Ben Pezzolla, (the grandfather of Frank Pezzolla, Jr., President of Frank's GMC) brought his family from the city to the country - Lyndhurst was the country then - in the latter part of the 19th Century and opened his modest "smith" business as the Twentieth Century dawned.
He built a home for his family on "the hill" with stones that he pulled from the Meadows and he fashioned his American dream on the back of his one man shop. There, in summer heat and wintry blasts, he held court, talking over the news of the day with neighbors and customers.
Ben never expanded his business as with the advance of the horseless carriage, it became a dying trade. His son Frank, disciplined and steeled by the dedication and hard work of his parents, started his own business in 1930 when he rented an old, out-of-repair garage on Ridge Road in Lyndhurst. Like his father before him, his was a one man shop at the outset. At this garage, drafty and icy in the winter, an inferno in the summer heat, he worked day and night to build a business.
Unlike his father, Frank was preparing to rise with an industry that would reach enormous heights in the Twentieth Century. It was a bitter struggle at first. He worked hard to catch the crest of that wave and in two years he was able to acquire an old Buick that could be fitted with towing devices. He dug a pit with his own hands and fashioned steel ramps to set cars over while he repaired them from inside the pit. The metal turning knowledge that he picked up from his father had become quite an asset.
He made a critical decision when he decided to concentrate on trucks, believing that truckers needing to keep their business going would turn to him knowing that he would be open day and night. He had always been willing to work as long as it took to get them on the road again.
By 1937, Frank, Sr. was awarded a GMC franchise. Expanding through the years with the help of his three sons, the business - known as Frank's GMC Truck Center -eventually moved in 1978 to a modern facility that they presently occupy on Orient Way in Lyndhurst.
Where once there was one employee, there are now over 100. Successful and well run by third generation, Frank's still operates by a code of conduct and ethics driven by an immigrant spirit and an indomitable faith.
For over 80 years, we have built a reputation on honesty, fairness and quality service, storing up a lot of good will. The spirit of the blacksmith and founder still runs in our veins. It's this spirit that is the life source of our company where everyone is treated like family, where community and commitment to others matters, and where honesty, integrity and the 'best possible service' are operational mandates and not just words.
Frank's GMC will continue to rely on the good news that is spread by one satisfied customer after another.