Home Dealerships CALIFORNIA/ SAN FRANCISCO Area Dealers
Written by Double Dragon
Saturday, 12 November 2011 21:46



Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

Adams Buick Co, Daly City, CA/ formerly Carl Haas Buick Co/ Closed

Leon Ames Ford, San Rafael, CA (Celebrity actor dealer/also Encino, Studio City, Torrance, CA)

Arata Pontiac, South San Francisco, CA/ Closed

James Bell Lincoln Mercury Inc, San Carlos, CA

Bishop Hansel Ford, Santa Rosa, CA (became Hansel Ford)

Boardwalk Chevrolet, Redwood City, CA 650-249-4032

Boardwalk Chrysler Plymouth Jeep, Redwood City, CA

Larry Brink Motors Inc (Mercury), Mill Valley, CA

E Bugna Lincoln Mercury Inc, San Rafael, CA/ Closed

Burlingame Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Burlingame, CA
Burlingame Ford, Burlingame, CA/ Closed

Carter Ford, Sebastopol, CA (closed)

Henry Curtis Ford Mercury, Petaluma, CA/ was Sanderson Ford, now part of Hansen Auto Group
Howard Cuyler Chevrolet, Pacifica, CA/ Closed
DeLong Chevrolet, San Rafael, CA/ (became San Rafael Chev) Closed

LJ Dervin Ford, Novato  CA
Doane-Minto Ford Sales, Burlingame, CA/ Closed (see Jones Minto)

James E Donahue (Chrysler-Plymouth-Valiant), Daly City, CA/ Closed (aka J. E. D.)
Fairway Chevrolet, San Bruno, CA/ Closed

Falore Chrysler Plymouth Jeep, Colma, CA/ Closed
Gateway Chevrolet Co, Daly City, CA (1952-)/ Closed
Carl Haas Buick Co, Daly City, CA/ Closed

Hansel Ford, Santa Rosa, CA/ 877-398-1875
Gil Hile Mercury Inc, San Bruno, CA/ Closed

J. E. D. DeSoto- Plymouth,  Daly City, CA/ became James E. Donahue Chrysler- Plymouth
J & B Ford Sales, Corte Madera, CA & Mill Valley, CA

Jones Minto Ford Sales, Burlingame, CA (see Doane-Minto)

Fred J Lautze Motors Inc (Ford), South San Francisco, CA (1920-19**)/ Closed
Leo A Jacopi (Chrysler), South San Francisco, CA/ Closed
Lesher & Muirhead Oldsmobile, San Fran, CA (196*-93) became Serramonte Olds

Manly Automotive Group, Santa Rosa, CA/ 877-807-0665

Manly GMC Buick Hyundai, Santa Rosa, CA (1961)/- now Hyundai, Honda

Melody Rambler, San Bruno, CA/ (second location Richmond, CA)- Closed
Metcalf-Mayer Lincoln Mercury, Burlingame, CA/ Closed
Neville Ford, Daly City, CA/ Closed

Novato Chevrolet, Novato, CA (formerly Redwood Chevrolet) 415) 493-0103

Pellini Chevrolet, Sebastopol, CA (1932-2008)

Peninsula Dodge, Redwood City, CA

Peninsula Ford of San Bruno, San Bruno, CA/ Closed (1976-2005)

Platinum Chevrolet, Santa Rosa, CA 877 239-9089

Putnam Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC, Burlingame, CA/ 800-528-1606

Redwood Chevrolet, Novato, CA (became Novato Chevrolet)

Jim Rose Chrysler Plymouth, Petaluma, CA

San Bruno Motors Inc (Mercury), San Bruno, CA

San Rafael Chevrolet Hyundai, San Rafael, CA/ (formerly DeLong) Closed

W C Sanderson Ford, Healdsburg, CA (1945) / 707-433-3318
Serramonte Ford, Colma, CA/ 888-232-1304
Serramonte Olds, Colma, CA/ (196*-93) formerly Lesher & Muirhead Olds
South City Ford, South San Francisco, CA/ formerly Fred J Lautze Motors (1920-2008)/ Closed
Stewart Chevrolet Cadillac, Colma, CA/ 415-347-3291
Stewart Chevrolet, San Francisco, CA- moved to Colma, CA/ 415-347-3291
Stewart Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram (2011- see Stewart Chev) 866-305-7069
Wm J Sweeney & Sons (Studebaker), Daly City, CA/ Closed
Towne Ford Sales & Leasing, Redwood City, CA/ (1926) 650-366-5744

Turner Ford, San Bruno, CA (Mach 1 and Talledegas)

Victory Chevrolet Cadillac, Petaluma, CA (707) 776-6385

Westlake Dodge, Daly City, CA/ Closed

Ralph Williams Bayshore Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc, Millbrae, CA

Wood Cadillac Pontiac Mazda, Santa Rosa, CA (19**-2007)/ became Hansel Motorcars


ADAMS BUICK CO, Daly City, CA/ formerly Carl Haas Buick Co/ Closed

Adams Buick Co was located at 6888 Mission in Daly City, California starting in the mid 1960s. Adams was at the location formerly occupied by Carl Haas Buick Co.


LEON AMES FORD, San Rafael, CA (Celebrity actor dealer/also Encino, Studio City, Torrance, CA)

Leon Ames Ford was located on Francisco Blvd in San Rafael, California in the 1960s and 1970s. The dealership was established by the actor Leon Ames (born Jan 20, 1902 in Portland, Indiana). Leon was president of Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in 1957-8. In the 1960s several screen actors established dealerships under their names. The fame certainly improved the visibility of the dealership while the dealerships provided a place to invest movie earnings.

During the 1960s and 1970s Ames had 4 Ford dealerships located in the L.A. area: Studio City, Torrance, Encino, Redondo Beach as well as the San Rafael, California location.

Leon Ames died from a stroke Oct 12, 1993 in Laguna Beach, California age 91.


ARATA PONTIAC, South San Francisco, CA/ Closed

Arata Pontiac was located at 99 Linden Avenue in South San Francisco, California during the 1960s. The old dealership location is now home to Carrera Auto Body and Paint.



James Bell Lincoln Mercury Inc was located at 1100 El Camino Real, San Carlos, California during the 1950s.


BOARDWALK CHEVROLET, Redwood City, CA 650-249-4032

dealer boardwalk chev redwood city license frame

Boardwalk Chevrolet is located at 1 Bair Island Road,, Redwood City, California. Boardwalk places a special emphasis on Corvettes in their inventory and has ties to local Corvette clubs. In spring, 2015 Boardwalk had 274 new vehicles in stock, 239 of which were cars which is refreshingly atypical in an era where most vehicles on dealer lots are trucks or SUVs.

31 of the new 2015 cars were Camaros, including a Summit White Camaro ZL1 VIN 2G1FM3DP9F9801475. The 580 HP 6.2 L supercharged engine is shifted through a manual 6 speed and fed into a 3.73:1 rear axle. MSRP is  $67,915.00.

Boardwalk had 12 new Corvettes in stock including Z06 and Z51s.



Boardwalk Chrysler Plymouth Jeep was located at 1 Bair Island Rd, Redwood City, California. The Chrysler Dealer code was 24202 JC and the owner's name was Amie G Kopf. This was one of the dealers on Chrysler's list of 789 dealers to purge before June 9, 2009 during its bankruptcy re organization.


LARRY BRINK MOTORS INC (Mercury), Mill Valley, CA

Larry Brink Motors Inc was a Mercury dealer located at 433 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, California during the 1950s.



E Bugna Lincoln Mercury Inc was located at 3rd and Lincoln in San Rafael, California in the 1960s. It seems that being located on Lincoln Street could only be a good thing for a Lincoln dealership!



Burlingame Chrysler Jeep Dodge was located at 1025 Rollins Rd, Burlingame, California. The owner was Antonio Ma in 2009 at the time when Chrysler listed this dealer for closure.


BURLINGAME FORD, Burlingame, CA/ Closed

The owner of Burlingame Ford, Gerry G. Falk was born December 10, 1925 in San Francisco, California. His emphasis on athletics during his time at University of San Francisco was reflected in a lifetime involvement in sports. After serving in the army during WWII, Gerry married Bonnie and began a successful career as a car salesman in San Francisco. After working at Cecil Whitebone Ford Inc and later at S&C Ford Gerry managed to buy a dealership. Burlingame Ford was located just south of San Francisco. In the early 1970s Ford Motor Co. sent Gerry to Spain to assist Ford of Spain set up their dealer network. Gerry died in the morning, February 12, 2009 in Hillsborough, California.

Gerry's two sons, James Falk II and Perry Falk both owned car dealerships, too.


CARTER FORD, Sebastopol, CA (closed)

Greg Carter Ford was located at 6791 Sebastopol Ave, Sebastopol, California.  Following the automotive crisis this dealership shut down in May, 2007.



dealer henry curtis ford petaluma ca license

Henry Curtis Ford is located at 1120 Auto Center Drive, Petaluma, California. The dealership traces back to the days when it was originally known as Sanderson Ford. In 1979 Sanderson Ford in Petaluma, California was bought by Henry Hansel and renamed Henry Curtis Ford Mercury. After Mercury died, it was renamed Henry Curtis Ford now located at 1120 Auto Center Drive, Petaluma, California. At the start of 2013 they had 338 new vehicles, 8 of which were Mustangs. One 2014, seven 2013s with an even mix of GTs and V6s.

Henry Curtis Ford is part of the Hansel Auto Group which was formed during the expansion of Hansel Ford. See the story on Hansel Ford on this page.



Howard Cuyler Chevrolet was located at 675 Cristobal, Pacifica, California during the 1960s.


DELONG CHEVROLET, San Rafael, CA (193*-2009)/ (became San Rafael Chev) Closed

DeLong Chevrolet was located at 550 Francisco Boulevard in San Rafael, California during the 1960s. They were zone 6 dealer # 203 for the numbers people who care. DeLong became San Rafael Chevrolet and relocated to 2 Shoreline Parkway in San Rafael, CA. Towards 2008 or 2009 just before closing the name was changed to reflect the addition of Hyundai to their roster.



dealer dervin ford novato ca license frame

LJ Dervin Ford was located at 7401 Redwood Highwav, Novato, California during the 1960s and 1970s.


DOANE-MINTO FORD SALES, Burlingame, CA/ Closed

Doane-Minto Ford Sales was located at 101 California Drive in Burlingame, California during the 1960s. Towards the end of the 1960s the dealer became Jones-Minto. Nissan of Burlingame is currently occupying the dealership lot at 101 California Drive.


JAMES E DONAHUE (Chrysler-Plymouth-Valiant), Daly City, CA/ Closed

J. E. D. DESOTO PLYMOUTH, Daly City, CA (became James E Donahue Chrysler Ply)

James E Donahue was a Chrysler-Plymouth-Valiant dealer located at 6232 & 6267 Mission in Daly City, California. Until 1961 the dealership was known as J. E. D. DeSoto Plymouth. The dealership was under same ownership, but a change in lineups prompted the name change. The building is now the location of Mission Motorcycles.



Fairway Chevrolet was located at 601 El Camino Real in San Bruno, California at the start of the 1960s. It moved in the mid 1960s to 222 East San Bruno, San Bruno, CA. The GM dealer number is 8190101.



dealer falore chrysler colma ca lic frame

Falore Chrysler Plymouth Jeep was located at 650 Serramonte Blvd, Colma, California. The dealership was established in March, 1978. Joseph Falore was president while Charles and David Falore served as vice presidents. At one point Falore also carried the Eagle franchise. After closure the lot became home to Serramonte Nissan.


GATEWAY CHEVROLET CO, Daly City, CA (1952- )/ Closed

Gateway Chevrolet was located at 7400 Mission in Daly City, California during the 1960s. The address was later 7469 Mission Street in Daly City. The company incorporation was filed July 14, 1952. Daly City is nicknamed "Gateway to the Peninsula" which explains the choice of the dealership name. The 1960s location is now a Western Union and the final location used by Gateway is now a used car lot named Bastan Auto Center.


CARL HAAS BUICK CO, Daly City, CA/ Closed

Carl Haas Buick Co was located at 6888 Mission in Daly City, California during the 1960s.


HANSEL FORD, Santa Rosa, CA (1961) / 877-398-1875

BISHOP HANSEL FORD, Santa Rosa, CA (became Hansel Ford)

dealer hansel ford santa rosa ca license

Hansel Ford is located at 3075 Corby Ave, Santa Rosa, California. Walter Hansel's ancestors sold horse drawn carriages tracing back to the mid 1850s, so it made sense that when cars came along, Hansel was there. Walter went into partnership with Robert Bishop (a former mayor of Santa Rosa, CA) to form a car dealership in 1961 called Bishop and Hansel. In 1963 Hansel teamed up with an employee to form Seghesio-Hansel leasing. When Mr. Seghesio retired in 1983 the leasing company became Hansel Leasing. The dealership itself was known as Bishop Hansel Ford in the late 1960s and the dealer # was 72G417.

The Ford dealership eventually moved out of the location at 800 Santa Rosa Plaza, Santa Rosa. The old dealership was taken over by a Macy's. Hansel Ford eventually became Hansel Ford Lincoln Mercury, but Mercury's demise forced a name change and now it is once more just Hansel Ford. At the start of 2013, they had 356 new vehicles on site, 18 of which were Lincolns and 8 Mustangs, mainly V6s.

Hansel's used stock includes three Camaros. A one owner accident free used Black 2010 Camaro SS VIN 2G1FT1EW3A9145988 showed 24,682 miles and was going for $27,992.00. Carfax notes that the Camaro arrived at Paradise Chevrolet Cadillac, Temecula, CA showing 2 miles on Sep 28, 2009. It was sold at 10 miles the following day. First owner registered in Murrieta, CA. Paradise did LOFs at 4,097 miles (Feb 25, 10), 10,106 m (Oct 18, 10), 17,991 m (Jul 20, 11), 23,658 m (Aug 29, 12). The tire pressure monitoring system was looked at 21,115 m. Nov 26, 2012 it was up for sale at Paradise who sent it to dealer auction Dec 3, 12.

Hansel Ford provides an interesting photo (before test drives apparently, since the odometer read 24,703) displaying the digital readout of average fuel economy: 20.1 MPG. Impressive for a 6.2 L channeled through a 6 speed manual that the EPA only gave a 16 City/ 24 Hwy rating.

2010 camaro ss avg fule mpg hansel ford santa rosa

Hansel Ford also had a used Quicksilver Metallic 2002 Corvette VIN 1G1YY22G225107986 
5.7 six speed manual for sale with a history adhering to the typical pattern found in many Vettes: low mileage (18,200), many owners (three) and an accident (hit fixed object Sep 13, 10). They listed it $200.00 below book value at $27,712.00. A Santa Rosa dealer took delivery Oct 11, 2001 and it sold Oct 26 to a Glen Ellen, CA owner. After a 4 wheel alignment apparently didn't remedy the accident damage the owner sold it Nov 17, 2010. Owner two from Redwood Valley, CA bought it Dec 28, 10 at 16,000 miles. 2,000 miles later this owner sold to Gentry Ford Subaru, Ontario, Oregon. The Vette made its way back to Hansel Honda, Petaluma and into the hands of owner three on Jan 14, 13 who has now put it back up for sale.

Hansel Ford has a one owner used Toxic Orange Pearl 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T VIN 2B3CJ5DT1BH601106 Hemi 5.7 L six speed manual with 32,252 miles going for $27,991.00. Carfax tells us that it was registered in Los Angeles, CA as a rental vehicle Aug 1, 2011 with 5 miles. It has the five spoke mags, black side stripes and a manual which all seem fairly radical for a rental. June 10, 12 it appears at a Turlock, CA 10 minute lube joint with 25,700 miles. On Sep 3, 12 it is at auction with 32,880 miles. A Walnut Creek, CA Chrysler dealer sold it to Hansel Honda, Petaluma, CA Nov 30th.

This 2013 Mustang GT probably sat idling for quite some time or else it was driven in very harsh stop and go traffic. Get a load of the 9.9 average MPG readout!

2013 mustang gt mpg readout hansel ford santa rosa

In 1979 Henry Hansel bought Sanderson Ford in Petaluma, CA and renamed it Henry Curtis Ford Mercury. After Mercury died, it was renamed Henry Curtis Ford now located at 1120 Auto Center Drive, Petaluma, California. Henry Hansel took over operations of Hansel Auto Group in 1981. In 1983 the Santa Rosa Ford dealership was expanded to include Lincoln-Mercury.

Hansel Auto Group expanded into imports with Hansel Prestige-Imports in 1990, Hansel Toyota in 1991, Acura and Honda in 1995. Domestics weren't forgotten: in 1998 a new Lincoln-Mercury showroom was built beside the Ford dealership.

In 2002, Justin Hansel became a fifth generation member of the family involved in the business. The Wood Cadillac Pontiac Mazda franchise in Santa Rosa, CA was purchased by Hansel Auto Group. On Jan 27, 2007 it was renamed Hansel Motorcars making this the seventh Hansel dealership.



Gil Hile Mercury Inc was located at 345 El Camino Real in San Bruno, California during the 1960s.


J & B FORD SALES, Mill Valley, CA & Corte Madera, CA/ Closed

J & B Ford Sales was located at 250 E. Blithedale Avenue in Mill Valley, California which is about 14 miles north of San Francisco after you cross the Golden Gate bridge. In the 1960s the dealership was located at 5860 Paradise Drive, Corte Madera, California. J & B were assigned Ford dealer # 72A025.



Jones Minto Ford Sales was located at 101 California Dr., Burlingame, California during the 1960s. Dealer # 72A010. At the beginning of the 1960s the dealership was known as Doane-Minto. Nissan of Burlingame is currently occupying the dealership lot at 101 California Drive.


LEO A JACOPI (Chrysler), South San Francisco, CA/ Closed

Leo A Jacopi Motors was also known as Chrysler-Imperial and Chrysler-Plymouth among other variations of the Chrysler lineup during the 1950s and 1960s. Jacopi was located at 698 El Camino Real in South San Francisco, California.


FRED J LAUTZE MOTORS INC (Ford), South San Francisco, CA (1920-2008)/ Closed

dealer fred lautze ford license frame ford so san fran

Fred J Lautze Motors Inc was a Ford dealership located at 315 Airport Boulevard (formerly named Bayshore Boulevard) in South San Francisco, California. The Ford dealer opened in 1920 and was the first car dealer in the city of South San Francisco. Fred Lautze, Jr. took over the dealership in the 1960s. Eventually the dealership was renamed South City Ford in recognition of the commonly used nickname for South San Francisco which is 'South City'. By 2007 both S & C Ford and South City Ford were owned by the Ford Motor Company.


LESHER MUIRHEAD OLDSMOBILE, San Francisco, CA (196*) Moved to Colma

Lesher Muirhead Oldsmobile was located at 1515 South Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, California during the 1960s. The dealership relocated to 780 Serramonte Boulevard in Colma at the end of the 1970s. In honor of its new address the dealership was renamed Serramonte Oldsmobile. After closing in 1993, the Serramonte Oldsmobile location became the home of another displaced long time San Francisco dealership named Stewart Chevrolet.


MANLY AUTOMOTIVE GROUP, Santa Rosa, CA (1961)/ 877-807-0665

dealer manly gmc buick hyundai lsanta rosa ca

MANLY GMC BUICK HYUNDAI, Santa Rosa, CA (1961)/ Became Manly Automotive Group

Manly Buick first opened on Santa Rosa Avenue, Santa Rosa, California in 1961. Hyundai was added to the lineup in 1986. GMC Buick Hyundai was located at 2701 Corby Avenue, Santa Rosa, California. Eventually the General Motors stock was phased out and now Manly Automotive Group retains only two of their former nameplates: Honda and Hyundai. They also operate Manly Automotive Used Superstore.

Manly Automotive Group currently owns Manly Honda and Manly Hyundai at 2750 and 2755 Corby Avenue, Santa Rosa, California. Santa Rosa is north of Petaluma on the 101 Redwood Highway. Manly is currently owned by Brian Manly, the son of the original owner.


MELODY RAMBLER, San Bruno, CA/ (second location Richmond, CA)- Closed

Melody Rambler had two locations during the 1960s. The San Bruno dealership was located at 750 El Camino Real and the other location was at 100-23rd Street in Richmond, California.



Metcalf-Mayer Lincoln Mercury was located at 2 California Drive in Burlingame, California during the 1950s and 1960s.


NEVILLE FORD, Daly City, CA/ Closed

Neville Ford was located at 6100 Mission in Daly City, California during the 1960s.


NOVATO CHEVROLET, Novato, CA (formerly Redwood Chevrolet) 415) 493-0103

Novato Chevrolet is located at 7123 Redwood Blvd, Novato, California. This location was formerly known as Redwood Chevrolet. See the story below about Redwood.

In winter, 2014 Novato Chevrolet had 5 new 2015 Camaros in stock (3 of which were SS models) and 2 new 2015 Corvette convertibles (1 of which was a Z51).


PELLINI CHEVROLET, Sebastopol, CA (1932-2008)

dealer pellini chev license frame

Pellini Chevrolet was located at 6877 Sebastopol Ave, Sebastopol, California. The dealership was established by Angelo "Pete" Pellini in 1932 on Sebastopol Avenue downtown where it remained for its entire 76 year run. Pellini was the county's oldest car dealer.

Angelo's son, Harold Pellini took over the company after WWII. Harold's son Pete Pellini took over in 1984 and owned the dealership until its closure in 2008. At the time Pete's son, Mike was sales manager and his daughter Angela was marketing manager.

The dealership included a display of vintage cars such as a 1941 Chevrolet sedan with a wartime gas rationing sticker on the windshield and a DeLorean. The cars made regular appearances in local parades.

Pete Pellini decided to close down the business on December 30, 2008 following GM's financial crisis. Pellini stated that he sold about $4 million worth of vehicles in 2008 which was half the normal revenue the business used to generate. He wasn't confident that GM was going to rebound after government intervention and decided to close down while the business was still solvent.

Carter Ford closed in 2007 and with the 2008 closure of Pellini Chevrolet the city no longer had a new car dealer.

At Sonoma Chevrolet in the Sonoma Valley, owner Dan Roseland experienced a drop in sales from 3 percent to 50 percent compared with 2007.

More than 900 dealerships, including 121 in California, already have closed their doors in 2008. On the North Coast, Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge dealerships in Asti and Ukiah were shuttered in September, 2008.

General Motors told Congress it would shut 1,750 of its 6,450 dealerships nationwide by 2012. Chrysler and Ford have talked about closing dealerships, as well.



Peninsula Dodge was located at 640 Veterans Boulevard, Redwood City, California. The owner was Dennis E Hecker. This was one of the dealers on Chrysler's list of 789 dealers to purge before June 9, 2009 during its bankruptcy re organization.


PENINSULA FORD OF SAN BRUNO, San Bruno, CA/ Closed (1976-2005)

dealer peninsula ford san bruno ca lic frame

Peninsula Ford of San Bruno was located at 601 El Camino Real, San Bruno, California. The dealership was established Jan 29, 1976. Steve Fuentes was President of the dealership. The dealership closed down on July 1, 2005.


PLATINUM CHEVROLET, Santa Rosa, CA 877 239-9089

dealer platinum chev santa rosa ca license frame

Platinum Chevrolet is located at 3001 Corby Avenue, , Santa Rosa, California. Platinum Chevrolet states in their website that they have been family owned and operated since 1990. In winter, 2015 Platinum Chev had 250 new vehicles in stock, 17 of which were new 2015 Camaros. Included in that fleet of Camaros was 1 new Silver Ice Metallic 2015 Camaro Z28 with VIN # 2G1FZ1EE7F9701071. The 7.0 L V8 engine shifts through a 6 speed manual transmission. The body includes a rear spoiler and flared wheelwells to accomodate insanely wide tires: 305/30ZR19, performance summer tires mounted on 19" x 11" front and 19" x 11.5" rear forged aluminum wheels.



dealer putnam gm burlingame ca liscense

Putnam Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC is located at 198 California Drive, Burlingame, California which is south of San Francisco along the 101. At the start of 2013 the lot had 230 vehicles, which was a mix of 2012 and 2013s. They have nine Camaros including two hot SS variants. The Better Business Bureau lists them since 1965 as Putnam Pontiac. They were also located under the name Putnam Buick Pontiac GMC at 900 Peninsula Avenue, Burlingame, California. Joseph Putnam is the president.


REDWOOD CHEVROLET, Novato, CA (became Novato Chevrolet)

dealer redwood chevrolet notato ca license frame

Redwood Chevrolet was located at 7123 Redwood Blvd, Novato, California. After Redwood closed down, this location became Novato Chevrolet.



Jim Rose Chrysler Plymouth was located at 115 Petaluma Blvd South, Petaluma, California.


SAN BRUNO MOTORS INC (Mercury), San Bruno, CA

San Bruno Motors Inc was a Mercury dealer located at 692 El Camino Real, San Bruno, California during the 1950s.


SANDERSON FORD, Petaluma, CA/ (19**-79) became Henry Curtis Ford Mercury, Petaluma, CA

Sanderson Ford was located in Petaluma, California.


W C SANDERSON FORD MERCURY, Healdsburg, CA (1945)/ 707-433-3318

The metal license frame shown below is from the 1960s.

dealer w c sanderson ford healdsburg ca license

The plastic license frame below is a 1980s version.

dealer w c sanderson ford healdsburg ca license

W C Sanderson Ford is located parallel to the 101 Redwood Highway north of Petaluma at 453 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, California.  Sanderson Ford has been in business since 1945 and is owned by Tim Sanderson. See a 1965 Mercury Comet 202 bought new from this dealership in the CAR STORIES section of this website filed under ALLEY FINDS.

At the start of Feb, 2013 Sanderson had 85 new Fords on the lot with the majority being F-150s. Sanderson had one 2013 Mustang V6 on the lot which is a reflection of buying habits in this area which are slanted towards trucks. They didn't have any used vehicles on site.


SERRAMONTE FORD, Colma, CA/ 888-232-1304

dealer serramonte ford colma ca license

Serramonte Ford is located at 999 Serramonte Blvd, Colma, California. This segment of Serramonte Blvd is a mini dealer row. Directly across from Serramonte sits Stewart Chevrolet Cadillac and down the street there is Chrysler. Serramonte is the largest dealership in this strip. They have truck fleet sales in addition to cars, a body shop and service center. The huge entrance sign is visible from a great distance.

dealer serramonte ford colma ca entrance sign

Parked at the front entrance you can see a pack of Mustangs. The Ingot Silver Metallic 2012 Mustang V6 Premium coupe on the left is VIN 1ZVBP8AM3C5266640.

dealer serramonte ford colma ca mustangs

According to the window sticker the Ingot Silver Mustang was sent by rail to the dealership Nov 4, 2011. This is a nice car but here it still sits on the lot of a huge dealership in 2013. It is the only 2012 that hasn't sold yet. If you examine the color and equipment this is a car delivering a close equivalent to the features found in a typical SUV as the typical user actually drives. No one drives the SUV off road or goes camping in them. This Mustang is a sad reminder of the population trend towards buying boxy awkward ugly SUVs instead of sleek good looking nimble cars.

The Mustang is painted the same low key color as countless SUVs but being a car it looks much better and handles infinitely better while saving gas. The 2012 Mustang has electric power steering assist which saves energy and allows it to crank decent performance out of a small 3.7 V6. Lack of parasitic loss shows up in 19 City MPG/ 29 Hwy MPG (average 22) using a six speed manual. This particular example has the $995.00 V6 Pony Package added which gives the car a black lower stripe, rear spoiler, painted side mirror, front mats and 18" polished aluminum wheels. $795.00 destination takes the MSRP up to $28,100.00 which is well below the most basic SUV.

The Premium package includes saddle leather interior, power six way driver's seat, leather wrapped steering wheel, tilt, cruise, A/C, Sync voice activated system, sound system, Sirius, power windows, locks, mirrors, and dual illuminated vanity mirrors. It is just as comfortable up front for two adults as a typical SUV. The back seats fold down to allow large awkward objects to extend from the trunk into the rear compartment. A couple with small young kids could own this Mustang for five years and enjoy driving a hot car that is much easier to park and cheaper to run than an SUV. The lesson here seems to be that an understated color and comfort features in a Mustang won't tempt a dyed in the wool SUV buyer. Meanwhile the Mustang buyer wants a Grabber Blue or other similarly dazzling color.

Currently Serramonte Ford is stocking only five 2013 Mustangs on a lot with 230 cars and trucks. In a switch from regular ordering procedures all of their Mustangs are 5.0 cars painted dazzling colors like Grabber Blue, Red Candy Metallic, Deep Impact Blue Metallic or Black. This bucks the trend most other dealers follow which is to load up on V6 Mustangs with a token few 5.0s available.

The used section of the lot has 80 cars. Below is a retro themed 2002 black Thunderbird convertible VIN 1FAHP60A62Y111040. This Tbird has a removable hard-top with the porthole window just like the much beloved early Tbirds that collectors revere.

dealer serramonte ford used tbird on lot

The T-bird has a 3.9 L V8 running through an automatic giving good economy with 27 City MPG/35 Hwy MPG. With 77,784 miles on the odometer it is priced $18,995.00. When they first appeared, the retro styled Thunderbird seemed to be a sure winner but they never caught on. The retro styled Mazda Miata, VW Bug, PT Cruiser and Ford's own Mustang were a breath of fresh air after decades of 'jellybean' anonymous cars that all looked the same.

The Ford Thunderbird achieved a comfortable compromise between economical operation and pride of ownership. Unfortunately they weren't hot performers and that may have been the missing ingredient needed to make break through sales. By a funny coincidence, The Ford Store of San Leandro, California also has a black used 2002 Thunderbird displayed at the leading edge of their lot. These guys know this is a car that catches the eye of passing motorists.

Right beside the Tbird on the lot sits a 2004 LeMans Blue Metallic Corvette shown below.

dealer serramonte ford used corvette on lot

The Vette is VIN 1G1YY32G645104467. The 5.7 L engine (350 c.i.) runs through a 4 speed automatic transmission producing 18 City MPG/ 25 Hwy MPG and quite a lot of power. The car only accumulated 28,348 miles in nearly a decade which is typical for most Corvettes which are primarily bought for pleasure use. The price is $25,995.00.



Serramonte Oldsmobile was located at 780 Serramonte Blvd in Colma, California. The dealer began back in 1960s San Francisco as Lesher Muirhead Oldsmobile located at 1515 South Van Ness Ave. After moving in the 1970s to the purpose built modern dealer row in Colma on Serramonte Boulevard it made sense to change the name to Serramonte Oldsmobile. In 1993 the dealership was closed, but the location was taken over by another long standing San Francisco dealership, Stewart Chevrolet.


SHEN CHEVROLET, San Mateo, CA/ Closed

dealer shen chev san mateo ca lic frame

Shen Chevrolet was located in San Mateo, California. The Geo franchise was added later to the dealership. The dealership was established by Michael Shen in the 1980s and liquidated in July, 1999.

Michael C Shen was born August 7, 1942. He spent 10 years as a car salesman in San Francisco from the early 1970s until he was able to open his own dealership in 1983. See the story of Shen's first dealership, Shen Lincoln Mercury on this page.

Optimistic big thinking led Shen to embrace the developing trend in the car business towards mega-dealerships. Small dealers were being phased out. Shen adapted by expanding in the 1980s. He ran up against a nation wide recession but never scaled back. Shen kept 5 dealerships running: Shen Lincoln Mercury; Shen Infiniti in Redwood City; Shen Mitsubishi in Burlingame; President Chevrolet-Geo and a used car lot named Shen Motor Co., in San Mateo.

Shen didn't lay off employees during slow times and was remembered for his morale boosting tradition of buying employees lunch on Saturdays. Shen's son Alexander was brought into the family business. Massoud Modjtabavi was head sales manager of Shen's dealerships and along with other employees remembered Shen as gregarious and optimistic.

In 1997 after car manufacturers financing deal fell through Shen was turned down for a new line of credit. Shen kept things afloat hoping cash flow wold return but it never did. Shen withdrew money from checking accounts that had insufficient funds, then covered those withdrawals with overdrafts from different checking accounts.

Citibank sued Shen, his girlfriend Emily Chan, his wife Mimi, and son Alexander for overdrafts of $9 million and $7.8 million in July, 1999. Shen had to sell his dealerships to pay back Citibank. On Nov 3, 1999 he pleaded guilty to 6 felony counts from a $2.3 million check fraud. Each count incurs a $1 million fine and 30 years in prison. While awaiting sentencing Shen killed his girlfriend then shot himself November 17, 1999 at Greenhills Court in Lafayette, California. Emily K Chan was born Nov 2, 1943 and had just turned 56 the day before the Federal court case. Shen who was 57 years old likely assumed that both he and Emily would have died in prison. The Shen Chevrolet lot sat vacant after the business was liquidated.



Shen Lincoln Mercury was located in Burlingame, California. Michael Shen was a car salesman in San Francisco from the early 1970s until he was able to open his own dealership in 1983.


SOUTH CITY FORD, South San Francisco, CA/ formerly Fred J Lautze Motors (1920-2008)/ Closed

South City Ford was located at 315 Airport Boulevard in South San Francisco, California. The dealership was formerly known as Fred J Lautze Motors which was the first dealership in South San Francisco when it opened in 1920. The name South City Ford references the popular nickname for South San Francisco which is 'South City'. By 2007 both S & C Ford and South City Ford were owned by Ford Motor Company and closed soon afterwards.



STEWART CHEVROLET, San Francisco, CA (1933)/ moved to Colma, CA

dealer stewart cadillac colma ca license

Stewart Chevrolet was originally located in downtown San Francisco on Mission Street near Army Street. To see a story of a 1964 Chevrolet Impala bought new from this dealer go to the ONE OWNER section of this website.

Stewart Chevrolet's website states that they have been in business since 1933.

dealer stewart chev cad colma ca chev side of lot

Stewart relocated to 780 Serramonte Blvd, Colma, California which is adjacent to Daly City, just south of San Francisco. The dealership lot was formerly occupied by Serramonte Oldsmobile which in turn had originated in San Francisco like Stewart. Serramonte Olds closed in 1993. This segment of Serramonte Blvd is a mini dealer row.

Directly across from Stewart there is Serramonte Ford and down the street there is Chrysler. The shot below shows the left side of the building with the Cadillac sign where you can see the pyramid style supports under the roof. Note the Camaro convertible right below the sign.

dealer stewart chev cad colma ca caddy side

In Jan, 2013 the lot had 245 new vehicles of which 143 were cars. 31 Cadillacs with the remaining 112 cars being Chevys. Two of those Chevys are 2013 Corvettes (a 4LT and a 2LT). They have 16 Camaros. There are three SS coupes and one SS convertible and as is normal on most lots the rest are six cylinders.


STEWART CHRYSLER DODGE JEEP RAM (2011), Colma, CA/ 866-305-7069

dealer stewart chrysler colma ca

Stewart Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram is located at 800 Serramonte Boulevard, Colma, California. The Stewart family (see Stewart Chevrolet Cadillac story above) decided to branch out and opened a Chrysler dealership beside their Chevrolet dealership on November 1, 2011.

At the start of 2013 the lot had 143 new vehicles. Ten were leftover 2012 model year cars. Of the new vehicles 29 were Chryslers and 68 Dodges. The rest were RAMs and Jeeps.

Stewart has ten 2013 Dodge Challenger SXTs with the 3.6 V6 and five speed automatic transmission. Base pricing starts at $25,795.00 before destination or options. The cheapest Challenger SXT on the lot was $28,685.00. This Billet Silver car is VIN 2C3CDYAG2DH616249. The Sinister Super Sport Group option 26E adds $1,700.00 to the price. The SSS gives you 3.07 axle, paddle shifters, 20" wheels and tires, performance steering, brakes, suspension and rear spoiler, Bluetooth, USB, auto dimming rear view mirror w microphone. The Sirius Radio is $195.00 plus $995.00 destination and you have a Challenger for less than 30 grand.

The most expensive six cylinder Challenger SXT was Billet Silver, VIN 2C3CDYAG6DH611491 and a MSRP of $33,525.00. Part of the expense traces to the inclusion of Customer Preferred Package 26H which is the $3,900.00 'Rally Redline' option. The Rallye Redline Appearance group adds fog lamps and puts a fat red stripe down the length of the car along the hood and deck lid which now sprouts a spoiler. Inside the heated bucket seats gain leather trim. The hotter look is backed up with temperature gauge, compass, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, 3.07 axle, performance suspension, steering and brakes. The standard 18"x 7.5" wheels and P235-55R18 tires are replaced with 20"x 8" black chrome clad aluminum wheels shod with 245-45R20 tires. You still get 18 City MPG/ 27 Hwy MPG despite a performance oriented package. The option includes gizmos such as automatic dimming rear view mirror, microphone, ParkSense rear park assist, illuminated sun visor mirrors, sound system, GPS, Sirius, USB port etc.

As is typical of most dealerships, the six cylinder stock outweighs the V8s by a ratio of about three or four to one. Stewart has three 2013 Challengers with the R/T package which provides the smaller of the two Hemi engines: the 5.7 L version.

Stewart has a basic 2013 Billet Silver Challenger R/T for $33,770.00 which is just a smidge over the loaded SXT price. The price is actually $500.00 below MSRP due to discount and rebate incentives. With 16 City MPG/ 25 Hwy MPG the gap between this R/T and a loaded SXT for initial price and future operating costs isn't as huge as you might expect when stepping up to a Hemi. The base R/T price is $29,995.00. This R/T VIN 2C3CDYBT8DH587187 comes with a 160 MPH speedometer (140 in the six cylinder cars), performance steering, suspension and brakes standard. The brakes are heavy duty with Rain Brake Support and Ready Alert Braking. There is stability and traction control, spoiler, hill start assist, fog lamps, dual bright exhaust, leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, and the standard 18 inch wheels.

Customer Preferred Package 28F adds Super Track Pak $595.00 with sport suspension. This option gives you better tires than the Rally Redline or Sinister options on the SXT. You get Goodyear 245/45ZR20 tires. $1,100.00 upgrades the five speed auto to sport mode paddle shifters and auto stick, tip start, 3.06 axle and performance brakes. Anti Spin axle is $195.00, the black hood to fender R/T stripe is $295.00. Another $1,095.00 puts on the aluminum 20" wheels. Destination takes you to $34,270.00 which is then whittled down with incentives.

The most expensive Challenger R/T goes out for $39,765.00. This one is Granite Crystal VIN 2C3CDYBT9DH642164 and is loaded with several options. 28M costs $4,000.00 and adds the 20 inch wheels, ParkSense, functional hood scoop, dual black R/T side stripes, HID lights, temp gauge and compass, leather trimmed heated seats, security alarm, garage door opener. $1,295.00 for the Sound Group II, Track Pak is $595.00, Sport Mode 5 speed auto is $1,100.00, Anti-spin $195.00, Uconnect $595.00, 20 inch wheels $995.00 and destination rounds it out to just below 40 grand.


WM J SWEENEY & SONS (Studebaker), Daly City, CA/ Closed

Wm J Sweeney & Sons was a Studebaker dealer located at 6800 Mission, Daly City, California.


TOWNE FORD SALES & LEASING, Redwood City, CA (1926)/ 650-366-5744

dealer towne ford redwood city ca liceense

Towne Ford Sales & Leasing is located at 1601 El Camino Real, Redwood City, California. Towne Ford was established in 1926 and is a family owned dealership. Towne has one new 2014 Mustang V6 Premium in black, ten new 2013 Mustangs which include five GTs, one GT convertible and three V6s.

Towne Ford also has a new black 2013 Shelby GT500 with 5.8 L engine, 6 speed manual and a base price of $54,200.00. This one adds the optional $3,495.00 SVT Performance Package, the $2,995.00 SVT Track Package, Electronics Package with Navigation ($2,340.00), Shelby Manual Recaro seats ($1,595.00), Shaker Pro System ($1,295.00) and Shelby cover ($395.00). In addition to the $12,095.00 in options, there is $795.00 destination. MSRP winds up at $67,090.00. The Shelby was shipped out by rail Dec 6, 2012. VIN is 1ZVBP8JZXD5283478.

Towne has 65 used vehicles on the lot, 40 of which are cars. The dealer provides free 'Autocheck' reports on their cars which chronicles the history of the cars. Below is a summary of the history of a few Mustangs sitting on their lot.

1) Towne's used 2004 Oxford White Clearcoat Mustang convertible V6 3.9 L with 4 speed auto showing 99,993 miles lists for $7,700.00. The 'Autocheck' report for VIN 1FAFP44604F134074 tells us that it had 8 miles at the California DMV on Oct 3, 2003. In a seemingly contradictory piece of information the car is listed as having been built and shipped to a New Jersey dealer Oct 8, 2003. On Oct 10, 2003 it was titled as a California rental vehicle. A year later Oct 28, 2004 the DMV reported 25,112 miles. The same day it was at auction with 12 more miles on the clock. Nov 17, 2004 it was titled with San Leandro DMV as a rental again. July 9, 2005 it turns up with only 35,864 miles on it. The next few renewals occur in Belmont, California. Emissions tests in Sep 2010 (76,541 m) and Sep 2012 (96,863 m) are also in California. The car had three owners.

2) A used Redfire Clearcoat Metallic 2005 Mustang GT convertible with 4.6 L and 5 speed auto shows only 62,968 miles and is priced at $16,995.00. The 'Autocheck' report for VIN 1ZVHT85H855246258 indicates it was built and shipped July 1, 2005 to California. It appears to have sold August 4, 2005 when the DMV reported 15 miles on the odometer. Sep 16, 2005 in Arroyo Grande, CA the car was registered, but not titled until Sep 29th. A year later, odometer read a whopping 26,275 miles on Aug 20, 2006. Sep 21, 2006 a new title appears, a few days later a lien indicating that it was leased in Santa Maria, CA. June 30, 2007 a new title and lien is reported. Sep 1, 2008 the mileage is now sitting at 35,333 miles. Sep 29, 2008 a new title lien is reported. Aug 6, 2010 the car passed emission test at 48,668 miles. June 30, 2011 a title and lien are reported at Santa Maria, CA. On July 11, 2011 after six years of use, the car showed up at the Pacific South West Auto Auction as a lease sale with 53,717 miles. The Desert SW region was the next auction to pick up the car as a dealer sale with 53,980 miles on July 25th. Aug 17, 2011 it passed emissions at 54,009 miles. Dec 19, 2011 DMV stated mileage to be 54,058 so it had been sitting on a dealer lot somewhere for a few months. Jan 27, 2012 it showed up in Redwood City and was titled in Feb. Mileage sat at 63,037 miles during an emission check Sep 27, 2012. The Mustang escaped flood, theft, accident, fire, repossession, and hail during its ownership by four owners.

3) Towne also has a one owner used 2005 Mustang for sale, this one is Windveil Blue Clearcoat convertible with 4.0 L V6 and 5 speed auto listed for $13,995.00 with only 60,422 miles. The 'Autocheck' report states that this VIN 1ZVFT84N955230715 was only registered to one owner. It was a lease that never suffered accidents, natural disaster or theft. June 7, 2005 it was built and shipped. The California DMV on Sep 1, 2005 states 8 miles. Sep 29, 2005 it was registered in Redwood City with a lien. Sep 7, 2009 it passed emissions at 53,309 miles and again Dec 4, 2012 at 60,423 miles.

4) Towne has a used 2007 Windveil Blue Mustang GT coupe 4.6 and five speed manual with 72,862 miles for $18,995.00. VIN 1ZVFT82H175251462 was built and shipped Oct 3, 2006 to a Utah dealership and registered in Spanish Fork, UT until end of 2007. Nov, 2008 it was titled in Reno, NV winding up at auction Sep, 2009 at 42,191 miles. Dec 2, 2009 California Emissions occurred at 42,284 miles. CA DMV shows 42,796 miles by May, 2010 and Emissions recorded 44,866 miles June, 2010. In July it was registered in Stockton, CA. July through Nov, 2012 it bounced from DMV to lease to auction at 72,800+ miles. It was finally titled in Rio Linda, CA Nov 15, 2012 and now shows up on a used car lot Feb, 2013 having gone through four owners.

5) Towne's used 2008 black Mustang GT coupe 4.6 with 5 speed manual shows 51,342 miles and is priced at $18,797.00. The report for VIN 1ZVHT82H585172922 says two owners and a ship date of Feb 1, 2008. June 7, 08 the California DMV shows 44 miles. It was titled June 20, 2008 at Canyon Country, CA. It was up at auction April 22, 2011 with 45,442 miles and registered in San Mateo, CA in July, 2012 at 45,475 miles. Emissions tests show it passed 51,438 miles by Nov, 2012

6) Towne has a used one owner 2008 white Mustang 4.0 V6 five speed auto coupe with 47,165 miles going out for $14,999.00. The VIN 1ZVHT80N085129789 was built and shipped Sep 6, 2007. Oct 23, 2007 the CA DMV says 122 miles. It was registered in Mountain View, CA Nov 16, 2007 until Oct 13, 2012 where it was switched to Palo Alto, CA. Apparently lady driven, it has a pink 'Mustang' lower body stripe with a pink breast cancer ribbon log behind the galloping horse and embossed into the removable floor mats. It has torque thrust style fat five spoke Ford mags.

7) Towne has a used black 2012 Mustang convertible 3.7 V6 with six speed showing 18,492 miles for $21,892.00. The VIN 1ZVBP8EM0C5286421 shows build and ship date Feb 17 and 20, 2012. On Feb 29, 2012 it was registered as a rental vehicle Los Angeles, CA. A minor accident was recorded May 1, 2012. Dec 19, 2012 it went to auction reported as a 'daily rental'.

8) Towne has a used Kona Blue 2012 Mustang coupe 3.7 V6 six speed automatic with 32,529 miles already on it going for $19,924.00. The VIN 1ZVBP8AM1C5226539 was built May 24, 2011 and registered as a rental car June 3, 2011 with a mere 5 miles on the car. After serving as a Los Angeles, CA rental (probably the airport for it to have racked up this much mileage) it went to auction Jan 16, 2013.


TURNER FORD, San Bruno, CA (Mach 1 and Talledegas)

Turner Ford was located at 601 El Camino, Sand Bruno, California. In 1969 they promoted their Turner Performance Corner as having the most Mach 1s in all. of Northern California. They also had a Torino Talladega 428 in stock.


VICTORY CHEVROLET CADILLAC, Petaluma, CA (707) 776-6385

Victory Chevrolet Cadillac is located at 1360 Auto Center Dr, Petaluma, California. Victory is part of the Victory/Autoworld Dealership Group which was established in Sonoma County Victor G. (no last name provided on website) in the 1980s. In winter 2014 Victory had 274 new vehicles in stock, 120 of which were cars. They had 14 new 2014 Camaros.


WESTLAKE DODGE, Daly City, CA/ Closed

Westlake Dodge was located at 7073 Mission, Daly City, California.



Ralph Williams Bayshore Chrysler-Plymouth Inc was located at El Camino Real, Millbrae, California. This was a satellite dealership for Ralph Williams.

Ralph Williams original Ford dealership was located at 15770 Ventura Blvd, Encino, California. Williams began in the finance department of Frank Taylor Ford. Williams married Leon Ame's daughter Shelley and soon took over the dealership from Leon Ames Ford.

Williams pumped up sales with hyper commercials. Williams did some of his own commercials and then hired Chick Lambert who was former spokesperson for Brand Motors Ford City. Chick's commercials which ran through the 1960s introduced himself as sales manager and 'his' dog named 'Storm' which served as the inspiration for Cal Worthington's spoof commercials and his various 'dogs' named Spot which ranged from hippos to apes.

The rivalry between Williams and Worthington inspired some funny scenes in the film USED CARS. Williams later took over Wilson Ford in Huntington Beach, California.

Ralph Williams ran his empire of dealerships from Beverly Hills, California.

In 1971 Williams owned the following dealerships:

Ralph Williams, Inc., Encino, California

Ralph's Chrysler-Plymouth (d/b/a/ Ron's Chrysler Plymouth), Downey, California

Ralph Williams Bayshore Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc., Millbrae, California

Ralph Williams Gulfgate Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc., Houston, Texas

Ralph Williams North Shore Chrysler-Plymouth Inc, Seattle, Washington.


Williams boosted sales with his TV commercials but also engaged in many of the dreaded dealer practices of high pressure sales and overpriced warranties etc which caused him to endure a series of court cases and eventual closure of his dealerships.


WOOD CADILLAC PONTIAC MAZDA, Santa Rosa, CA (19**-2007)/ became Hansel Motorcars

Wood Cadillac Pontiac Mazda was located at 2925 Corby, Santa Rosa, California. In 2007 the dealership was taken over by the Hansel Motorcars group.



Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 July 2020 19:51 )