s has grown to become one of the largest automobile service facilities in New Hampshire.
The business is owned and operated by David Dupont, founder Edward Sr.’s youngest son. Dupont’s was previously named NH-AAA Shop of the Year in 2010.
When compared with other shops in New Hampshire Dupont’s is one of the most modern and well-equipped shops in the state. We employ seven ASE certified technicians and presently have a staff of 16 people. Our state of the art air conditioned facility is equipped with the latest automotive equipment. Dupont has factory scan tools for General Motors, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Isuzu and Saab as well as most makes of European and Japanese vehicles.
Dupont is a Bosch Certified Service Center and an Alldata Certified information technology shop. We have access to the latest information available to repair all makes and models.
Dupont’s Service Center is an AC Delco Master Automotive Facility. We have access to factory level training that most shops cannot receive. We service GM, Ford, Chrysler, VW, Audi, BMW, Toyota, Honda, Saab, Subaru, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and all other makes of passenger cars and light trucks.
Dover is Our Home
We have a wonderful customer base and love doing business in Dover. We still have clients who’ve been doing business with us since 1961.
It can be a challenge for shops to keep up with the complexity of today’s cars.
We are constantly updating our equipment and software as well as sending our techs to school. Dupont is a dealer alternative for all factory recommended services.
Dave is married to his wife Carolyn. They have three sons Chris, Mike, and Ryan. Chris currently works at Dupont’s as a service adviser and Mike works as the director of Marketing. Ryan is finishing his Senior year at St. Michael’s College.
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