Michael Saccucci was taking cars apart and putting them together from the time he was 13 years old. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, this son of Italian immigrants wanted nothing more than to be in the car business. He became an ace mechanic before entering World War II and the story about Saccucci Honda was established.
When he returned from the war, Michael approached the Ford Motor Company about opening a dealership. They responded that a couple had opened a new Lincoln Mercury dealership in Newport and shortly thereafter, the husband passed away. The company wanted Michael to prove himself by running the dealership – Cummings Motor Sales on Connell Highway in Newport. Michael soon bought into the company and when Mrs. Cummings died, he bought her shares and became sole owner. He loved people and he loved cars. His wife Cora would come to work with him as their two daughters grew.
In 1967, the Newport Bridge Project took the dealership property on Connell Highway by eminent domain leaving Mike, then 52, and his wife Cora with a decision to make; retire or relocate. They decided to relocate to 5 acres of property on the West Main Road in Middletownand rename the dealership Saccucci Lincoln Mercury, Inc.
The business thrived as Mike and Cora made sure to deliver excellent service, non-pressure sales, a fair price and a comfortable environment for employees and customers. Their motto was and still is “our reputation is your protection.” The couple wanted their customers to feel good about their purchase and they passed this dedication along to their two daughters, Barbara and Carol. The girls would spend time working at the dealership after school so that they would understand all aspects of the business.
Barbara studied teaching but came to work at the dealership in 1974 when teaching jobs were scarce. Carol became an attorney and set up her legal practice at the dealership. It was important to all of them to continue to work together. The dealership took the Honda franchise in 1976. Since Mike’s passing in 1983, Cora, Barbara, and Carol have continued to honor his memory by operating the business using his philosophy.
Saccucci remains a family owned and operated dealership to this day. Currently, there are three generations of Saccucci’s at the dealership everyday. Barbara’s son Gardiner (CIO), Barbara’s daughter Michaela (Collision Center) and Carol’s son Michael (General Sales Manager) continue in their grandfather’s footsteps.