Bruce Hartwell Griffin Sr.
March 2, 1919 - September 22, 2002
Bruce Griffin, Sr. founded Griffin Motor Company in 1946. He was a lifelong Union County native and believed in the future of Monroe and Union County as a place that would support and foster his dream to "make something" of himself by becoming a successful automobile dealer, businessman and civic leader.
He initially opened a used car dealership out of a small storefront on Concord Avenue. As his business grew, he moved across the street to 1411 Concord Avenue. In 1948, he made a big move and expanded his operation to include franchises for Hudson automobiles and GMC trucks. Then in 1949, he added the Pontiac line to ever-growing business.
Over the years, Griffin Motor Company's reputation and customer base continued to expand under Bruce's hands-on leadership, creating rapid growth in sales, inventory, and dealership size. In 1969, Buick was added to the existing lines of automobiles and trucks.
As the Company continued to grow into the 1970's, Bruce and his son, Bruce Jr., clearly saw the potential of moving their business out to the "Boulevard". In 1978, a new, larger, state of the art dealership became a reality at 2500 West Roosevelt Boulevard, the same location as today's beautiful new Griffin Motor Company.
Along the way, Bruce also acquired the Chevrolet dealership in Monroe, which he later turned over to his brother Bynum and his other long-time partner, Bob Neill.
Before Bruce Griffin, Sr., passed away in September 2002, the Griffin automotive operation had expanded to seven dealerships, with locations in Monroe, Rockingham, Lincolnton and Rock Hill. The business remains in good hands today, being operated by Bruce Griffin, Jr. and his family.
Bruce Sr. was also very active in real estate, along with his close friends and partners Senator Aaron Plyler, attorney Frank Griffin and fellow businessman Charlie Hunley; and likewise, in politics and city/county matters. And maybe most important of all, Bruce was a great behind the scenes humanitarian and supporter of local charities. Yes, he was a superb businessman through and through, but he had a heart of gold...and he cared about, cared for, and befriended countless people in need or down on their luck, whether in their business or their personal lives...without ever wanting the public to know of his selfless actions or overwhelming generosity.
Bruce Griffin was truly one of Monroe and Union County's all-time most important and most admired business, civic and humanitarian leaders. Union County would not be what it is today if we had not been blessed with his presence.
God bless Bruce Griffin, Sr.