"Eggs are Cheaper in the Country"
The Guaranty story began in 1966 when Herb Nill purchased a small-town Chevrolet-Oldsmobile dealership in Junction City, Oregon. In the early 1970s, the Pontiac franchise was added, bringing a third premium General Motors line to the business. Guaranty Chevrolet-Pontiac-Oldsmobile continued to grow at a moderate rate, with the help of the now-famous advertising message, "Eggs are cheaper in the country, and so are cars and trucks." The message reflected Junction City's past as an inexpensive source of fresh food in the pre-World War II era.
Entering the RV Market
While recreational vehicles had been around in one form or another for decades, local start-up manufacturers began producing high-quality RVs in the 1970s. One of those companies, Caribou Coach Corporation, helped Herb Nill get started with two vehicles. Things fell into place and by 1977-78, Guaranty was doing brisk business with its RV vehicles. Caribou Coach Corporation was re-named Monaco Coach Corporation in 1977, meaning Guaranty was Monaco's first dealer partner. Country Coach, another local manufacturer, unveiled its first Class A motorhome in 1979, helping to usher in an era of full-time living in full-size RVs for many enthusiasts. And Guaranty was right there for the coming boom.
"Motorhomes, Motorhomes, Motorhomes...and Trailers Too"
Through the 1980s and 1990s, Guaranty continued to grow, adding more vehicles and facilities to meet the rising demand for RVs of all shapes and sizes. Not content to cater to just the motorhome crowd, Guaranty added a travel trailer and fifth wheel center in the mid-80s. Eggs were still cheaper in the country, but no one could mistake the fact that Guaranty sold "Motorhomes, motorhomes, motorhomes...and trailers too," as Herb Nill would make famous in the contemporary TV and radio advertising. By the end of the century, Guaranty was easily the largest RV dealer in Oregon and one of the largest in the nation.
"We don't just sell fun, we Guaranty it!"
Strong business continues in the 21st century, with Guaranty adapting to the changing expectations and demands of customers and the marketplace. The original automotive dealership is now Guaranty Chevrolet-GM Certified, with General Motors retirement of the Oldsmobile nameplate in 2004, and Pontiac in 2009. The automotive dealership has also carved a niche as Oregon's used truck headquarters, with over 150 pre-owned pickup trucks and SUVs in inventory. The RV dealership still boasts an amazing selection of recreational vehicles, from entry-level tent campers to the most luxurious diesel pushers built. The ability to match your RV with an appropriate tow car, truck or SUV on-site allows Guaranty to provide a full-service buying experience. And Guaranty's website is an industry leader in helping customers find just what they're looking for. Make no mistake, "We don't just sell fun, we Guaranty it!"
A Lasting Legacy
Guaranty continues to reign as the largest RV dealer in Oregon and one of the largest in the nation, with over 700 new and used vehicles in stock reflecting dozens of brands. Guaranty Chevrolet, for its part, is consistently recognized as a regional leader in the automotive sales field. The dealership is still fully owned and operated by the Nill Family, with Shannon Nill acting as President. In 2015, Guaranty RV Super Centers was honored to be named as one of the top five Blue Ribbon dealers in North America, as part of the RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards. With 50 years in business and a lasting legacy built on selection, service and savings, the future at Guaranty looks as bright as its past.
History of Guaranty in Junction City
Herb Nill was driven from an early age to be successful after a rough childhood growing up during the Dust Bowl in Broken Arrow Oklahoma. His parents, who ran a small Grocery Store, instilled early lessons of needing to be thrifty and to work hard. Moving to Medford, Oregon at age 12, Herb earned his Eagle Scout Badge and worked in the pear orchards. Picking fruit was his first experience at commission pay. Herb made double what the kids in cold storage made, working side-by-side with the immigrant workers on ladders in the sun all day.
Soon after graduating from University of Oregon in 1966 Herb Nill bought a Chevy dealership that became available in Cottage Grove. Herb decided to ask the Junction City Chevy Dealer about the Cottage Grove Dealership and was quickly sold on the benefits of the Junction City Dealership.
Herb prospected for business everywhere he could. At restaurants, gas stations, in chance encounters and by tagging vehicles with notes. In 1972 GMC Motorhomes were to be sold at Guaranty through the Chevrolet Dealerships. Herb was one of the first to do so. Then Caribou Motorhomes began converting vans from Guaranty Chevrolet into Class C motorhomes. Guaranty Chevrolet was their first retail dealer. Country Camper opened up and Guaranty became their first dealer. Soon Junction City became known as the place to build or buy an RV.