Ms. Hazel and Grady ArgoFor 30 years Grady Argo of Mulberry has been a valued customer and pseudo-family member of Bartow Ford Company. From an early age, the youngster was taught by his father that Ford was the only way to ride. The tradition of living a Ford life is something that Mr. Argo has valued and instilled in his own family.
Upon Grady’s graduation from high school he moved to Tampa and pursued a career as an electrical engineer for Johnson & Johnson Medical, later to be transformed into GE Health Care.  After getting married, he and his wife returned to her hometown of Mulberry, FL and built a house.
One day while exploring his new community, the new resident drove past a hometown Ford dealership on Van Fleet Drive. The first thought that came to him was: convenience.  All his Ford service and purchasing needs were now less than a 15 minute drive away.
The three-decade long relationship with Bartow Ford began in the early 80’s when he traded his vehicle in for some muscle, a 1983 blue two-toned Mustang. Grady wasLes Lawn-Gardy Argo paired with salesman Les Lawn, a business relationship that turned into a close friendship. “I would come in at any time, any day, and just talk to him.” Upon Les’s untimely passing, Grady turned to Louis Rodriguez for his automotive needs. Les had been grooming Louis to take over his clients beforehand, and while the transition of sales persons was sad, it was comfortable.
From Mustangs to F-150’s and Escorts to Escapes, Grady has purchased 15 vehicles from Bartow Ford and referred numerous friends and family members over the years. Having a 30 year purchasing record with the Central Florida dealership, the process has become fairly effortless to the Ford loving man, “When Grady Argo Purchase HistoryI come to buy a vehicle, I go home with it that day. They detail it while I get it financed and I drive it home.”
Through the many years of purchasing and servicing at the Ford dealership, the retired engineer has been lucky enough to have only needed to use service for routine maintenance. “That’s why I like Fords so much, they need very little service.”  Grady utilizes the Quick Lane for his vehicle care needs, praising the convenience of Saturday availability, no appointments necessary and fast service.
Grady credits the downhome feel and welcoming environment as his reasoning for returning time and time again. A perk discovered by this loyal patron, is the amount of friendships he has curated in the process, describing Bartow Ford as a family rather than a business. “Other dealerships have been too business-like, saying things like I can’t make that deal until I speak with my manager. That’s never happened here; they’ve always given me a great price.”
The physiognomy of Mr. Argo is apparent when he speaks of his admiration for Bartow Ford and the people who work there. “It’s just a friendly place; you don’t even have to know them. Everyone will just say hi and good morning to you. They take the time to talk to you if you want to talk to them.”