They may be called golf cars, but golf is only 20 percent of the business for Monmouth-based Goudreau & Sons Golf Cars.

“Years ago it was all golf,” said Doug Goudreau, owner of Goudreau & Sons Golf Cars. “Now people have them in their back yard and use them to go pick up the mail.”

The family-owned business sells, rents, repairs and stores golf cars. 

“The business started out of the trunk of my car,” said Goudreau. “I was fixing horse trainer cars and it just blossomed from there.” That was in 1988. 

“It went from the trunk to a pickup truck and it’s been getting better every year since.” 

Business picks up in April and May as soon as the snow melts, said Jay Goudreau, the youngest of seven children and the one who stuck around to carry on the family business.

Spring brings 20-hour workdays and even nights spent sleeping in the work truck, said Jay.

“It’s all about reputation and we have a very good reputation,” he said. 

Golf cars can range from electric carts with a top speed of 14 mph to custom-made, air-brush-flamed “lift kit carts” that hit 25 mph, to heavy utility carts that haul 350-pound football players off the playing field.

“The options on what you can do to a golf car are endless these days,” said Jay.

Cars can be custom made to look like a Mercedes Benz, a Hummer or a military Jeep. “There are not limits. It is unbelievable what you can do with these things,” Doug Goudreau concurred.

While sales are an important part of the business, “rentals are our biggest thing,” said Jay. 

Bowdoin, Bates and Colby colleges are all customers. Bath Iron Works, the waterfront concerts in Bangor, the Great State of Maine Airshow, movie crews and paper mills during their two-week winter shutdown all rent cars from the Goudreau family. 

When President Barack Obama came to Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Goudreau’s golf cars were on hand. When the snow melts at former President George H. W. Bush’s home in Kennebunkport each spring, out comes the Goudreau family to drop off the blue No. 41 golf car.

“The world of golf cars is a lot bigger than people really think,” said Jay.

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