For more than 60 years, generations of Miami Beach residents have relied on Giant Motors to repair everything from minor dings to major collision damage. On November 1, owner Richard May will close the shop’s doors for the last time.
The late Dave May purchased Giant Motors in the mid-fifties, looking to establish roots in Miami Beach, as well as a legacy to pass on to his son. In 1980, the then twenty-five-year-old Richard started working with his father, who retired ten years later. On January 5, 1998, he and his wife Marcelle, another Miami Beach native, bought the shop from his dad.
May developed a thriving business by building strong ties to the community, paying close attention to detail, and providing excellent customer service. Through the years, he repaired cars for the children and grandchildren of some of his father’s original customers.
When Giant Motors first opened, the neighborhood was filled with body shops, tow companies, small apartment units, and city vehicles. In the past few years, the Sunset Harbour area has become one of the hottest emerging neighborhoods in Dade county. Giant Motors is now surrounded by upscale shops, restaurants, salons, workout venues, and a city-owned public parking garage facility, which offers 460 parking spaces.
Although he was not actively looking to sell, he was frequently approached by investors and developers that were interested in purchasing the property. He turned them all away, until one persistent development group would not give up. After six months, he accepted an offer.
“We are the oldest business in Sunset Harbour,” said May. “It is bittersweet to close our doors after so many years. We are grateful to all of our customers who have been so loyal.”