Chevy Chase Cars | Bethesda Magazine

Family Business Profiles


Chevy Chase Cars

John F. Bowis, President & Owner

7725 Wisconsin Ave.

Bethesda, MD



The history behind Chevy Chase Cars is a great American success story. A self-made immigrant spends his life savings to pursue his dream. Through hard work, determination and resilience, the young entrepreneur grows his company into one of the most successful automobile dealerships in the country. Eighty-one years later, Chevy Chase Cars is the oldest retail business in Bethesda that has operated continuously in the same location—and still family run.

Established in 1939 by Art Bowis, Chevy Chase Cars is now run by Art’s grandson, John F. Bowis. “When my grandfather purchased this property, there wasn’t much out here, except for a farm across the street,” John says. “My grandfather spent an hour walking the property before he bought it and not a single car went by on Wisconsin Avenue.”

Today, Chevy Chase Cars is the #1 Acura dealer in Maryland in sales of new and pre-owned automobiles—and the one of the largest in the country. Despite its growth and success, Chevy Chase Cars is still a truly local business where family ties run deep among employees and customers.

“Chevy Chase Cars is not only a family business, but also a business of families,” John says. “Over the years we’ve had relatives from more than 30 different families work on our team.”

John’s business partner, Sam Weaver, Jr. is no exception. He started working at Chevy Chase Cars when he was 16 year’s old. His father, Sam, Sr., worked at the dealership for 51 years.

“We also have multiple families that have been buying cars from us across several generations,” John says. “One well-known local family has purchased more than 20 cars through the years.”

Being a family-owned and operated business for three generations is an essential part of Chevy Chase Cars’ culture and identity. “Treating our employees and customers like family is the foundation that my grandfather and father built,” John says. “It’s who we are and why we are successful.”

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