Fleck Motors was an automobile dealership in Bismarck for over sixty years. For most of its existence, it sold Buick, Oldsmobile, and Cadillac brands of General Motors. It was started by John R Fleck, who also was majority owner of Universal Motor Company – a Ford dealership in Bismarck. Fleck’s ownership in both a Ford and General Motors dealership caused major controversy.
Another controversy rang out in 1945 around the fact that the Ford dealership was managed by Earle Tucker, instead of John Fleck, who was the majority owner – a violation in Ford’s agreement, which stated that the manager of a dealership must also own the most stock. Mr. Fleck was told he either had to sell his interest in the company, or return to active management. He chose not to return to manage the dealership and sold his interest in Universal Motor Company.
After selling his stock in Universal Motor Company, Fleck continued to operate Fleck Motors with his brother, Jack Fleck. The company was still in existence into the 1970s. A fire destroyed its main facility at the corner of 1st Street and Broadway Avenue in 1951, forcing them to rebuild. Their new building opened on the same site, and continued to house their dealership until its demise. Over the years, they had other locations in conjunction with their main facility, including a used sales lot at the corner of 1st Street and Main Avenue – one block south of their main facility. They had a building on the 300 block of Main Avenue that sparked a major winter fire in 1977, destroying the entire block. The main facility on Broadway Avenue most recently housed Wilhelm’s Buick-Olds-Cadillac.
Fleck’s Furniture & Appliance, located at 313 E Main Avenue, is named for Jack Fleck. Another business named for the Flecks was the Best Western Fleck House Hotel (now Budget Inn Express).