John Barber Memorial Scholarship
This memorial scholarship was established in honor of Mr. John Barber, a leading automobile businessman in Bakersfield for almost 50 years. Barber Honda still bears his name today. He came to Bakersfield with his wife, Maxine, in 1948, at the urging of his brother Leo, who worked at Adams Motors, the local Pontiac dealership. John Barber worked his way up from the parts department to salesman, sales manager and then general manager. In 1955, John and Maxine Barber purchased the business from Mr. Adams’ widow. From that point, Barber grew the company from one franchise into a multi-franchise company. Throughout the years, he bought and sold several franchises in Bakersfield including Pontiac, Honda, Isuzu, Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Volvo, Jaguar, Volkswagen, Porsche, Subaru, Saab and Kia. In 1962, he moved his Pontiac dealership from 24th and F streets to 500 Oak St. And in 1977, Barber opened the first Honda dealership in Kern County, at 2911 Brundage Lane. In 1985, Barber Honda was the first to set up shop in the Bakersfield Auto Mall, now the go-to place to buy an automobile locally. To this day, the dealership operates successfully based on the strong foundation built by John Barber.