It all started in 1975, when my father Philip DiGennaro Sr. purchased a small Harley-Davidson dealership in Rochelle Park, NJ. It was a 3900 square foot building and was barely adequate in size.
I quickly learned to ride Harleys because at the end of the business day, we had to ride twenty or more customers’ bikes up a homemade wooden ramp into the shop. The showroom had an oil-stained indoor/outdoor carpet.
The “Motorclothes” department consisted of t-shirts stapled to the wall and you would tell us which one you wanted by number and size and we’d go back into the parts area to get it. The leather jackets were displayed on one wobbly rack and back stock was hung on an old fork tube, which was lowered from the rafters by rope when needed. Women’s clothing consisted of a few pairs of Harley undies in the showcase with my father’s handwritten sign offering free installation. My Dad’s office had his motorcycle up on blocks in various stages of completion in the middle of the floor. In the corner, behind his desk, stood a double-barreled shotgun. Luckily, it was never used.
Just as business began to really take off, Phil Sr. unexpectedly died, again leaving the dealership with an uncertain future. His sudden death threw us into a business we did not know how to run. With the help of loyal, dedicated long-time employees, great new motorcycles and a loyal customer base, we made the business strong. By 1998, with the explosion in popularity of Harley-Davidson, we knew we were still going to need more retail space. The completion of our new 25,000 square foot building at 124 Essex Street, Rochelle Park, is a fitting tribute to Phil Sr.’s dream of owning a state-of-the-art facility, while offering superior customer service. Our employees have all completed factory-sponsored training in customer service, and our technicians are all H-D certified. We are a one-stop shop for financing and insurance when purchasing new and used Harley-Davidson® motorcycles, and our newest addition, BMW. With our experience and dedication, we are secure in the knowledge that our dealership is one of the premier dealerships in the country.
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