Home Dealerships TENNESSEE Dealers (Elvis Presley Thunderbird)
TENNESSEE Dealers (Elvis Presley Thunderbird)
Written by Double Dragon
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 22:32

TENNESSEE Dealers (Elvis Presley Thunderbird)


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

Dick Clippard Inc (Mercury), Jackson, TN

Cunningham-Kelley Chevrolet, Hartsville, TN (NASCAR sponsor Coo Coo Marlin 1972)

Bob Frensley Ford, Nashville, TN (see Frensley Chrysler)

Bob Frensley Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Nashville, TN (877) 212-7398
Hull-Dobbs Ford, Memphis, TN (Elvis Presley Thunderbird)

E. B. Smith Chevrolet, Nashville, TN (distributor for 427 Yenko Super Camaro)

United Pontiac Buick GMC Inc, Tullahoma, TN


DICK CLIPPARD INC, (Lincoln Mercury) Jackson, TN/ Closed

Dick Clippard, Inc was a dealer in Jackson, Tennessee in the 1960s. A 1963 advertisement in the back of the Union University yearbook placed by this dealer gives their full name as DICK CLIPPARD LINCOLN MERCURY. The address of the dealership at the time was 106 Poplar. The old style telephone number was 2-9676.

Dick Clippard is no longer in business.


This dealership sold a new 1964 Mercury Park Lane Marauder on April 15, 1964. For the story on this car see the CAR STORIES department of this website and then look in the 20 YEARS + section.


CUNNINGHAM-KELLEY CHEVROLET INC, Hartsville, TN (NASCAR sponsor Coo Coo Marlin 1972)

Cunningham-Kelley Chevrolet was located on Highway 25, Hartsville, TN The dealership was established Aug 4, 1964 by H. B. Cunningham. Cunningham-Kelley sponsored NASCAR independent driver Coo Coo Marlin in his 1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo #14 during 1972.

The dealership closed down around 1987.


BOB FRENSLEY FORD, Nashville, TN (became Frensley Chrysler)

Bob Frensley Ford was established in 1970 by Bob Frensley and located in Nashville, Tennessee. Bob Frensley opened a Chrysler dealer in 1984 which is still active now. Bob Frensley Ford also had a location in Louisville Kentucky which sponsored a Torino racecar and a 1970 Maverick Pro Stock BOSS 429 driven by Gene Turnage driving.

Frensley's Nashville dealership at one time controlled one-third of Nashville's market for Fords. Frensley blames middle management at Ford for the developments that ended his 22 year Ford career.

In 1990 Ford wanted to open a second Nashville dealership. They brought Anthony Kennedy to Nashville. He was a participant in Ford's Minority Dealership Program with a good track record having owned three Ford dealerships. Kennedy took over Hickory Hollow Ford. Ford installed Frensley as landlord to placate him. By right he could oppose another franchise entering his territory.

Kennedy states that he didn't receive support from Ford to develop the 'bad location'. One year later he was asked to resign having lost his long term good reputation in the process.

Frensley put up his own West Nashville dealership as collateral for Hickory Hollow Ford. When Ford required Bob Frensley Ford to make good on the loan obligation of $4.2 million in Oct, 1991 it caused the Frensley dealership to plunge into bankruptcy.

Frensley and Kennedy became co-defendants in a case complaining that Ford middle management hadn't provided the resources necessary to develop Hickory Hollow. After 22 years as a loyal Ford man, Frensley had to make a switch. In 1984 he opened Bob Frensley Chrysler Plymouth and started over again.


BOB FRENSLEY CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE, Nashville, TN (877) 212-7398 (formerly Frensley Ford)

Bob Frensley Chrysler Jeep Dodge was established in 1984 under the name Bob Frensley Chrysler Plymouth. The dealership is located at 2210 Gallatin Pike N, Nashville, Tennessee. In winter of 2014 the dealership had 378 new vehicles in stock, including 27 Challengers.


HULL-DOBBS FORD, Memphis/ (Elvis Presley Thunderbird)

Hull-Dobbs Ford was located in Memphis, Tennessee and has the distinction of selling a car to Elvis Presley that broke his usual Cadillac habit. Many devotees of the Ford Thunderbird lamented the coming of the 'Squarebird' four door version of their beloved two seat sports type car. By the early 1960s Ford soon had a beautiful 'jet age' bodystyle available on the Thunderbird. Ford took it even further by offering a convertible with covers that moulded to the rear headrests of the front seats and covering the rear seat area with a cap. Now you could get a 'two seat' Thunderbird again.

This limited edition car made its way to select dealers. Nov, 1961 one of the cars arrived at Hull-Dobbs and young junior salesman Ernie Barrasso relied on his acquaintanceship with Elvis to bring round a brochure of the car to Graceland. Elvis came down to Hull-Dobbs for a look, loved the wire wheels and bought the Thunderbird in 15 minutes.

Unfortunately the wire wheels had quality problems and had to be replaced with regular steel versions on most of these cars, including Elvis'. Elvis got a refund and moved onto other cars.

See the CALIFORNIA/ LOS ANGELES Dealers story on Lou Ehling Cadillac who sold at least 11 Cadillacs to Elvis and Jules Meyers Pontiac who sold two Stutz Blackhawks to Elvis.


E. B. SMITH CHEVROLET, Nashville, TN (distributor for 427 Yenko Super Camaro)

E. B. Smith Chevrolet was located at Second and Woodland, Nashville, Tennessee. E. B. Smith was a distributor for 427 Yenko Super Camaros.

Their Sep 12, 1968 ad in The Tennesseean detailed all the specs for the Camaro. The Camaro was equipped with a 427- 450 HP engine with mechanical lifters, 850 CFM Holley carburetor, performance intake manifold, extra capacity cooling system, temperature controlled fan, chrome valve covers and air cleaner. The Muncie 4 speed close ratio transmission used a special high duty clutch and pressure plate.

The front springs and shocks were heavy duty as were the back bias mounted shocks and 4 leaf springs. The heavy duty Positraction had a 3.73:1 ratio with large diameter axle shafts and heavy duty rear spring bushings.

Tuff Trided front spindles, shot peened tie rods, steering relay rods, steering knuckles, steering arms, and front ball studs. 1 1/16" front stabilizer bar, 140 MPH speedometer, 14" Yenko quad sport wheels with Yenko hub inserts. It mentions that strangely power disc brakes are optional although with this much power on hand it should be standard.



dealer united pontiac buick tullahoma tenn logo

United Pontiac Buick GMC Inc was located at 930 S Anderson St, Tullahoma, Tennessee. As of 2014 the vacant lot was listed on real estate guides as available with 13,000 square feet.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 14 April 2018 11:36 )