Monday, March 20, 2023

Belk Ford Toyota Continues Four-Generation Legacy

Oxford’s Belk Ford and Toyota dealership off Highway 6 has been in Oxford for over 60 years. This year it has new changes as the legacy continues.

Belk Ford -Toyota is one of the most popular dealerships in Oxford run by a longstanding local family. / Photos by Amelia Camurati

Will Belk is a fourth generation Belk salesman and senior employee at Oxford Toyota. His family’s involvement with car dealership dates to the 1920s when his great-grandfather Frank W. Belk, Sr., had a garage off North Lamar in Oxford and later became a Dodge-Plymouth-Chrysler dealer in 1945. His grandfather, Frank Belk, Jr., returned home from World War II after serving in Europe for over 44 months and bought into the business with his father.
IMG_4062They worked together at F.W. Belk & Son Motor Co. until Belk Sr.’s passing in 1954. Belk, Jr., then became a Ford dealer in 1961 and added the Mercury franchise in 1966, thus naming the dealership “Belk Ford-Mercury, Inc.” In 1974 his son, Frank W. Belk III, came to work for him. Then another Belk, Richard L. Belk, also worked at the dealership in 1982.
Three years later in 1985, the Belk Ford-Mercury moved from 309 N. Lamar location to its current location on Highway 6 West. Oxford Toyota was the newest addition in 1990. Belk Jr. has since passed away in 1997 so Belk III and Richard Belk have continued to work hard at the family dealership. They are both Ole Miss alumni and have been Oxonians all their lives.
The Belks’ heritage in Oxford shows on Will Belk as he wore a navy and white striped polo with an Ole Miss logo in place of the horse. He said the Belk Ford has new renovations to its front as can be seen from the highway. The new store front may be finished within the month.
IMG_4522“We’re a small-town dealership but we’re working to get our image out of the 1980s,” Belk said. “We’re working with commitment to service as well as renovating a bit.”
The dealership also has 2015 brands of Ford and Toyota from Fusion to Camry. The hybrids are also available at the dealership.
Belk said, “The hybrids really are not a weaker version than gas engines at all. When you push the pedal on an electric golf cart, for instance, it starts instantly so there’s no wait for the fuel to make its way through the engine so the hybrids have a quicker start-up.”
IMG_4060The Oxford Toyota also has a program that is national: Toyota College Graduate program. This began in April and is continuing until early January 2015.
The applicants ranging from six months pre-graduation to within two years post-graduate without credit history can take advantage of this program’s leasing to begin building credit history. The cars available to the applicants are Camry, Corolla, Prius, RAV, Tacoma and Yaris. The applicants must complete a certification program through the National Joint Apprentice and Training Committee (NJATC) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The applicant must also have present employment or proof of future employment within 120 days of credit approval.
“The program is great for the college graduates without credit history – this way they can start working on credit history,” Belk said.
All in all the dealership has been striding well for 60 years and will continue to do so for the next 60 years in service to Oxford and the surrounding Lafayette Co.
Callie Daniels is a reporter for You can contact her about this story at