Family Stone: Middlebury car dealer highlighted in new reality show
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | March 09,2013
Gardner Stone of G. Stone Motors in Middlebury will trade a vehicle for almost anything, including some pigs. A reality show featuring Stone and his business starts next week.
MIDDLEBURY — An automobile dealer, along with his son and daughter, will trade or barter almost anything to make a deal with a customer for a new car.
That is the premise of a new reality show, “Family Trade,” on the Game Show Network, that features the Stone family, owners of G. Stone Motors and G. Stone Commercial DIV in Middlebury. Their saying is “we will take anything in trade” and they mean it.
“This country was built on bartering and trading,” said Gardner Stone during an interview this week. “I have done this my entire career.”
Stone, 71, said he is very open about his business practice of helping out a customer to make sure a deal goes forward.
He said if a person can’t raise all of the money needed to buy a car or is just missing a little bit, he will ask “what else you have to trade.”
And they will consider trading pretty much anything.
“Everything is worth something,” Stone said. “As long as it is sell-able.”
Campers, trailers, houses, boats, property, cows, pigs, airplanes, pizza, even an elk and a jet-powered bar stool are on the long list of things they will take in trade. Stone said it is amazing some of the things people are willing to trade or have lying around that are worth something.
“If you can think about something, I have probably taken it or looked at trading,” said Stone, who has been trading for 40 years. “It’s just natural. We have to do what we can to make the deal.”
For the reality show, Stone and his son Todd and daughter Darcy were contacted by a producer a while back looking for a new reality show on bartering and trading goods. After some consideration, they took them up on the deal with one condition — every deal or trade was real.
“I was adamant that it was a clean deal,” Stone said. “I told them, ‘you are not going to ruin my reputation.’”
With that agreement in hand, the family trio went to work on a eight-week, 30-minute reality series. Stone said it was interesting and a learning curve for his family.
“It was out of the norm for us,” he said. “It was hard work, but it was a lot of fun.”
The show will focus on the deals brought forward, but also the dynamic between the three Stones, especially that Gardner Stone will consider everything while his children are more conservative.
“Sometimes they don’t think outside of the box,” he said. “In a business that is a family business, you will have some fights.”
The car dealer said he is not nervous about the show’s premiere next week, but hopes people will enjoy it.
“It’s real Vermont,” Stone said. “It’s who we are. It’s how we do business.”
Family Trade will premiere at 8 p.m. Tuesday on the Game Show Network — or as the Stones call it “The Gardner Stone Network.”