McKenzie Buick GMC is 'taking care of our community, our customers'

By Jody Conrad | Special to the Press Gazette

What makes one car dealership different from another? The answer can be found in whether the dealership is simply in a community or is a part of the community it is in.

McKenzie Buick GMC is one of the latter. 

Lisa McKenzie Dampier handles PR for the family business, McKenzie Buick GMC.

In 1955, Dan and Mary McKenzie came to Milton and opened a used car sales lot. Then Dan acquired the Chrysler Plymouth Dodge franchises. In 1967, McKenzie Motor Company was incorporated, and the rest is history.

“Those were exciting years to be a Chrysler Plymouth Dodge dealer,” said Lisa McKenzie Dampier, one of the McKenzie’s four daughters who has run the family business since Dan’s passing in 2009. “NASCAR's famous Richard Petty was driving a Plymouth at the time, while at the same time Dodge was aiming to make its Charger dominate on the racetrack.”

The McKenzie Motors sign is a familiar sight along Highway 90.

Then in 1970 McKenzie Motor Company began offering Oldsmobile, Buick, Pontiac, and GMC. At that time, GM was the largest automaker and employer worldwide.

Dan McKenzie was the dealer and operated McKenzie Motors for four decades. 

“It is a source of pride that McKenzie Motors is the oldest family-owned GM dealership in the area, and we love being part of this community,” Dampier said.

So what makes McKenzie Motors a valued community member?

“We work hard here to help our community where we can,” Dampier said. “We sponsor so many things around Milton, it is hard to name them all.

Lisa Cramer, the representative from title sponsor McKenzie Motors, tosses the golden duck into the dumpster in preparation for the Great Milltown Duck Race

“Let’s start with local high school and little league sports teams," she added. "Then there’s Pensacola State College and University of West Florida, and a wide array of golf tournaments for many wonderful causes. We support the city of Milton by sponsoring the Fourth of July fireworks, and we’ve supported Santa Rosa County by contributing to the new Chamber of Commerce building. We help community food banks, and we support the Blackwater Pyrates in their three key missions. We even help the local FFA by bidding (on) steers at the County Fair!”

Giving back is what makes a business a valued member of a community, and McKenzie Motors does just that.

McKenzie Motors was the title sponsor of the Blackwater Pyrates Duck Race.

“McKenzie Buick GMC is proud to be a vital part of the greater Milton and Santa Rosa community,” Dampier said. “Here at McKenzie’s, we believe in taking care of our community, our customers, and our employees.”

McKenzie Buick GMC is located at 6500 Caroline St. in Milton.