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Belle Tire

In 1922, Sam Waze opened up the first Belle Tire location, on Grand River between Schaefer and Meyers in Detroit. He named his business for his wife, Belle. The growing company eventually had five tire retailers’ locations, but when the Great Depression hit, all but the original had to close.

Sam and Belle’s son, Herb Waze, worked with his father and later took over the company. Herb got some help in the 1960s when Don Barnes Sr., a Kelly Tire salesman, decided to stop selling tires to Belle Tire and work for the company instead.

Waze and Barnes became partners and by 1979 had opened locations in Roseville, West Bloomfield and Troy. In the late 70’s a tornado destroyed the West Bloomfield store. It was rebuilt and Belle Tire continued to grow, opening stores in Grand Rapids and Traverse City.

In the early 1980’s more than 10 new tire retailers’ locations opened through expansion and acquisition of American Tire, Delta Tire, Great Lakes Tire, and Eklin Tire. The early 80’s also brought more changes as the Barnes family purchased Waze’s shares of the company.

With the acquisitions of Tireman and Metro 25 in the 90’s, and the opening of even more Belle Tire stores in the 21st century, the last three decades have seen huge growth for the company. Then In 2007, Belle Tire did something no other tire retailer had attempted and went into the glass business, repairing chips and replacing windshields. By 2009, the business had grown to make Belle Tire the largest windshield replacement and repair company in Michigan.

With more than 80 stores in southeast Michigan and Ohio and employing over 1600 workers, Belle Tire remains Michigan and Ohio’s hometown tire dealer – as it has been for over 91 years.

Belle Tire remains a family run business with Don Barnes Jr. as the Chairman of Belle Tire, his brother Bob as CEO, and third generation of the Barnes’ family Don Barnes III as President of Retail Operations.

It is this commitment to their family and the families of the millions of customers who have passed through their doors over the years that have helped to make Belle Tire the place people have trusted for their tires, auto service and outstanding value since 1922, and for future generations to come.


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