The year, 1974, marked a change in direction for the Wolfe Family. After fifteen years of owning and operating a used car outlet (Wolfe's Motor Sales) in southern Illinois, Tony convinced his father, John it was time to get into the auction business. Since 1961 they had frequented Dyer Auto Auctions and Tremont Auto Auctions with occasional attendance to other auctions in the Chicago area. Tony first made contact with Floyd Hauhe in an attempt to purchase his Evansville Auto Auction, but no favorable agreement could be reached.
After further travel, Terre Haute, IN was the decided area. Tony and his wife Susan drew the floor plan for a two-lane facility on the back of a cardboard shoebox to which the engineer made modifications and construction was underway. Father, John, was to oversee the construction while Tony continued to run the Motor Sales.
The Big Day arrived April 8th, 1975, Wolfe's Grand Opening with the grateful assistance of Ray Clark. Ray loaded his entire crew from Dyer Auto Auction and many dealers in a Winnebago and brought them to Terre Haute to ensure a successful day for his friends - John, Elizabeth, Tony and Susan Wolfe.
In 1982, the addition of a third lane was brought about and the decision by Tony Wolfe to offer Dealer Assistance (Floor Planning) was introduced.
In 1984, the office and restaurant was expanded and Full Service Recon Facility was constructed. Through the years more land has been acquired for growth the original 9.5 acre tract is now a 22-acre facility.
December 1986, during the GE purchase of the St. Louis Sale, Floyd Hauhe
contacted Tony and a deal was struck on the Evansville Auto Auction.Tony's
Jeff Wolfe, was brought in from the retail operation to run the sale. In
1987 additions were made adding more office space and a restaurant.
Tony's Daughter Cynthia Wolfe, and Jeff's wife Rhonda Wolfe were both brought in to help manage and maintain the offices.
Salvage Sales were added to the monthly menu of both sales in 1992. In 1995 more land was acquired to handle the Evansville Auto Auction's growth (then running a morning and afternoon sale to accomplish six lanes selling in a three lane facility). The land acquired was out of city limits and City officials, not wanting to see a loss of jobs to the city, elected to close a street dividing the two original tracts of the Evansville operation. Plans were to set for a new facility at the sale location.
Wolfe's Evansville Auto Auction conducted their first sale in a New Seven Lane Auction and State of the Art Reconditioning Facility on September 25th 1997 with a record consignment. On April 30th 2001, Wolfe's Terre Haute Auto Auction celebrated their first sale in a New Four Lane facility to match the overall look in Evansville. Wolfe's South Bend Auto Auction was established April 16th 2003 to add to their weekly agenda of Dealer Automobile Sales.
Fourth Generation Family Members have since came in to the business as the family looks to the future: Jeff's son Tony R. Wolfe is the Marketing and Reserved Numbers Manager along with being an Auctioneer, his wife Nikki processes titles in the office. Cynthia's son Brandon Kieffer is the Salvage Manager in Evansville, his wife Miranda takes care of dealer registration. Cynthia's Son-In-Law Chad Nisbeth is the Lease Manager. Jeff's Son-In-Law Mike Perry is the Recon Manager and his daughter Christina takes care of Evansville's payroll. Dan's daughter Heather Fortune is the Office Manager and his son-in-law Damon Fortune is the General Manager in Terre Haute. Dan's daughter Ashley works in the office in South Bend. Cousin Nick Pentell was also brought aboard to take care of Wolfe's IT Department.
Fifth Generation children of the Wolfe family include: Carter and Colin Wolfe, Landon and Addyson Kieffer, Kennedy and Kaylee Nisbeth, Jay Michael Perry, and Catherine Fortune.
With three sales covering the entire state of Indiana, Wolfe's Auto Auctions maintains a strong competitive market throughout Indiana and the Tri-State area.
Wolfe's Auto Auctions Inc. is now celebrating 38 year of business with expansions being made everyday to increase overall consignment and dealer turnout. As always, it pays to run with the auction with that personal touch!
Tuesday - Terre Haute /
Wednesday - South Bend / Thursday - Evansville