Family Business Profiles


Chevy Chase Cars

John F. Bowis, President & Owner

7725 Wisconsin Ave.

Bethesda, MD



Bethesda was a rural town when Art Bowis opened his Chevrolet store in 1939, across the street from a small farm. Chevy Chase Automotive, which celebrated its 78th Anniversary this year, is the oldest business in a continuous location in Bethesda.

“It was the sticks,” says John Bowis, third generation president and owner. “Wisconsin Avenue was two lanes. My grandfather spent an hour walking the property and not a single car drove by. Today, 60,000 cars pass us every day.”

Chevy Chase Automotive is a full-service, new and used vehicle dealership, featuring an extensive selection of Acura cars and SUVs. Providing Acura service and parts, an online inventory, outstanding financial options and daily special vehicle offers, Chevy Chase Automotive has become the Washington, D.C. area’s preferred Acura dealer. The company also sells all brands of used vehicles, both international and domestic, and handles mechanical service and body repair of all brands. And Chevy Chase Automotive still handles Chevrolet and GM service business, honoring obligations to prior customers, says John.

“People ask if I’m nostalgic for Chevrolet; I’m nostalgic for the history and tradition, but the market decides what will sell today,” says John. “I love Acuras and so do our buyers.”

Art’s son Fred took over the family business in the 1960s. John credits his father with the company’s growth, particularly the iconic building finished in 1967, and the parking garage and service center, in 1980.

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