Home Dealerships HAWAII Dealerships
HAWAII Dealerships
Written by Double Dragon
Monday, 29 February 2016 22:30

HAWAII Dealerships


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

Aloha Chevrolet, Honolulu, HI (once worlds' largest GM dealership)

Cutter Chevrolet (formerly Rainbow Pontiac), Honolulu, HI

Honolulu Cadillac Buick GMC, Honolulu, HI

Kapiolani Motors Ltd, Pontiac & Vauxhall, Honolulu, HI (first Bonneville sold here)

Pflueger Lincoln Mercury, Honolulu, HI (sponsor 1964 Comet 289 drag car)

Rainbow Pontiac (became Cutter Chevrolet) Honolulu, HI

Schuman Carriage Company- Cadillac Buick, Honolulu, HI


ALOHA CHEVROLET, Honolulu, HI (once worlds' largest GM dealership)

Aloha Chevrolet was located at 1801 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, Hawaii. The early dealership partnership consisted of George Murphy and the former owner. Eventually George became sole owner.

George Murphy was born in 1904 outside Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada. In 1919 George's father John Murphy opened a garage in Melfort, selling Chevrolet and Nash where George worked as a youngster. By age 17 George was named manager of his father's second dealership in Naicam, Saskatchewan. George's two older brothers were also car salesmen who moved to California in the early 1920s.

In 1922, at the age of 18, George became manager of the Melfort dealership and also got married to Blanche Arnett. In 1923 George and Blanche followed his brothers and opened a Chevrolet dealership in Manteca, Californiia.

The Depression closed down the Chevy dealership in Melfort causing George's parents and 3 younger brothers to migrate to California. California wasn't immune to the depression either and George's Manteca dealership closed. In June, 1931 George moved to Hawaii where he worked for Universal Motors (Ford) and became general manager by 1937.

In 1938 George established Murphy Motors (Oldsmobile). In 1940, he went into a partnership and became a part-owner of Aloha Chevrolet, buying out his partners in 1941. Aloha Chevrolet soon became the largest General Motors dealership in the world, supplying the entire Pacific Rim and the Far East, including Japan

In 1943, Murphy bought 2,600 trucks by telephone under retail and often under cost, Murphy sold his trucks to the U.S. and Allied governments as WW II intensified. Murphy used his wartime profits to buy car dealerships:

1) Chrysler-Dodge,  Omaha, Nebraska.

2) Chevrolet, Los Angeles, CA

3) A dealerships in Oakland, CA

4) Burbank, California.

5) Chevrolet, Pasco, Washington.

6) Dodge, Seattle, Washington.

George Murphy expanded into other businesses at this time and built an empire run from his home base at a ranch in Hawaii. He was so successful that his attempt to buy Studebaker was nearly successful. George offered $15 million for Studebaker. He had the cash on hand following the sale of Honolulu Iron Works, which he had bought three years earlier for $4 million. Studebaker stopped production in 1966 and George didn't get his chance to buy and restructure it.

3 of the Murphy brothers also owned car dealerships in California. Graydon Murphy was an Oldsmobile dealer in Ontario, California.

Murphy sold off Aloha Motors in 1972. Aloha closed in 1985 and is now the site of hte Honolulu Convention Centre.

Murphy's son, Kenneth had a Chevrolet dealership in California, but none of his grandchildren have continued in the car business.

George Murphy died at home in Honolulu on November 22, 1989 at the age of 85.


CUTTER CHEVROLET (formerly Rainbow Pontiac), Honolulu, HI

Cutter Chevrolet was located at the lot formerly occupied by Rainbow Pontiac, at 1391 Kapiolani Boulevard, Honolulu, Hawaii. The dealership expanded the franchise to Cutter Chevrolet Geo Pontiac and moved to 3060 Kapiolani Blvd, Honolulu.

Honolulu Mitsubishi took over the 1391 location after Cutter moved.



Honolulu Cadillac Buick GMC was located at 2901 North Nimitz Highway, Honolulu, HI.


KAPIOLANI MOTORS LTD, Pontiac & Vauxhall, Honolulu, HI (first Bonneville sold here)

Kapiolani Motors Ltd was a Pontiac & Vauxhall dealer located at 1341 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu, Hawaii from the 1950s through the 1970s. This dealership received the first production Pontiac Bonneville for sale.



Joe Nicolai is president of the parent company of JN Chevrolet and several other Oahu auto dealerships.


PFLUEGER LINCOLN MERCURY, Honolulu, HI (sponsored 64 Comet 289 & 65 Comet 427 drag car)

Pflueger Lincoln Mercury was located in Honolulu, Hawaii. The owner of the company Jimmy Pfluedger sponsored a white 1964 Comet 289 4 speed drag car which was built for him by Bill Stroppe. His drivers were Bill Shrewsbury and Earl 'Safari' Char. Pflueger also opened a drag strip on July 4, 1964 named Pflueger's Hawaiin Raceway Park.

The following year Jimmy Plueger managed to convince Mercury to sell him one of the red 1965 A/FX Comets with 427 engine. This car was red and intended only for the most famous race teams for a token $1.00 sum. Pflueger bought the car for his dealership based on his long standing connections plus $10,000.00 and got to racing it.


RAINBOW PONTIAC (became Cutter Chevrolet) Honolulu, HI

Rainbow Pontiac was located at 1391 Kapiolani Boulevard, Honolulu, Hawaii. The location became Cutter Chevrolet.


SCHUMAN CARRIAGE COMPANY (Cadillca Buick), Honolulu, Hawaii

dealer schuman cad buick honolulu hawaii license frame

Schuman Carriage Company was a Buick-Cadillac was located on Beretania Street. Honolulu, Hawaii.

The dealership traces back to 1893 when Gustav Schuman founded Schuman Carriage Co., selling wagons. Gustav A. "Gus" Schuman came to Hawaii from Germany in 1884 at age 16.

In 1903 Schuman attended the World Exposition. This inspired him to ship the first car to Hawaii. In 1904 Schuman imported Model T Fords. Success with imports led to the 1922 purchase of the Central Union Church which is opened as an auto showroom in 1929.

In 1930 Schuman's son G. W. "Scotty" Schuman becomes company president. He introduced the 1941 Cadillac convertible to the islands. World War II shut the company down temporarily.

The original dealership building was razed to create space for a new State Capitol building arond 1960. Schuman Carriage Co relocated to Beretania Street.

In 1982 Schuman's grandson Gustav E. "Dutch" Schuman became chairman. Mark Oshio was president. G.E. Schuman's son Richard was a director and operations manager of Schuman Carriage and president of Schuman Aviation Co.

Schuman sold off several NAPA auto parts stores and a warehouse in 2003 and then in June 2004 he announced plans to sell the Carriage company.

September 29, 2004 it was announced that Schuman Carriage Motors Inc. would close its dealerships on Beretania Street, in Waipahu, Kaimuki and Kalihi Kai beginning on Nov 27, 2004. It would continue to distribute Subaru to other dealers and then phase that operation out. Thus ended a 70 + year run as a GM franchise.

Susan Reyes was the GM manager of dealers and said GM was unable to coordinate a buyer for Schuman. Schuman President Mark Oshio couldn't find a buyer either. There are no relatives who wish to take the reins of the one-time seller of horse-drawn carriages. Company Chairman Gustav E. Schuman stated that "he's 75 years old and he just wants to get out of the business,"

The dealership name later changed to reflect franchise additions and was incorporated in 2005 as Schuman Carriage Buick-Cadillac-Subaru Inc.


SERVCO (Chevrolet), Oahu

Curtis Lee is general manager of Servco Pacific Inc. which sells Chevrolet in Oahu

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 March 2021 22:47 )