Company Founder Hermann Albers: A Legacy of Passion for Rolls Royce and Bentley
When Hermann Albers turned nineteen, he was ready to start a career. He had a passion for cars, but not just any cars. His interest was piqued by brands that embodied a total commitment to the highest quality standards possible. In his opinion, there were only two luxury brands that represented the kind of perfection he could fully respect—Rolls-Royce and Bentley. Lucky for him, there was one dealership in the Indianapolis area that carried both brands.
First hired as a technician by the dealership, his meticulous attention to detail and his photographic memory (he almost never forgot a chassis number), proved he was a star performer and was promoted to Service Manager, a position he held until the dealership closed in 1962. Knowing there were enough people in the area who owned vehicles purchased from the dealership that would need his skills, he launched H.G. Albers Co. in 1963 as a factory-authorized Rolls-Royce and Bentley repair facility. At first, the company was located in a small shop on 46th street in Indianapolis, and as its reputation for superior service grew, the company moved to a larger facility on 54th street.
When Rolls-Royce contacted him in 1968 to say the company would be discontinuing the factory-authorized service centers in favor of a franchised dealership model for both sales and service, they offered him the franchise dealership to serve the Indianapolis market. Hermann wasted no time in beginning the search for a location big enough to accommodate new car sales, service, and parts.
The search led him to the town of Zionsville, just north of Indianapolis. The property was a former welding company and required extensive remodeling to transform it into a dealership for luxury cars. With determination and hard work, the humble building became Albers Rolls-Royce in 1969, Indiana’s only Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealer located at 360 South First Street, where it remains to this day.
Hermann’s sons also caught the car bug, sharing their father’s passion for Rolls-Royce and Bentley vehicles. In 1976, Hermann’s elder son, Greg, began part-time employment at the dealership, transitioning to full-time status in 1981. His younger son, Mark, began part-time employment in 1978 and transitioned to full-time in 1984. Today, Greg and Mark continue to operate the business to the high standards set forth by their father, with Mark being the Service Manager and Greg being the Parts Manager.
With expertise and a deep knowledge of the cars, along with the availability of reliable overnight shipping, the company’s mail order parts business expanded. In 1988, the company was recognized as the largest and leading dealer of genuine Rolls-Royce and Bentley parts in the world. At that time, the dealership expanded to create its current service and parts area.
Big news came in 1999 when it was announced that the Rolls-Royce and Bentley brands (which had been one combined company when Rolls-Royce acquired Bentley in 1931 and operated it as a subsidiary) would be disentangled, with Rolls-Royce becoming a subsidiary of the BMW Group and Bentley becoming a subsidiary of the VW Group.
During this tumultuous time for both iconic British luxury brands, Hermann passed away suddenly in 2002 at the age of 62. It was an unexpected and deeply felt loss, but he had prepared his sons well to continue the strong tradition he had started back in 1963. The process of splitting apart Rolls Royce and Bentley was not fully completed until 2003. This necessitated a big decision for Mark and Greg, as they didn’t have enough space for two separate brands. As a result, the Rolls-Royce brand was dropped in favor of the Bentley brand for vehicle sales. The fact that all the heritage Rolls-Royce and Bentley parts would only be available through the new Bentley company helped sway that decision. The availability of these parts for the older cars that the Albers had serviced for 40 years was critical to the survival of their business.
With a name change to Bentley Zionsville, the Albers dealership offered new Bentley sales, service, and parts. Although they were no longer a franchise Rolls-Royce dealer, the company continued to offer parts and service for heritage Rolls-Royce cars built prior to 2003. When the VW Group purchased Bentley, they made it clear that the future of small boutique dealerships like Albers would eventually come to an end due to the ambitious plans they had for the brand.
As expected, over time the increasing demands being made by the manufacturer made it clear the dealership could no longer operate as a small boutique operation. As the Albers brothers contemplated their future, they realized the small, central Indiana ultra-luxury car market and the rapidly changing auto retail business did not warrant the large investment it would take to continue as a franchised dealer. In 2021, they were approached by a large pre-owned luxury car dealer who expressed interest in being the franchise dealer for Bentley and the two came to an agreement that ended the company’s long history as a franchised dealer after 52 years.
The Albers brothers saw this as an opportunity to return to the company’s original roots. Changing the company name to Albers Motorcars, they positioned themselves as an independent dealer in parts and service for heritage Rolls-Royce cars (through model year 2002) and Bentley cars more than a decade old. In returning to their roots of offering parts and service as their father did back in 1963, the Albers brothers continue to keep their family name synonymous with heritage Crewe-built Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars. They continue as one of the country’s largest independent suppliers of OEM parts while offering a wide selection of quality reproduction parts and a vast number of no longer available items accumulated over the past six decades. Both Mark and Greg Albers are proud to honor and continue their father’s legacy.