Home Dealerships CALIFORNIA/ LOS ANGELES County- Dana Chev
CALIFORNIA/ LOS ANGELES County- Dana Chev
Written by Double Dragon
Monday, 12 March 2012 19:56

CALIFORNIA/ LOS ANGELES County- Dana Chev

oneownercollectorcar.com

Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown, except for Dana Chevrolet logo which is copyright Dana Chevrolet, 2013 Challenger R/T promo picture which is copyright Dodge, Peter Satori photographs which are courtesy and copyright Albertine Phan. Photos of 1964 Corvette in Robert Hall Chevrolet story provided courtesy and copyright  Alan Pettebone and Lorraine Strieby. Photo of 1969 GTO in Nelson Pontiac story provided courtesy and copyright Bruce Butler.

**** A big Thank You to my readers who contributed to my book LOST MUSCLECAR DEALERSHIPS which is now available from CAR TECH BOOKS INC. *****

Leon Ames Ford, Encino, CA (Celebrity actor dealer/also L.A., Studio City, Torrance, CA)

Beach City Chevrolet, Long Beach, CA (drag Corvette sponsor)

Biszantz Ford, Glendora, CA

Boulevard Buick GMC, Signal Hill, CA 562-264-0932 (formerly Campbell Buick/ GS drag car sponsor)

Dick Browning Oldsmobile (formerly C. Stanlee Martin Oldsmobile), Long Beach, CA
Browning Oldsmobile-Isuzu (see Dick Browning Olds), Cerritos, CA/ Closed- Browning Auto Group

Mel Bunnell Chevrolet, Pomona, CA/ Closed- (see Enterprise Chev)

Mel Burns Ford, Long Beach, CA (Fairlane drag sponsor Ron Root Les Ritchey/ Shelby dealer)

Butler Buick, Torrance, CA

Camino Real Chevrolet, Monterey Park, CA 866-721-6581

Campbell Buick, Signal Hill, CA (became Boulevard Buick)

Canoga Park Motors, Canoga Park, CA

Car Pros Chrysler Jeep, Carson, CA

Cerritos Dodge Chrysler Jeep, Cerritos, CA (1984)/ 866-939-5942 Part of Browning Auto Group

Chaffee Motors (Ford), Hawthorne, CA

Champion ChevroletLong Beach, CA (formerly Beach City Chevrolet)

Champion Chevrolet Co., Manhattan Beach, CA (became Champion Chev-Olds)

Chevrolet of El Monte , El Monte, CA (formerly Gunderson Chev Geo)

Chevrolet of Montebello, Montebello, CA (formerly Ostrom Chevrolet)

Clippinger Chevrolet, West Covina, CA/ (1921 Los Angeles, CA)

Colley Ford, Glendora, CA (855) 926-5539

Colliau Chevrolet, South Pasadena, CA (1945-86)

Colonial Buick Inc, Glendale, CA

Community ChevroletBurbank, CA 818-843-8470

Community Pontiac, Whittier, CA

Cormier Chevrolet, Carson, CA

Culver Motors (Ford), Culver City, CA

Roc Cutri Pontiac, South Gate, CA

Dana Chevrolet, Southgate, CA/ Closed (427 Camaros/ formerly Enoch Chev/ Simpson Buick)

Russ Davis Ford, Covina, CA (sponsor Gas Rhonda 1965 A/FX Mustang drag car)

Dial Chevrolet, Norwalk, CA (formerly Stanely Chev)

Dolman Pontiac, Inglewood, CA/ Closed

El Monte Motor Co (Ford), El Monte, CA

Enoch Chevrolet, Southgate, CA (became Dana Chev)

Ira Esobar Ford, Manhattan Beach, CA

Bob Estes Lincoln Mercury, Inglewood, CA (Racing sponsor)
Foulger Ford, Monrovia, CA (race sponsor/ builder of HOT ROD Maverick Grabber project)

Louis Frahm Pontiac Inc, Downey, CA

Galpin Ford, Van Nuys, CA 818-787-3800 (formerly Performance Lincoln-Mercury) (#1 Ford volume dealer/ associated with Galpin Auto Sports Evel Knievel 'Gladiator', first CA Shelby dealer)

Gateway Chevrolet, La Mirada, CA/ Closed

Gianera Pontiac Inc, La Crescenta, CA

Glendale Dodge Chrysler Jeep, Glendale, CA (800) 741-3116

Glendora Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Glendora, CA/ (877) 873-9952 (drag sponsor)

Golden State Chrysler-Plymouth, Burbank, CA

R.O. Gould Chrysler-Plymouth, Long Beach, CA

Gunderson Chevrolet Geo , El Monte, CA (formerly Scott Pontiac GMC)

Allen Gwynn Chevrolet, Glendale, CA (1930)/ 888-803-1155 (sponsor slalom Camaro)

Harbor Chevrolet, Long Beach, CA/ 866-973-4321

Jack Head Chevrolet, Alhambra, CA (ZL1 Camaro)
Richard Hibbard Chevrolet, Claremont, CA/ Closed

Hillcrest Motor Company (Cadillac), Beverly Hills, CA (1940s) Closed
Hills Motor Co. (1948-53) Pasadena, CA/ Closed

Kenneth Chevrolet, Hawthorne, CA

Norman King Dodge, Glendora, CA
Don Kott Carson Chrysler, Carson, CA/ Closed

Don Kott Ford, Carson, CA/ Closed

Don Kott Lincoln Mercury, Carson, CA/ Closed

Jim Kresl Oldsmobile, Gardena, CA

Liberty Ford, La Verne, CA

Bob Longpre Pontiac, Monvrovia, CA (sold John DeLorean exec GTO)

Los Altos Ford, Long Beach, CA

Robert H Loud (Ford), Pasadena, CA

C. Stanlee Martin Oldsmobile, Long Beach, CA (became Dick Browning Olds)

Don Massey Cadillac, Downey, CA (formerly Roger Penske Cadillac)

Maywood- Bell Ford, Bell, CA/ Closed

McLean Cadillac, Santa Ana, CA (1939-1986/ Closed (became Tustin Cadillac)

Morrison Chrysler-Plymouth Dodge, San Fernando, CA

Bill Murphy Buick Inc, Culver City, CA (sponsored 1965 Riviera drag car)

Murphy Lincoln-Mercury, Long Beach, CA

Murphy and Shelby Dodge Inc, San Fernando, CA

Nelson Pontiac & GMC, El Monte, CA (became Nelson Honda/ Scott Pontiac GMC)

Nowling's Oldsmobile, Downey, CA

Ostrom Chevrolet, Montebello, CA/ Closed (became Chevrolet of Montebello)

Pomona Dodge, Pomona, CA

Roger Penske Cadillac, Downey, CA (formerly Bob Spreen Cadillac)

Penske Cadillac Buick GMC of South Bay, Torrance, CA 877-301-7551

Performance Chevrolet, Calabasas, CA

David J Phillips Buick Pontiac Opel Inc, Laguna Beach, CA (see Phillips Pontiac)

Phillips Pontiac, Norco, CA (became Philips Pontiac Mazda)

Ernie Porter Chevrolet, Pasadena, CA (drag Vette sponsor/ became Jack Wall Chevrolet)

Power Ford and Lincoln, Tustin, CA

Puente Hills Chevrolet, City of Industry, CA formerly Puente Pont GMC Buick)
Puente Hills Pontiac GMC Buick, City of Industry, CA (see Puente Chev)

Queen City Ford, Long Beach, CA (formerly Los Altos Ford)

Tom Ray Pontiac Company, Glendale, CA

Reynolds Buick GMC (1915), Covina, CA/ 626-384-4448 (Lennie Pop Kennedy GS drag sponsor)

Scott Robinson Pontiac, Torrance, CA

Rothe Pontiac Inc, Burbank, CA

Rusnak Porsche (199*) Pasadena, CA

Sachs & Sons Lincoln Mercury, Downey, CA (sponsored 427 Super Cyclone S/FX drag car)

Salta Pontiac, Long Beach, CA/ Closed

Mike Salta Chrysler Plymouth, Signal Hill, CA (formerly R.O. Gould)

Peter Satori Co Ltd (1954-198*) Pasadena, CA/ Closed

Savage Pontiac Center Inc, Monrovia, CA

Scott Pontiac & GMC, El Monte, CA (formerly Nelson Pontiac GMC)

Service Chevrolet Co, Pasadena, CA/ Head mechanic Dyno Don Nicholson + drag sponsor

Simi Valley FordSimi Valley, CA (818) 887-5001

Simpson Buick, Southgate, CA (became Dana Chev)

Bob Smith Dodge, Glendale, CA (formerly Dodge Plymouth/ drag sponsor- 62 Dart)

Bob Smith Dodge Plymouth, Glendale, CA (formerly 'Smith-Golden)

Smith- Golden Dodge Plymouth, Glendale, CA (became Bob Smith Dodge Plymouth)

Jim Snow Ford Inc, Paramount, CA

South Bay Ford, Hawthorne, CA
South Bay Lincoln, Hawthorne, CA

Bob Spreen Cadillac, Downey, CA (became Roger Penske Cadillac)

Stanley Chevrolet, Norwalk, CA (became Dial Chevrolet)

Star Chrysler Jeep, Glendale, CA

Suburban Pontiac, Bellflower, CA

Superior Pontiac, Monterey Park, CA

Surfside Pontiac, Manhattan Beach, CA

Symes Cadillac, Pasadena, CA (626) 689-4386

Ed Taylor Chevrolet, Whittier, CA

Taylor Slayton Ford, Huntington Park, CA

Tustin Buick GMC, Tustin, CA
Tustin Cadillac, Tustin, CA (formerly McLean Cadillac)
Tuttle-Click Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Irvine, CA
Tuttle-Click Ford Lincoln, Irvine, CA
Tuttle Click's Tustin Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, Tustin, CA

Urban Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Foothill Ranch, CA

Don-A-Vee Rambler, Bellflower, CA

Vel's Parnelli Jones Ford, Torrance, CA (celebrity racer dealer/ performance dealer)

Ray Vines Chrysler Plymouth, Long Beach, CA

Jack Wall Chevrolet, Pasadena, CA (formerly Ernie Porter Chevrolet)

Lee White Chevrolet, Redondo Beach, CA (Drag racing sponsor)

Mandy Williams Oldsmobile, West Covina, CA (1969 Olds H/O dealer)

Dick Wilson Ford, Redondo Beach, CA (see Wilson Ford Sales, Encino, CA)

Wischan Ford, Banning, CA

Bob Wondries Ford, Alhambra, CA

Woodland Hills Chevrolet, Woodland Hills, CA

Worthington Dodge, Huntington Park, CA

Yeakel Plymouth Center, Downey, CA (sponsored Tom "The Mongoose" Mcewen dragster)

 

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LEON AMES FORD, Encino, CA (Celebrity actor dealer/also L.A., Studio City, Torrance, CA)

Leon Ames Ford was located at 15770 Ventura Blvd, Encino, California,  P & A code 5548. 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.

Ames had 4 Ford dealerships located in the L.A. area: Studio City, Torrance, Encino, Redondo Beach, on Pacific Coast Highway near Prospect, and Los Angeles and one up north in the Bay Area in San Rafael.

In the late 1970's Leon Ames Ford was bought by Peyton Craymer Ford which later became a Power Ford location. The Redondo Beach dealership closed and was moved further up the Pacific Coast highway towards Lomita.

Leon Ames Ford in Encino was bought by Ralph Williams who pumped up sales with hyper commercials that eventually inspired parody from Cal Worthington. The film USED CARS makes fun of the rivalry between Williams and Worthington.

Chick Lambert who worked for Brand Motors purportedly bought Williams Ford which had previously been Leon Ames Ford; however, other accounts suggest he managed and represented the dealerships in commercials but didn't own the dealership.

Leon Ames died from a stroke Oct 12, 1993 in Laguna Beach, CA.

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LEON AMES FORD, Redondo Beach, CA (Celebrity actor dealer/also L.A., Studio City, Torrance, CA)

Leon Ames Ford was located at 1840 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, California and was Ford dealer code # 71B025. 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.

Ames had 4 Ford dealerships located in the L.A. area: Studio City, Torrance, Encino, Redondo Beach, on Pacific Coast Highway near Prospect, and Los Angeles and one up north in the Bay Area in San Rafael.

The Leon Ames Ford location at Redondo Beach was a corporation in which Fred E. Hitchcock, Jr is Vice-President and General Manager. Since 1969, Mr. Hitchcock had a stock interest in the corporation valued at $185,000.00 in 1976. He owned the land and buildings at 1840 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, California where the dealership was located.

A court case protesting Ford Motor Companyi's 1976 intention to move Frank Coletto Ford into Harbor City, California and hence too close to shared territory in South Bay area of L.A. revealed some interesting statistics on Ford sales in Los Angeles 1973-4.

Leon Ames Ford sold 1293 cars

Vel's Parnelli Jones Ford sold 1166 cars

Frank Coletto Ford, San Pedro, California sold 1043 cars

Don Kott Ford, Carson, California sold 1537 cars

In the court case, crossover sales were examined. A list was made of the total sales made in the dealership zone then the court chose Leon Ames for closer examination, tallying up the total sales the dealer made each year including those out of zone which indicated a large number of 'crossover' sales.

1971  Ames= 888 cars/ Vel's= 696 cars/ All Other Dealers= 3990 cars/ Total= 5575

1972 Ames= 1045 cars/ Vel's= 868 cars/ All Other Dealers= 4561 cars/ Total= 6474

1973 Ames= 1005 cars/ Vel's= 906 cars/ All Other Dealers= 5082 cars/ Total= 6993

1974 Ames= 873 cars/ Vel's= 603 cars/ All Other Dealers= 3517 cars/ Total= 4993

1975 Ames= 589 cars/ Vel's= 494 cars/ All Other Dealers= 2222 cars/ Total= 3305

7 Mos. 1976 Ames= 348 cars/ Vel's= 299 cars/ All Other Dealers= 1890 cars/Total= 2537

The following sales are reported by Ames for its entire dealership

Year   Total Units Sold

1971= 1128 cars

1972= 1315 cars

1973= 1448 cars

1974= 1395 cars

1975= 835 cars

7 mos in 1976= 598 cars

Other facts revealed in this court case shed light on the problems domestic dealerships were facing at this time. Ford outsold Chevrolet in the South Bay area but foreign car sales accounted for 35% of the new car sales in 1974 and 1975.

The court case outlined the plight of Ames which was being forced into higher volume by Ford (which requires larger working capitol) while simultaneously feeling squeezed out by too many dealers in the zone.

The planning increased to 2135 units in 1976 revised from 1666 units in 1975.

In the late 1970's Leon Ames Ford was bought by Payton Craymer Ford which later became a Power Ford location. The Redondo Beach dealership closed and was moved further up the Pacific Coast highway towards Lomita.

Chick Lambert who worked for Brand Motors purportedly bought Williams Ford which had previously Leon Ames Ford; however, other accounts suggest he managed and represented the dealerships in commercials but didn't own the dealership.

Leon Ames died from a stroke Oct 12, 1993 in Laguna Beach, CA.

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BEACH CITY CHEVROLET, Long Beach, CA (drag Corvette sponsor)

Beach City Chevrolet was located at 2800 N Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA. From 1947 through to the 1990s the dealership was located in the 1900 block of Pacific Coast Highway around Cherry and Redondo, Signal Hill. The dealership was owned by the Saul family.

Beach City relocated to Bellflower in August, 1999. The location didn't work out and they sold to Jim Champion in the late 1990s. Champion had owned Champion Chevrolet in Manhattan Beach. A later generation Saul family member Les Saul is now general manager of Harbor Chevrolet.

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BISZANTZ FORD, Glendora, CA

Biszantz Ford was located at 120 W. Foothill, Glendora, California. Towards the end of the 1960s the dealership relocated to 655 S. Grand Ave., Glendora. Dealer # 71E067.

The owner's son, Gary Biszantz started working in the dealership in 1956. The experience led to Gary opening establishing his own dealership El Rancho Ford in Poway, California. See the story on this dealership filed under CALIFORNIA/ SAN DIEGO Area in this DEALERSHIPS section.

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BOULEVARD BUICK/GMC, Signal Hill, CA 562-264-0932 (formerly Campbell Buick/ GS drag sponsor)

Boulevard Buick GMC is located at 2800 Cherry Ave, Signal Hill, California. Boulevard traces back to Campbell Buick. Jim Willingham became a partner in Campbell Buick in 1961 which led to his full ownership and eventually a name change to Boulevard Buick.

Jim Willingham began as a salesman at Ed James Studebaker on American Ave, Long Beach, California in 1950. After working for C. Stanlee Martin Oldsmobile in Long Beach and Masters Pontiac he settled in at Campbell Buick.
Campbell Buick owner Charlie Campbell made Jim his partner in Feb, 1961. Jim eventually bought the dealership. When the name of American Avenue was changed to Long Beach Boulevard it made sense for Jim to change the dealership name to Boulevard Buick.

Boulevard expanded the Long Beach franchises to Jaguar in 1961 which created Boulevard British Cars. Other franchises followed: Opel, Lincoln, Mercury, Merkur, Saab, Subaru and Sterling.
Boulevard also indulged in good old domestic performance sponsoring a C-Stock 1965 Gran Sport convertible. This car was one of six Buicks to sweep win their classes Feb 21, 1965 at San Fernando Dragway. The Boulevard car ran 14.56 seconds at 88 MPH. The other cars were sponsored by Reynold's Buick, Bill Murphy Buick, and Ted Baker Buick. Roland C. Withers, Buick's General Sales Manager wrote a letter of praise for this accomplishment.
Jim Willingham won Time Magazine's Quality Dealer of the Year Award National Winner in 1984.
Jim was Chairman of the National Automobile Dealer's Association (NADA) 1999-2000.
In 1986, Boulevard bought Monterey Jaguar/Rolls-Royce/Ferrari on Del Monte Ave. In 1990, Boulevard built a new facility in the Seaside Auto Mall. It is now known as Monterey Jaguar/Land Rover.

In winter, 2016 Boulevard Buick had 129 new vehicles in stock, 22 of which were cars.

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BROWNING OLDSMOBILE ISUZU, Cerritos, CA/ Closed

DICK BROWNING OLDSMOBILE, Long Beach, CA/ became Browning Olds Isuzu

C. STANLEE MARTIN OLDSMOBILE, Long Beach, CA/ became Dick Browning Olds

Dick Browning Oldsmobile (formerly C. Stanlee Martin Oldsmobile) was located in Long Beach, CA
from the 1930s until 1980.

Richard Browning began selling used cars in 1934 at C. Stanlee Martin Oldsmobile in Long Beach, California. By 1960, Browning was part owner and General Manager. In early 1960, he purchased the entire dealership and re-named it Dick Browning Oldsmobile. Richard's son, Kent Browning began his career in the dealership in 1975.

Dick Browning Olds relocated to an entirely new facility in the newly constructed Cerritos Auto Square in late 1980. The Cerritos location was renamed Browning Oldsmobile-Isuzu. Browning formed the Browning Automotive Group in order to expand and open a second dealership called Cerritos Dodge in 1984.

In 1986 the Browning Automotive Group expanded once again, becoming one the first Acura dealers in USA with Cerritos Acura in 1986. Richard Browning died in 1991 and ownership of the Browning Automotive Group passed on to his son, Kent Browning.

With the death of Oldsmobile, the Oldsmobile-Isuzu franchise was renamed Browning Mazda. Cerritos Acura and Cerritos Dodge are still in the Cerritos Auto Square. See further history of the Browning Automotive Group in the story below on Cerritos Dodge.

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MEL BUNNELL CHEVROLET, Pomona, CA/ Closed (see Mountain View Chev)

dealer mel bunnell chev pomona ca license frame

Mel Bunnell Chevrolet was located at 373 E. Pomona in Pomona, California. Their old phone number was 622-1136. Milford O. Bunnell who helmed Bunnell Chevrolet into the 1980s was later president of Enterprise Chevrolet Inc. on 1079 West Foothill Boulevard in Upland, California which is a bit north-east of Pomona. The Foothill Blvd location is now home to MOUNTAIN VIEW CHEVROLET.

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MEL BURNS FORD, Long Beach, CA (Fairlane drag sponsor Ron Root Les Ritchey/ Shelby dealer)

Mel Burns Ford was located at 2000 Long Beach,  Long Beach, California. Burns used Ford dealer code # 71B050. Mel Burns Ford was established in the late 1940s

The dealership was the main Shelby dealership in the area along with Vel's Parnelli Jones Ford in Torrance, CA. Don McCain was the manager of the high performance division of Mel Burns Ford. McCain formerly worked for Norman Ford as did Les Ritchey. Ritchey was service manager at Norman before transferring to Mel Burns Ford. Ritchey also ran Performance Associates which was a major speed shop in the 1960s.

Mel Burns Ford sponsored a 1965 Ford Fairlane 289 Hi Po drag car raced by Ron Root and Les Ritchey as well as a 1965 Mustang Fastback drag car. In 1965 the dealership address was listed in a Los Angeles Times ad at 2055 Long Beach Blvd. and a second used lot at 1637 Long Beach Blvd.

The Fairlane drag car was restored by current owner Alan Pound of Emory, Texas.

Mel Burns Ford closed in the late 1970s propelling Mel Burns into a second career as a bank manager. Mel Burns died in the 1980s. Mel's son Michael bought Ben Cowan Ford in Indio, California and renamed it Fiesta Ford. See the story under CALIFORNIA/ LOS ANGELES Outskirts.

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BUTLER BUICK CO, Torrance, CA

Butler Buick Co was located in Torrance, California. The dealership was incorporated Aug 23, 1951 just in time for the new car season. A newspaper ad from April, 1956 announced their move to a new address at 2084 Torrance Blvd at the corner of Cravens, Torrance, California. In the late 1960s their location was 18800 Hawthorne Blvd at 190th, Torrance, California. June 15, 1995 certificates of amendment to the corporation seem to indicate the demise of Butler Buick.

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CAMINO REAL CHEVROLET, Monterey Park, CA 866-721-6581

Camino Real Chevrolet is located at 2401 South Atlantic Boulevard in Monterey Park, California.

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CAMPBELL BUICK, Signal Hill, CA (became Boulevard Buick GMC)

Campbell Buick was located at 1881 American Ave, Signal Hill, CA. Campbell Buick was owned by Charlie Campbell and originally located on Anaheim Street. In the early 1960s it was moved to a new facility on American Avenue which was a dealership row at the time.

In Feb, 1961 salesman Jim Willingham became a partner. Jim went on to buy the dealership. When American Ave was renamed Long Beach Boulevard it made sense for Jim to rename the dealer Boulevard Buick GMC.

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CANOGA PARK MOTORS (Ford), Canoga Park, CA

Canoga Park Motors was a Ford dealer located at 21520 Roscoe Blvd, Canoga Park, CA. Canoga used Ford dealer number 71C088.

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CAR PROS CHRYSLER JEEP, Carson, CA

Car Pros Chrysler Jeep was located at 21126 Avalon Blvd, Carson, California. The owner was Kenneth M Phillips. This was one of the dealers on Chrysler's list of 789 dealers to purge before June 9, 2009 during its bankruptcy re organization.

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CERRITOS DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP, Cerritos, CA (1984)/ 866-939-5942

dealer cerritos dodge liscense

Cerritos Dodge Chrysler Jeep is located at 18803 Studebaker Road, Cerritos, California. The dealership opened in 1984 and is owned by the Browning Automotive Group. See the history of C. Stanlee Martin Oldsmobile later renamed Dick Browning Oldsmobile to see a more in-depth history of the beginnings of the current multi dealership Auto Group.

Richard Browning joined C. Stanlee Martin Oldsmobile in Long Beach, California in 1934 as a salesman. In 1960 Richard bought the dealership re-naming it Dick Browning Oldsmobile. Dick Browning Olds relocated to Cerritos Auto Square in 1980 as Browning Oldsmobile-Isuzu. Browning formed the Browning Automotive Group in order to expand and open a second dealership called Cerritos Dodge in 1984. Richard Browning died in 1991 and ownership of the Browning Automotive Group passed on to his son, Kent Browning.

The Dodge dealership is huge. At the start of 2013 they had 677 new vehicles on the lot. 403 were Dodge, 135 were Jeep, 76 were Chrysler, 63 were RAMs. They have an incredible selection of new Challengers. 114 new Dodge Challengers sit on their lot. One is a leftover new 2012, the rest are new 2013s. Sixty of them had the 5 speed auto. There are two with the Sinister Super Sport Group and seven with the Rallye Redline option and one Yellowjacket. 24 came with sunroof/ moon roof.

The SXTs all have a $2,000.00 rebate which keeps most of them priced down around $25,000.00. They had a Black Challenger SXT VIN 2C3CDYAG3DH548995 with the optional $3,900.00 code 26H Rallye Redline package. After a Cerritos discount of $2,700 plus the factory $2,000.00 rebate the MSRP dropped from $30,690.00 to $25,990.00.

The $2,000.00 rebate whittled down an R/T $30,900.00 MSRPs to $28,990.00. Part of the explanation for an R/T at loaded SXT price is that this is a base 2013 R/T (VIN 2C3CDYBT3DH579269) with cloth interior. No options other than the basic quick order R/T package (code 27F) which provides a 5.7 L with six speed Tremec.

Even the more lavishly appointed R/Ts were taken down to this price range with additional incentives from Cerritos on top of the rebate. They have a 2013 Challenger R/T (code 28F) with extra options. It is VIN 2C3CDYBT0DH575406 with optional Auto 5 speed Trans ($1,100.00) package which adds 3.06 axle, anti-lock 4 wheel performance disc brakes, Autostick, Tipstart, paddle shifters, Sport Mode and remote start and the $1,095.00 optional Chrome Clad Aluminum 20" wheels (which ups the axle ratio to 3.92). It also had anti-spin differential. The MSRP of $33,380.00 comes down to $28,280.00 after Cerritos throws in their dealership $3,100.00 discount.

2013 challnger rt black dodge stock pic

They have a 2013 Black Challenger R/T VIN 2C3CDYBT0DH560159 with the R/T Plus (option code 27J) for $2,000.00 which adds better sound system, electronics, park assist and heated front seats. It also had the 20"x 8" Chrome Clad Aluminum wheel option ($1,095.00) which includes a 3.92 axle. The Super Track Pak option is only $595.00 but upgrades to HD brakes, performance steering with variable displacement, Goodyear tires and Sport Suspension. MSRP is up to $34,975.00 but the $2,000.00 rebate makes it more manageable.

If you are going this far you may as well go an extra $2,000.00 for the $4,000.00 R/T Classic option. This option adds the same electronics as R/T plus, but it also targets the important stuff like the black side stripes, functional hood scoops, 3.92 axle, Challenger script badge.

Another way to go is to order the MOPAR Exterior Appearance Group for $1,995.00. This provides stripes that flow out of functional hood scoops and end atop the front fenders and adds a rear spoiler.

One of the most exciting cars they have on site is a 2013 Challenger SRT8 VIN 2C3CDYCJ0CH204340. Aside from the bigger 392 Hemi (6.4 L) with 470 HP and 471 ft/lbs Torque. It comes with optional 5 speed auto plus sunroof. The big news is the Stinger Yellow with black body stripe color scheme that comes when you order the Yellowjacket Package (22W= $1,495.00). There is a yellow accent stripe across the middle of the front and rear seats to remind you that you are sitting in a Yellowjacket. Other options are Premium Sound Group ($1,995.00), the Radio Media Center ($790.00) and an upgrade to front P245/45ZR20 and rear P255/45ZR20 Performance Tires ($150.00). The $52,340.00 MSRP is massively discounted with Cerritos chopping off $6,700.00 from the price.

They have a second 2013 Challenger SRT8 on the way, VIN 2C3CDYCJ6DH612679. It is Phantom Black with 5 speed, tire upgrade, harmon kardon Audio Group and Uconnect.

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CHAFEE MOTORS (Ford), Hawthorne, CA

Chaffee Motors was a Ford dealer located at 13900 Hawthorne Blvd, Hawthorne, California during the 1960s.

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CHAMPION CHEVROLETLong Beach, CA (formerly Beach City Chevrolet)

Champion Chevrolet was located at 2800 N Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA. The dealership was formerly known as Beach City Chevrolet. Beach City was owned by the Saul family who sold to Jim Champion in the late 1990s. Champion also owned Champion Chevrolet in Manhattan Beach. The economic downturn forced a closure of this dealership in Feb, 2009.

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CHAMPION CHEVROLET CO., Manhattan Beach, CA (became Champion Chev-Olds)

Champion Chevrolet Co. was located at 707 North Sepulveda, Manhattan Beach, California. GM designated this as Zone 20 Dealer 076. In later years the dealership was known as Champion Chevrolet Oldsmobile. 

This location hosted Power Auto Group, AutoNation Value Vehicles Outlet and now AutoNation Collision Center. The owner Jim Champion bought Beach Chevrolet and renamed it Champion Chevrolet but that location was forced to close during the economic slump of 2009.

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CHEVROLET OF EL MONTE, El Monte, CA (formerly Gunderson Chev Geo)

Chevrolet of El Monte was located at 3333 Santa Anita Ave, El Monte, California. The dealership was formerly known as Gunderson Chevrolet Geo. This dealership was bought by AutoNation in 1998 but retained the Gunderson name. In 2001 the DMV and DA jointly swooped down on the new team of finance and managers and prosecuted them for 'price packing' (adding in charges to contracts). AutoNation hired a new sales team to attempt to reverse the damages and renamed the dealership Chevrolet of El Monte.

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CHEVROLET OF MONTEBELLO, Montebello, CA (323) 680-5933

Chevrolet of Montebello is located at 310 W Whittier Blvd Montebello, California. Chris Teague is the president. The dealership took over the Ostrum Chevrolet location sometime after 2011. In winter of 2014 they had 361 new vehicles in stock, 188 of which were cars. They had 2 new 2014 Corvette Stingray Z51 coupes with the 3LT trim. They had 39 new 2014 Camaros and 2 of the new 2014 Chevy SS.

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CLIPPINGER CHEVROLET, West Covina, CA/ Closed

dealer clippinger chev west covina ca

Clippinger Chevrolet was last located at 1900 East Garvey Avenue South, West Covina, California. Hale Clippinger established the dealership in 1921 on 7th and Central in Los Angeles, California. Hale was born Isaiah Hale Clippinger on Oct 4, 1877 in Iowa.

Hale Clippinger eventually moved his dealership to San Bernardino Road, West Covina, California. When he made the move, Hale Clippinger brought his lucky 1921 Chevrolet, which was the first car he sold back in 1921. Clippinger managed to buy back the car in the 1940s to use as an advertising gimmick.

Soon after beginning work at Clippinger in 1955, Clarence ‘Willie’ Willison achieved top sales of Chevrolets for the entire state of California, averaging 500+ cars per month during the 1960’s and 1970’s. 'Willie' had two car carriers reserved for his exclusive use just to keep up with his sales volume. 'Willie' also had contracts with the City of Covina to supply city vehicles. 'Willie' purchased Hale Clippinger's lucky 1921 Chevrolet in 1973. It wound up in the collection of Wesley Willison, the grandson of Clarence ‘Willie’ Willison.

Clippinger didn't miss a chance to draw attention to his dealership. Clippinger enjoyed some good publicity via association with James Garner who was flying high in the 1960s with film acting. Garner was born April 7, 1928 in Norman, Oklahoma. His role in the TV series MAVERICK endeared him to audiences and led to starring roles in various films in the 1960s including THE GREAT ESCAPE. After starring in John Frankenheimer's split screen experimental film, GRAND PRIX Garner's exposure to the excitement of racing ignited his personal involvement in racing. Garner most famously carried his enthusiasm for cars forward in his TV series THE ROCKFORD FILES where he exercised influence over the style of car his character Jim Rockford drove. Garner also did some of the driving himself for the chase scenes.

Prior to his success in ROCKFORD FILES Garner became a partner in the AIR using his name to help the racers secure funding. In the 1960s Clippinger wisely promoted the dealership by displaying the James Garner L-88 Corvette racers after they had competed in the February, 1968 Daytona. James Garner's 1968 Corvettes were displayed in the Clippinger showroom as a payback to Clippinger for sourcing some high performance pieces needed for the racers.

The James Garner Corvettes were ordered by Clippinger's onsite Corvette specialty salesman Bob Wingate through Fred Gledhill Chevrolet, Harbor City, California. It's doubtful the cars ever set tire on this lot however. The cars were picked up at Gene Jantzen Chevrolet, St. Louis, Missouri. The reason for Jantzen entering the picture is simply because it was located near the Corvette factory. The Vettes came off the factory line, were processed through Jantzen Chevrolet and driven straight to California despite winter weather. Dick Guldstrand, Bob McDonald (Caplan’s crew chief) and Perry Moore (a Caplan employee) drove the cars back to California for preparation.

Bob Wingate was involved in getting the L-88s because of his reputation as 'Mr. Corvette'. Bob started at Clippinger in 1955 in prep and soon moved into sales where his special niche was Corvettes. His title as 'Mr. Corvette' reflected his record for most Corvettes sold by one person. In 1967 he sold 160+ Corvettes and was awarded a special 1967 'F & SO' Corvette in appreciation. These 'Fleet and Special Order' cars were usually custom built cars designed as rewards for top performing executives. The Pearl Green 427/435 HP Vette had six tail lights, fender flares to house American Racing mags and custom interior. Wingate had the car painted with Clippinger Chevrolet promo lettering soon after delivery and entered in many races over the years. The car changed hands and was found in rough shape and restored many years later.

dealer clippinger chev w covina ca

Hale Clippinger died in his sleep Oct 6, 1969. Hale's obituary stated that at 92 he was the oldest active dealer principle in California. Hale's son, Norm Clippinger who was born Jan 14, 1913 took over the dealership when he was 56. 'Willie' remained the top salesman in the dealership and brought his sons into the operation. During the mid 1980’s the dealership was headed by Norm Clippinger's son. When he died, Norm who was now in his late 70s came back to run the dealership once again towards the end of the 1980’s.

One of 'Willie's sons left Clippinger in the early 1990’s and moved to O’Donnell Chevrolet in San Gabriel, California. 'Willie' and his other son remained at Clippinger. Norm Clippinger sold the dealership in 1999 to Dighton America Inc, owned by Ziad Alhassen. Norm Clippinger died Jan 22, 2003.

Ziad Alhassen was in the process of building an empire of car dealerships in Covina. Covina loaned money to Alhassen in July 1983 to build a Mitsubishi auto dealership, and in 1993 to open a Dodge dealership. The city of Covina also provided funding towards West Covina Motors. In April 1999 Dighton Inc filed bankruptcy depriving the city of Covina from realizing any gains from their association with the auto companies. Despite the problems with the new management environment, 'Willie' remained at Clippinger until his death at the age of 89 on his birthday April 1st, 2005.

In 2005 Clippinger moved to the East Garvey location. This was a newly constructed building. The old dealership on San Bernardino Road was left vacant. As the city mounted a plan to demolish the old Andrew’s Ford property as well as the Clipper Chevrolet building Wesley Willison, the grandson of sales wizard 'Willie' mounted a campaign in 2007 to save the 60-year old neon Clippinger Chevrolet Sign.

Following court actions and bankruptcies, the vacant former locations of Clippinger Chrysler Jeep, 298 N. Azusa Avenue and Clippinger Chevrolet-Oldsmobile, 137 W. San Bernardino Road were placed in auction.

The East Garvey location of Clippinger was taken over by Hummer for a period of time. By 2012 the Hummer dealer was closed and the property was up for sale.

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COLLEY FORD, Glendora, CA (855) 926-5539

Colley Ford is located at 1945 Auto Center Drive, Glendora, California. In winter 2014 they had 155 new vehicles in stock, but no Mustangs.

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COLLIAU CHEVROLET CO, South Pasadena, CA (1945-86)

Colliau Chevrolet was located at 711 Fair Oaks Avenue, South Pasadena, California. The dealership was established in 1945. The legal name of the corporation was South Pasadena Chevrolet Company until Aug 27, 1996 when it was changed to Colliau Chev Co.

Edmond "Ted" Colliau Jr was born in Detroit, Michigan on August 29, 1931. His family moved to South Pasadena in 1946. Ted's father founded the dealership. Ted graduated from University of California at Berkeley in 1953.  In 1954 he married Eleanor and after Army duty he started work at the dealership with his father. Ted was Owner and President from 1971 to 1986. From 1987 to 1991 Ted was co-owner of Autumn Motors Ltd Imports which was located at 145 E Ridgecrest Blvd, Ridgecrest, California.

Ted was well known for his sports and volunteer activities as well as sponsoring the annual soapbox derby. He died November 1, 2005 at the age of 74.

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COLONIAL BUICK INC, Glendale, CA

Colonial Buick Inc was located at 144 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, California. The dealership was incorporated Sep 5, 1952 by Lewis Sokolow. Lewis was born in 1914 and died 1997. His son Kent Sokolow was involved in the car business as is Kent's daughters Taryn and Robyn are now involved in an electric car business EnVironmental Motors.

In the 1965 Mobil Economy Run Colonial Buick sponsored a 3rd placing Buick Special Deluxe V8 driven by John Rich scoring 20.3071 MPG. An Olds F-85 Deluxe driven by Stan Raymond placed 4th with 19.8068 MPG. Salta Pontiac sponsored a 1965 Pontiac Tempest Custom V8 which managed 19.1124 MPG when driven by Kay Kimes to 7th place. A Dodge Coronet beat all the 'A bodies' taking first place driven by Bob Cahill scoring 20.7682 MPG.

Colonial Buick sponsored a 2nd placing Buick Special Deluxe V8 in the 1966 Mobil Economy Run which was held March 14-20, 1966 and ran from Los Angeles, CA to Boston, MA covering 3,301.4 miles. The Buick managed 20.6054 MPG driven by John Rich to place 2nd in the Class 'D' intermediate 8 cylinder size cars. Dodge Coronet V8s usually won this class and this year was no different. A 1966 Coronet Deluxe V8 driven by George Miller was first with 21.0520 MPG. The most economical GM 'A bodies' were the Buick Special in 2nd place and a 5th place Olds F-85 driven by Patricia Jones to 19.0083. Chevys made 6th and 7th place with low 18s. Majestic Pontiac sponsored a 1966 Pontiac Tempest V8 with driver Gail Hire placing 8th with a score of 18.0891 MPG.

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COMMUNITY CHEVROLET, Burbank, CA 818-843-8470 (1959) (see Fred Bell Chev) (dealer special Camaro/ George Barris)

Community Chevrolet is located at 200 West Olive Avenue, Burbank, California. Lou Bell established the dealership in 1959 at 80 Olive Ave and 1st Street. Lou's son Fred L Bell, Sr became second generation dealer and also bought Robert Hall Chevrolet in Tujunga and renamed it Fred Bell Chevrolet. His son third generation Fred M Bell, Jr is the current owner.

George Barris who is famous for creating custom cars for TV as well as one off customs for Hollywood celebrities was approached by Fred Bell, Sr years back to create some special Camaros specifically for Community Chevrolet. Fred's son, Fred Bell, Jr revived the tradition when the new style Camaro became available.

In April, 2010 Fred Bell, Jr unveiled the new Barris customized Camaros. Major car guy Jay Leno and other assorted fans attended the debut of the new Barris Kustom 2010 Chevrolet Camaro “Spirits” at Community Chevrolet. The guest met George Barris and also viewed his famous 1966 Batmobile from the “Batman” TV show.

Barris drove a red customized Camaro 2SS RS in Burbank on Parade, then showcased the yellow model with purple detailing at the dealership.

In winter of 2014 Community Chev had 311 new vehicles in stock, 213 of which were cars. They had one Velocity Yellow new 2013 Corvette Z06 and an impressive array of new 2014 Corvette Stingrays: 19 in all, including 1 convertible and 2 coupe Z51s. This is California, after all and the Corvette sells very well here.

They had 63 new Camaros in stock, including one black new 2013 ZL1.

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COMMUNITY PONTIAC, Whittier, CA

Community Pontiac was located at 13839 Whittier Blvd, Whittier, California during the 1970s.

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CORMIER CHEVROLET, Carson, CA

Cormier Chevrolet was located at 2201 E 223rd St, Carson, California during the 1960s.

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CULVER MOTORS (Ford), Culver City, CA

Culver Motors was a Ford dealership located at 8960 Washington, Culver City, California during the 1960s. The Ford dealer code was # 71B015.

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ROC CUTRI PONTIAC, South Gate, CA

dealer roc cutri pontiac southgate ca license frame

Roc Cutri Pontiac was located at 3125 Firestone Blvd, South Gate, California during the 1970s.

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DANA CHEVROLET, Southgate, CA/ Closed. (427 Camaros/ formerly Enoch Chev/ Simpson Buick)

dealership dana chevrolet southgate ca logo

Dana Chevrolet's 'regular car' showroom was located at 8730 Long Beach Blvd in Southgate, California which is a part of greater Los Angeles. This dealership was formerly the location of Enoch Chevrolet. The dealership name has nothing to do with either owner's names and references a side street near the dealer building.

Dana Chevrolet High Performance facilities were located down the street at 9735 Long Beach Blvd in Southgate, California. This dealership was the former location of Simpson Buick which had relocated.

Dana not only had 2 locations but it also had 2 owners: Paul Dombrowski and Peyton Cramer. Paul Francis Dombrowski was born Oct 10, 1930 in East Springfield, PA and went to school in Ohio. After 2 years in the army Paul got into the car business with a Mercedes-Jeep dealership in Huntington Park, CA. Paul co-owned Dana from 1966 to 1968 with Peyton Cramer and became sole owner after that until 1971. Paul moved to Temecula, California where he trained horses. Paul died Aug 18, 2011 aged 80.

Peyton Cramer was working for Ford Motor Company when he was assigned to help run the Shelby American operation, eventually becoming general manager. In mid 1965 Peyton shifted from general manager to setting up European Shelby dealerships. In 1966 seeing that Shelby car building was being farmed out to the factory Peyton decided this was the time to strike out on his own. Peyton couldn't secure a Ford franchise despite his Shelby experience but had some interest from Chevrolet.

Peyton needed an established dealer to back him up in his ambition to open a dealership. Paul Dombrowski enabled Peyton to get a bank loan to open the Dana Chevrolet franchise in August, 1966. From the very start this was no ordinary dealership. Dana sponsored racing and in fact employed famous racer Dick Guldstrand as Chief Engineer. Guldstrand raced Corvettes in the 1960s and had great experience with the big block Chevy engines.

Dana Chevrolet unleashed 1967, 1968 and 1969 Camaros which were no longer ponycars. These were savage musclecars that could tear up just about anything else on the road. The Dana Camaros were similar in approach to the Nickey Chevrolet/ Bill Thomas Camaros. Magazines dated as early as Jan, 1967 discuss the Nickey conversions which means the time of actual conversion was about the same as Dana who converted the Camaro to 427 power in fall of 1966.

The Dana Camaros had 427-425 HP engines with headers, ignition and suspension tweaks and special fiberglass hoods. Two squared off scoops on either side of the center accent point of the hood were functional. Dana would up the ante with Tri-power or the L88 engine if the customer desired.

The first Dana 427 1967 Chevrolet Camaro 'demonstrator' was drag raced to raise the profile of the concept. Dale Armstrong did driving duties. Dale was born 1941 in Holden, Alberta, Canada and grew up in Edmonton. Dale was a master mechanic with his own shop. He took his wrenching skills and drag racing experience south to California where he worked for Lee White Chevrolet as well as racing a Chevy II under their sponsorship. Dale raced the orange Dana Camaro under his nickname 'The Canuck'.

HOT ROD magazine presented research on an old racer that is purportedly the source for this first conversion. The contender for the honor is a 1967 Camaro sold through Brown & Hoeye Chevrolet in Mesa, Arizona. The car was a Sierra Fawn 1967 Camaro 327 Powerglide car built Nov 26, 1966. The platform (small block/ powerglide) and time frame is a bit 'off' for this car to be an early Dana car. The theory that the engine was swapped at Shelby's Arizona facilities contradicts the known fact that Dana Chevrolet was already up and running for several months by this time. Most of the Dana Camaros were also based on an SS 350 platform.

All Dana cars are difficult to authenticate because the dealership paperwork was discarded when Paul sold the dealership. Aside from Camaros the Hi- Performance location converted Chevelles and specialized in Corvette sales and service. The parts department had Chevrolet high performance parts. Inventory was augmented with aftermarket pieces as well.

Aside from local drag racing Dana also co- sponsored a 1967 Corvette L88 427 race car for the 24 Hours of LeMans in France. Sunray Oil was the main sponsor for this car that didn't finish the race. Dick Guldstrand and Bob Bondurant. Bob returned to pilot a McLaren along with Peter Revson in the 1967 Can Am races. Bob was replaced by Lothar Motschenbacher when he had a major crash. Bob went on to create his own high performance driving school and to author excellent books on driving technique.

In 1968 Paul and Peyton went their separate ways with Paul buying out Peyton's share in the dealership. Ironically Peyton sold his racing inventory to Carroll Shelby while his employees (ex Shelby people) returned to Shelby American. Paul eventually sold his entire interest in the dealership to Cormier Chevrolet.

Peyton Cramer went on to new Torrance, California area dealerships: Peyton Cramer Ford, Peyton Cramer Lincoln Mercury, Peyton Cramer Jaguar and even Mazda and Infinity franchises. AutoNation bought out the Cramer franchises and he retired in the 1990s.

**** ANYONE WHO OWNS A DANA CAR, HAS PHOTOS OR STORIES OF DANA DEALERSHIP OR CARS IS ASKED TO CONTACT THE WEBMASTER AT This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ****** I am working on a book about LOST MUSCLECAR DEALERSHIPS for CARTECH BOOKS INC. Dana Chevrolet is one of the dealerships I would like to profile. Thanks in advance!

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RUSS DAVIS FORD, Covina, CA (sponsor Gas Rhonda 1965 A/FX Mustang/1968 Mustang SOHC drag car)

Russ Davis Ford was located at 116 San Bernardino Road, Covina, California during the 1960s. Ford dealer code # 71E064.

Russ Davis was a sponsor for Gas Rhonda's various drag racing cars during the 1960s. Gas Ronda sounds like a made up name for a drag racer but his birth name was actually Gasper. He was born in 1926. A childhood polio attack inspired his mother to teach him dancing to activate his leg muscles. After serving in the Navy in WWII he had a successful career as a dance instructor. The dance studio money enabled him to buy new cars and race them.

After racing Hudson, Buick and some Corvettes he was approached by Ford with a sponsorship deal. Ford Motor Company supplied cars while his official sponsorship was administered through Bill Waters Ford with a 1962 Galaxie 406. Later he raced for Downtown Ford. Gas worked weekends selling cars at Downtown Ford while also racing for them.

In 1964 Gas Ronda switched from Downtown Ford to Russ Davis Ford who became his official sponsor for a Ford Motor Company provided red 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt.

Gas Ronda switched to a Mustang platform for 1965. Gas Ronda's 1965 A/FX Mustang drag car was one of the elite cars built by Ford. The Ford factory sent 11 Mustang fastbacks (missing the 289 engines) to Holman-Moody where they were built to compete in A/FX class. Top racers were allowed to choose their cars according to their ranking. Gas Ronda got one of the 5 cars with the exotic 427 SOHC engine. The remaining 6 cars 'only' had the 427 Galaxie engine.

At Winternats AHRA World Finals Ronda set a new A/FX class record of 10.43 at 134.73 MPH. Ronda's Poppy Red 1965 Mustang was serial number 5F09_3802440 and was listed at Mecum Sep, 2008 St Charles, IL auction.

Ronda was the performance salesman on site at Russ Davis Ford at the same time he was racing.

In 1966 Gas ran a 1966 Mustang AA/Fuel funny car with a fiberglass body and an injected non blown 427 SOHC that broke into the 8 second bracket at 160 MPH. This year he took time off and considered quitting racing following the death of his friend Les Ritchey at the track. Ritchey was the owner of Performance Associates and had been working on Gas's engines prior to his Ford sponsorship.

In 1968 he campaigned a Russ Davis sponsored 1968 Mustang fastback funnycar with an injected 427 SOHC engine built by Ed Pink. The Poppy Red Mustang had actual working doors a reverse flip up hood and engine mounted in front of the windshield area but still only weighed in at 1,800 lbs. The Mustang made the cover of the November, 1967 issue of HOT ROD magazine. It ran around 7.90 seconds at 184 MPH. Gas decided to get into a traditional flip top funny car for 1969 and Ronda's 1968 Mustang was renamed The Commanche and raced by Dick Poll before changing hands a few more times. Brent Hajek bought the car in 1997 and restored it.

After a season of racing the 1968 Mustang funny car with functional doors Ronda switched to the standard funny car format of the era and campaigned a flip top one piece body funny car Mustang Mach 1 for 1969. Gas beat the 'Chi Town Huster' to win Manufacturer's Championship for 1969 at Orange Country raceway in this car.

Gas' racing career ended early in Jan, 1970 in Scottsdale, Arizona at AHRA Winternationals when his engine exploded on the Beeline Dragway. Gas was burned severely enough to need a full year to recuperate. Gas resumed his dance instructor career to pay off his hospital stay. Gas wasn't forgotten by fans. He was awarded the NHRA Lifetime Achievement award in 1993 and in March, 2016 inducted into the Drag Racer's Hall of Fame. Gas suffered some strokes in 2014 and died Oct 25, 2017 at age 91.

Gas owned The Funny Car Tavern in Azusa, California (slightly north of Covina) and The Gas House in Covina.

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DIAL CHEVROLET, Norwalk, CA (formerly Stanely Chev)

Dial Chevrolet was located at 11980 East Firestone, Norwalk, California. The dealership was formerly Stanley Chevrolet. The lot became the location for Keystone Ford after Dial closed down.

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DOLMAN PONTIAC, Inglewood, CA/ Closed

dealer dolman pontiac inglewood ca key tag

Dolman Pontiac was located at 700 South La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, California during the 1960s. Dolman relocated to 4201 West Imperial Highway, Inglewood by the 1970s.

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EL MONTE MOTOR CO. (Ford), El Monte, CA

El Monte Motor Co was a Ford dealer located at 11401 Garvey Ave, El Monte, California during the 1960s. El Monte used Ford dealer code # 71E065.

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ENOCH CHEVROLET, Southgate, CA (became Dana Chev)

Enoch Chevrolet was located 8730 Long Beach Blvd in Southgate, California which is a part of greater Los Angeles. Enoch closed down in the 1960s. The vacated dealership location was bought by partners Peyton Cramer and Paul Dombrowski who opened Dana Chevrolet at this location in August, 1966.

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IRA ESCOBAR FORD, Manhattan Beach, CA

Ira Esobar Ford was located at 1500 Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, California during the 1960s. Esobar used Ford dealer code # 71B016.

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BOB ESTES LINCOLN MERCURY, Inglewood, CA (Racing sponsor)

dealer bob estes linc merc inglewood ca license frame

Bob Estes Lincoln Mercury was located at 964 S La Brea Ave, Inglewood, California from 1946 until 1980.

Bob Estes was born September 21, 1913 in Los Angeles, California. His passion for cars led him into auto sales and pre engineering at UCLA. After making money from selling his two gas stations he continued his studies in Europe intending to get into car design. In 1938 he became a sub dealer for J. E. Coberly Ford Lincoln. Unable to get his own Ford franchise Bob bought a Hudson Dealership at 445 North Roxbury Drive in Beverley Hills.

After serving in WW II Bob returned to the L.A. area and opened his Lincoln Mercury franchise in 1946 which was the first one to open after the war. Bob was a racing fan and car collector and later opened a second location in 1955 called Precision Motor Cars in Beverly Hills, California. Later he and Otto Zipper partnered to open Estes-Zipper Porsche-Audi.

Bob entered his cars as the Dale Estes Special (named for his son Dale) in various racing events. In 1948 Bob entered a Mercury in the Indianapolis 500. In 1952 Estes joined the Offenhauser crowd sponsoring Jim Rigsby for a 12th place finish. Bob also prepared and sponsored Lincolns for the Mexican road races.

In 1952 two of Estes drivers died in sprint competition which was held against him despite the accidents not being due to mechanical failure. His first marriage ended in divorce at this time but his enthusiasm for racing wasn't dampened.  When a series of driver deaths in 1955 caused the American Automobile Association to withdraw from racing. Tony Hulman, Arthur Harrington, Gordon Betz and Bob Estes, among others formed the United States Auto Club (USAC) to keep the Indianapolis 500 going. Through the 1950s Estes cars won many sprint car championships.

Bob also participated in the Mobil Economy Runs starting in 1950 when he entered a Lincoln and won 3rd place in class. In 1951 he won his class with a Lincoln sedan that managed 25.488 MPG over 840 miles from L.A. to Las Vegas ending at the Grand Canyon south rim. When Lincoln and Ford abandoned overdrive Bob Estes had middle of pack results in the runs.

In 1967 Bob Estes entered a 1967 Mercury Cougar 289 V8 into the Mobil Economy Run from Los Angeles, CA to Detroit, Michigan. The 2,837.8 mile trip was run from April 4-9, 1967 by Ginny Sims as driver. The Bob Estes Cougar posted higher MPG figures than a lighter Mustang 2+2 also in the event (from Galpin Ford, Sepulveda, CA). The Cougar managed 20.9925 MPG over the route while the Mustang came in with 20.7281 MPG. The class winner was a Barracuda V8 driven by Scott Harvey with 22.3198 MPG. A Camaro V8 from Nickey Chevrolet (Chicago, IL) used more gas with a final score of 19.2757 MPG.

Bob remarried to Joy, and had two daughters and a son. Bob didn't like the new Lincolns coming out in 1980 and the Inglewood area was also in decline. He sold the lot to U Haul who are still at this location. Bob was living in Brentwood, California in his later years occupied with car restorations. Bob died December 11,2001 at Santa Monica Hospital in Santa Monica, California aged 88 years.

The family tradition of racing sponsorship continues with Bob's son, Dale Estes, who lives in Malibu. Dale is owner and sponsor of a World SuperKart, driven by Ron White, that has done well in competition at Willow Springs International Raceway.

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FOULGER FORD, Monvrovia, CA/ Closed

dealer foulger ford sticker monrovia ca

Foulger Ford was located in Monrovia, California and sponsored the midyear 1968 Cobra Jet race Mustangs. The dealership owner, Chuck Foulger was previously Ford's racing director before buying the dealership. The sticker shown above was placed in the rear window of Foulger Fords. It depicts Wiley Coyote finally getting the upper hand on the Roadrunner with some help from a Boss 429 engine. This was a dig at the Plymouth Roadrunner and the later 'Coyote Duster' air cleaner graphics on Chryslers.

Charles 'Chuck' R Foulger was born in Southgate California. He graduated from Mark Keppel High School in San Gabriel, California then attended Pasadena City College. Chuck was awarded a B.A and later a Masters from USC in mechanical engineering. North American Aviation hired him while on fellowship and involved in graduate work until 1963 when Ford Motor Company hired him as a design engineer for racing engines.

In 1965 Ford promoted Chuck to administration where he oversaw engineering for Ford stock car racing and drag racing. Chuck also had a hand in the GT program that led to Fords' win at LeMans.

Foulger Ford was involved in various high performance activities during the 1960s and 1970s. Ford decided to follow in Chrysler's footsteps after noting the success of the Chrysler's Supercar Clinics that toured the country with the drag teams of Dick Landy and Sox & Martin. It is significant that when Ford hired Hubert Platt to race for Ford the first place they turned to locale a car was at Chuck Foulgers's west coast dealership despite the fact that Platt and his co driver Randy Payne were handling the eastern coast. Ed Terry and Dick Wood were covering the western territory.

When Ford required a 1969 Mustang 428 CJ with automatic Foulger had one in inventory. The car taken off the lot in Dec, 1968 was an Indian Fire Mustang Sportsroof with 3.50 axle and E70-14 whitewalls. Foulger arranged for the cars to be placed in the hands of the racers for the nominal $1.00 cost that factories typically sold the cars to racers.

The cars were prepped by Holman-Moody-Stroppe. Engines were blueprinted, and loose torque convertors were fitted to the automatic C6 transmissions and rear ends were bumped up to a 4.57 ratio. Suspension was modified with a wider right wheelbase combined with longer spring hanger and leaf springs were bound. Water pumps and alternators received larger pulleys and a dual point distributor was installed with timing tweaked to optimize the Cobra Jet's peculiarities when hitting high gear.

Hubert Platt won the 1969 NHRA Winternationals in this car. The car clinics associated with the racing team began in the Foulger Ford dealership before spreading across the country. In 1970 Platt and Terry switched to 'cammer' SOHC 427 Pro Stock Fords. Payne and Wood kept the flame burning for the 428 CJ cars until Ford got out of racing at the end of 1970. Platts car passed through several owners before it was located by Gary and Mary Schwartz and brought to Merrill, Wisconsin. The car had been in storage and was in good shape. A correct 'as raced' restoration was performed by Mike Plott of Jacky Jones Restorations in Blairsvile, Georgia.

Foulger Ford didn't just facilitate the Ford racing program. Foulger also fielded a Cobra Jet Mustang of their own.

The Foulger Ford 1969 Mustang R-model Cobra Jet has been restored with a detailed history. It was built at San Jose assembly Oct 31, 1968. Chuck Foulger had the Gulfstream Aqua Blue car painted Pearl White down the passenger side to create an impression that Foulger Ford was sponsoring more than one Mustang. Looking at the car from the front or back the colors join directly in the middle of the car.

The Mustang packed the 428/425 HP Cobra Jet Ram Air, a close ratio T-10 four speed, Competition Suspension Package, power front disc brakes, AM radio, color-keyed racing mirrors and F70-14 Wide Oval tires. Foulger's racing crew chief Kenny Myers pulled the four speed substituting an automatic for consistent launches. Foulger added Lakewood traction bars, Hurst/Lakewood drag shocks, Cragar SS wheels and a set of Doug Thorley’s 180-degree headers.

The Mustang did well in various meets with Randy Ritchie driving. When Randy went away to war Lucy Below took over as driver. In 1970 Foulger Drag Team members Bob and Lucy Below bought the car. Foulger remained the sponsor of the Mustang while Lucy gained fame for her driving skill. The Mustang was named “Lucy’s Larceny” and featured a funny cartoon of Lucy from the Charlie Brown cartoons doing a wheelie on a tricycle with mags linking the car to the Foulger Coyote cartoon.

Lucy beat Shirley “Drag-On Lady” Shahan and Bob Lambeck at Fremont Dragway with a winning time in the 11s at 126.45 MPH, a SS/HA record. Lucy and Bob Below competed for three further years into the 1970s before retiring from NHRA Division VII and selling the Mustang Cobra Jet.

The Cobra Jet changed hands over the years until getting a full restoration under the guidence of Bob and Lucy. The car was part of the Richard Ellis car collection when it went up for sale in May, 2013 at Mecum auctions. The car came up for sale again at the Barrett Jackson Scottsdale Auction in Jan, 2018.

Aside from sponsorships, Foulger Ford was still hands on heavily performance oriented by late 1971 when they rebuilt the 302 engine in the HOT ROD 1971 Ford Maverick Grabber 302. The compact project was just the start of the strange drag racers to appear in the 1970s. Foulger later sponsored a Pro Stock Pinto drag racer.

Chuck had his brothers Stanley and Keith Foulger running the dealership prior to his acquisition of Villa Ford in Orange, CA. When Chuck bought Villa Dec 31, 1975 he retained his position in Foulger Ford Corp but reduced his time on site to 20% while he focused on managing the new Foulger Ford dealership while his brothers kept things going at the original location.

Villa Ford was one of the largest Ford dealers in California and Western USA at the time and Chuck relished the challenge of running such a large operation.

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LOUIS FRAHM PONTIAC INC, Downey, CA

Louis Frahm Pontiac Inc was located at 7255 East Firestone Blvd, Downey, California during the 1970s.

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GALPIN FORD, Van Nuys, CA 818-787-3800 (formerly Performance Lincoln-Mercury) (#1 Ford volume dealer/ associated with Galpin Auto Sports Evel Knievel 'Gladiator', first CA Shelby dealer)

dealer galpin ford san fern valley license frame

Galpin Ford is located at 15500 Roscoe Blvd, Van Nuys, California. Galpin took over Performance Lincoln Mercury at 15430 Roscoe Blvd in Van Nuys as Galpin Lincoln Mercury. With the death of Mercury some reshuffling of nameplates resulted in the dealership now being known as Galpin Ford.

Galpin Motors was established in 1946 by Frank Galpin in the City of San Fernando under the partnership of Brown and Galpin. The Museum of San Fernando Valley states that the dealership opened in 1945. Both Galpin and the museum agree that 46 cars were sold in the first year of business. Frank Galpin worked at Fords' Willow Run factory during WWII which gave him an 'in' to get a dealership in peacetime. Shortly after they opened Frank Galpin bought out Brown.

The Galpin Custom was the first 'Galpinized' car the dealership produced. Galpin took a 1952 Ford convertible and modified it with Mercury and Lincoln parts. The custom was displayed at the Motoroma and featured on the cover of MOTOR TREND magazine. The Galpinized cars continued to be important to the dealership in years to come.

In 1952 while Bert Boeckmann was in University of Southern California he started to sell Nash cars in Glendale, California. In 1953 Bert was hired at Galpin as a salesman. By 1957 Bert was promoted to General Manager.

In 1958 Galpin’s “Shaggy Dog” mascot is introduced. In 1960 Bert got the Galpin dealership into leasing vehicles which was an unusual approach to car sales at the time. In 1961 Galpin Ford began racing sponsorship. The Galpin Ford West Coast NASCAR racing team hired drivers Ron Hornaday and “Steady Eddie” Gray. Hornaday won four consecutive NASCAR West Coast Division championships.

In 1965 Galpin became the first Shelby dealer in California, exclusive Valley dealer for Shelby and the Shelby Cobra. Galpin also sponsored the first Mustang Owners and Shelby Cobra Clubs.

The move in 1966 to a new location consumed so much time that the dealership withdrew from racing but they weren't out of the custom or innovative approach.

Bert teamed with Heinz Prechter to introduce European sunroof technology to America. When Ford executives visited the dealership and discovered the popular sunroof equipped vehicles, they approached Prechter to make sunroofs for a multitude of Ford models. He complied, founding American Sunroof Company (ASC), and the U.S. sunroof industry was born.

In 1966 Galpin Ford moved to its current location on Roscoe Blvd. called “Galpin Square”. The showroom had display space for 17 vehicles and introduced the world’s first full-service, in-dealership restaurant.

In 1968 Bert became the sole owner of Galpin Ford. Back in 1968 there is a record of Galpin as a Ford dealership under the name Galpin Motors Inc. at 15505 Roscoe Blvd, but giving Sepulveda, California as the city. Dealer # 71C040.

In 1969 Jane Boeckmann and Gloria McCord decorated Galpin’s first giant Christmas tree. The tree morphed into an elaborate Christmas village in later years. The tradition even continues today.

In 1970 Bert teamed with “Mac” McPheeters to create Establishment Motor Homes. Bert’s wife, Jane, designed the luxurious interiors. The Motor Homes become #1 selling Class C motor home in California. Galpin also continued to 'Galpinzie' cars as well. In 1976 Bert was photographed with Galpinized custom vehicles in a Ford Dealer Magazine. In 1979 Bert was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

Ford halted production of the Mustang convertible in 1980. A Galpinized Mustang convertible was shipped back to Detroit by Phil Caldwell who was Chairman of Ford Motor Company. Soon after this the Mustang convertible became available from the factory once more.

In 1982 Bert established Future Fuels of America with the first Methanol service station in the world. 1985 Time Magazine, in collaboration with the National Automobile Dealers Association, names Bert the National Quality Dealer of the Year, best of 25,000 dealers in America. This is the highest possible honor bestowed upon a dealer.

In 1987 Bert and Jane’s son, Beau Boeckmann started working at Galpin Motors. In 1988 the Linc/Merc franchise was added. Galpin Lincoln/Mercury took the worst dealer in Customer Service Index and low sales to #1 in Customer Service and the #1 sales leader in the Western United States. In 1989 Galpin Ford is the #1 Volume Ford Dealer in the World for both cars and trucks. Galpin has stayed number one since then.

When Ford bought Jaguar Galpin followed suite and bought a Jaguar franchise in 1994. Mazda was also added when Ford Motor Company partnered with Mazda. The various new franchises were grouped together in the purpose built Premier Dealership in 2000. Aston Martin and Volvo was added around this time.

Beau became Vice President in 1998.

In 2006 Beau opened Galpin’s customizing arm GAS in 2006. In 2014 Beau became president & COO of Galpin Motors.

Galpin has been the number one volume Ford dealership in the world for 24 straight years.

The performance angle has been taken up with gusto in an associated business named Galpin Auto Sports which produces special cars. One of their famous creations was the Evel Knievel 2002 F-150 'Gladiator'. The original prototype which was owned by Evel Knievel sold at the Barret-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona auction for $110,000.00 Jan 22, 2011.

Owned and operated by H. F. (Bert) Boeckmann II and Jane Boeckmann and their family. His son Beau Boeckmann is president/COO of Galpin Motors and President of Galpin Auto Sports.

In winter, 2014 Galpin had an astounding inventory of 2,859 new vehicles in stock, 2,329 of which were new Fords, 1,139 of which were new cars. Galpin had 133 new 2014 Mustangs in stock. The breakdown: 13 GT convertibles, 15 V6 convertibles, 49 GT coupes, 54 V6 coupes, and 2 Shelby GT500 coupes.

One of the 2014 GT500s is Ingot Silver Metallic VIN # 1ZVBP8JZ1E5224482. This one has equipment group 821A as well as the SVT Track Package, Electronics Navigation option and the Recaro leather seats. It was shipped by rail Mar 28, 2013.

The second 2014 GT500 is Oxford White which is a rarely encountered color on a Shelby. This one is VIN # 1ZVBP8JZ2E5262125 and it was shipped out by rail Sep 19, 2013. This one has the same options listed above plus the Shaker sound system and the Shelby cover.

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GATEWAY CHEVROLET, La Mirada, CA/ Closed

dealer gateway chev buena park old lot

Gateway Chevrolet was located at 15000 E Firestone Boulevard in La Mirada, California which parallels the Interstate 5. The sign above appears to have originally had a different dealer's name printed above the Chevrolet logo and then had the GATEWAY name superimposed. This lot is at the end of the Auto Center Drive which also parallels the I-5 a bit south-east of La Mirada in Buena Park, California. This Gateway lot was right at the corner of Western and was taken over by Honda.

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GIANERA PONTIAC INC, La Crescenta, CA

Gianera Pontiac Inc was located at 3333 Foothill Blvd, La Crescenta, California during the 1970s.

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GLENDALE DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP, Glendale, CA (800) 741-3116

dealer glendale dodge california license frame

Glendale Dodge Chrysler Jeep is located at 900 S Brand Blvd, Glendale, California. Jack Ellis established Glendale Dodge in 1968 following a stint in the Navy and some time as General Manager of a Los Angeles Chevy dealership. Glendale Dodge was known as the 'movie car' dealership because the service department took care of most of the Mopars used on TV shows and in movies.

The Glendale dealership expanded from the former location on Brand Blvd to the current location also on Brand Blvd in a purpose built larger dealership. Jack Ellis died in December, 1999. See Jack Ellis's other dealerships also profiled on this page: Jack Ellis Chrysler Plymouth of Canoga Park.

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GLENDORA CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE, Glendora, CA/ (877) 873-9952 (Dart Hemi drag sponsor)

Glendora Chrysler Jeep Dodge is located at 931 South Lone Hill Ave, Glendora, California. Back in the 1960s when the dealership was solely a Dodge franchise they sponsored a 1968 Dodge Dart Hemi drag car raced by Mickey Weise. The deaership currently has a vintage racer in competition.

In summer, 2014 the dealership had 143 new vehicles in stock. The breakdown was 20 new Chryslers, 42 new Dodges, 64 Jeeps, 17 RAMs. They had 13 Chargers and 6 Challengers. 4 of them were 2014s (evenly divided between R/T and SXT and 2 were new 2015s.

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GOLDEN STATE CHRYSLER-PLYMOUTH, Burbank, CA

Golden State Chrysler-Plymouth was located at 160 W. Olive, Burbank, California.

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R.O. GOULD CHRYSLER-PLYMOUTH, Long Beach, CA (became Mike Salta)

R.O. Gould Chrysler-Plymouth was located on Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach, California in the 1950s and 1960s. The Long Beach Blvd location became Salta Mitsubshi.

Gould took over the Ray Vines Chrysler purpose built 'flying V' roof location on 4101 E Willow Avenue, Long Beach, CA in 1970 and lasted several decades in this spot. In the 1980s Gould was bought by Mike Salta of Salta Motor Group. When Gould was moved to a new location around 1990 it became Salta Chrysler Plymouth. The new location was in Signal Hill, CA

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GUNDERSON CHEVROLET GEO, El Monte, CA (formerly Scott Pontiac GMC)

Gunderson Chevrolet Geo was located at 3333 Santa Anita Ave,, El Monte, California. The owner was Scott Gunderson. This dealership began as Scott Pontiac GMC. See the story below. When the dealer moved to the Santa Anita Ave location it was known as Scott Chevrolet Pontiac GMC. With the loss of Pontiac the dealership became known as Gunderson Chevrolet Geo. The dealership was bought by AutoNation in 1998 but retained the Gunderson name. In 2001 the DMV and DA jointly swooped down on the new team of finance and managers and prosecuted them for 'price packing' (adding in charges to contracts). At the time this happened the dealership was the largest Chevrolet dealership in California. AutoNation wasn't involved in the actions of the 'rogue employees' and hired a new sales team to attempt to reverse the damages and renamed the dealership Chevrolet of El Monte. The dealership closed Dec 31, 2008.

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ALLEN GWYNN CHEVROLET, Glendale, CA (1930) / 888-803-1155 (sponsor slalom Camaro)

dealer allen gwynn chev glendale ca license

Allen Gwynn Chevrolet is located at 1400 South Brand Boulevard, Glendale, California. The dealership is owned by Gwynn G. Bacon. The dealership was been continuously running in Glendale for over 50 years.

The July, 1967 CAR LIFE issue did a feature on a dealer special slalom 1967 Camaro developed by Gwynn salesman Tom Dittus who was a race enthusiast.

There are 373 new cars on the lot. They have 84 new 2013 Camaros which is about 22% of the stock which is higher than most dealerships that usually reserve about 10% of their stock for ponycars. Allen Gwynn has four new 2013 Corvettes, all of which are Grand Sports, one of which is a convertible. They have 67 used cars on site, 8 of which are 2010 to 2012 Camaros.

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PHIL HALL OLDSMOBILE, Glendale, CA

Phil Hall Oldsmobile was located at 1225 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale, California during the 1960s.

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HARBOR CHEVROLET, Long Beach, CA/ 866-973-4321

dealer harbor chev long beach ca license frame

Harbor Chevrolet is located at 3770 Cherry Avenue, Long Beach, CA and according to their website they have been in Long Beach for "89 years" which suggests the business was established sometime in the 1930s. The General Manager was Les Saul whose family owned Beach City Chevrolet for many years.

In winter, 2015 Harbor Chevrolet had 176 new vehicles in stock, 87 of which were cars. Of the 20 new 2015 Camaros in stock, 2 of them were Z-28s.

VIN 2G1FZ1EE0F9700943 is a black 2015 Z-28 with black suede interior. The EPA estimates that the incredibly powerful engine manages 13 City/ 19 Hwy MPG. The $76,150.00 list price minus $750.00 discount and $250.00 rebate drops the cost to $75,150.00.

VIN 2G1FZ1EE8F9700477 is also a black Z-28 with black suede interior. Its starting price is $76,305.00 and is subject to the same $1,000.00 off.

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JACK HEAD CHEVROLET, Alhambra, CA (1969 ZL1 Camaro)

Jack Head Chevrolet was located at 102 E. Valley, Alhambra, California. In a July 11, 1969 newspaper ad the dealership offered a 650 HP aluminum block 427 ZL1 Camaro for sale in their High Performance division of the dealership.

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RICHARD HIBBARD CHEVROLET INC, Buena Park, CA/ Closed

Richard Hibbard Chevrolet Inc was located at 191 S Indian Hill Blvd, Claremont, California. As of 2012 the dealership was no longer a Chevy authorized dealer, but transformed into Hibbard Auto Center selling used cars with a service department.

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HILLCREST MOTOR COMPANY, Beverly Hills, CA (1940s) Closed

Hillcrest Motor Company was a Cadillac dealer located in Beverly Hills, California in the late 1940s.

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HILLS MOTOR CO, Pasadena, CA (1948-53) / Closed.

Prior to Peter Satori taking over the location in 1954, 325 West Colorado was the location of a Nash dealer named Hills Motor Co. operating from 1948 until 1953.

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HOVEY DALLAS CHEVROLET, Gardena, CA

Hovey Dallas Chevrolet had two lots in Gardena, California during the 1960s and 1970s. The main one was at 15600 Western at South Redondo Beach Blvd and the second one was at Compton and Western Ave

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KENNETH CHEVROLET, Hawthorne, CA

Kenneth Chevrolet was located at Hawthorne Blvd at 120th Street, Hawthorne, CA during the 1960s. The General Manager was Al Bellucci. Gerald Mirkin one of the Kenneth Chev employees set up his own dealership Mirkin Motors (VW) in the 1960s.

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KEYSTONE FORD, Norwalk, CA

Keystone Ford was located at 12000 Firestone Blvd, Norwalk, California. The dealership took over the former location of Dial Chevrolet in 1969.

Owner Norman Stutzke once worked for Ford Motor Company before buying the franchise. At its peak in the late 1990s Keystone sold about 3,000 new and used vehicles a year and employed 160 people. By 2008 staff was reduced to 100.

Stutzke updated the building in 1998 in accordance with Ford factory programs. One of the factory schemes to open offsite service centers handling all makes caused the formation of Keystone Auto Center on the premises.

Keystone Ford closed Dec. 31, 2008 after 39 years. Norman Stutzke was 75 years old at the time but tried to sell the dealership. In the economic crash he was unable to sell. Ford Motor Company paid him to close down. Keystone became one of roughly 400 USA Ford dealerships closed in 2006 and 2007. Ford pruned itself down to approximately 4,000 dealers. Keystone was one of 9 Ford dealers located in a 10-mile radius.

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NORMAN KING DODGE, Glendora, CA

Norman King Dodge was located at 121 E. Alosta (Hwy. 66 at Glendora Ave.), Glendora, California. To see the story of a 1978 Dodge Monaco Brougham bought new from this dealership see the story filed under ONE FAMILY  in the CAR STORIES section of this website.

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DON KOTT CARSON CHRYSLER, Carson, CA/ Closed

dealer don kott carson chrysler ca license

Don Kott Carson Chrysler was located at 21126 Avalon Blvd, Carson, California. The dealership was right next door to Don Kott's Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealership.

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DON KOTT FORD, Carson, CA/ Closed

DON KOTT LINCOLN-MERCURY, Carson, CA/ Closed

Don Kott Ford was located at 21212 Avalon Blvd, Carson, California. This location was next door to his Don Kott Carson Chrysler dealership. At one time the Ford dealership was also selling Lincoln Mercury.

A court case protesting Ford Motor Companyi's 1976 intention to move Frank Coletto Ford into Harbor City, California and hence too close to shared territory revealed some interesting statistics on Ford sales in Los Angeles 1973-4.

Leon Ames Ford sold 1293 cars

Vel's Parnelli Jones Ford sold 1166 cars

Frank Coletto Ford, San Pedro, California sold 1043 cars

Don Kott Ford, Carson, California sold 1537 cars

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JIM KRESL OLDSMOBILE, Gardena, CA

Jim Kresl Oldsmobile was located at 1550 Redondo Beach Blvd, Gardena, California. James Kresl incorporated the business June 22, 1959. The corporation was dissolved Sep 30, 1988. The building has been turned into a Smart & Final shopping center.

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LIBERTY FORD, La Verne, CA

Liberty Ford was located on Foothill Blvd, La Verne, California during the 1960s. Lliberty used Ford dealer code # 71E099

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BOB LONGPRE PONTIAC, Monvrovia, CA (sold John DeLorean exec GTO)

Bob Longpre Pontiac was located at 335 W. Huntington Drive in Monrovia California during the 1960s. Bob Longpre Pontiac lasted until 1995 when Bob Longpre decided it was time to close down the operation. He now sells imports with Lexus of Westminster, California.

Bob Longpre was friends with John DeLorean. In 1965 DeLorean was newly appointed General Manager of the Pontiac Division. John toured the Southern California dealerships in June, 1965 to garner feedback on the product. He used an executive car for this trip and left the car with Longpre to sell. The car he left behind was a 1965 Mayfair Maze (Yellow) GTO Convertible.

Because it was a factory VIP Car there was no dealer name on the window sticker. The sticker simply listed the delivery address of the Pontiac Test Facility in Phoenix, Arizona. The car is one of a very few California emissions compliant cars built in the Pontiac, Michigan final assembly plant. The majority of LeMans and GTOs built for California came from the Fremont, California final assembly plant.

John's GTO was loaded with every available option available except oddly it lacked tri-power carburetors and electronic ignition. DeLorean was known for enjoying powerful cars and these two missing options are a bit of a puzzle.

Once Bob Longpre drove John to the airport the GTO was up for grabs. Typically an ex factory VIP car had less than 2,500 miles logged before being sold off to the public. John's GTO showed 2,800 miles.

The first owner of the GTO was Leo Morgan (owner from July 8, 1965 to August 11, 1983). The car was sold by Bob Longpre's long term salesman Ross Smith. Leo Morgan was living in West Covina, California at the time and was newly divorced. He stopped to have a look at new cars down in Longpre's Pontiac dealership thinking to get himself something to distract himself from the divorce. Leo was looking for something sporty. Ross led him to the dirty GTO convertible. It hadn't been washed yet since being left by John DeLorean. The option load made an impression: A/C, power seat, AM/FM radio, power antenna, power windows and so on.

Linda Morgan was Leo's second wife and she related that Leo let the car run down to empty more than once. His idiosyncrasy led to him running out of gas on their honeymoon. California sun is brutal on convertible tops and paint. In 1978 the GTO was treated to a repaint in red and a new white top.

In 1979 Leo Morgan's 7-11 store and was robbed. Although the thief got the money he shot Leo anyways. Tragically Leo became a quadriplegic. He held onto the GTO in the hopes that he was going to be able to recover. When he finally had to concede that he wasn't able to recover movement he sold the GTO on August 11, 1983 to a friend, Jess Wilson of Glendora. By the time of sale Leo had owned the GTO for 18 years and logged the majority of the miles on the car

The second owner was Jess Wilson (owner from August 11, 1983 to May 13, 1988) who brought the GTO out to car shows and parades. The engine needed work. An incompetent mechanic worsened the situation leaving the engine with a bad knock. The GTO ran so badly that Jess traded the car to Harvey Gaertner of Temecula.

The third owner Harvey Gaertner (owner from May 13, 1988 to May 14, 1994) didn't drive the car more than 5 miles. He stored it in a barn in his avocado farm. He sold it on May 14, 1994 to Alan Meyer.

Alan Meyer became owner four (bought May 14, 1994) The odometer showed 59,400 miles in 1994. Most of those miles were logged prior to 1979. The car was restored from Oct, 1994 until 1996. Original body panels were retained with the exception of the rusty trunk floor. The windshield and passenger window were replaced with date code correct glass.

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LOS ALTOS FORD, Long Beach, CA (became Queen City Ford)

Los Altos Ford was located at 2302 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, California during the 1960s. The dealership was renamed Queen City Ford in 1968.

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LOS FELIZ FORD INC, Glendale, CA

Los Feliz Ford was located at 1401 S Brand Blvd, Glendale, California. The dealership was formerly located at 4604 Brazil St, Los Angeles, California.

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ROBERT H. LOUD (Ford), Pasadena, CA

Robert H. Loud was a Ford dealers located at 1365 E. Colorado Blvd. which was a major dealer row in Pasadena, California during the 1960s. Loud used Ford dealer code # 71E037.

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DON MASSEY CADILLAC, Downey, CA (formerly Roger Penske Cadillac)

Don Massey Cadillac was located at 10700 Studebaker Road, Downey, CA in 1984. This was formerly Roger Penske Cadillac which had been taken over from Bob Spreen. See MICHIGAN Dealers for a full history of Don Massey Cadillac Auto Group.

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MAYWOOD- BELL FORD, Bell, CA/ Closed

Maywood- Bell Ford was located at 6201 Atlantic Ave, Bell, California during the 1960s.

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MCLEAN CADILLAC, Santa Ana/ Tustin, CA (1939-1986- became Tustin Cadillac)/

McLean Motor Company Cadillac was located in downtown Santa Ana at 2nd and Main since its inception by R. G. McLean back in 1939. R. G. McLean's son, Tommie McLean took over the dealership. When third generation owners Mike and Bruce McLean evaluated the landscape they decided to move the dealership. Then current president of the company Mike McLean decided to move to the new Tustin Auto Center which began construction in 1985. At the time of the move, there were four Cadillac dealers in Orange County. Santa Ana was anxious to retain McLean, but the new Tustin location won out due to its proximity to the Interstate 5. The grand opening of the new location was Nov 8 and 9, 1986 at 50 Auto Center Drive in Tustin as McLean Cadillac-Oldsmobile. The dealership was also an exclusive dealer of British built Panthers. The dealership later moved down the street to 1 Auto Center Drive as simply McLean Cadillac. When the dealership was sold, it was renamed Tustin Cadillac.

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MORRISON CHRYSLER PLYMOUTH DODGE, San Fernando, CA

Morrison Chrysler-Plymouth Dodge was located in San Fernando, California. Morrison closed down in early 1991.

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BILL MURPHY BUICK INC, Culver City, CA (sponsored 1965 Riviera drag car)

Bill Murphy Buick Inc was located at 3444 Wesley St, Culver City, California.

Bill Murphy was born in Sitka, Alaska, on Nov. 17, 1912, Murphy grew up in Auburn, Washington. His moved to Los Angeles as a teenager and graduated in 1930 from Beverly Hills High School. Bill attended UCLA for 2 years before dropping out to pursue car sales.

Murphy was the owner and operator of Bill Murphy Buick on Washington Boulevard in Culver City, CA. Bill Murphy, Inc. was registered Oct 10, 1947.

When Bill was in his 40s he achieved racing success driving a Kurtis roadster powered by a 400 HP 322 c.i. Buick engine. Bill often competed against his friend Carroll Shelby.

Shelby commented on Murphy's 1950s racing wins,

"The Buick engine that Bill had in his Kurtis was more powerful than any of the engines built for Ferraris, Maseratis or anything at the time. It would outrun any Ferrari in the straight. He won a lot of races."

Murphy was known as a safe driver and a quiet individual off the track. Murphy sponsored a 1965 Buick Le Sabre coupe raced by Jim Robinson. The Murphy sponsored 1965 Riviera won E class in a 'all Buick' winning sweep of six Buicks winning their classes Feb 21, 1965 at San Fernando Dragway. The Murphy car ran 14.88 second run at 92.75 MPH. The other cars were sponsored by Reynold's Buick, Boulevard Buick, and Ted Baker Buick. Roland C. Withers, Buick's General Sales Manager wrote a letter of praise for this accomplishment.

In the early 1960s, Murphy quit racing to pursue flying, a cattle ranch in San Luis Obispo County and raising thoroughbred racehorses.

Murphy provided financing to get a number of new car dealers started. In the 1970s Murphy expanded from cars to planes. He owned a Learjet dealership in Van Nuys, said to be the only one on the West Coast and one of only three in the nation at the time.

Bill Murphy, Jr was running the Buick dealership by the early 1980s.

Bill Murphy died at age 92 from complications of congestive heart failure July 14, 2005 at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California.

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MURPHY LINCOLN-MERCURY, Long Beach, CA

Murphy Lincoln-Mercury was located at 19-10 Lakewood Blvd and later at 24 The Colonnade, Long Beach, California during the 1950s and 1960s.

The dealership traces back to Duffield Lincoln Mercury which became a corporate entity June 30, 1958 with John G Gustafson as the agent. The Dealership was formerly known as Duffield Lincoln Mercury Comet and was sold May 1, 1964. Marshall Duffield was the owner of the agency prior to this.

Bill Murphy announced his new ownership of this dealership in the paper July 18, 1964. Bill Murphy owned Bill Murphy Buick Company in Culver City, California. Murphy announced that he had arrived with some bold claims. Murphy intended to recondition and guarantee 20 percent of the used cars on the lot. He also stated that Murphy Linc Merc had 2 full time mechanics on the premises to ensure that all new cars delivered were in perfect shape. They refused to hire 'floaters or sharpies' and sent their salesmen on 7 day training courses at the factory so that their dealership would last for the long haul not the quick buck.

"You don't attract loyal customers with just a hope and a:prayer. Or by pouncing on the public with hard selling methods. Bill Murphy realizes that an automobile dealer gets what he deserves. Here is one dealer who is going to deserve your respect and confidence. We are going to run this place in such a manner that you will buy from us not just in 1964, but also in 1966, again in 1968, and so on. If you have a complaint, sound off. We'll see that you get fair attention. There is no business in the world that doesn't make a mistake. We'll try our level best to make fewer than our share. But when we do goof you see Tony Christopher, or Neil Fine. Or Bill Murphy. We actually hunt, for criticism."

Murphy also recognized the California import craze and opened Bill Murphy Imports was located at 10223 Washington Blvd, Culver City, California.

Bill Murphy was born in Sitka, Alaska, on Nov. 17, 1912, Murphy grew up in Auburn, Washington. His moved to Los Angeles as a teenager and graduated in 1930 from Beverly Hills High School. Bill attended UCLA for 2 years before dropping out to pursue car sales.

Murphy was the owner and operator of Bill Murphy Buick on Washington Boulevard in Culver City, CA. When Bill was in his 40s he achieved racing success driving a Kurtis roadster powered by a 400 HP 322 c.i. Buick engine. Bill often competed against his friend Carroll Shelby.

Shelby commented on Murphy's 1950s racing wins,

"The Buick engine that Bill had in his Kurtis was more powerful than any of the engines built for Ferraris, Maseratis or anything at the time. It would outrun any Ferrari in the straight. He won a lot of races."

Murphy was known as a safe driver and a quiet individual off the track. In the early 1960s, Murphy quit racing to pursue flying, a cattle ranch in San Luis Obispo County and raising thoroughbred racehorses.

Bill Murphy Buick sponsored a 1964 Buick Special 6 cylinder in the Mobil Economy Run from L.A. to New York which ran from April 3- 9, 1964. The Buick took first place driven by Bill Levy averaging 25.2986 MPG over the 3,243.8 mile route. Runner up was another L.A. dealer with a similar 'A body' entry. Mike Salta Pontiac came in 2nd with a 1964 Pontiac Tempest 6 driven by Ginny Simms with 25.2494 MPG .

Murphy provided financing to get a number of new car dealers started. In the 1970s Murphy expanded from cars to planes. He owned a Learjet dealership in Van Nuys, said to be the only one on the West Coast and one of only three in the nation at the time.

Bill Murphy died at age 92 from complications of congestive heart failure July 14, 2005 at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California

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MURPHY AND SHELBY DODGE INC, San Fernando, CA

Murphy and Shelby Dodge Inc was located at 603 San Fernando Rd, San Fernando, California. The dealership was owned by Craig L Sanders at the time Chrysler listed it for closure during the Chrysler bankruptcy dealership purge.

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NELSON PONTIAC & GMC, El Monte, CA (became Nelson Honda/ Scott Pontiac GMC)

Nelson Pontiac & GMC was located at 11710 East Valley Boulevard, El Monte, California during the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s a Honda franchise was added. At this time the sales manager was Ronald Ridgway. Nelson Honda moved to 3464 Peck Road, El Monte, CA. The East Valley location became home to Scott Pontiac GMC. See the story on Scott on this page. When the old East Valley location was shut down the "Indian Chief' neon sign was also removed.

One of our readers recently purchased this fantastic looking 1969 Pontiac GTO which was originally sold through Nelson Pontiac. This GTO was built February, 1969 in the Fresno, California final assembly plant. It was delivered to Nelson Pontiac around March 3, 1969. The GTO was factory equipped with some nice options: 4 speed, power brakes, power steering, tilt steering wheel, handling package, gauge package, AM radio with 8 track tape player, Rally II wheels, Red line tires, tinted glass, door edge guards, and vinyl roof.

This GTO was in California for about 18 to 19 years before being brought to Illinois. We know that the GTO was somewhere near Addison, Illinois in 1994 which is when the engine was rebuilt by P&L Automotive. The GTO was next registered in McHenry, Illinois before migrating to a specialty car dealership in Northern Wisconsin where current owner Bruce Butler located it. The car has had one repaint in the original factory color around 1995 using lacquer paint.

69 GTO nelson pontiac el monte ca

New owner Bruce has traced the car back through 2 prior owners but the trail has gone cold regarding the name of the person who originally brought it from California to the Midwest around 1988. The GTO only has 76,700 miles on it and spent a significant amount of time in storage. This history strongly suggests that there is only one missing owner from the chronology. Anyone who remembers this car from its days in California is asked to drop a line to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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NOWLING'S OLDSMOBILE INC, Downey, CA

dealer nowlings olds downey ca license frame

Nowling's Oldsmobile Inc was located at 7440 East Firestone Boulevard, Downey, California as far back as the 1950s. The owner was Ken Nowling.

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OSTROM CHEVROLET, Montebello, CA/ Closed (became Chevrolet of Montebello)

Ostrom Chevrolet was established by Harold Ostrom and located at 310 W Whittier Blvd Montebello, California. Ostrum closed and became Chevrolet of Montebello following a deal between the last Ostrom owner Ara Sevacherian and the City of Montebello. In Nov 2009 the City agreed to buy his properties at 221, 305, 307 and 313 W. Whittier Blvd. and 112 S. 4th Street which were auto business buildings such as repair shops.

In February, 2010 the city bought Sevacherian's Ostrom Chevrolet at 310 W. Whittier Blvd. including its 2.7-acre lot. Sevacherian leased the property from the city and sublets to Chevrolet of Montebello. In summer 2010 Sevacherian sued the city for delaying completion of the sale of the other properties.

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ROGER PENSKE CADILLAC, Downey, CA (formerly Bob Spreen Cadillac)

dealer roger penske cadillac license frame downey ca

Roger Penske Cadillac was located at 10700 Studebaker Road, Downey, CA. The building was noteworthy for a large 'gazebo' with a rotating car display. The dealership was originally Bob Spreen Cadillacbecame and became Penske around 1981.

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PENSKE CADILLAC BUICK GMC of South Bay, Torrance, CA 877-301-7551

Penske Cadillac Buick GMC of South Bay is located at 18600 S Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, California. In winter, 2016 Penske had 420 new vehicles in stock, 162 of which were cars. Catherine Sommerville was the general manager.

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PERFORMANCE CHEVROLET, Calabasas, CA

Performance Chevrolet was located in Calabasas, California. It closed down in early 1991.

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PERFORMANCE LINCOLN-MERCURY, Van Nuys, CA (became Galpin Ford)

Performance Lincoln-Mercury was located at 15430 Roscoe Blvd in Van Nuys was owner by Marvin Smith and Jim Smathers. They also owned Cypress Nissan/ Datsun. Galpin Lincoln Mercury took over the dealership. Galpin also carried Jaguar. Following the death of Mercury Galpin moved the Ford products up the street to 15600 Roscoe Blvd in Van Nuys, CA.

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DAVID J PHILLIPS BUICK PONTIAC OPEL INC, Laguna Beach, CA

David J Phillips Buick Pontiac Opel Inc was located at 310 Broadway, Laguna Beach, California during the 1970s. The dealership was incorporated April 15, 1968. Eric M. Phillips carried on the family business when he became CEO of Phillips Pontiac in Norco, California. See the story below.

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PHILLIPS PONTIAC, Norco, CA (became Phillips Pontiac Mazda)

Phillips Pontiac was located at 2000 Hamner Ave, Norco, California. Phillips Pontiac was an extension of the David J Phillips Buick Pontiac Inc and was incorporated Oct 24, 1977. The CEO was Eric M. Phillips. Eric was born Dec 21, 1946 so at this point he may be retired. The dealership later added a Mazda franchise to the mix before closing down.

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POMONA DODGE, Pomona, CA

Pomona Dodge was located at 1111 E. Holt Ave, Pomona, CA

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ERNIE PORTER CHEVROLET INC, Pasadena, CA (drag Vette sponsor/ became Jack Wall Chev)

Ernie Porter Chevrolet Inc was located at 245 W. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, California during the 1950s and 1960s.

Ernest (Ernie) Frederick Porter was born Sep. 7, 1909 in Sioux City, Iowa. Ernie moved to California in 1955. Ernie operated used car establishments at Alhambra, California. Ernie's first wife was Emma "Daisy" Lane, his second wife, Gertrude.

Ernie moved to Arcadia, California in 1957.

In 1955 Ernie established his Chevrolet franchise. The advertising for the dealership emphasized that it carried Corvairs and Corvettes. The dealership sponsored a drag racing Corvette to cement their performance image.

Ernie's son Paul Porter begain working in the dealership at age 15 and worked his way up to pre delivery inspection person. His father Ernie died on his 17th birthday at the young age of 56 on Sep. 18, 1964. The dealership was sold back to GM and carried on under Ernie's name until 1965 when the dealership was renamed Jack Wall Chevrolet.

The dealership building was razed some years later to make way for a freeway overpass.

Paul Porter died March 13, 2010. The sole connection back to the dealership now is Ernie's grandson Gregg Porter. Gregg has restored a 1962 Monza. With that Monza the family tradition carries on despite the physical dealership no longer existing.

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POWER FORD AND LINCOLN OF TUSTIN, Tustin, CA/ 888-865-4530

dealer power ford and lincoln of tustin ca

Power Ford and Lincoln of Tustin is located at 2 Auto Center Drive, Tustin, California. Aside from some regular Mustangs sprinkled on the lot, Power had a black 2013 Shelby GT500, VIN 1ZVBP8JZ0D5279648 with a 5.8 L 4V DOHC Supercharged engine, 6 speed manual. The Shelby comes with an aluminum hood with air extractor, racing stripes 'over the top', along the rockers and inset in the seats, 19x 9.5 front and 20x 9.5 aluminum wheels, Brembo vented disc ABS brakes, electric power steering, SVT tuned suspension, quad exhaust tips that are 3.5" wide. The base car is $54,200.00. Heated seats add $295.00, Electronics with navigation is $2,340.00 and the Shelby cover is $395.00. Throw in destination by rail (on the date 12/12/12!) for $795.00 and you are at $58,005.00. The EPA rates it 15 City MPG/ 24 Hwy MPG for an average 18 MPG, or 5.6 gallons to drive 100 miles.

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PUENTE HILLS CHEVROLET, City of Industry, CA/ 866-560-9460

dealer puente hills pontiac gmc buick city of industry ca

formerly PUENTE HILLS PONTIAC GMC BUICK (1944), City of Industry, CA

Puente Hills Chevrolet is located at 17280 East Gale Avenue, City of Industry, California. It has been family owned and operated since 1944. The stock follows similar lines to other dealerships. With 147 new 2013s on the lot, one Corvette (they still have a new 2012 Vette on the lot, too), fourteen are V6 Camaros and six are SS Camaros.

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QUEEN CITY FORD, Long Beach, CA (formerly Los Altos Ford)

Queen City Ford was located at 2302 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, California. The dealership named in honor of the RMS Queen Mary which is docked in Long Beach. The dealership was formerly known as Los Altos Ford. The new owners took over in 1968. At some point Ralph Williams shifted his Four Seasons Ford inventory to this location.

When the dealership began ailing it was put up for sale. It was soon turned around following purchase by Shack-Woods & Associates which made a specialty of buying failing dealerships with good potential. William Shack and Timothy Woods became friends in 1972. Woods got his start as a dealer when he bought Chino Hills Ford and Shack with Yucca Valley Ford both with initial start up help from the GM Minority Loan programs.

The partners bought up dealerships and turned them around. By 1988 they owned an impressive array of profitable dealerships: Orange Show Lincoln Mercury and Volkswagon, San Bernardino, CA; Chino Hills Ford, Chino Hill, California; Miramar Lincoln Mercury, San Diego, California; Yucca Valley Ford, Yucca Valley, California. The team also owned dealerships in neighboring states: Castlerock Ford and Lincoln, Castlerock, Colorado; Kingman Ford Lincoln Mercury and Nissan, Kingman, Arizona.

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TOM RAY PONTIAC COMPANY, Glendale, CA

Tom Ray Pontiac Company was located at 800 South Brand Blvd, Glendale, California during the 1970s.

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REYNOLDS BUICK GMC (1915), West Covina, CA 626-384-4448 (Lennie Pop Kennedy GS drag racer sponsor)

Reynolds Buick GMC began modestly in 1915 when Irven G. Reynolds rented a desk in 'Daddy Weber's' local Covina, California gas station to sell Buicks brought in from Howard Automotive Company in Los Angeles. Irven Reynolds was born Jan 17, 1890 in Carrollton, Missouri and came to Covina, California while still a teenager in 1905.

It had taken 3 years since Irven's graduation from University of California at Berkeley in 1912 but he had found his calling with cars. The business Irven founded is now in its 3rd generation of ownership.

Reynolds opened his own dealership building at the corner of Citrus and Badillo in 1922. In 1923 he expanded to include GMC trucks. Irven also briefly held a Pontiac franchise as well. Irven retired in 1958, living until the age of 91. He died Feb 28, 1981.

Founder Irven's son Irven Gibbs Reynolds, Jr. took over the dealership in 1958. Irven, Jr. was known as Pete Reynolds due to his older sister not being able to pronounce Irven. The name Pete stuck for his whole life. 'Pete' was born April 2, 1926 in Covina, California. Pete served in the Navy from 1943- 1946 immediately after graduation from Covina High School. After the war Pete resumed his education at Mt. San Antonio College. Pete went on to graduate from the University of California, Berkley in 1950.

In 1950, Pete worked with his dad, Irven Sr., at Reynolds Buick. In 1952, Pete married Caroline Elliott.

Pete hit if off with Buick Technical Instructor Bill W. Trevor at the GM Training Center at 1105 Riverside Drive in Burbank, California. Bill introduced Pete to Lennie 'Pop' Kennedy who was a drag race driver. Once Pete hired 'Pop' to represent the company things Pop ran a red 1959 Invicta with an engine built by Jim Bell. The car was soon known as 'The Winningnest Buick of all time'. With milled heads and a 4.44 axle it ran 14.70 at 93 MPH.

The 1959 Invicta was sold off as a used car and replaced with a Rio Red 1961 Invicta set up with 4.44 axle, milled heads, headers and Casler slicks. The 1961 Invicta won 38 consecutive races between May 21 and Sept 10, 1961. Lennie took it to Indianapolis and won the NHRA 1961 National Championship D-Stock Automatic Class with a 15.19 second run at 92.21 MPH.

Lennie 'Pop' Kennedy took the 1961 Invicta back to Indianapolis the following year and won the 1962 NHRA Nationals again in D-Stock Automatic with 15.85 at 93.20 MPH. HOT ROD carried a picture of the car launching against a Pontiac in the Nov, 1962 issue's summary of the finals.

The Reynolds success with Buick Gran Sport racing cars led to recognition from the factory. The dealership was given access to prototype performance parts being developed at the factory. Dennis Manner from Flint was keen to develop performance packages for Buick and via his connection with Bill Trevor was able to field test equipment through Reynolds Buick. The Reynolds parts department also stocked aftermarket parts such as Hooker headers.

In 1965 Pete moved the Buick dealership from Covina to 345 N. Citrus Ave, West Covina, California.

During the move and 50th anniversary of Reynolds Buick the 1965 Buick Gran Sport racing car was painted gold. The Gold drag car was intended to tie in with a fleet of 50 gold Buicks brought into the lot to celebrate Reynolds' new location and 50th anniversary in business. An open house celebration was held June 4, 5, 6, 1965 between 9 am and 6 pm. The 1967 and 1968 GS drag cars sponsored by Reynolds retained the Anniversary Gold paint (Pontiac's Tiger Gold).

The car stock book from 1965 (known in the industry as 'the bible') lists the pertinent details of the 1965 drag car. Stock number 181 was booked in on January 11, 1965. The model number 4427 indicated that this is a new mid year Gran Sport Pillared Coupe. VIN# was 5Z108620. The car is summarized as "Pete's Demo." This car was one of the six Buicks to win their classes Feb 21, 1965 at San Fernando Dragway.

The sweep of the races was known in Buick circles as 'Buick Sunday'. Roland C. Withers, Buick's General Sales Manager was inspired to report on this race in a letter sent out to all Buick dealers.

Pop Kennedy won B-Stock in the brand new 1965 Reynolds Buick Gran Sport (car #1) at 14.04 seconds at 101.81 MPH. A HOT ROD article from May, 1965 mentions that the car ran 104.46 mph in 13.42 seconds with headers open.

Reynolds also sponsored another winner: a 1964 Special V8 driven by Gil Labarge won class D-Stock with 14.76 at 97 MPH. The old Reynolds 1961 Invicta (the 1961-2 NHRA class winner) was entered by a private party who won Class F with 14.5 at 95 MPH.

Boulevard Buick, Long Beach, CA won C-Stock in a 1965 Gran Sport convertible with 14.56 at 88 MPH. E-Stock was won by Bill Murphy Buick, Culver City, CA in a Riviera with 14.88  at 92.75 MPH. K stock was won by Ted Baker Buick, Fillmore, CA in a V-6 Skylark coupe with 16.18 at 86.16 MPH.

Buick took out an ad in the Los Angeles Times in recognition of the wins along with a press release. The May, 1965 issue of HOT ROD magazine mentions Pop Kennedy's techniques in setting up a GS in an article about the Buick GS which was tested around the time of 'Buick Sunday'.

HR notes that minimal prep was required to get it on with this car. The 401 was disassembled, checked for factory clearances with a deck height of .030-inch. Combustion chambers were measured out to 123 cc's and a valve job was done. Hooker headers and 3-inch collectors replaced the stock manifolds. Positraction axles ran 4.30 gears . Slicks were Casler recaps. Delco air shocks aided right side traction.

This winning 1965 GS "car number 1" was rolled and totaled when Pete was driving back to the dealership on slicks and was caught in a rainstorm. The GS ran Casler slicks which lacked wet traction taking an exit. The car was totaled ironically on April 3, the day after Pete's birthday. The drivetrain was transplanted into another GS in dealer inventory and that became 1965 Gran Sport racer 'car two'.

Pop Kennedy who was born at the beginning of the century had suffered strokes and heart attacks but they didn't slow down his reaction times when drag racing. In the late 60s Pop had to contend with numbness in his left side and not being able to use his left foot much.

Pop managed to get the Reynolds 1967 Gran Sport down the quarter mile in 12.10 seconds at 111 MPH.

Reynolds Buick later ran a 1968 as well as a 1970 white Buick Gran Sport Stage 1 switched to Stage 2 parts. The Stage 2 ran 10.70 ETs. Tuner/ engine builder Jim Bell teamed up with Kennedy to form a high performance development team named Kennedy- Bell. When Pop retired from race driving in 1972 at age 72 the name of the company was changed to Kenne- Bell.

Reynolds also sponsored Opel racing cars. One of their drivers was Arlene Hiss. Her racing career traces back to approximately 1962 when she drove Austin Healey Sprites in SCCA following her college graduation.  right after college around 1962. Her profession was teacher, but she married a race car driver and continued to race on weekends. Soon after buying a white Opel 1900 from Reynolds she requested and was granted a sponsorship. She won SCCA Showroom Stock Championship. She was the first woman to race an Indy car in USAC in Phoenix, March 14, 1976. She finished the race but finished the season in USAC Stock Cars.

Pete Reynolds expanded the business to include motorhomes during the 1970s soon becoming the number one sales dealership for GM Motorhomes. One year Reynolds sold 1,204 Buicks in one year as well as motorhomes.

In the 1980s the focus shifted to commercial trucks which are now the dealership specialty area. Pete died in his sleep at the age of 90 December 26, 2016.

Pete's son Don Reynolds was born in summer, 1965 right after the 50th anniversary open house at the new Reynolds showroom. Don began working in the dealership during junior high and high school. After graduation from California Polytechnic State University in 1988 he began full time work at the dealership. Don took over the dealership in 1999 making him the 3rd Generation Reynolds helming the business. General Manager Chuck Rhodes started at Reynolds in 1978. The dealership added the Isuzu franchise for a time but is now back to the same Buick GMC franchises that were established in 1923.

In summer, 2017 the dealership had 265 new vehicles in stock, 12 of which were cars evenly divided with 6 LaCrosse and 6 Regals.

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SCOTT ROBINSON PONTIAC, Torrance, CA

Scott Robinson Pontiac was located at 20340 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, California during the 1970s.

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ROTHE PONTIAC INC, Burbank, CA

Rothe Pontiac Inc was located at 601 South San Fernando Road, Burbank, California during the 1970s.

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SACHS & SONS LINCOLN MERCURY, Downey, CA (sponsored 427 Super Cyclone S/FX drag car)

dealer sachs sons linc merc downey ca lice

Leonard W. Sachs was born around 1870 in Missouri. Leonard moved his family to California. Leonard established Sachs & Sons Ford on Crawford Street, in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey. Leonard's son Wayne T. Sacks was born around 1895 in Missouri. As part owner of the dealership Wayne put his stamp onto the dealership by displaying his hunting trophies in the showroom. The other son referenced in the dealership name was Ray Sachs.

Sachs & Sons Ford it was relocated to 9515 Downey Avenue in Downey, California. The Lincoln Mercury franchises were added to the dealership in the 1940s.

Helen E. Sachs was listed as president under Sachs and Sons Inc papers filed November 25, 1959. The new company was called Sachs & Sons and Helen Sachs Inc.

When the name change to Sachs & Sons Lincoln Mercury was in place the dealership was owned by Helen Sachs, and still located on 9515 Downey Ave in Downey, California into the 1980s. Helen Sachs was Thomas's younger sister, born around 1908 in Nebraska.

 

Helen Sachs had service manager Keith Swanson

Sachs & Sons gained some recognition for sponsoring the 'Super Cylcone' which was a 1964 Mercury Comet S/FX drag car that used a supercharged 427 run on nitro. Jack Chrisman was the driver. The car was built by Mercury sub contractor Bill Stroppe (through "Stroppe and Associates") and started life as an A/FX car (A= 427/ FX= Factory Experimental). The NHRA decided the car was more of a dragster than anything else.

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MIKE SALTA CHRYSLER PLYMOUTH, Signal Hill, CA (formerly R.O. Gould)

Mike Salta Chrysler Plymouth was located at 2800 Cherry Ave, Signal Hill, California. The dealership traces back to R.O. Gould Chrysler-Plymouth which was located on Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach, California. Salta bought the business in the 1980s and later moved it to Signal Hill.

See the story of Mike Salta under the story of Salta Pontiac in Long Beach, California.

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SALTA PONTIAC, Long Beach, CA/ Closed

Salta Pontiac was located at 1545 American Ave, Long Beach, California during the 1960s. The address is listed in the 1970s at 1545 Long Beach Boulevard. The dealership was established by Mike Salta.

Michele "Mike" Fiore Salta was born at home to Giovanni and Marietta Saltalamacchia in Portland, Oregon, on April 15, 1923, the youngest in a large family. Salta graduated from high school in Portland and attended the University of Portland. In WW II, he enlisted in the Coast Guard as a Pharmacist Mate.

Salta purchased a Mercury which he sold almost immediately. Encouraged by the quick sale, he bought 2 more cars and sold them. Salta soon opened 2 used-car lots while also managing the interest of a local dealer's expansion into Utah.

In 1955, Salta established Salta Pontiac in Long Beach, California. Salta Pontiac became the largest Pontiac dealership west of the Mississippi, and one of the largest in the country.

Salta created M. F. Salta Company Inc., in 1959 which was a holding company to provide Salta's dealerships with their own advertising agency, insurance agency, tax and audit department, and computer/IT department. Salta created companies to sell auto service contracts, life insurance policies, financing and leasing options, and to purchase commercial real estate so he would own his dealership properties.

Salta sponsored a 1964 Pontiac Tempest driven by Ginny Simms in the Mobil Economy Run from L.A. to New York which ran from April 3- 9, 1964. The Salta Tempest with 6 cylinder engine managed 2nd place with 25.2494 MPG over the 3,243.8 mile route. Bill Murphy Buick from Culver City managed to eke out a smidgen more efficiency from their Buick Special 6 cylinder driven by Bill Levy with 25.2986 MPG.

In the 1965 Mobil Economy Run Salta sponsored a 1965 Pontiac Tempest Custom V8 which managed 19.1124 MPG when driven by Kay Kimes. This was only 7th place with a Dodge Coronet taking first place driven by Bob Cahill scoring 20.7682 MPG sponsored by New York Dodge dealers Association. Both the Olds and Buick 'A bodies' beat the Pontiac this year. 3rd  place went to a Buick Special Deluxe driven by John Rich for Colonial Buick Inc, Glendale scoring 20.3071 MPG. An Olds F-85 Deluxe driven by Stan Raymond placed 4th with 19.8068 MPG.

In the 1966 Mobil Economy Run Salta managed a 2nd place in the 'Class G' medium priced full size cars. Art Afrons drove the Salta Pontiac Star Chief Executive V8 and managed 18.9208 MPG. The winner of the class was a Buick LeSabre driven by Marta Retzlaff of the Jim Retzlaff Company, Barstow, California with a 19.2439 MPG average.

During the next 50 years Salta opened 50 different franchises, and owned as many as 24 car dealerships simultaneously. Salta was an early adopter of Datsun/Nissan and Toyota. Salta was an early "mega" dealer with franchises in California, Oregon, Hawaii and Arizona. In 1985, Salta was the number one auto retailer in California.

Salta carried Pontiac, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Ford, Chrysler/Plymouth, Dodge, and Jeep/Eagle. Salta also had foreign dealership such as Honda, Hyundai, Acura, Isuzu, Mercedes, VW, Porsche, Audi, Nissan, Toyota and Lexus.

The last of Salta's dealerships were sold in January, 2004. Salta retained the M. F. Salta Company and several of the real estate entities companies. Salta encouraged his employees and several went on to own dealerships. Salta won Time Magazine's Quality Dealer of 1975; the Chrysler/Plymouth Pacesetter Award in 1983-86; the Cadillac Master Dealer award in 1985 and Dewers Trophy in 1987; the Pontiac Masters award in 1985-87; the Toyota President's Award and Board of Governors for 1994-2001 and the Toyota Triple Crown Award in 2001; and the Lexus Elite Award from 1998-2001.

Salta was director and member of the executive committee of the Motor Car Dealers Association of Southern California; member of the General Motors President's Dealership Advisory Council; director of the Long Beach Better Business Bureau and the Los Angeles Better Business Bureau; president of the Los Angeles Better Business Bureau's Automobile Dealership Board. Salta also contributed to numerous charitable causes.

Mike Salta died at age 91 on July 8, 2014 at his home in Indian Wells, California.

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PETER SATORI CO LTD (1954-198*), Pasadena, CA / Closed

dealer-peter-satori-pasadena-ca-window-sticker

The sticker above shows the Satori logo with crossed USA and English flags which symbolize the role that Peter Satori Co Ltd played as the main importer of British cars in Southern California through the 1960s and 1970s.

dealer-peter-satori-pasadena-ca-licence-holder

Satori was located at 325 West Colorado in the heart of Pasadena, California's "Auto Row" just off the Ventura Freeway. In the mid 1960s Wegge Dodge was located down the street at 1040 E Colorado. Symes Cadillac Inc was at 1976 E Colorado. Citizens Chevrolet was on W Colorado. Satori thrived for two decades, but the gradual decline in MG sales hurt the business. In the 1990s the location was taken over by another import dealer, Rusnak Porsche.

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RUSNAK PORSCHE (199*), Pasadena, CA

dealer-peter-satori-pasadena-rusnak-79-mg-in-front

Above is a photo of Rusnak today with the MG Midget bought from Peter Satori back in 1979. To see a story about the MG, check the ONE OWNER stories in the CAR STORIES section of this website.

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SAVAGE PONTIAC CENTER INC, Monrovia, CA

Savage Pontiac Center Inc was located at 335 West Huntington Drive, Monrovia, California during the 1970s.

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SCOTT PONTIAC & GMC, El Monte, CA (formerly Nelson Pontiac GMC/ became Gunderson Chev)

Scott Pontiac & GMC was located at 11710 East Valley Boulevard, El Monte, California. The owner was Scott Gunderson. This lot was formerly the site of Nelson Pontiac GMC. Incorporation records reveal that Nelson officially changed their name from Nelson Pontiac to Nelson Honda in 1998, so it was likely around this time that Scott Pontiac GMC took over. When the old East Valley location was shut down the "Indian Chief' neon sign was also removed. Scott moved onto a new location at 3333 Santa Anita Ave, El Monte, California as Scott Chevrolet Pontiac GMC. With the loss of Pontiac the dealership became known as Gunderson Chevrolet Geo. The dealership closed Dec 31, 2009.

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SERVICE CHEVROLET CO, Pasadena, CA/ Head mechanic Dyno Don Nicholson/ drag sponsor

Service Chevrolet Co was located in Pasadena, California. Service sponsored stock Biscayne 348 drag cars. Other racers were being left in the dust by the green Biscayne prepared by the dealersip's head mechanic Dyno Don Nicholson. Dyno Don went onto drag racing fame in later years. Two of the driver's for Service were Elwin Westbrook and Terry Prince.

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SIMI VALLEY FORD, Simi Valley, CA (818) 887-5001

Simi Valley Ford is located at 2440 1st St, Simi Valley, California. In 1975 the president of Simi Valley Ford was Frank P. Coletto who owned Frank Coletto Ford in Harbor City, CA. In winter of 2014 Simi had 279 new vehicles in stock, 128 of which were cars. They had 10 new 2014 Mustangs on the lot, 2 V6 convertibles, 1 V6 coupe and 7 GT coupes.

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SIMPSON BUICK, Southgate, CA (became Dana Chev)

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BOB SMITH DODGE, Glendale, CA (drag sponsor- 62 Dart)

Bob Smith Dodge Plymouth originated in 1934 as Smith- Golden. Bob Smith, Sr. originally ran a Chevrolet franchise from 1919 until 1934. Bob had just moved to California and set up the Dodge Plymouth dealership with Harvey Golden.

In 1946 Bob Smith, Jr. took over following the death of Bob Smith, Sr. In 1953 Bob Smith, Jr. bought out his partner and renamed the dealership Bob Smith Dodge Plymouth. In 1958 the dealership was whittled down to solely Dodge.

In 1962 Bob Smith Dodge sponsored a 1962 Dodge Dart in NHRA drag racing. In 1963 Bob Smith sold the dealership and switched to VW/ Porsche in Hollywood. Bob later established a BMW dealership which eventually he turned over to his sons Mike and Tim.

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SMITH-GOLDEN DODGE PLYMOUTH, Glendale, CA (became Bob Smith Dodge Plymouth)

Smith- Golden Dodge Plymouth was located in Glendale, California from 1934 until 1953 when it became Bob Smith Dodge Plymouth. See the story above.

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JIM SNOW FORD INC., Paramount, CA

Jim Snow Ford Inc was located at 15727 Paramount, Paramount, California during the 1960s. Snow used Ford dealer code # 71B055

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SOUTH BAY FORD, Hawthorne, CA/ 888-403-5916

dealer south bay ford hawthorne ca license frame

South Bay Ford is located 5100 West Rosecrans Avenue, Hawthorne, California.. They are affiliated with South Bay Fuso and South Bay Lincoln which is in the same building.

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SOUTH BAY LINCOLN, Hawthorne, CA/ 877-436-4212

South Bay Lincoln is located at 5100 West Rosecrans Avenue, Hawthorne, California. They are associated with South Bay Ford, also in the same building.

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BOB SPREEN CADILLAC, Downey, CA (became Roger Penske Cadillac)

Bob Spreen Cadillac was located at 10700 Studebaker Road, Downey, CA. The building was noteworthy for a large 'gazebo' with a rotating car display. Bob Spreen Cadillac was established in 1952 and was sold around 1981. The dealership became Roger Penske Cadillac for a brief period before being bought by Don Massey. The Spreen family continued in the car business and 3rd generation son Chet Spreen is manager of Spreen Honda.

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STANLEY CHEVROLET, Norwalk, CA (became Dial Chevrolet)

Stanley Chevrolet was located at 11980 East Firestone, Norwalk, California. The dealership used a radio jingle to help listeners locate the dealer: "Headin' down the freeway to Stanley Chevrolet/ On my way to Norwalk/ Gonna get a deal today/ At Stanley Chevrolet/ 2 blocks off the Santa Ana freeway"

Stanley Chevrolet became Dial Chevrolet. When Dial closed the lot housed Keystone Ford.

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STAR CHRYSLER JEEP, Glendale, CA

Star Chrysler Jeep was located at 1401 S Brand Blvd, Glendale, California. The franchise was associated with LOS FELIZ FORD INC and owned by Edmund Jussen Jr. In 2009 Chrysler listed this as one of the dealers they were going to close.

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SUBURBAN PONTIAC, Bellflower, CA

Suburban Pontiac was located at 17639 South Bellflower Blvd, Bellflower, California during the 1970s.

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SUPERIOR PONTIAC, Monterey Park, CA

Superior Pontiac was located at 500 North Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, California during the 1970s.

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SURFSIDE PONTIAC, Manhattan Beach, CA

Surfside Pontiac was located at 400 South Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, California during the 1970s.

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SYMES CADILLAC, Pasadena, CA (626) 689-4386

dealer symes cadillac pasadena ca license frame

Symes Cadillac is located at 3475 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, California. Jack Symes established the dealership in January 1949 as Jack Symes Motors. The original location was on the corner of El Molino and Green Street, Pasadena, California. Jack Symes immigrated from Great Britain to the U.S.A. via Canada. Symes was manager of the Los Angeles distributor of Cadillac (Don Lee Company) until the FTC broke up the GM Distributors. Following the reshuffle Jack Symes received the Cadillac dealership in Pasadena.

Jack's son William Symes took over as dealer in 1952. Bill Symes grew up in South Pasadena and attended Stanford University where he played football which led to his becoming a sportscaster on TV and radio. Bill Symes moved the dealership to 3475 E. Colorado Blvd in 1971. He is a past president of the Pasadena Automobile Association, The California Motor Car Dealer Association and National Automobile Association.

Bill's son, John Symes joined the family business as a 3rd generation member following in 1971 after attending the University of Oregon and worked through the departments to become current dealer. John has also served as President of the Pasadena Dealer Association and the California Motor Car Dealer Association. 

Symes Automotive added Land Rover in 1990, Toyota in 1992 and Saab in 2000.

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ED TAYLOR CHEVROLET, Whittier, CA

Ed Taylor Chevrolet was located at 12560 Whittier Blvd, Whittier, California. GM categorized them as zone 20 and dealer #527.

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TAYLOR SLAYTON FORD, Huntington Park, CA

Taylor Slayton Ford was located at 5925 N. Pacific Blvd, Huntington Park, California during the 1960s. Dealer # 71A003

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TUSTIN BUICK GMC, Tustin, CA (1954)/ 714-669-3699

dealer tustin buick gmc tustin ca

Tustin Buick GMC is located at 1 Auto Center Drive in Tustin, California. The dealership traces back to a racer named Jim Parkinson who started a service/ repair shop named Burbank Sports Cars in 1953 at 507 San Fernando Boulevard, Burbank, California. In Feb, 1954 MG-Austin-Morris franchise was established. In 1955 Austin-Healey was added. In 1956 more expansion added a Fiat-Alfa Romeo-Lancia dealership named Italiano Motors. Abarth and Peugeot were added in 1957. In 1961 an Italiano Motors was opened in Hollywood, California. Triumph was now added to the lineup. Jaguars were added in 1962.

The first domestic dealership purchased by the family was a Ford dealership added to the lineup in 1965. In 1968 more expansion, this time into Placentia, California with a VW franchise. Burbank Sports Car Center was sold for the move to Placentia. In 1972 Placentia VW was sold to make a move to Newport Beach to operate Newport Datsun on the Pacific Coast Highway. The Datsun franchise was moved to Beach Imports, a new location on Dove Street in 1975. In 1982 Maserati was added to the line-up. In 1986 they added a location at Irvine Auto Center to handle SAAB-Alfa Romeo-Daihatsu. In 1990 the Datsun franchise (Datsun changed their name to Nissan) was set up at 30 Auto Center Drive, in Tustin, California.

In 1993 the family bought a Buick-Pontiac franchise and built a location at 50 Auto Center Drive in Tustin. In 1996 they traded SAAB for GMC and incorporated the GMC Pontiac Buick franchise into the current location at 1 Auto Center Drive, Tustin. They didn't stop there: in 2006 they added a Hummer franchise to the mix. Today the total of dealerships is the big conglomerate in Tustin, plus Tustin Classic Cars. Mark Parkinson is the president.

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TUSTIN CADILLAC, Tustin, CA/ 866-861-7452

dealer tustin cadillac

Tustin Cadillac is located at 50 Auto Center Drive, Tustin, California. Tustin Cadillac took over the McLean Cadillac franchise which began in 1939 in Santa Ana. In 2010 they were the number one volume dealer of Cadillacs in Orange County. See a story on McLean Cadillac in this section.

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TUTTLE CLICK CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE, Irvine, CA/ 888-274-9809

Tuttle-Click Chrysler Jeep Dodge is located at 40 Auto Center Drive, Irvine, California. Sharing the location is the Tuttle-Click RAM Commercial. See the story on the Tustin location for a history of the Tuttle Click Auto Group.

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TUTTLE CLICK FORD LINCOLN, Irvine, CA/

Tuttle-Click Ford Lincoln and Tuttle-Click Ford Commercial is located at 43 Auto Center Drive Irvine, CA. See the story on the Tustin location for a history of the Tuttle Click Auto Group.

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TUTTLE CLICK'S TUSTIN CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE RAM, Tustin, CA/ 888-246-0496

dealer tuttle clicks tustin chrysler

Tuttle Click's Tustin Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram is located at 40 Auto Center Drive, Tustin, California. The Tuttle Click Auto Group traces back to Holmes Tuttle who came from Oklahoma and worked for a Ford dealership. Holmes opened his own Mercury or Lincoln dealership in Beverley Hills, California in the 1930s. The Tuttle Click Automotive Group was formed in 1946. Back in the days when Ronald Reagan was an actor, Reagan bought a car from Holmes which later led to Holmes working in politics.

Holmes Tuttle's son, Robert Tuttle and his nephew Jim Click now own the franchise which has spread to multiple California and Arizona locations.

The Irvine, California Auto Center hosts four of their domestic dealers. Tuttle-Click Chrysler Jeep Dodge is located at 40 Auto Center Drive, Irvine, CA along with Tuttle-Click RAM Commercial. Tuttle-Click Ford Commercial is next door at 43 Auto Center Drive Irvine, CA along with Tuttle-Click Ford Lincoln. 

Tuttle-Click Hyundai is located nearby at 38 Auto Center Drive, Irvine, California. Tuttle-Click Mazda is located at 41 Auto Center Drive, Irvine, CA.

Tuttle-Click's Capistrano Ford is located at 33301 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA

Tuttle-Click Automotive Group came to Tucson, Arizona in 1971. They have expanded to thirteen dealerships in Arizona. See the stories under ARIZONA dealerships on this website.

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URBAN CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE, Foothill Ranch, CA

Urban Chrysler Jeep Dodge was located at 81 Auto Center Drive, Foothill Ranch,, California. The owner was Agop E Gozukara in 2009 when Chrysler listed this dealer for closure during its bankruptcy dealership purge.

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DON-A-VEE RAMBLER, Bellflower, CA

Don-A-Vee Rambler was located at 15737 S Bellflower Blvd, Bellflower, California during the 1960s.

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VEL'S PARNELLI JONES FORD, Torrance, CA (celebrity racer dealer/ performance dealer)

Vel's Parnelli Jones Ford was located in Torrance, California. The dealership traces back to 1949 when Vel Miletich acquired a Ford dealership in 1949 located at 1420 Cabrillo Avenue in Torrance, California.

In 1962 Vel moved the dealership to 20900 Hawthorne Boulevard, Torrance, California. Vel Miletich owned the land and buildings.

The dealership was renamed after Parnelli's racing team formed in 1967 often referred to as VPJ for short. Parnelli got his start in racing due to financial backing from Velko "Vel" Miletich who later became his business partner. The name of their businesses reflect that partnership. Parnelli Jones had a 25% interest. Vel Miletich was President and majority stockholder. In May, 1968 the dealership was expanded.

This dealership is one of the dealers shown in the ultimate car chase film GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS (the 1974 original). Parnelli Jones also has a bit part in the film when he plays himself.

Slowdowns in sales hit the dealership in the 1970s. In a court case filed by Vel and Leon Ames Ford against Ford Motor Company lost sales were attributed to a move made by Don Kott Ford into the shared territory in South Bay. The case was sparked by Ford's intention to move Coletto  Ford closer into the area.

The case quotes Vel's planning volume estimated by the factory which was revised from 1499 cars and trucks in 1975 to 1715 cars and trucks for 1976. The increased planning volume, the working capital was increased to $797,420.00. Vel Miletich noted that his dealership suffered a 25% loss in sales volume in all-departments when Kott moved from Wilmington to his present location in Carson in 1974. The court rejected the argument stating that all Ford dealers lost sales in 1974 and 1975.

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RAY VINES CHRYSLER PLYMOUTH, Long Beach, CA

Ray Vines Chrysler Plymouth was located in Long Beach most memorably on 4101 E. Willow Street and Lakewood Blvd, Long Beach, California in a purpose built interesting 'modern' building with a 'flying V' roof constructed in 1963. Ray Vines was a pre existing dealership and had this building constructed in 1963. It is believed that the designer may be affiliated with the Pete Findlay Oldsmobile dealership building in Las Vegas, NV which is identical to this one.

Chrysler closed down Ray Vines in 1969 and the distinctive dealership building became the new location of R.O. Gould Chrysler Plymouth which was a long standing dealership from Long Beach.

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JACK WALL CHEVROLET, Pasadena, CA (formerly Ernie Porter Chevrolet)

Jack Wall Chevrolet was located at 245 W. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, California. The dealership was formerly Ernie Porter Chevrolet and changed ownership in early 1965. The dealership was razed to make way for a freeway overpass.

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LEE WHITE CHEVROLET, Redondo Beach, CA (Drag racing sponsor)

Lee White Chevrolet was located at 315 Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, California during the 1960s. Lee White sponsored employee Dale Armstrong in a Chevy II drag car. Dale later went to work for Dana Chevrolet and campaigned a Dana Camaro under the name 'The Canuck' which referred to his Canadian background.

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MANDY WILLIAMS OLDSMOBILE, West Covina, CA (1969 Olds H/O dealer)

Mandy Williams Oldsmobile was located at 2525 E Workman Ave, West Covina, California during the 1960s and 1970s.

In 1967 Mandy Williams Olds entered a 1967 Olds F-85 330 V8 into the Mobil Economy Run from Los Angeles, CA to Detroit, Michigan. The 2,837.8 mile trip was run from April 4-9, 1967 by Mandy Williams in person as driver. The Mandy Williams Olds unfortunately posted the lowest MPG figures for intermediate sized V8s with 17.06 MPG over the route.

Other General Motors 'A bodies' did slightly better with a Chevelle Malibu from Bill McGuire Chevrolet (Buena Park, CA) posting 18.6 MPG; and a Buick Special from Colonial Buick Inc (Glendale, CA) posting 19.71 MPG. The winner of the class was a Plymouth Belvedere II from Hollywood Chrysler Plymouth with 20.0 MPG. Of note, an Oldsmobile F-85 from another sponsor also finished last in class for the 6 cylinder models so it seems the Oldsmobiles this year were heavier or less aerodynamic than the other intermediates.

In Spring, 1969 Mandy Williams sold one of the new exciting Hurst Olds cars. Only 42 of these cars were allotted to Southern California. 400 dealers nationwide were selected to distribute the 700-900 of these special cars which means the dealerships chosen likely got 2 cars each. Other known distributors of the Hurst Olds cars in Southern California were Tipton Olds in La Mesa, and Tom Williams Olds in Santa Barbara.

In the 1980s the Mandy Williams dealership added a Subaru franchise and became known as Mandy Williams Olds/ Subaru Inc.

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DICK WILSON FORD, Redondo Beach, CA (see Wilson Ford Sales, Encino, CA)

Dick Wilson Ford was located in Redondo Beach, California during the 1960s.

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BOB WONDRIES FORD, Alhambra, CA

Bob Wondries Ford was located at 400 S. Atlantic Blvd, Alhambra, California during the 1960s. Dealer # 71E061.

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WOODLAND HILLS CHEVROLET, Woodland Hills, CA

Woodland Hills Chevrolet was located in Woodland Hills, CA

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WORTHINGTON DODGE, Huntington Park, CA

Worthington Dodge was located at 2771 E. Slauson Ave., Huntington Park, California. This dealership began as a Hudson dealership and was the first car dealership that Cal Worthington opened.

Coolidge "Cal" Worthington was born November 27, 1920 in Bly, Oklahoma. Worthington was one of nine kids. His first job was as a water boy on a road construction crew. By age 15 he was part of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

In WW II Worthington was a Second Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps. Cal was the aerobatics champion at Goodfellow Field in San Angelo, Texas. He flew 29 missions over Germany achieving the rank of Captain. Worthington won the Air Medal five times, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Worthington also trained many future astronauts. Worthington was thwarted in his ambition to become a commercial pilot because he was not a college graduate.

Cal sold his car for $500.00 and bought a gas station in Corpus Christi, Texas. He sold the gas station and began to sell used cars in front of the Corpus Christi post office soon relocating to a dirt lot.

In 1949, Worthington moved to Huntington Park, California, establishing the Hudson dealership which eventually became a Dodge dealership. He advertised on TV and sponsored a country music show called Cal's Corral. By the time Cal was a Ford dealer TV commercials were so expensive he was reduced to 30 second to 1 minute ads.

Worthington's TV competitors inspired his well known zany commercials. In the 1960s Chick Lambert and 'his' dog Storm represented Brand Motors Ford City and later Ralph Williams Ford. Worthington spoofed Lambert by coming on with 'his dog' which was never a dog. Worthington appeared with apes, tigers, seals, elephants- anything but a dog. Worthington later brought his aviation experience to the screen standing on top of a plane in flight.

Worthington Dealership Group grew to 29 dealerships including: Anchorage, Alaska; Phoenix, Arizona; Carlsbad, Claremont, Folsom, Long Beach, Sacramento and South Gate, California; Reno, Nevada; Houston and Sugar Land, Texas; and Federal Way, Washington. When Ralph Williams had to sell out Worthington bought all his old dealerships at once. Worthington grossed $316.8 million in 1988, making him at the time the largest single owner of a car dealership chain.

Worthington supposedly never owned a car. He borrowed cars from his dealerships. He preferred to fly from his ranch in Orland, California to check on his various dealerships. Over the years the dealerships were reduced to the Anchorage and Long Beach locations.

Worthington died September 8, 2013, at age 92 at his ranch in Orland, California.

Cal's grandson Nick Worthington has followed in his footsteps as General Manager of the Worthington Dealership Group and appearing in TV commercials.

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YEAKEL PLYMOUTH CENTER, Downey, CA (sponsored Tom "The Mongoose" Mcewen dragster)

Yeakel Plymouth Center was located at 9250 Lakewood Blvd in Downey, California. The dealership was established May 24, 1958 by Bob Yeakel. Bob Yeakel was born Oct 22, 1919 in Illinois. Bob stood out from his many brothers and one sister as the driving force behind the family success story.

Bob had enjoyed massive success with the most successful Oldsmobile dealership in Southern California. See the story of Bob Yeakel's Wilshire Oldsmobile in the LOS ANGELES CITY section of the DEALERSHIPS in this website.

Bob left his brothers Phil and Frank in charge of Bob Yeakel's Wilshire Oldsmobile while he pioneered new territory in Downey. Bob brought Lou Baney with him to this location to get things running. Following Bob's sudden death in a plane accident Nov 3, 1960 his wife Marge Yeakel put Lou in charge of the dealership. Bob's funeral asked donations be made to Los Angeles Orphans Home Society in El Centro in lieu of flowers.

A 1964 ad for the dealership claimed that the dealership was the world's largest Valiant dealer.

General Manager Lou Baney, was the motivating force behind Yeakel's sponsorship of some very famous drag racers. Some of the great drag racers in the area such as Hayden Proffitt drove for Yeakel. Profitt drove a Yeakel Plymouth Center Super Stock 426 racecar in 1963 and 1964.

Jim Ward was the first driver of the Yeakel fuel dragster followed by Tom 'The Mongoose' Mcewen. 'The Mongoose' drove the Yeakel Top Fuel dragster named the Yeakel Plymouth Special. The body was a Woody Gilmore chassis with a 392 Chrysler engine. The dragster was owned by Lou Baney and built and maintained by Vince Rossi and John Garrison who was the engine builder. 'The Mongoose' had a well known rivalry with Don 'Snake' Prudhomme which intensified when Don took over as driver of the dragster when it was sponsored by Lou Baney's Brand Ford dealership.

Dugan Yeakel signed a release for his family name to be used on the car years later when it was rediscovered and slated to be restored to 1960s paint job and condition.

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YEAKEL BROTHERS CADILLAC, Los Angeles, CA (sponsored dragster/ see Yeakel Plymouth)

Yeakel Brothers Cadillac was brought to success by the main player out of the 11 Yeakel brothers. Bob Yeakel was noted as the 'dynamo' of the family. He was born Oct 22, 1919 in Illinois. He was always interested in promotion and at one point ran for mayor in the mid 1950s.

When Bob introduced Oldsmobile to the lineup at Yeakel Cadillac he kicked things off with a TV special that went over so well he decided to run a regular TV program out of the dealership. The Rocket to Stardom amateur talent contest Bob telecast drove the Oldsmobile dealership to top sales for Southern California.

In the early 1950s Yeakel Cadillac sponsored Lou Baney's light blue fenderless 1929 drag roadster. Yeakel Brothers Cadillac was located at 4610 Crenshaw Blvd, LA and owned by Bob Yeakel. His nephew Fred Yeakel started working there in the 1950s at age 14. Lou Baney was manager and ran an Iris Blue highboy 1929 roadster at lakes and dragstrips. The Cadillac shop had a dyno as early as 1955.

Bob opened Yeakel Plymouth Center May 24, 1958. This dealership went on to sponsor several competitive drag cars. See the story above.

Fred Yeakel bought a used 1959 Vette in 1963. He wasn't the only Yeakel family member to be heavily into muscle cars. Ed Yeakel's son Stephen Yeakel was killed during a high speed police chase when his 1962 or 1963 Chevy 409 lost control on a tight turn and collided head on with an incoming car killing both drivers.

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1964

HEADQUARTERS FOR CECIL L THOMAS & SONS, INC. VISIT YOUR LOCAL AUTHORIZED OLDS QUALITY OMEGA OLDSMOBILE

BOB BLACK OLDSMOBILE

BILL BURCH OLDSMOBILE 1147 W. Main Street Alhambra 1680 Newport Blvd. Costa Mesa

ALBERTS0N BROS. 4114 Sepulveda Blvd. Culver City

NQWLING'S OLDSMOBILE, INC. 7440 E. Firestone Blvd. Downey Anaheim

HARDIN OLDSMOBILE 1300 S. Anaheim Blvd.

CONWAY MOTORS 333 E. Huntington Drive

GRAYD0N MURPHY OLDSMOBILE 658 West Holt Blvd. Ontario

NATZEL OLDSMOBILE 1253 E. Colorado Pasadena

CLARK BROTHERSPOMONA 1100 E. Holt Pomona

RONALD E. M0RAN, INC. 900 N. Pacific Coast Hwy. Redondo Beach

GUY MARTIN OLDSMOBILE 18425 Van Owen St. . Reseda 1030 Pacific Coast Highway Harbor City

SPREEN OLDSMOBILE CADILLAC 8000 Pacific Blvd., Huntington Park

ALLEN PAUL OLDSMOBILE CO. 313 N. LaBrea Inglewood

PA0LA OLDSMOBILE, INC. 2865 Foothill Blvd. La Crescenta Arcadia

PIONEER OLDSMOBILE CO. 4610 Lankershlm Blvd., N. Hollywood 626 W. 17th St Santa Ana

MARTIN MOTORS CO., INC. 1115 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica

J. M. TAYLOR MOTORS 8534 Long Beach Blvd., South Get

CENTURY OLDSMOBILE CO. 5711 Van Nuys Blvd. VanNuys

MANDY WILLIAMS OLDSMOBILE, INC. 2525 E. Workman Ave., West Covina

HARRIS OLDSMOBILE, INC. 622 S. Greenleaf Ave. Whittier

PRESTIGE OLDSMOBILE, INC. 545 S. Atlantic Blvd. E. Los Angeles

HANSEL OLDSMOBILE, INC. 1325 W. Commonwealth Ave. Fullerton

BRYAN OLDSMOBILE, INC. 8833 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills

TOM NEAL OLDSMOBILE 800 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank

LEO RULE OLDSMOBILE CO. 505 S. long Beach Blvd. Compton

DICK BROWNING, INC. MODERN MOTORS CO., INC. L & L OLDSMOBILE 60 N. Maclay San Fernando 1225 S. Brand Blvd. Glendale 1227 Long Beach Blvd. Long Beach

 

 

 


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 October 2019 09:45 )