Dellen car, motorcycle dealerships to continue

November 17, 2008

Car and motorcycle dealerships owned by Russell J. Dellen before his death will continue under family ownership, according to one of his sons, Nick Dellen.

Russ Dellen, who died of a heart attack on Nov. 8 at age 56, owned two car dealerships in Greenfield - one handling Buick, Chevrolet, GMC and Pontiac brands, and the other Dodge and Jeep brands.

He also owned Harley-Davidson of Indianapolis, a northeast-side motorcycle dealership.

In addition, Dellen owned real estate including the sites of the dealerships and 50 acres at the southwest corner of I-70 and Mount Comfort Road in Hancock County.

"Everything is going to run just like it always has been," said Nick Dellen, 27. "Everything is going to be business as normal."

Russ Dellen had the heart attack while returning from a workout at a hotel gym at Disney World, where the family had gathered for a wedding, Nick Dellen said. A calcium blockage that caused the attack didn't show up during routine physicals.

The death came as a surprise because Dellen exercised regularly, didn't smoke, and consumed no alcohol or caffeine.

Nick Dellen said he learned the business from "a very good teacher." He said his father had chances to hire away managers, salespeople and technicians from down-on-their-luck competitors, but didn't.

Russ Dellen took over the car dealerships from his father, Robert "Red" Dellen, in the early 1980s. Red Dellen died in 2003.

A younger brother of Nick's, David, is an assistant general manager at the motorcycle shop, and the youngest brother, Matthew, is a business major at Indiana University.

Russ Dellen also is survived by his wife, Donna.

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