Born in Pierce Colorado in 1924 Sam J. Chavez came from humble beginnings. But it didn?t take long for Sam to make a name for himself. His parents moved to Littleton and in Sam?s senior year at Littleton High he was elected Student Body President. He wasn?t even 18 yet when he enlisted in the Army in 1943. He returned to Littleton in 1945 to marry Marie Garcia and start a family. He didn?t waste any time starting a business in 1946. Borrowing $1500 from his father he partnered with a friend to open a gas station on 20th and Lawrence. In 1961 he incorporated as Sam?s Service Co. dba Sam?s Automotive Reconditioning Center. By 1965 that quickly grew to several Conoco stations along South Broadway and a garage where he repaired vehicles. With business growing Sam purchased property on South Fox to expand his auto repair facility. He was so successful with his auto repair business that in 1971 he purchased a 10 acre lot on West Oxford with an SBA loan and help from Republic National Bank. The following year Sam received the Small Businessman of the Year award. Starting out with 18 stalls and 12 employees Sam?s Automotive currently has over 90 stalls and 45 employees at the West Oxford location. Sam was ahead of his time when he opened satellite locations in Lakewood in 1980 and Aurora in 1988. He knew the importance of expanding his market. In 1982 he ran TV commercials that included his daughters where the current slogan was born, ?Take it to Sam?s?. His sons were actively involved in the business since the beginning and now after 30 years of service Mike Chavez runs the operation along with his brother-in-law Larry Olander who has been at Sam?s since 1984. Sam hired Fred Grassmann in 1990 as Controller and is now part of the ownership group. Before Sam died in 1994 he had the foresight to set up a Board of Directors to carry on after he was gone. This made for a seamless transition in the operations of the business and his wife Marie still sits on the Board. In this day and age it is rare to still see a family owned and operated business that hasn?t succumbed to a merger or simply been the victim of hard economic times but after 66 years Sam?s Automotive remains as one of the largest independent auto repair facilities in the Rocky Mountain area. Sam?s legacy lives on.