Family to family: Bill Marine Ford purchased by Busam Automotive


WILMINGTON — In 1960, Bill Marine and his family settled in Wilmington and began their family-owned car dealership, beginning their great legacy in the area.

For 62 years, the Bill Marine Family has been a staple in the Clinton County community — and now they welcome another family to join them.

The Busam Automotive family recently “had the privilege to purchase the Bill Marine Ford Lincoln operation and continue to bring great success in the community.”

Marine’s start

The Aug. 23, 1960, edition of the News Journal in Wilmington announced that, “Bill D. Marine has purchased Elam Ford from Mr. and Mrs. Carl Elam effective Aug. 1. The business will be known as Bill Marine Ford Inc. It will feature a complete line of Ford cars and trucks and Ford accessories. Service will be done on any make or model car.

“Marine said he would retain the personnel formerly associated with Elam Ford including John Reed, salesman; Arthur Pauley, Harley Hicks and Homer Smith, service department; Jerry Sherod, parts and service manager; and Nelson Sherwood, assistant manager in the parts and service department.

“Mr. and Mrs. Marine, daughter Patty, 3 years old, and son Doug, 5 months old, have established residence at 251 Kenyon Drive in McDermott Village, Wilmington.

“Prior to coming to Wilmington, Mr. Marine was used car sales manager for a company Ford dealership in Columbia, Missouri.”

On Friday, Aug. 12, 2022 Marine said that now, 62 years later, “We’ve got the fourth generation buying from us.”

Busam Automotive storied history

“It all began in 1909 when Henry Ford’s vehicle began to break down while traveling through Cincinnati. Henry Ford asked around Cincinnati as to who could fix his Ford, and was immediately directed to Joe Busam’s blacksmith shop,” according to the Busam company’s history on its website.

Joe Sr. agreed to complete the repairs on the vehicle, and performed a job so well that Henry Ford personally asked Joe to open a service facility. Within three years Joe Busam began selling Fords and became the first Cincinnati Ford dealership. Joe Sr. operated the initial Busam Ford dealership throughout the ’20s, ’30s and into the early ’40s until he passed away in 1946, according to the company’s history on its website.

Representing the second generation, Joe Jr. took over the family business after returning from World War II. Joe Jr. began taking on new challenges and began selling multiple franchises throughout his tenure as dealership principal.

It was an interesting mix of manufacturers, many of which have come and gone including Tucker, Packard, Rambler, Studebaker, Peugeot, Maserati, Yugo, Alfa Romeo and Datsun (which was later renamed Nissan).

What began as a service center has now developed into three franchises including Nissan, Subaru and Suzuki with two locations in Cincinnati.

In 1993, Joe Jr. passed away, leaving the dealership to the third generation, John and Charlie.

Together they represent the oldest Nissan dealership in Cincinnati. The Busam family has continued to expand into new brands and opportunities as their father did before them.

The family now continues with Joe Jr., son of Charlie, who took membership into the family tradition at an early age. Starting at the bottom and working upward in positions, Joe currently assists in management of all three brands.

After 100 years of service Busam is still a family-owned and operated business, and stated it strives to present the same unparalleled customer service that it did nearly a century ago.

“We have stood the test of time thanks to a dedicated emphasis on the importance of family values, honesty and building positive relationships within our community,” the Busam family said.

Pictured are Bill Marine (left) and Joe Busam, vice president of Busam Automotive. are Bill Marine (left) and Joe Busam, vice president of Busam Automotive. Submitted photo
Business passes from one family to another

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