As businesses nationwide continue to close down due to the effects of COVID-19, a local Tri-State establishment is celebrating 60 years of business.
TNT Golf Car and Motorsports kicked off 2021 by celebrating 60-years of business.
But for Terry Traeder, one month of celebration just isn’t enough.
So, he’s celebrating the entire year.
“You think where in the heck did the time go? How did we get here?,” said Terry Traeder.
In 1961, Fern and “Gus” Traeder opened the doors to the Tri-State staple, TNT.
When “Gus” Traeder originally built the race track in 61′, in West Quincy, it left many people scratching their heads.
“At the time, carting was just starting. In 1958, it started in Southern California and it just started going crazy across the United States,” said Terry.
Terry describes his father “Gus” as a regular guy with a knack for promoting his business.
“He was just this guy that was just an amazing promoter and sales guy. He just brought in these big races and people from all over the world came to race in Quincy, Illinois,” said Terry.
And “Gus’s” work didn’t go unnoticed either.
In just a few years, TNT Trackways and Quincy were known as the carting capitol of the world.
“We had more big national races at TNT than any other track in the nation,” said Terry.
Gus fell in love with the inner workings of motorsports, so in 1964, he opened the TNT Golf Car and Motorsport facility.
“He started in 1964, taking on Harley Davidson Motorcycles. He had never ridden a motorcycle or knew anything about motorcycles,” said Terry.
Gus didn’t let his lack of insight about motorcycles stop him from pursuing his goals.
“He took on Honda in ’65 and Yamaha in ’66 and then became one of the top motorcycle dealerships in the Midwest,” said Terry.
Terry said it wasn’t always easy on his father. He battled constant flooding in West Quincy and he worked seven days a week, with less than ideal equipment.
But Terry said one thing always kept them afloat.
“Try to handle the best products that you can,” said Terry.
Gus told Terry from a young age that handling good business goes a long way and to always invest in good products and to do well by staff and customers.
“I know several times, when the motorcycle business was starting, some of the stuff wasn’t made that well,” said Terry.
Terry said his father’s dedication to excellence was second to none.
“I know several times that when the motorcycle business was first starting, the parts weren’t made that well. My dad would say, I’ll just take that one back from you, you can get a new one,” said Terry.
Terry said he could go on for days about his father because he was such a great man.
It was an honor for the family business to be passed down to him.