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BC/ VANCOUVER Defunct Dealers BowMac Colliers
Written by Double Dragon
Sunday, 08 January 2012 00:18

BC/ VANCOUVER Defunct Dealers Bow Mac Colliers etc


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown except for Begg Motor Company Ltd items which are copyright and courtesy Darren Hawkins. Newspaper ad images copyright The Province Newspaper, Vancouver, BC 1966. The Dominion Ford story relies on Robert's reminiscences as a teenage car jockey in the 1960s. Much appreciation for his lengthy interview. Clarke Simpkins AMC owners manual courtesy of Wilkinson's Automobilia, Zephyr logos and owner's manual copyright Mercury and Zephyr, 1975 ad copyright The Province newspaper, Wolf sticker copyright Wolf Chev Olds. Barracuda convertible pics from Johnston story provided courtesy and copyright Howie Friedman.

Fred Barter Motors Ltd (AMC), Vancouver, BC
Begg Motor Company Ltd (Chrysler), Vancouver, BC

Boucher Motors Ltd (AMC Jeep Renault), Vancouver, BC
Bowell McLean Motor Company Ltd, Vancouver, BC

Carter Pontiac Buick Ltd., Vancouver, BC (moved to Burnaby)

Collier's Ltd (Chevrolet), Vancouver, BC

Day Smith Motors (Dodge), Vancouver, BC

Dominion Motors (Ford 1940-86), Vancouver, BC/ Manitoba
Empire Motors Ford, Vancouver, BC
Paul Fong Pontiac Buick GMC, Vancouver, BC
Johnston Motor Company Ltd, Vancouver, BC (drag racer Fury/ became Kingsway Ply Chr)

Kingsway Plymouth Chrysler, Vancouver, BC (formerly Johnston Motor Co)
Kirkpatrick Pontiac Buick Ltd, Vancouver, BC
Lawson Oates Pontiac (1951-*), Vancouver, BC
Lawson Oates Chrysler Ltd (19**-2007), Vancouver, BC

Early Neil Motors (Dodge), Vancouver, BC (formerly Day Smith)
Musgrove Ford Sales, Vancouver, BC
Pacific Chrysler Ltd, Vancouver, BC

Pacific GMC, Vancouver, BC (moved to Coquitlam, BC- became Wheaton Pacific)
Jim Pattison Pontiac Buick (1961), Vancouver, BC/ Closed

Phillipson Motors Ltd, Vancouver BC  
Plimley Automotive Company Ltd, Vancouver, BC/ Closed
Hugh Rider Ltd (AMC), Vancouver, BC/ Closed

Clarke Simpkins AMC, Vancouver, BC (formerly Ford)

Clarke Simpkins Ford, Vancouver, BC (became AMC, Honda etc)

Stadium Motors (Ford), Vancouver, BC

Stonehouse Motors Ford, Vancouver, BC/ Closed

Thunder Ford Sales Ltd, Vancouver, BC

Totem Ford Lincoln, Vancouver, BC.

Vancouver Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Vancouver, BC/ Closed

Wolfe Chevrolet-Oldsmobile Ltd, Vancouver, BC/ Closed

Zephyr Mercury Sales, Vancouver, BC/ Closed

Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown except for newspaper ads copyright Province newspaper, 1966, 1967, and pictures of 1968 Barracuda and paperwork in the Johnston story which are courtesy of and copyright H. Friedman.

chev olds dealers province jul 66


Large dealers in the lower mainland area of Vancouver, BC placed this ad in the Province newspaper in July, 1966.

Westminster Motor Products Ltd and Mander Chev Olds have since faded away.

Dueck and Wolfe were in operation at the same locations for quite a long time and many GM cars in the lower mainland came from their lots.

Wolfe changed from Chev Olds to plain Chev and then added Geo before trying to make a go of it as Mazda. Their showroom on Boundary road was bought out in 2011 by Destination Mazda. See Wolfe's history at the bottom of this article.

Dueck moved a few times and is still in business down on Terminal, Marine Drive and out in Richmond. See the story filed under BC/ VANCOUVER- DUECK.

Mander Oldsmobile become Dick Irwin Olds in 1969. "Mander Camaros" in the 1960s followed the basic template of the Yenko Camaro supercar conversions. The Dick Irwin group currently owns a Mitsubishi dealer in North Vancouver as well as two other dealers in the lower mainland and one in Edmonton, AB. To see a story on Mander and Dick Irwin, see the story filed under BC/ NORTH VANCOUVER.



Fred Barter Motors Ltd was an AMC dealer located on Kingsway Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia during the 1960s. In the 1970s the dealership relocated to 845 Carnarvan in New Westminster, BC.


BEGG MOTOR COMPANY LTD, Vancouver, BC/ (Victoria, Kelowna) Closed.

dealer begg vancovuer metal logo

In a document further down you will see that Begg Motor Company was also known as Begg Brothers interchangeably.

dealer begg vancouver letterhead

Begg Motor Company Ltd. traces back to the first decade of the 1900s when they started out selling Chev, Olds, Cadillac and Dodge. When Chevrolet was jettisoned from the mix the GM angle became de emphasized until they were known primarily as a Chrysler dealer in the 1950s located on West Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver, BC. The letterhead above from a letter sent in 1938 establishes that the company had satellite offices in Victoria, BC and Kelowna, BC at this early date.

dealer begg vancouver ext int

The dealership memorabilia reproduced here comes courtesy of Darren Hawkins. He has an entire box of Begg Motor Company photos and documents which are for sale. Readers interested in the items can email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to speak to Darren.

dealer begg vancouver cadillac stanley park

The photo of the Cadillac above was taken 1909 in Vancouver, BC's Stanley Park which was close to the Georgia Street address of the dealership. Some of the people in the car are named Stork or Stark depending on how you interpret the writing on back of the image.

Below is a shot dated 1919 with a notation "Metz car" written on back. Clearly the 1919 refers to the build date of the car shown at right.

dealer begg vancouver 1919 metz car

The brown document below announces Begg discontinuing their Chevrolet franchise but re assures customers that they are not going out of business.

dealer begg vancouver chev franchise


BOUCHER MOTORS LTD (AMC Jeep Renault), Vancouver, BC

Boucher Motors Ltd  was an AMC Jeep Renault dealership located at 1234 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC during the 1980s.



dealer bow mac cadillac logo

The image above is from the downtown Bow Mac location. This logo incorporates the Cadillac logo into the Bow Mac logo. To see a story about a 1968 Cadillac Coupe DeVille bought new from Bow Mac see the story filed in ONE FAMILY in this websites' CAR STORIES section.

dealer bow mac vancouver bc license

Bowell McLean Motor Company Ltd. locally known as 'BOW MAC' began life as an Oldsmobile dealer named Bowell MacDonald Motor Company downtown in the original Vancouver 'dealer's row' around Burrard and West Georgia. Soon renamed Bowell McLean Motor Co Ltd the dealership moved right onto Burrard at number 615. Eventually Bow Mac expanded to a location on Broadway, taking up the 1100 block on the south side. They garnered some controversy and fame when they erected a huge neon sign in 1958. The Bowell McLean short form name of BOW MAC could be seen from miles away. One source traces the inspiration for the sign to Jim Pattison who was managing the lot in the 1950s before buying his own dealership JIM PATTISON PONTIAC BUICK (see story further down the page) and launching his empire. Eventually, the city designated the sign as a landmark.

dealer bow mac sign 2012

It is partially obscured today by the sign from the current residents of the dealership building: Toys R Us. During the 1960s Bow Mac's location in the heart of downtown Vancouver, BC at 615 Burrard Street was still selling Chevrolets. This location closed down when property downtown became very expensive. To read about a 1970 Pontiac Acadian bought new from the downtown location see the article in CAR STORIES in the ONE FAMILY section.


CARTER PONTIAC BUICK LTD., Vancouver, BC (moved to Burnaby)

The Carter Pontiac Buick Ltd dealership in Kerrisdale was located at 5799 West Boulevard. In 1968 Carter expanded and moved to Lougheed Highway in Burnaby. See a story on Carter filed under BC/BURNABY. Kirkpatrick Pontiac Buick filled the recently vacated Carter lot on West Boulevard.



COLLIERS LTD, (Chevrolet), Vancouver, BC (1947-)


An OOCC One Owner shopped here for his 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle. This is the original brochure he saved from the dealer. The stamp on the cover has the dealer's information.

This dealership was located at 450 West Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The building was ultra modern for the time in the ‘Streamline Moderne’ style designed by architects Watson & Baxter. 'Doc' Joseph Francis Watson (1885-1967) had a long career  and James Baxter formed a partnership

It presented a very clean cylindrical glass and steel facade. This photo below was taken a year after the opening in 1948= copyright Dominion photo corporations 1949.


dealer colliers-chev-ltd-van-bc

After the dealership went out of business, sadly the building was demolished.


DAY SMITH MOTORS LTD (Dodge), Vancouver, BC

Day Smith Motors was a Dodge dealership located on 1126 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC during the 1920s. Early Neil Motors took over the Dodge franchise in 1928. Harry Day was one of the partners in this dealership.



dealer dominion ford vancouver sticker


Dominion Ford was located at 901 Seymour Street in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia during the 1960s and 1970s. The legal name was Dominion Vancouver Motors Ltd. The Ford dealer code # was B7 032.

A young car jockey named Robert generously shared his memories of the operation during the 1960s. Robert craved speed and cars from the time he was a youngster. At age 13 he saved his paper route money and went to buy a 1936 Ford coupe with a rumble seat. The guy selling it stopped to admire a passing girl and whistle.

He turned to Rob,

"Did you see that!? She's a real doll!"

Rob nodded,

"Yeah. I see her everyday. She's my sister."

Rob figures that he got the car for the paltry sum of $18.00 because the seller wanted to get in good with him and meet the sister. Rob was pretty pleased about the new car, except for the fact that it didn't run.

"You can't have everything."

dominion ford province jul 66

A few years later it was 1966 and Rob was 18. He was making minimum wage as a car jockey at the Vancouver, BC location of Dominion Motors down in a former dealer row on West Georgia. Dominion Motors was Canada's largest Ford dealer at the time with the main branch in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The pay was lousy, but the perks made up for it. Rob drove between two and four new cars a day for over one year. He also jockeyed the used cars around on the lots. Rob drove just about every new Ford product built from 1966 to 1967 and many used cars from earlier years.

A typical day for Rob began when a car sold off the downtown lot at 900 Seymour street. It was time to replace it with another car. Only one in twenty of Dominion's stock was a customer ordered car. All the cars in the showroom and the majority of the cars on the lot were batch orders from the dealer. Sometimes as many as three or four cars would sell in one day. Rob was the one who replaced them with new cars from the storage lot. Occasionally Rob would bring up a used car from the storage lot. The used cars normally were kept on their own lot, but it would sometimes fill up and require a shuffling of stock.

When a new car was needed, the car prep guy drove Rob south and dropped him off under the Granville Street Bridge. Dominion had a large paved lot with barbed wire and locked gate underneath the bridge on the banks of False Creek. Inside this lot sat 200 or 300 cars which had been offloaded from a spur branch of the railway running under the Cambie Street Bridge.

The dealer timed how long Rob was gone. If the car was a plain Jane car like a big four door Ford, Rob usually made it back to the dealer pretty quickly.  But when Rob had the chance to drive a nice car, like a convertible Mustang or Galaxie he would put the top down and take his time and enjoy the ride, flirting with the girls on the sidewalks and feeling the power of the cars. He couldn't go crazy with it. The cars only had 10 or 15 miles on the odometers and a quarter tank of gas as delivered, so he didn't have a lot of latitude.

If he was fifteen or twenty minutes late coming back and questioned about how long he took, Rob had a standard reply, "The car was boxed in." He was telling the truth, just not the whole truth. It was true, the cars were parked tight and boxed in at the lot, but if pushed further with the inquiry, Rob would have had to confess that only two cars were blocking the nice Mustang convertible he had cruised around in. Sometimes when a particularly nice car came in, the salesman would go down to the main lot with the prep guy and bring it back personally, not trusting it to a smart alecky 18 year old kid.

When a car was a special order, the anxious buyers would often be waiting on the lot for it to pull up. Rob knew the importance of coming in gently and slowly to the lot and also bringing it back down from the prep process with a light foot. But he did make mistakes, the most memorable being the story of a red Fairlane convertible.

A giant lumberjack started talking to Rob in front of the Dominion showroom. It took Rob a moment to realize that the monstrous 6 foot 6 inch tall 250 pound man in front of him was an old classmate. A few years of logging up north had transformed his former acquaintance into an imposing mass of muscle.

Rob pointed to the red Fairlane convertible with four speed and 289 and said off handedly that of all the cars on the lot at that moment that was the best one. He then proceeded to put his foot in his mouth by saying that it was the nicest car he'd driven in a long time.

The giant logger shouted,

"I special ordered that car! It's my car. What the hell were you doing driving around in it!"

While visualizing his imminent death Rob desperately explained that he just retrieved it from the storage lot. The giant calmed down a bit,

"Well, I guess it's OK if it was you driving it. But I don't want people joyriding in MY car."

He paid cash for that car from his stash of logging money.

dominion ford province jul 66- 2

Rob's biggest thrill was driving a big block four speed Mustang convertible from the storage lot. After putting down the top, he was on his way. His standard excuse for getting the top down on a Mustang was that the visibility inside the convertibles was limited. A salesman sat in a Mustang after hearing Rob's excuse and had to admit that Rob was right. Rob's reasons of course were partly for safety, mainly for fun.

"You couldn't see if a cop was behind you or on the sides of the car if the top was up."

Also, how could he flirt with the girls hidden from view inside the convertible top?

His usual procedure was to pull out slow and careful, always looking the length of Seymour for cops. He kept it slow and easy right until he crossed the major intersection of Davie and then usually goosed it. In this case, hitting the gas in 3rd gear netted him a tire burning rush of speed that he still remembers today.

"You just sat right back in that car, the shifter was at the right height, the pedals were just right and it all happened so fast it was hard to believe."

Rob can't recall the color of the car.

"Color had nothing to do with it."

Most days the run from the storage lot was more leisurely. The cars had been on a railway car and picked up debris and dust on the exteriors and interiors. The interiors had cardboard over the visors, plastic over the steering wheel and seats. Rob took off the plastic before driving the cars away. They usually came from the factory test loop with about 10 or 15 miles on the odometer. The factory filled the cars with approximately a quarter tank of gas. Rob never once had a hard starting car or a dead battery.

Once he reached Dominions' main lot Rob drove up circular ramps to the third and top floor of the dealership. There he often helped the prep man strip off the rest of the plastic coverings on the car. Rob sometimes helped with prep, wiping down the interior with rags coated in a scented disinfectant. The prep guy was the only one who washed the cars. The cars had some sort of a wax or covering on them from the factory. The prep guy cleaned that off, and then applied wax and used a buffer to get a perfect shine on each car.

After the car was spotless, Rob drove it down to the second floor where the mechanics checked the car over. They had a mechanic there that could just put his ear to the engine and know what an engine needed. Carburetors were adjusted, valve covers pulled and valves adjusted even if it delayed delivery time. The Hi-Po Mustangs never needed any adjustment. They came from the factory in perfect tune. The big 'boat' full sized Fords needed the most tinkering. Once the mechanics were finished, Rob came in and cleaned up any grease on fenders if they hadn't used a fender cover, and redid interior wipe downs.

When Rob drove the car down to the main showroom level, the owner was often pressed against the glass anxious to see his new car. Rob always eased them down slow. Sometimes before Rob could find the salesman the eager new owner would intercept him in the showroom and exclaim,

"That's mine!"

Rob always handed over the keys.

"If it was a scam, they wouldn't get too far in downtown traffic."

Rob recalls times when he would pull a special order car up to the third floor and the prep guys and mechanics would swarm over the car and begin working on it at the same time. The owner was down in the showroom waiting and a mad rush would ensue as they desperately got the car prepped in record time.

car ad province july 66

Rob's favorite cars were the Hi- Po Mustang convertibles. He wasn't particularly fond of the big Fords, because on the lots he was parking them with half an inch to spare against walls. He didn't really like the Thunderbirds either. "Too big and boaty." He didn't like the custom order souped up Falcons. The mismatch of big engine and economy design didn't mesh for Rob. He also felt they didn't handle well and were "not right." The salesmen often were given a Galaxie convertible to use over the weekend. Rob pined for a new convertible to drive on his weekends, but it never happened.

One day a man gave Rob a dirty look on the lot, so Rob being young and impudent glared back at him. Rob had fairly long hair at the time and he assumed it was a simple case of generation gap in action. This generation gap ended a few minutes later when Rob was called into the main office face to face with the same man. Turns out he was Mr. Everett, the owner. Thus ended Rob's year long career as car jockey.

"It was a great job despite the low pay."

Rob lost track of the Dealership but recalls that it closed down probably sometime in the 1980s. The Winnipeg location was still running at this time. The Winnipeg location was located at 252 Fort Street in a building that dated back to 1920. Fort Street at one time contained a major stretch of dealerships and car part buildings. That original location saw the establishment of Dominion Motors in 1940 by Horace Everett and the dealership stayed there still run by the Everett family until 1984 when it was renamed Keystone Ford by new company president Bert Hanson. In 1985 he relocated to 1300 Regent Avenue West in Transcona, Winnipeg. In 1986 it became part of a franchise of car rental and dealers named RKM. Horace Everett also founded companies such as Corpell's Water, Royal Canadian Properties Limited and Royal Canadian Securities Limited. His son, Doug took over family businesses and was a Senator for many years.

DOMO gas stations are still in existence today. These stations were launched by Mr. Everett, the owner of the dealership in Winnipeg. The stations take their name from DOMINION MOTORS, shortened to avoid putting the word Dominion in the title. At the time the stations were launched in the 1970s they were built in Safeway parking lots. Safeway had a grocery competitor named Dominion Foods. That necessitated the name change.


Rob recalls that there was a Domo gas filling station adjacent to the downtown Vancouver Dominion Ford lot sometime after he stopped working there. The DOMO gas stations are sprinkled throughout Canada and with the RKM franchise are the final remnants of the once mighty Ford dealerships. As seen on this gas pump in the Richmond, BC mini Domo station the "Jump to the Pump' logo is alive and well. The success of the DOMO stations was based on the eager attendants who pumped your gas instantly.


Richmond has a city bylaw similar to the State of Oregon which forbids you to pump gas into your own car. This law was designed to create employment and has preserved this particular DOMO station in our current world of self service stations.

There is also a DOMO GAS BAR  at 951 Henderson Highway, Winnipeg.


EMPIRE MOTORS, Vancouver, BC/ Closed.

Empire Motors was a Ford dealer right at Burrard Street and West Georgia downtown which was the earliest dealer row in Vancouver.



Paul Fong Pontiac Buick GMC Ltd. was a Vancouver, BC dealership located at 488 West 7th Avenue just off Cambie Street, where it was renamed Dueck Downtown after being taken into the Dueck family of dealers in 2001 See the story on Dueck filed under BC/VANCOUVER-Dueck. The Cambie blocks between Broadway and the bridge once hosted a few dealerships. The strip has been redeveloped with a giant new Best Buy, Canadian Tire and Home Depot taking up three solid blocks.

Paul Fong was CEO of the LAWSON OATES CHRYSLER LTD. car dealership located at #1 Kingsway at Main Street in Vancouver, BC from January, 1991 until August, 2000. See the story on LAWSON OATES in this section. When Lawson Oates closed, Paul Fong became dealer principle and president of his own dealership named Paul Fong Pontiac Buick GMC which lasted from March 25, 1998 until Nov 5, 2001 when the incorporation name was changed to Dueck Pontiac Buick GMC.


JOHNSTON MOTOR COMPANY LTD, Vancouver, BC/ Closed. (drag racer Fury/ became Kingsway Ply Chr)

dealer johnson logo vancouver

Johnston Motor Company Ltd. was a Plymouth dealer in the 1960s and 1970s located at Main and 7th Avenue at 9 Kingsway Avenue, Vancouver, BC. This area of town still supports a few older independent garages and body shops. Johnston closed down in 1975. Chrysler Corporation tried to keep the location alive by briefly running Kingsway Plymouth Chrysler at the former Johnston location but this was a short lived attempt.

Johnston salesman John Bowden raced various hot cars from the dealership down at Mission Raceway including a 1964 Plymouth Fury.

68 barracuda convert johonston motors van bc

On August 13, 1968 Johnston Motor Company Ltd. sold this nice Ember Gold Barracuda Formula S 340 convertible.

68 barracuda convt johnston motor co interior

The convertible has a black top, white bucket seats and door panels with dark green carpets and dash. The car has power steering, a console shifted automatic transmission and AM radio. It's possible it was dealer outfitted with a trailer package, too. Below is a shot of the 340- 4 barrel engine.

68 barracuda conv johnston motor van 340

The first section of the VIN decodes as follows:

B= Barracuda
H= High price class
27= Two door convertible
P= 340 c.i. engine 275 HP
8= 1968 model year
B= Final assembly plant Dodge Main, Hamtramck, Michigan.

Below is a photo with the Johnston dealer stamp in the owner's manual. The final six digits of the VIN have been edited out. Note that in 1968 Johnston gives their address as "9 Kingsway" on the owner's manual which is close to "Main and 7th" which is the address they stamped on their dealer brochures that year. The dealer number is 9497.

68 barracuda convert johnston motor co van cbc owner manual

As shown on the Aug 13, 1968 Certicard, the first owner Joseph Saski lived in Calgary. As before, the final six digits of the VIN are removed from this image.

68 barracuda convert johnston motors van certicards

First owner Joseph took the car straight back to Calgary, Alberta as attested in the first insurance card for the car dated Aug 22, 1968. Once again, the document is reproduced exactly with the exception of VIN final digits and owner last name.

68 barracuda convert johnston motor co van first insurance

The Formula S stayed in Calgary until Joseph passed away. His daughter Darcy Anderson inherited the Barracuda in original condition in 1987 showing 72,593 miles. A Calgary inspection report noted original paint and some rust on panels, as well as the presence of a trailer package. Perhaps Joseph used the car to tow a boat.

One year later in 1988 now showing 73,900 miles a new Calgary inspection noted new paint and undercoating and the absence of the trailer package. By 1999, Darcy had found her way to Kelowna, BC and the Barracuda showed 85,147 miles. She sold it to a BC collector in 2004.

The subsequent owner (number three) was coincidentally from Calgary.

The fourth owner was from British Columbia.

Owner number five Ken McDonald imported the car to his home in Wisconsin. When Ken put it on consignment the car was purchased by owner six, Howie Friedman in Maryland.

Howie Friedman is hoping some of our OOCC readers may have additional information about the dealership or perhaps remember this rather unique car. The purchase was unusual since it was bought new in B.C. and promptly taken to Alberta. This color combination applied to a low production convertible is also rare.

Below is the paperwork for yet another 1968 Barracuda sold through Johnston! This one is a 6 cylinder model that appeared in fall, 2014 for sale in Vancouver, BC in pristine original condition.

dealer johnston 68 barracuda 6 cyl side

Below is the bill of sale from Johnson.

dealer Johnston vancovuer 68 barracuda 6 cyl sale

The interior is pretty sporty for a slant six. Like the Mustang, you got a lot of sex appeal out of an economy car.

dealer johnston van 68 barracuda 6 cyl int

Below is the six hiding inside this fastback Barracuda.

dealer johnston van 68 barracuda 6 cyl engine


KINGSWAY PLYMOUTH CHRYSLER, Vancouver, BC (formerly Johnston Motor Co)

Kingsway Plymouth Chrysler was located at 9 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC. This was an attempt by Chrysler Corporation to keep a location alive that was formerly occupied by Johnston Motor Company which folded in 1975.



Kirkpatrick Pontiac Buick filled the recently vacated Carter dealership in Kerrisdale at 5799 West Boulevard in 1968. Carter didn't go out of business; they just expanded and moved to Lougheed Highway in Burnaby. See a story on Carter filed under BC/VANCOUVER Carter. Kirkpatrick closed down after a short stint as a performance oriented dealership selling GTOs.


MUSGROVE FORD SALES LTD (19**-1986) Vancouver, BC/ Closed.

Musgrove Ford Sales Ltd was located at 2300 Cambie at Broadway as Ford dealer number B70126. At the time the ad below ran in the paper, the dealer was booming under the ownership of Hal Musgrove. When it closed down in 1986, it was bought by Zephyr Ford, also profiled in the DEALERSHIPS section of this website under BC/ VANCOUVER.



EARLY NEIL MOTORS (Dodge), Vancouver, BC (formerly Day Smith)

Early Neil Motors was a Dodge dealership located at 1126 West Georgia, Vancouver, BC. In 1928 this dealership took over from Day Smith Motors. When the Dodge company was assimilated into Chrysler Corporation the franchise rights to Dodge were transferred from Early Neil Motors to Begg Motors. Early Neil tried to carry on but folded during the depression.



(Lawson Oates Pontiac, Lawson Oates Chrysler Plymouth)



Lawson Oates Pontiac was founded in 1951 by Lawson Oates. Lawson Oates worked for Begg Motor Company Ltd for 27 years before striking out on his own in 1951. See the letter below written on Begg stationary where Lawson Oates tenders his resignation.

dealer lawson oates begg resignation

Lawson Oates parlayed the success of the Pontiac dealership into a Chrysler dealership at 1235 West Broadway called Lawson Oates on Broadway (1962) Ltd. Below is a vintage dealer price list.





Below you can see a Province newspaper ad from 1966 listing some of Lawson Oates' inventory.

dealer-lawson-oates-1966-ad-1dealer-lawson-oates-66 ad p-2.

Below is the dealer information as filled out in a warranty book for a 1968 Dodge Dart. The owner's middle and last name are blanked out for privacy.

dealer lawson oates warranty 68 dart

This dealer later became known as Lawson Oates on Broadway (1978) Ltd.

LAWSON OATES CHRYSLER began on West Broadway with dealer number D5212. On April 28, 1978 a name change to LAWSON OATES ON BROADWAY (1978) stuck until July 17, 1985 when the name became obsolete.

dealer lawson oates kingsway logo

The dealership moved to to #1 Kingsway at Main Street in Vancouver, BC necessitating a name change back to LAWSON OATES CHRYSLER LTD. Paul Fong was president of Lawson Oates Chrysler during this period 1991 to 1998. Fong went on to become owner and CEO of Paul Fong Pontiac Buick GMC Ltd. 1998 to 2001. On March 12, 2007 the incorporation for Lawson Oates Chrysler Ltd was dissolved.


PACIFIC CHRYSLER LTD, Vancouver, BC/ Closed.

dealer pacific chrysler vancouver bc logo

Pacific Chrysler Ltd. was located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, BC on 898 Burrard Street in the 1960 and 1970s. In the late 1960s the name was changed to PACIFIC CHRYSLER PLYMOUTH (1965) LTD.


PACIFIC GMC LTD, Vancouver, BC (moved to Coquitlam, BC later became Wheaton-Pacific)

Pacific GMC was located on East Broadway Avenue at the intersection of Nanaimo Street from the early 1950s until the 1980s at which point it relocated to 1090 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, British Columbia. Wheaton-Pacific took over the location sometime later.


JIM PATTISON PONTIAC BUICK, Vancouver, BC (1961- GM dealers closed)/ Expanded into foreign dealerships and other locations.

dealer jim pattison auto group license frame

James Allen "Jim" Pattison was born October 1, 1928 at the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan hospital. His parents were living in the rural town of Luseland, Saskatchewan but Jim grew up in East Vancouver, BC.  He graduated from John Oliver Secondary School in 1947 with much work experience already under his belt.

Jim worked odd jobs washing cars at a gas station led to his career. The gas station also had a small used car lot. When the regular salesman was away, Pattison sold one of the cars Jim started selling used cars during the summer. He attended University of BC but dropped out 3 classes short of a business degree.

Jim Pattison was soon managing 'BOW MAC' aka Bowell McLean (see story further up this page) and was apparently instrumental in establishing the huge neon sign on their lot.

Jim Pattison got a bank loan and bought out a dealership on Main Street and renamed it Jim Pattison Pontiac Buick May 8, 1961. The dealership was located at 3434 Main Street at the corner of East 18th Ave, Vancouver, BC.

Jim Pattison began with the Pontiac Buick dealership and Jim Pattison Lease. He expanded from this base riding the surge of GM then switching to foreign dealerships in the 1990s. Pattison owns dealers in North Vancouver and Vancouver Island (Victoria, Nanaimo, and Duncan).

Running alongside the car dealers, Jim Pattison created a business empire including food, signs, magazines and other ventures which have made him one of the most successful businessmen in Canada.

Pattison has dropped most domestic Big Three dealerships. The last GM dealership the Pattison Auto Group owned was the Jim Pattison Chevrolet Oldsmobile dealership at 5400 Kingsway, in Burnaby, B.C. which closed 2007. This location was formerly Courtesy Chevrolet Oldsmobile. See the story filed under BC/BURNABY.

Jim Pattison acquired a Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership in 2005 and moved it to the North Surrey Automall in 2007. See the story filed under BC/ SURREY in the DEALERSHIPS section.

Jim Pattison owns the last downtown core Vancouver dealerships. Pattison has two dealerships located at the foot of the Burrard Bridge; a Scion at 1229 Hornby Street and a Toyota at 1290 Burrard Street. This is the outer fringe area of what used to be a dealership network starting in the early 1900s through until the 1960s. By the 1970s almost all dealerships had moved out of the downtown core.


PHILLIPSON MOTORS LTD. (Pontiac Buick), Vancouver BC (became Carter)

dealer phillipson motors vancouver logo

Phillipson Motors Ltd was a Pontiac dealership located at 42nd Avenue and West Boulevard, Vancouver BC. At some point it expanded from Pontiac to Pontiac Buick.

The corporate name history states that Phillipson Motors Ltd was bought out from Lawson Oates Motors Ltd which owned the Pontiac franchise from Feb 21, 1951 to Dec 28, 1960. Phillipson Motors ran the Pontiac franchise from Dec 28, 1960 until July 19, 1963. Carter Pontiac Buick Ltd took over from July 19, 1963 until Dec 28, 1977.



dealer plimley dodge vancouver bc logo

Plimley Automotive Company Ltd was a Dodge dealer in the 1950s and 1960s located at 2277 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC. Originally named PLIMLEY FOURTH AVENUE, the name was changed to Plimley Automotive Company Ltd in 1961. At one point Plimley had a location along a mini dealer row on W Broadway shared with Dueck and Bow Mac.

Thomas Plimley established the dealership in Victoria, BC. Thomas Plimley was born in Walsall, England in 1871 and started a bicycle business in 1893. He sold a 1901 Oldsmobile through his bicycle business. Apparently his wife, Rhoda was the first woman driver in Victoria, B.C. Thomas died in Victoria in 1929.

Plimley Motors on Howe was one of B.C.'s largest dealerships. Thomas' eldest son, Thomas Horace Plimley was born March 5, 1895 in Victoria, B.C. Known as Horace, he carried on the family business and opened a British car dealership on Howe Street, Vancouver, B. C. in 1936. Horace died March 21, 1985 in Vancouver, B. C.

Plimley Fourth Avenue was a Chrysler Dodge dealership located at 2277 W. 4th Ave. back in the 1950's. Downtown Vancouver, B.C. dealership row was slowly moving away from the downtown core to outlying areas of the city at this time.

Thomas's grandson Basil Plimley was born June 21, 1924 in Victoria, B.C. Basil  took over Plimley Motors in Vancouver, B.C. and ran it until 1986. Soon after Basil stepped down the Plimley dealership closed in 1991. The block where Plimley used to be located on 4th Avenue was redeveloped into commercial buildings housing Capers and Duthies Books as well as a bank and some medical services. Whole Foods is the current tenant.


HUGH RIDER LTD, Vancouver, BC/ Closed.

dealer hugh rider AMC vancouver bc plate

Hugh Rider Ltd sold American Motors and Jeeps in the 1960s and 1970s. They also carried Datsun once the fuel crisis hit. Rider was located at 3485 West Broadway Ave, Vancouver, B.C. This placed them far west of the 'dealer's row' clustered between Cambie and Granville along Broadway.

dealer hugh rider AMC 1970 owner manual warranty

Above is the warranty page of a 1970 AMC owner's manual issued by Rider with their dealer stamp. The dealer code was 35364.

The former Hugh Rider location is now the site of Coe Lumber.



dealer clark simpkins AMC van owners warranty

When Clarke Simpkins lost the Ford franchise the dealership began dealing foreign brands but they were also authorized AMC dealers for a period of time as seen in the warranty filled out in this owner's manual.



Clarke Simpkins Ford Mercury was one of the dealerships in downtown Vancouver's West Georgia Street dealer row at 1200 W Georgia and later in an updated building at 1345 W Georgia. Clarke Simpkins was a former Vice President of Ford and logically sold Ford cars until he clashed with Ford headquarters over his policy of selling English built Fords. Zephyr Motors was licensed to sell the British Fords in 1958 and built a booming business doing so. Simpkins was annoyed by this move and dropped all Fords from his franchise.

Simpkins' customer base had been developed along the lines of small cars via his British Ford experiment and the dealership easily flowed into selling imports. As dealer row was dismantled by high downtown property prices, Clarke Simpkins moved to 8th Avenue and 2422 Burrard Street as a Honda dealer. In 1969 he also had an AMC franchise. See the story above. The dealership also had Fiat and Volvo by the early 1970s.

This section of Burrard has remained an import dominated dealer row to this day. Clarke Simpkins then expanded further south into Richmond, BC.

Clarke's son Mike Simpkins carried on the family business and 3rd generation son Geoff Simpkins is also involved in car sales. He is a broker who arranges buying and selling of cars on behalf of customers.


STADIUM MOTORS (Ford), Vancouver, BC

Stadium Motors was a Ford dealership located at 2300 Cambie, Vancouver, BC in the 1980s.


STONEHOUSE MOTORS, Vancouver, BC/ Closed.

Stonehouse Motors sold Fords during at the end of West Georgia's early downtown dealer row at the base of the viaduct.


THUNDER FORD SALES LTD, Vancouver, BC (Became Burrard Nissan Ltd)

dealer thunder ford vancouver bc logo

Thunder Ford Sales Ltd was located at 3333 Main Street, Vancouver, BC. The dealership was operated by the Carson family from 1992 until 1994 when they switched to a Nissan franchise. The Carson family runs Coastal Ford which is still operating.



dealer totem linc merc vancouver logo

Totem Ford Lincoln was located at 396 Marine Drive Southwest, Vancouver, BC. Other locations in the Totem Auto Group include Terrace Totem Ford, Snow Valley Ford and Port City Ford.



dealer vancouver chrysler dodge jeep license

Vancouver Chrysler Dodge Jeep was located at 1577 Main St, , Vancouver, BC. The former lot is now the site of a large condo building.


WOLFE CHEVROLET LTD, Vancouver, BC (1921)

dealer wolf chev vancouver bc metal plate

Wolf Chevrolet used the same logo for several years. The plate shown above was used in the 1960s and early 1970s. The plate design was retained in the mid 1970s but made into a sticker.

dealer wolfe chev olds sticker

wolfe chev olds metal plate

Originally known as Wolf Chevrolet Oldsmobile Ltd, the death of Oldsmobile necessitated a name change to Wolfe Chevrolet Ltd. This long standing family run business was headquartered at 2860 East Hastings Street, Vancouver during the 1960s.Below is a windshield sticker Wolf used on a 1970 model year car. Dueck's also put dealership window stickers in windshields.

dealer wolfe vancouver windshield sticker

In the 1980s the dealership made its way to the Boundary Road dealer row. Wolf Chev Olds kept the dealership at 1515 Boundary Road in Vancouver, BC from the mid 1980s to the turn of the century. Boundary Road delineates the border of Vancouver and Burnaby.

The strip of Boundary from Hastings to Grandview hosts many dealerships, some of whom occupy former locations of old time dealers that have since closed up shop, including Wolfe. Wolf finally occupied 1595 Boundary Road (Wolfe Motors Ltd). Wolfe's former Chev Olds premises at 1515 Boundary are now occupied by Brian Jessel BMW. Destination Mazda is located in the former Wolfe Motors Ltd building at 1595 Boundary.

The Wolf Chevrolet official site listed their start date as 1921, founded by Evan M. Wolfe. Little is known about the moves Wolfe made until they acquired a dealership location in 1952 which was formerly Ross Baker Motors Ltd. Wolf Chevrolet Oldsmobile incorporation name changes list Ross Baker Motors Ltd Nov 24, 1947 as the dealer that became Wolf Chevrolet Oldsmobile Ltd on Feb 20, 1952. The Better Business Bureau lists the start date for Wolfe Boundary location as Jan 1, 1952 when Frank Wolfe was president of the dealership. Wolfe underwent one final name change to Wolfe Chevrolet Geo Ltd before switching to Mazda in 2008. In 2011 Wolfe sold the dealership to the 'Destination Auto Group' which renamed it Destination Mazda. Pattison Auto Group bought the Wolfe Motors Ltd lease fleet at this time.

To read about a car that was traded in on a brand new Chevrolet Impala back in the 1976, see the TWENTY YEARS PLUS section of the CAR STORIES on this website for the story on the 1972 Swinger.


ZEPHYR MERCURY SALES LTD- Vancouver, BC (1958) Dealer number A7 025.

Zephyr ford mercury license frame Vancouver BC

Zephyr was formed in 1958 by Weldon McFarlane in North Vancouver, BC. The company was named for the Ford Zephyr. McFarlane's dealership imported British Fords: Anglia, Consul, Prefect, Thames, Zephyr and Zodiacs.

By 1959 the small company exploded in size to 144 employees and three main locations: 130 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC, 8th Ave. and McBride in New Westminster, and 5605 West Boulevard in Vancouver, BC.


Ford stopped importing British vehicles in 1960. At this point Zephyr changed gears and focused on North American Fords. The new Lincoln Mercury franchise was renamed Zephyr Motors (1960) Ltd. alongside Zephyr Motors Lease.



Zephyr Mercury Sales Ltd. at 130 West Broadway became the largest Mercury dealer in Vancouver, BC in the sixties. Below is the personalized label that they affixed to the owner's manual of a new 1968 Cougar. To see a story of a one owner Cougar bought from Zephyr, see the ONE OWNER section of this website under the heading of CAR STORIES.

68 cougar owners cover

By the time this 1968 Cougar was sold, Zephyr had expanded further. Back in 1966 Zephyr had taken over the former Bow Mac used car lot and three stores combining it into a Zephyr lot at 300 West Broadway. See the story on Bow Mac in the DEALERSHIP section for information about the huge landmark Bow Mac sign. The new Zephyr dealerships were cutting edge facilities with one of the first in-house computer software systems. Below is a Province Newspaper ad from 1976.


The 130 and 300 West Broadway lots stayed open until the 1990s. The dealer number was A7 025. The "A7" portion indicated that the dealer was part of the Pacific Canada Ordering District. The "025" was the individual dealer number. The location at 130 West Broadway eventually became a Mountain Equipment Co-op store which left most of the original structure intact including the upper level parking. Below is a picture of the dealership building in 2012 with a Mountain Co op paint job.

dealer zephyr building 130 w bdy vancouver 2012

The location at 300 West Broadway survives as well, now revamped as a No Frills Location with official address of 310 West Broadway, seen below.

dealer zephyr building 310 w bdy vancouver 2012

In 1982 the franchise expanded to include Zephyr Ford Truck Center Ltd. in Burnaby which moved to Coquitlam in 1985.

Musgrove Ford Sales closed down in February 1986 when Zephyr bought it out to create a new Ford franchise, Stadium Motors Ltd. See the story and vintage 1960s ad from Musgrove in the BC/ VANCOVER Dealers story in this DEALERSHIP section.

The Ford franchise was relinquished in July 1990, and the Stadium business amalgamated into Zephyr on Broadway which was still in its 1960s location.

In August of 1994, Zephyr moved the Service and Parts departments to 2311 Boundary Road (the former Weston Bakery site) with the Sales and Admin offices coming in Dec, 1994. This marked the end of the long reign of the Broadway location of Zephyr. The Zephyr lease portion of the company was renamed Zeemac Vehicle Lease­­­ and set up at 2293 Douglas Road, Burnaby where they are presently.

In 1998, Ian McFarlane (the son of founder Weldon McFarlane) sold the Zephyr Group franchise back to Ford. McFarlane kept Zeemac Vehicle Lease Ltd., which today is still owned and operated by the McFarlane family.

Zephyr Lincoln and Ford Truck Sales was the updated name of the surviving dealership located in a strip of dealers at 2311 Boundary Road, Vancouver, BC. The location is now currently home of Brian Jessel BMW.


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Last Updated ( Sunday, 03 May 2020 16:30 )