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Hertrich family buys seventh auto body shop

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The Hertrich Family of Automobile Dealerships has bought the Rickards Restorations and Autobody in Millsboro, finalizing the sale at the end of December. | PHOTO COURTESY OF HERTRICH FAMILY OF AUTOMOBILE DEALERSHIPS

MILLSBORO — The Hertrich Family of Automobile Dealerships has bought the Rickards Restorations and Autobody in Millsboro, solidifying its hold on dealerships and auto body shops in the Delmarva region.

The former Rickards Restorations on Route 113 in the heart of Millsboro’s growing commercial highway district was sold for $2.2 million to the Hertrich group at the end of December, according to Sussex County land records. Under the new name of Hertrich Collision Center of Millsboro, it marks the automobile dealership groups’ seventh repair center in Delaware and Maryland.

Family-owned and operated Rickards Restorations had a 30,000-square-foot service center with 45 repair bays, two paint booths and operated with the latest auto body repair technology.

“We are extremely excited to welcome the Hertrich Collision Center of Millsboro to our organization,” Hertrich Regional Vice President Fred Hertrich IV said in a press statement. “Dayna and Ezra Rickards and the Rickards Restorations and Autobody team have created an excellent reputation for high-quality collision repair work and have done an outstanding job serving the collision repair needs of the Millsboro community for many years. We are very grateful for the opportunity to welcome the Rickards team to our family.”

This is the Hertrich family’s most recent acquisition, as the company acquired the former Auto Works Collision Centers in both Dagsboro and Lewes in early 2021.

The Hetrich name is well-established in Delaware, as Fredrick W. Hetrich II opened the first Hertrich Pontiac-Buick Agency in Seaford in 1964. Nearly 50 years later, the company has grown to 22 dealerships, 36 franchises, and seven collision centers in the Delmarva region.

As of today, the Hertrich Family of Automobile Dealerships remains a family enterprise, as CEO Frederick Hertrich III works out of his office in Frederick Ford in Seaford. When Hertrich opened that dealership in 1975, he was the youngest Ford dealer known in America at age 27.

The family business goes far beyond that though. Fred Hetrich, who immigrated from Germany in 1903, served as a gear maker before ending his 46-year-career as a company production engineer for Buick.

Hertrich Collision Center of Millsboro will offer free estimates in addition to paintless dent repair, glass replacement, insurance assistance, towing and rental assistance. All Hertrich Collision Centers offer a lifetime warranty.

“Customers always have the right to choose any repair facility they wish in the event of a collision, and we are excited to continue the legacy Rickards has created of being the best choice in Millsboro,” Hertrich IV said.

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