19 April 2024

Thomas Bros celebrates 80 years serving Wagga motorists

| Jarryd Rowley
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Thomas Bros has operated at a couple of locations since opening in 1944 including at its original site on Forsyth Street.

Thomas Bros has operated at a couple of locations since opening in 1944 including at its original site on Forsyth Street. Photo: Supplied.

One of Wagga’s oldest family businesses, Thomas Bros, is celebrating its 80th birthday.

Opening its doors in 1944, Thomas Bros arrived in town after William Thomas, with the support of his son Carl, who had recently returned from serving in World War II, purchased Wooden Motor Garage on the corner of Forsyth and Baylis streets.

The pair began working hard to continue growing the business, which saw a boom during the post-war era. With William leading the operation and Carl as the lead mechanic, the duo’s budding business eventually outgrew its original location, and in the 1980s Thomas Brothers made the move to its current site on Dobney Avenue.

Once settled, Carl and his brother Bill continued the operation upon Will’s retirement. The brothers continued to build a strong relationship with the Wagga and Riverina communities, becoming one of the most trusted dealerships in the region.

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The family legacy continued after Bill’s passing, with his son Allen and Carl’s son Russell taking up roles with the company. The Thomas family are still involved with the dealership today with Russell’s daughters and Carl’s granddaughters holding positions at the dealership.

The business has sold thousands of cars over its 80 years, including models by Toyota, Mitsubishi, Chrysler, White, Dodge, BMW, MG, Haval and more.

Recently it became the first multi-franchise dealership in Wagga, having recently expanded into Cootamundra.

2024 also serves as the 10th year of the business’s partnership with Wagga Takes Two, an annual event that pairs local celebrities with accomplished singers to raise money for local charities around Wagga Wagga and the Riverina.

The event is set to pass the $4 million mark of funds raised for the Wagga Wagga community this year.

Dealer principal Steven Wait said that as part of the celebration Thomas Bros would focus on the history of the company and its long-serving employees, past and present.

“The company hopes to collect and share stories from the past with a goal of producing a book to release at its 100-year anniversary,” he said.

“The company welcomes stories, pictures, and artifacts to be contributed by the community for display and potential use this year. There will also be some new artwork, sharing the family company’s proud history and celebrating long-term employees, displayed within the dealership.”

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Coinciding with the 80-year celebrations, Thomas Bros will look to complete its site redevelopment, which will contain a new Mitsubishi showroom and workshop.

“The redevelopment of the site is well overdue and we look forward to offering a new state-of-the-art facility and service to our existing and new customers. We thank our customers for their patience and understanding whilst construction is underway. The future strategy of Thomas Bros is exciting and is being backed by a refreshed, eager, and committed board,” Mr Wait said.

The new facilities are set to be open to the public in the second half of 2024.

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