Home Dealerships CALIFORNIA/ SAN DIEGO Area Dealers
Written by Double Dragon
Saturday, 29 December 2012 21:58



Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

Brooking Oldsmobile, Oceanside, CA (442 drag racing sponsor)

Campbell Chevrolet Company, San Diego, CA

Carlsbad Buick GMC Cadillac, Carlsbad, CA 888-449-5165 (formerly Hoehn Buick GMC Cad)

City Chevrolet, San Diego, CA (877) 590-9390

Courtesy Chevrolet, San Diego, CA 619-313-4823 (main dealer Phoenix, AZ)

Cunningham Chrysler Plymouth, El Cajon, CA

Direct Auto Plaza (Chrysler), El Centro, CA
Drew Ford, La Mesa, CA

El Rancho Ford, Poway, CA (see Biszantz Ford, Glendora, CA)

Jim Finney Pontiac, Oceanside, CA
Ken Grody Ford of Carlsbad, CA

H & R Pontiac GMC Inc, El Centro, CA

Clarke Hatch Chevrolet, El Cajon (performance dealership)

Helm Brothers Buick, Chula Vista, CA

John Hine Dodge, San Diego, CA

John Hine Pontiac, San Diego, CA (see Hine Pontiac Alton, IL/ Dallas, TX)

Hoehn Buick GMC Cadillac, Carlsbad, CA 888-449-5165 (became Carlsbad Buick GMC Cad)
Lukens Pontiac, La Mesa, CA

McCune Motors (Chrysler). National City CA (became Perry Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM)

Midway Chrysler Dodge Jeep & RAM, San Diego, CA (became San Diego Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM), San Diego, CA

North County Ford, Vista, CA

North County Jeep, Escondido, CA

Pearson Ford, San Diego, CA

San Diego Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM, San Diego, CA 619 224-4151 (formerly Midway Chrysler Dodge Jeep & RAM, San Diego, CA)

Tipton Oldsmobile, La Mesa, CA (1969 Olds H/O)

Tower Motors Inc. (Chrysler). San Diego CA

Ty Tyson Pontiac, San Diego, CA (became John Hine Pontiac)

Weseloh Chevrolet, Carlsbad, CA


BROOKING OLDSMOBILE, Oceanside, CA (442 drag racing sponsor)

Brooking Oldsmobile was located in Oceanside, California. The dealer sponsored a 1965 442 drag racing car.



Campbell Chevrolet Company was established in San Diego, California very early, at least back into the 1920s and was still in business into the 1950s. For those of you who are interested in codes, GM assigned zone #34 to the San Diego area.


CARLSBAD BUICK GMC CADILLAC, Carlsbad, CA 888-449-5165 (formerly Hoehn Buick GMC Cad)

Carlsbad Buick GMC Cadillac is located at 5334 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, California. The dealership was formerly named Hoen Buick GMC Cadillac. The dealership is still part of the Hoehn Motor Company. In Spring, 2017 the dealership had 242 new vehicles in stock, 39 of which were cars.


CITY CHEVROLET, San Diego, CA (877) 590-9390

dealer city chev san diego ca license

City Chevrolet is located at 2111 Morena Blvd, San Diego, California. The dealership was established in the 1930s. The 2014 website states they have been in San Diego for 75 years.

In fall, 2014 City had 249 new vehicles in stock, including a new Red Hot painted 2015 Camaro Z28 VIN 2G1FZ1EE4F9700234 which seems to be an early production number. The $76,305.00 Z28 is basically a race car with a 505 HP 7.0 L (427) LS7 dry sump engine and Tremec 6 speed manual. Fender flares accommodate ridiculously huge wheels on 4 wheel independent suspension with Brembo brakes.

City also had a new Shark Grey Metallic 2015 Corvette Stingray Z51 3LT VIN 1G1YL2D72F5103504 with the 6.2 L 460 HP engine run through manual shift for MSRP $72,585.00.


COURTESY CHEVROLET, San Diego, CA/ 619-313-4823 (main dealer Phoenix, AZ)

Courtesy Chevrolet is located at 750 Camino Del Rio N. San Diego, California. Courtesy Chevrolet was established August 1955 by Edward J. Fitzgerald and R. Mitchel McClure. Fitgerald and McClure had worked together previously. Courtesy Chevrolet's first location was an old farmhouse on the outskirts of Phoenix.

In 1957, Courtesy Chevrolet moved a few blocks west down the street to 1233 East Camelback Road. Courtesy expanded in Phoenix on East Pierson Street and Bell Road as well as the San Diego location.

Edward Fitzgerald bought out Mitchel McClure in 1969. In 1981 Edward brought in a new partner, William R. Gruwell who is now Vice President and Dealer Operator. When Edward Fitzgerald died in 2000, Mrs. Fitzgerald took over as partner. William Gruwell's sons currently work in management positions in the Phoenix area Courtesy Chevrolet.

San Diego's Courtesy Chevrolet has been in the Mission Valley area for over 40 years, conveniently located next to Mission Valley Center shopping mall and restaurants. The Gruwells and Fitzgeralds took over in the early 1980s.

Courtesy Chevrolet has won more General Motors Corporation Dealer of the Year awards than any other GM dealer in the nation.

In winter 2014 Courtesy had 420 new vehicles in stock, 242 of which were cars. They had one new 2014 Corvette Stingray convertible 3LT in stock and a whopping 74 new 2014 Camaros in stock. They had one new 2014 Chevrolet SS in stock. Most of the new SS cars seen on lots are Phantom Black this one is Red Hot.

Courtesy Chevrolet offers the exclusive to California special edition 2014 Camaro CE (California Edition). It has a different grille, premium floor mats and striping that comes off the hood and folds over the side of the car.



dealer cunningham chrysler el cajon ca license frame

Cunningham Chrysler Plymouth was located in El Cajon, California which is east of San Diego.


DIRECT AUTO PLAZA (Chrysler), El Centro, CA

Direct Auto Plaza was a Chrysler dealer located at 2351 South 4th Street, El Centro, California. David C Merrill was the owner when Chrysler listed this dealer for closure in 2009 during the corporate bankruptcy restructuring.


DREW FORD, La Mesa, CA/ 888-373-9367

dealer drew ford la mesa ca licenese frame

Drew Ford is located at 8970 La Mesa Boulevard, La Mesa, California which is north east of San Diego. The dealership traces back to a garage that was established Nov 1, 1927 by Elmer Drew in La Mesa, California on the corner of La Mesa Blvd and Allison Avenue. In 1934 Elmer inherited the Ford mechanic, Wallace Todd from the Ford dealership down the street which had just gone out of business. Locals began bringing in their cars which led to Ford offering a dealership. On the second offer, Elmer accepted.

In recent years Hyundai and VW were added to the franchise. Family members Joe, Kay, Bill and Anna Drew maintain the business.


EL RANCHO FORD, Poway, CA (see Biszantz Ford, Glendora, CA)

El Rancho Ford was located in Poway, California. The dealership was established in 1969 by Gary Biszantz.

Gary was born Sept. 30, 1934 in Los Angeles. Gary Biszantz has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Claremont Men's College in 1956 (now Claremont McKenna College) Biszantz was Claremont's Athlete of the Year for his golf and basketball achievements.

After graduation in 1956 Gary worked at his father's dealership Biszantz Ford, Glendora, California. See the story on Biszantz filed under CALIFORNIA/ LOS ANGELES Metro Area. The experience led to Gary opening establishing his own dealership in 1969. El Rancho Ford in Poway, California was successful. When Gary changed career focus he sold it in the early 1980s.

In the 1980s Gary focused on the expansion of Cobra Golf, a small golf club manufacturing company which made his fortune. He sold it in 1996 and dedicated himself to horse racing. He runs a horse breeding and training center named Cobra Farms.



Jim Finney Pontiac was located at 1111 South Hill Street, Oceanside, California during the 1970s.



dealer ken grody ford carlsbad ca license frame

Ken Grody Ford of Carlsbad is located at 5555 Paseo Del Norte in Carlsbad, California along the Interstate north of San Diego. The dealer number is 71B 102. See the story under CALIFORNIA/ LOS ANGELES Metro Area for a story on the other Grody location in Buena Park, CA.

The new 2013 six cylinder Mustang is tempting for someone who wants a GT but can't afford one. You'd never guess this racy colored Grabber Blue Mustang with charcoal black bucket seats, dual stainless exhaust and 17 inch painted aluminum wheels is a mere six cylinder. Even more astounding is the 305 HP it cranks out.

The basic $22,200.00 base Mustang has very few options added to it to to achieve this look. The Equipment Group 102A brings you the Synch and Tech packages ($1,295.00). The automatic transmission was $1,195.00. Destination and delivery is $795.00 which takes the MSRP to $26,180.00. Ken Grody Ford offers $2,000.00 in discounts, taking the price down into used GT territory.

2013 mustang V6 grabber blue grody carlsbad ca

The VIN on the nice Grabber Blue Mustang is 1ZVBP8AM8D5259605.

1ZV= Automotive Alliance International Ford Motor Co. passenger car
B= Airbags and seatbelts
P8A= Coupe
M= 3.7 L V6 305 HP
8= Check digit
D= Model year 2013
5= Flat Rock, Michigan assembly plant
259605= Sequence number starting with 200,001.

The window sticker tells us this car was invoiced Sep 14, 2012, built Sep 24 and shipped out by rail. EPA figures indicate the 3.7 L six running through a 6 speed automatic squeezes out 19 MPG City/ 31 MPG Hwy for a combined MPG of 23. Interestingly, the metric Liters/ 100 KM system is adapted to miles= 4.3 gallons per 100 miles. The EPA uses $3.55 per gallon and 15,000 miles per year to calculate an annual fuel cost of $2,300.00.

2013 mustang V6 grabber blue grody carlsbad ca r

The Marine Corps Base Camp, Pendleton, California is inland from Ken Grody and they acknowledge this fact with giant signs proclaiming military discounts. The hot six cylinder Mustang above is just not going to cut it on this lot when soldiers come to town. Grody also has a Race Red one (you can see it in the edge of the photo showing an overview of the Mustangs on the lot down below). No matter that the six will take on many V8s of just a few years prior, military guys traditionally order nothing but the absolute fastest musclecars built. The crazier, the better.

Ken Grody has a white with red stripes 2012 Shelby GT500 for sale. This one is comparable with what you see on other lots. It has 19,209 miles. The main point of this car is the 550 HP Shelby takes out of the 5.4 supercharged 32 valve engine running through a six speed. It is VIN 1ZVBP8JS5C5247733. They want a reasonable $47,977.00 for this one owner car.

The other supercar on the lot is a much rarer special edition Mustang- a one year only limited edition dark blue Mustang 2008 Saleen Dan Gurney Edition H281 Supercharged. This car fits into the traditional supercar category. The Boss 302 style stripes, the spoilers, fantastic looking mag wheels and hood pins channel Dan Gurney's Trans Am racer of 1969, but the performance eclipses the factory musclecars that came out of that golden era and probably could do battle with the actual Trans Am racers of that era.

2008 mustang saleen dan gurney supercharged grody carlsbad

The car is named in honor of Dan Gurney who was born April 13, 1931 in Port Jefferson, NY. When his family moved to Riverside, California Dan landed in the middle of the hot rod scene. Dan quickly earned fame in all forms of auto racing from Bonneville and drag racing to sports cars, NASCAR, Formula 1 and Indy racing. He drove the Ferrari with Brock Yates in the 1971 Cannonball run. Dan formed his own company (to whom we owe the amazing 1970 Cuda AAR which is named for Dan's company).

This isn't the first time Dan Gurney's name has been on a car. Anyone who recalls the "Dan Gurney Special" Mercury Cougars from 1967 and 1968 had better think again when they review the specs on this 2008 Mustang. Those old Cougars were wonderful tribute cars celebrating Dan driving a prepared Cougar in competition. However, the 'Dan Gurney Special' was a completely stock Cougar except for turbine wheel covers, a window sticker and a chrome engine dress up kit. The chrome dress up kit was deleted from the package in 1968 which leaves you with a sticker on the rear passenger window and hubcaps.

The 1968 Cougar XR7-G ('G' for Gurney) went further with modifications performed by aftermarket companies: Shelby (yes, Carroll Shelby's company) created the concept, and A.O. Smith Inc. who did the actual grunt work. Starting with a Cougar XR7, the 'G' added hood pins, a hood scoop, fog lights, bullet shaped rear view mirrors and dual exhaust with extensions. The interior had special console, shift knob and steering wheel. Badges adorned the exterior. The first cars in March, 1968 had Rader wheels (later substituted with five spoke steel 'mags'). The XR7-G had the same base engine as the XR7, the 302 2 barrel, meaning all Dan Gurney Special Cougars are at the very least one step up from the 289 2 barrel base Cougar. Of course, you could order up faster fare, and more 'G's were ordered with 390 than 302, but scant few 428s were built.

Flash forwards 40 years and one month to April, 2008. All of the Dan Gurney 2008 Mustangs are ridiculously fast. Like the XR7-G, an aftermarket company created these cars, and like the XR7-G there are plenty of good looking exterior and interior modifications, but the aftermarket Saleen company focuses less on cosmetics and more on power. Saleen extracts a mighty 465 HP from a fairly small cubic inch 281 (4.6 L) that cranks out 425 Ft/lbs of torque using SOHV 24 valve setup and the Saleen Series VI integrated screw type supercharger with a dual stage water to air intercooler system. The induction system is wild: 39 pound Saleen fuel injectors and a Saleen 98 mm mass airflow sensor. With all that air being forced in, it needs 2 1/2 inch dual exhaust that dumps into four tip outlets.

MOTOR TREND got to 60 MPH in 4.3 seconds and ran the quarter mile in 12.9 at 111.3 MPH with a curb weight of 3,696 pounds. A stock XR7-G won't be able to duplicate those figures even with the 428. A short throw 5 speed manual with racing pedals, driver foot brace and Saleen shift knob makes sense, since with that much power on tap how many gears do you really need? However, the rear end is a 3.73 so a six speed would be nice for rev reduction during highway cruising. The Shelby's had six speeds for quite some time prior to this.

The suspension consists of Saleen springs, shocks, struts, sway bars, pivot bushings and no electronic stability control- you'd better be a good driver. Saleen 14" brakes replace the stock setup and gave MOTOR TREND a 108 foot stop from 60 MPH. The great looking retro Heritage Edition alloy wheels are massive: 19"x 9" front and 19"x 10" rear running Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires (285/30ZR-19 front and 285/35ZR-19 rear).

08 mustang saleen dan gurney superchargerd grody carlsbad r

The VIN on this Saleen Dan Gurney Edition H281 Supercharged is 1ZVHT82H385118132.

1ZV=  Automotive Alliance International Ford Motor Co. passenger car
H= Front and side airbags, active belts
T82= Coupe GT (the regular GT, Bullitt, Shelby and Saleen all share this designation)
H= 4.6 L 300 HP (obviously the stock HP rating is no longer valid once Saleen got through with it)
3= Check digit
8= Model year 2008
5= Flat Rock, Michigan assembly plant (Saleen window sticker says final assembly is Troy, Michigan where Saleen did the final transformation work on the car)
118132= Consecutive unit number

The Mustang has a second ID number from Saleen just like the Shelbys. The Saleen serial number is 08- 0036. The Saleen conversions began in April, 2008 with cars appearing in showrooms by May of 2008.

The window sticker tells us that the Dan Gurney Edition cost $55,999.00 plus $1,550.00 shipping. That's more than usual destination because it was protected in 'enclosed transport'. Throw in a $1,300.00 gas guzzler tax (EPA 14 MPG City/ 20 MPG Hwy) and local taxes and you have yourself a very expensive Mustang. Ken Grody is selling this four year old car with only 2,636 miles for $39,997.00. It is a one owner car with no accidents. With a mere 300 made, it could end up being quite collectible in time. The only thing working against it is that there are so many special edition Mustangs floating around it could get lost in the shuffle.

Below is an overview of some of the Mustangs on the lot. The blue convertible with the nice wheels up front is a 2007 Mustang convertible VIN 1ZVHT84N275304746.

1ZV= Automotive Alliance International Ford Motor Co. passenger car
H= Restraint system- front and side air bags
T84= Convertible
N= 4.0 L SOHC V6 210 HP
2= Check digit
7= 2007 model year
5= Flat Rock, Michigan assembly plant
304746= Consecutive unit number

This convertible provides the economy of a 4.0 L V6 teamed to an automatic, but once again, it is a very hot looking car with the Pony Package and alloy wheels. It has 41,746 miles and is going out for $19,584.00.

dealer ken grody carlsbad ca line of mustangs

In the far right rear corner of the photo you can see a Race Red 2012 Mustang VIN 1ZVBP8AM1C5207408. Like the Grabber Blue Mustang, this one is also a V6 but it looks like a full fledged musclecar. The 3.7 runs through a six speed auto which is good for 305 HP. That puts it into musclecar territory. It lacks the V8 rumble but it moves out with the eights. This one has 23,671 miles and lists at an affordable $17,977.00 price tag. There were plenty of other new and used Mustangs sprinkled around the lot.


H & R PONTIAC GMC Inc, El Centro, CA

H & R Pontiac GMC Inc was located at 764 Main Street, El Centro, California during the 1970s.


CLARKE HATCH CHEVROLET, El Cajon (performance dealership)

Clarke Hatch was born June 14, 1913 in Heber CA and few up in El Centro. He advanced to GM Regional Sales Manager for Western USA in 1952 (based out of Oakland, CA)  He decided to buy a Chevrolet Buick dealership in El Cajon in 1955 just retaining the Chevy portion of the business. He expanded by building new facilities down the street and later in the 1960s he tapped into the muscle car movement by stocking many high performance cars.

There was a Stub Hatch Chevrolet further north in Los Altos but this seems to be unrelated to Clarkes business.

Clarke sold the dealership at age 59 in 1972 to Richard Grihalva. Clarke died Jun 18, 1999.


HELM BROTHERS BUICK, Chula Vista, CA (est 1912/4)

Helm Buick opened as a general machine shop Jan. 2, 1912 at 288 F streetCarl Helm and Clarence J. Helm established the business. Carl sold out and became a rancher. Helm said the shop was used more for repairing bicycles than automobiles. When celebrating 45 years in 1957 a newspaper story stated that Helm sold his first automobile in 1914.

On May 29, 1929 Helm moved his operations to more modern quarters' at 279 F street, Chula Vista. Helm's Buick relocated to 363 E street with over 27,000 square feet of floor space.



John Hine Dodge was added to the John Hine Pontiac franchise. The Dodge dealership was located at 1561 Camino Del Rio South. In two years Hine suffered two major setbacks. First in 2009 John Hine, Jr. lost the Dodge franchise in 2009 due Chrysler's bankruptcy mandated purge of dealerships and then GM killed Pontiac in 2010. John Hine has managed to stay afloat by carrying Mazda.


JOHN HINE PONTIAC, San Diego, CA/ (1957-2010)

now JOHN HINE MAZDA 888-714-7925

dealer john hine pontiac san diego ca license frame

John Hine Pontiac was an offshoot of the original location begun in 1942 by John Hine in Alton, Illinois. That original location relocated to Dallas, Texas in 1950. In 1957 the original Dallas location was retained while a second location was opened on El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego, California. This location was originally named Ty Tyson Pontiac. The original Dallas location closed in 1969, but the San Diego location carried on at its new location at 1545 Camino Del Rio South, San Diego. The dealership had expanded to include Chrysler with John Hine Dodge at 1561 Camino Del Rio South. but lost that franchise in 2009 due Chrysler's bankruptcy mandated purge of dealerships. When Pontiac was killed in 2010 the Hine dealership had a well established Mazda franchise to keep momentum running.

John Hine, Sr died Aug 20, 1996 aged 91. His son, John Hine, Jr still runs the dealership.

For those readers who are dying to know who 'Zelda' is, check out the story of Zelda's 1977 Trans Am bought new from John Hines Pontiac in the ONE OWNER section of this website.


HOEHN BUICK GMC CADILLAC, Carlsbad, CA 888-449-5165 (became Carlsbad Buick GMC Cad)

dealer hoenh buick GMC Cad carlsbad ca lot

Hoehn Buick GMC Cadillac is located at 5334 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, California. The dealership was renamed Carlsbad Buick GMC Cadillac but remained a Hoen Motors Company. In Spring, 2017 the dealership had 242 new vehicles in stock, 39 of which were cars.



dealer lukens pontiac la mesa california license frame

Lukens Pontiac was located at 8080 Morningside Way, La Mesa, California. La Mesa is east and slightly north of San Diego. See the story of Gil and Nancy's 1966 Pontiac GTO bought new from Lukens in the ONE OWNER section of this website.


McCUNE MOTORS (Chrysler). National City CA (became Perry Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM)

McCune Motors was a Chrysler dealership located at 1800 National Ave. which is part of National City's famous Mile of Cars.

McCune enjoyed a 65-year history on the National City Mile of Cars. Dick McCune established the Chrysler dealership in January, 1948.

Dick's son Tony McCune washed cars at his father’s dealership and became general manager in 1970. Tony took over the business in 1973. In 2013 Tony sold the business and it was renamed Perry Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM.


MIDWAY CHRYSLER DODGE JEEP & RAM, San Diego, CA (became San Diego Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM)

Midway Chrysler Dodge Jeep & RAM was located at 777 Camino Del Rio S, San Diego, CA. The location became San Diego Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM around 2015.


NORTH COUNTY FORD, Vista, CA/ 760-945-9900

dealer north county ford vista ca

North County Ford is located at 450 West Vista Way, Vista, California which is North of San Diego. Their website claims 'almost 15 years of experience' as of 2013, suggesting they opened their doors at the end of the 1990s.The front of the lot had a lot of trucks and SUVs, and a large poster of a Raptor adorns the front of the building.

But they did have a 2013 Black Shelby GT 500 VIN 1ZVBP8JZ5D5271710 inside the showroom roped off. This new Shelby has a 5.8 L 4 V DOHC Supercharged aluminum block 660 HP engine (600 ft/lbs torque) that somehow manages to return 15 City MPG/ 24 Hwy MPG. The Shelby has a manual shifter topped with a white cue ball. The driveshaft is carbon fiber, the engine aluminum but curb weight is still a hefty 3,845 pounds. Everything about this car is over the top. The wheels are huge. 19"x 9.5" front (P265/40R19 tires) and 20"x 9.5" rear (285/35R20 tires). The Goodyear tires are Eagle F1 Supercar G2s. The stainless exhaust tips are quads that measure 3.5" each!

North County Ford didn't shirk on this one. It has the SVT Track Pak ($2,995.00) which gives you external engine oil cooler, transmission cooler with pump, differential cooler with pump. Electronics Package ($2,340.00) has navigation, HD radio, and dual zone temp control. As if that's not enough another $1,295.00 brings you a Shaker Pro Audio system. The glass roof is $1,995.00. Throw in the $375.00 Shelby logo car cover and you end up at $84,085.00.



North County Jeep was located at 1501 Auto Park Way South, Escondido, California. It was owned by James E Crowley. This was one of the dealers on Chrysler's list of 789 dealers to purge before June 9, 2009 during its bankruptcy re organization.



Pearson Ford was located at 4300 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA. Pearson was assigned Ford dealer code # 71F085.


SAN DIEGO CHRYSLER DODGE JEEP RAM, San Diego, CA 619 224-4151 (formerly Midway Chrysler Dodge Jeep & RAM, San Diego, CA)

San Diego Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM is located at 777 Camino Del Rio S, San Diego, CA. This location was formerly known as Midway Chrysler Dodge Jeep & RAM. The location became San Diego Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM around 2015.

In winter, 2016 San Diego Chrysler had 755 new vehicles in stock, 147 of which were cars. 30 of the cars were new Dodge Challengers roughly split between 2015 and 2016 model years. 14 of the Challengers were new 2016 R/Ts. 3 of the R/Ts were Scat Packs and 1 was a Shaker.


TIPTON OLDSMOBILE, La Mesa, CA (1969 Olds H/O)

Tipton Oldsmobile was located at 7950 University Ave, La Mesa, California during the 1950s through to 1970s.

Harold Bunn Tipton was born on Jan. 7, 1917 in Runningwater, Texas, the second oldest of four to DeWitt Tipton and Essie King Tipton. He attended college for one year in Texas before serving as a private first class in the Army for one year.

When Tipton moved to San Diego’s East County in the mid 1950s he began selling Kaisers, Fords, Chevrolets and Lincolns. His method was to go door to door with brochures and make appointments for people to come into the dealership.

In 1956 Tipton Oldsmobile was opened in La Mesa. Tipton experimented with other franchises: Fiat, Saab, Peugot, Chrysler, Plymouth, Volvo and Jeep but always kept his Oldsmobile dealership as the base.

According to a Tipton ad only 42 of the new 1969 Hurst/Olds 455 special cars were slated to be sold in Southern California and Tipton was one of the dealers selected to distribute them in Spring, 1969. 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 Mandy Williams Oldsmobile in West Covina and Tom Williams Olds in Santa Barbara.

Tipton opened San Diego County’s first Honda dealership in 1974, in El Cajon. The walls of his office reflected his Texan background with Texas longhorns, spurs, branding irons and lariats displayed.

Tipton was a devout Christian and gave out a free Bible with every car he sold which was about 2,000 cars a year.

Tipton was predeceased by his wife of 67 years, Gracielle Boles Tipton, in 2009. Harold Tipton died Jan. 22, 2014 of cancer at his home in El Cajon aged 97.


TOWER MOTORS INC. (Chrysler). San Diego CA

Tower Motors Inc. was a Chrysler dealer located at 1844 El Cajon Blvd.. San Diego CA. The location late became Lusti Motors which services foreign cars.


TY TYSON PONTIAC, San Diego, CA (became John Hine Pontiac)

Ty Tyson Pontiac was located on El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego. John Hine, Sr who had begun in Alton, Illinois and then moved to Dallas, Texas with his Hine Pontiac bought the Tyson location for his second location. Once it had caught on he closed his Dallas location.


WESELOH CHEVROLET, Carlsbad, CA/ 760-692-1558

dealer weseloh carlsbad ca license frame

Weseloh Chevrolet is located at 5335 Paseo Del Norte in Carlsbad, California which is just north of San Diego. The Weseloh Auto Group began in 1926 with a small filling station and garage in Ramona, California. In 1930 C. B. Weseloh started selling Chevrolets out of his filling station as a sub- franchise of Campbell Chevrolet of San Diego, CA eventually becoming a fully fledged Chevrolet franchise.

In October, 1935 C. B. Weseloh was awarded his second franchise, Weseloh Chevrolet in Escondido, CA. On August 17, 1940 C. B. opened his third franchise in Oceanside, CA. In February, 1955 Ben Weseloh took over the dealerships from his father. C. B. Weseloh also owned Marina Chevrolet and Hacienda Ford in San Clemente, CA. Hacienda Ford moved to San Juan Capistrano, CA where Weseloh built up an army of import dealerships at the turn of the new century.

In 1957, Ben Weseloh expanded the Oceanside dealership to include Oldsmobile. In 1963, Oceanside reverted to solely selling Chevrolet. Below is a long shot of the entrance to Weseloh in Carlsbad Car Country. The peaked roof is the location of the central sales office, and as you will see further down also the gathering point for several Corvettes.

dealer weseloh chev carlsbad ca lot

In the 1970s Car Country was opened in Carlsbad, California. This was a purpose built dealer row, unlike some dealer rows which develop unplanned. This auto row was engineered from the start for car dealerships. The result is wide roads and huge lots with space to buffer dealers from one another and the streets. The Carlsbad Car County website can be seen here: www.carlsbadcarcountry.com

Ben Weseloh moved his dealership to Carlsbad Car Country Sep, 1976 where it remains to this day. The dealer number is 20560.

The family tradition carries forward with both Jerry and Kevin Weseloh working in the Carlsbad dealership. The Weseloh Auto Group includes authorized Saturn service and a Kia dealership in Carlsbad. Weseloh has a variety of import dealerships such as Weseloh Nissan, Weseloh Kia, Weseloh Honda and Weseloh Yamaha in San Juan Capistrano, CA. Wesolah and Sons Chevrolet Hummer was also based in San Juan Capistrano starting in 1991.

Here is a close-up on the showroom with the peaked roof flanked by silver, black, white and red Corvettes outside and a red one inside the showroom behind them.

dealer wesolah carlsbad ca corvettes

The white convertible 2013 Corvette Grand Sport 3LT with the beige top and nice beige leather interior is VIN 1G1YW3DW4D5104249.

1= USA built car
G= General Motors
1= Chevrolet
Y= Corvette 
W= Grand Sport premium automatic (GS ranges are std, preferred, premium, custom)
3= Two door convertible coupe
D= Active manual belts, airbags (front row only since Vettes only have 2 seats)
W= LS3 code 6.2 SFI aluminum H.O. engine
4= Check digit
D= Model year 2013
5= Bowling Green, Kentucky assembly plant
104249= Sequential production number

The 6.2 L (376 c.i.) engine and a 6 speed manual feed a 3.42 rear axle. The sticker gives an EPA of 15 MPG City/ 25 MPG Hwy which is pretty incredible for a 430 HP/ 424 ft/lb engine. $74,705.00 MSRP. The wheels are specific Grand Sport Silver painted aluminum 18" x 9.5" front and 19" x 12" rears. The insanely huge wheels sport P275/35ZR18 Eagle F1 Supercar tires up front and P325/30ZR19 Eagle F1 Supercar run flat tires in back.

The black Corvette Gran Sport to the left of the white convertible is VIN 1G1YS2DWOD5103637

1= USA built car
G= General Motors
1= Chevrolet
Y= Corvette 
S= Grand Sport premium manual (GS ranges are std, preferred, premium, custom)
2= Two door coupe plain back (same code for 'regular' and 'special')
D= Active manual belts, airbags (front row only since Vettes only have 2 seats)
W= LS3 code 6.2 SFI aluminum H.O. engine
0= Check digit
D= Model year 2013
5= Bowling Green, Kentucky assembly plant
103637= Sequential production number

2013 corvette gran sport weseloh carlsbad ca

The window sticker claims a 16/ 26 EPA for a combined of 19 out of the 6.2 L (376 c.i.) running through a 6 speed transmission. The standard Corvette starts at a MSRP of $56,000.00. The 3LT preferred equipment group swells the price by $5,995.00. The wheels and magnetic ride control are over a grand apiece, $1,995.00 for dual mode exhaust and $100.00 for battery protection and the total options exceed $10,000.00. Now the car is $66,000 plus delivery for a whopping total of $67,955.00.

Walking away from the new showroom you enter a giant lot full of used cars. Below is a black 2011 Camaro SS coupe.

2011 camaro ss coupe black weseloh carlsbad ca

The used Camaro is in pretty nice shape and only has 14,000 miles which explains why it sold quickly at a $39,995.00 selling price. VIN is 2G1FK1EJXB9176082.

2= Canada built car
G= General Motors
1= Chevrolet
F= F-Body
K= 2SS (Automatic)
1= Two door notchback coupe
E= Active manual belts, airbags- two rows
J= L99 code 6.2 SFI aluminum engine
X= Check digit
B= Model year 2011
9= Oshawa, Ontario assembly plant #1
176082= Sequential production number

It has a 6.2 L (376 c.i.) and a limited slip differential with a 3.27 ratio (automatic- the manual got a 3.45 ratio). It has four wheel anti-lock Brembo disc brakes, dual exhaust with stainless steel polished tips.

2011 camaro ss weseloh carlsbad ca rear

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 September 2018 17:25 )