Max Duitch Auto Exchange

A stranger might go to Max Duitch Auto Exchange, 228 South Duff Avenue, the first time to look at a new Nash or a used car.  Chances are he would go back the second time just to talk to Max, who has his own special way of telling a story and turning a phrase.  Most anyone around long enough to know will tell you cars have come a long way in 51 years - the length of time Duitch has been in the field.  But with typical color he puts it this way: "I cannot explain in words the changes since I have been in the business.  All I could say - that we traded old Dobbin for a gas buggy."

Duitch started in Milwaukee 51 years ago - "I was just a kid running out for cigarettes and buckets of beer for the others." he related.  He came to Ames 41 years ago - actually to enroll at Iowa State College.  but he got married, needed to make a living - and that's how he happened to stick with cars.  He's sold Hupmobiles, Wintons, Buicks, Dodges, Hudsons and Nashes.  In Ames he had the Hupmobile agency in 1916, had the Buick franchise for 16 years, the Dodge agency from 1934 to 1944 and for a brief time the Hudson agency.

Duitch built and occupied for 10 years the structure where Mathison Ford now is, and he also built the Dependable Motors building.  In 1944 this dealer sold out so he and his wife could retire in California.  Within a year he was back in business.

"I couldn't stand to be idle.  Besides, I didn't like Los Angeles - everyone is trying to get your money for the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge or something.

Duitch has volumes of anecdotes about his years of car-selling.  Like the one about the exceptionally tiny home economics teacher whom he mistook for a child playing in a Buick floor model during the years he was selling that car.

As soon as he had yelled at her, she turned, and "I saw it was no child.  She was a good little sport, though, and just smiled.  In fact, she bought the biggest Buick we had.  We built up the seat so she could see out but she never did get so she could look over the steering wheel - she had to peer through it."

Duitch obtained the Nash franchise a year ago.  He points out that while Nash is not really a volume seller, the Nash owner is an extremely faithful one.  He'll usually trade for another one.  "I've seen Nashes with 100,000 miles on them and plenty left in them," he told.

This isn't so good a time for used cars.  The dealer points out that the public is new-car minded.  Everybody can afford a new automobile with nothing down and 99 years to pay, he chuckled.

Working with Duitch are John McCambridge and Chester Currie, salesmen; Donald Jackman, service manager, mechanic and Mildred A. Clark, clerical.


Ames Daily Tribune-Times, August 28, 1931

The Buick automobile, from the "white fleet" of the Standard Oil company of Indiana will arrive in Ames late Friday, and will be on display Saturday at the Max Duitch garage.  This car is one of the thirteen which were used by the American Automobile association in conducting a 9,000-mile test of lubrication on the Indianapolis speedway.  The cars are now on a five months tour of the central west in which they are making known to automobile dealers the certified results of the Indianapolis test.  At the same time the cars are gathering further data to be used by the Standard Oil engineers in carrying forward their study of lubricants and lubrication.

The car expected here has already covered 16,000 miles of tour.  It will cover about 20,000 miles in all before its tour is over besides its 9,000 miles at Indianapolis.

One of the unusual features of the tour car is an extra panel of special instruments which tell a fascinating story of operating conditions as the machine moves over the road.  The readings from these instruments are entered in a log book.  Duplicate sheets from the log books of the various cars are being assembled in Chicago and are providing much information of interest to motorists.  Among problems which data are expected to solve are those of the relations between fuel and oil consumption and driving speed, the effect of carbon deposits on engine performance, and relative lubricating efficiency of heavy and light oils.



August 18, 1969

Funeral services for Max Duitch, 81, 2110 Jenson ave., were held Sunday at 3 p.m. from Dunn's Funeral Home in Des Moines.  Burial was in the Jewish section of Glendale Cemetery.  Mr. Duitch died of a heart ailment Friday at Mary Greeley Hospital.  He was born in Poland and lived in Des Moines before moving to Ames 54 years ago.  He was a pioneer automobile dealer here.  Max Duitch was a member of Beth El Jacob Synagogue in Des Moines...