Valley Ford Car Dealers and others

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Do you remember the Country Boys Market with its wooden floors? Walter Smiths was the place to go for clothes on the Fulton Mall. Penny Candy had great blacklight posters and don't forget Whitie's Pet Store on Blackstone. What vintage retail do you remember growing up in Fresno?
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krazgeo
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:21 am

Valley Ford Car Dealers and others

Postby krazgeo » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:31 pm

One of my favorite things in life has always been cars. At Blackstone and Clinton was the city's Ford dealer, Valley Ford -- It is Lythia Ford, now...up north a mile or two on Blackstone, near Bullard Ave. When I was at FSC, Mustangs had just come out, and I went down there all the time in my '63 F-100 pickup. Ultimately I got a '65 GT hardtop (my first new car) in Los Banos, but in May of '69, after putting a happy 108K miles on it, I traded it at VF for the 6th Boss 302 to come to CA. They gave me $1200 for the '65, after their first offer of $800. The Boss was $4400 or so. I was in a Mustang club in Caruthers, down Hwy 41 about half an hour. That dealer, Webster Ford, was a Shelby dealer, and there were GT-350s and Cobras all over the place. It would have been neat to have one of those. The Boss was good -- sold it 2 years ago in a moment of weakness to a family member. It is on its way to big bucks. I wish I had both of those cars now! Our salesman/dealer representative at the club was from Valley Ford, his name was Jim James. I bought the Boss through him. He's been gone a long time now, but I remember him well, we were good friends outside the dealership. See you soon, Jim!!

In '64 and '65 it was fun to go down and look at the Galaxies on the lot. Those are my two favorite Galaxie years. The '64s were prettier, but the '65s had better suspensions. I remember a green '64 convertible that was under $3K. The '65 Impala was an outstanding car, too. The thing that made me choose Ford was the fact that the distributor was in the front of the engine, not the back, making for easier tuning. I remember Frontier Chevrolet, the huge dealership at the corners of Abby, Divisadero, Stanislaus, and P Streets. It was the first one I had seen that was a 2 story building. Hallowell Chevrolet was in Clovis. I remember the jingle that Valley Ford used for advertising:

"Get your feet down the street,
for a car that can't be beat.
It's a Ford, it's a Ford, it's a Valley Ford.

"It's no joke, it's for real,
you can't get a better deal.
It's a Ford, it's a Ford, it's a Valley Ford.

"They're beautifully built to take care of themselves,
and the care you get there is beyond compare....

"It's no joke, it's for real,
you can't get a better deal.
It's a Ford, it's a Ford, it's a Valley Ford."

They played that on KMJ and KYNO, I think. Those were the two stations I listened to while in school. In 1968, my father got a '68 GTO at Herman Theroff Pontiac, at 819 M Street. We traded a '61 T-Bird for it. The GTO is in my vicinity, running well. I'd like to have that T-bird, too. My spouse accuses me of having Alzheimer's when I forget things, not this guy!
Attachments
The_Fresno_Bee_The_Republican_Sun__Jan_9__1966_.jpg
Fresno Bee - Sun. Jan. 9, 1966 - Valley Ford ad

oldschool
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:03 pm

Re: Car Dealers

Postby oldschool » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:45 am

krazgeo, Thank you for mentioning Webster Ford in Caruthers!! My Grand Parents lived at Brawley and Nebraska. They have long since passed away. I also remember McCloud Ford in Riverdale. A small family place, also Swanson Fharney Ford in Selma. All the dealers you mentioned bring back great memories. Oh yeah Mack Lazerous Ford in Kerman. He will stand on his head to make you a deal. J. H. Sanders Ford too.

In one of my earlier post her I talked about the subject. ( Fresno has the best Auto Artist). When I moved to Northern California, I used to come and visit. For a past time I enjoyed going to the used car lots on Abbey and checking out all the cool Hand Brushed Pinstriping on the cars!!!!!!!!!!! The Central Valley was one of the few places that had this art form on cars to sell them. Not even Sacramento, or Reno. In Arizona its unheard of. I had the unique pleasure of meeting Neil Averill. His shop was at 1945 Home Ave. He was nice enough to give me some artistic tips on pinstriping. That was in 1975. I am now 59, still pinstriping but for pleasure. Your town and my ex home town is blessed with the best of the best. I am proud to be from Fresno and carry on the trade. Neil Averill, Dale Lhysdahl, (RIP), Dale "Soggy" Oftedal, Skip Thornbury, (Selma), Ron Talley, Bob Kovacs, Dick at Cycle Art, Chuck Babbitt, (RIP), Ruebin in Visalia. The Central Valley has the best. Also Airbrush legends Audrey Rawlings, and Claudia Weaver. Sorry to go on so long but you know why. I may forget a lot too, but I remember this like it was yesterday.

oldschool

C2H5OH
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:46 pm

Re: Car Dealers

Postby C2H5OH » Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:43 pm

Who was the Rambler & AMC (American Motors) dealer(s) in the 1960's & 1970's? The Ford dealer at Clinton & Blackstone (across from Lesterburger) was Friendly Ford before they were sold to Rodway and became Century Ford. They moved north before being sold to Lithia. I think Rodway (Al Rodriguez)still owns the property. Crockett Brothers was the downtown dodge Dealer. Dodge or Chrysler Plymouth also sold other Chrysler Rootes Group cars (Sunbeam, Hilman, Simca, Singer - I don't recall all of which ended up in the USA). Fresno Motor Sales had Cadillac and Oldsmobile. They sold Olds to Lou Herwaldt. Cadillac eventually went to Michael but I think Gardner had it in between. Buick was on Blackstone south of Ratcliff stadium. I don't recall their 1960's-1970's name/owner. They also sold the GM import Opel Kadett, Opel Manta & Opel GT. They later became "Service Buick" Herman Theroff had the downtown Pontiac dealership before it was Dan Day Pontiac.

Gardner Volkswagen and then Tom Mason VW were the Fresno & Clovis (respectively) VW dealers. Gardner also had Porsche/Audi & Cadillac before selling to Michael. Sierra Chrysler-Plymouth preceded Fresno Chrysler Plymouth. Lou Herwaldt owned the Franchise for a while and essentially abandoned it when he purchased the Olds Franchise (Chrysler was in dismal shape at the time). The sander clan owned several dealer. Stan sanders had the Ford Dealer in Clovis that became Decker Ford (Ray Decker, not Ron Decker) and now Future Ford.

Ed Rontell (Great Guy) had Volvo and Datsun (Nissan). The Datsun franchise sold and moved north on Blackstone as Fresno Datsun (and added Mazda I think). The new owners/managers were busted for prostitution (they apparently offered a few extras with some sales) a few years later. the Volvo Franchise was sold to FJ Sanders. Frank (FJ) Sanders had the Lincoln-Mercury Franchise and later acquired Volvo from Ed Rontell. Weber Motors Had BMW & Saab. Haron had Jaguar, Land Rover, MG, Triumph, Fiat. I think he also had Alfa Romeo and a few others. Harons son's still have Jaguar and Land Rover. Clawson was a motorcycle, boat and outboard motor (Mercury or Johnson?) dealer on Blackstone. When Honda brought their tine little 600 car to the USA, Clawson became a car dealer. Slavich Brothers sold Studebaker, Mercedes Benz and Jeep. I don't recall them ever selling Rambler or AMC but I can't be sure (AMC bought Jeep in about 1970). Hudson, Packard, etc, were too far before my time. Who the heck had the 1960's-1970's AMC Franchise?

radio208

Re: Car Dealers

Postby radio208 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:15 pm

Was the dealership called Parker Rambler? Downtown west of the Pacific Telephone Bld.

flwbdw
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:49 pm

Re: Car Dealers

Postby flwbdw » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:35 pm

I think your right radio. 1947-69 Parker Nash Co. 1462 Broadway Fresno CA.

foakes
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:14 pm

Re: Car Dealers

Postby foakes » Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:26 pm

Parker Rambler was late 50s. Frank J. Sanders bought the Rambler/American Motors franchise from Parker in early 60s. Sanders sold it to Rex Irwin in the late 60s (1968) along with the budding Subaru dealership that Sanders bought in 1968 -- he could not sell one Subaru, so sold the 12 initial Subarus to Irwin along with the Rambler/American/AMC franchise. In those days the early Subarus had an engine that needed oil mixed into the gas tank. When Tulare street flooded in 1968 -- the Subarus would actually float.

3000 E. Tulare Street

sjvalleydave
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:55 pm

Re: Car Dealers

Postby sjvalleydave » Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:31 pm

The engines were a 2 stroke, just like a dirt bike, so they needed a oil/gas mix...

radionut
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:25 pm

Re: Car Dealers

Postby radionut » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:15 am

The Buick dealer in the 60s was Caves Buick, near Radcliff Stadium I think. In Reedley there was Jackson's Buick where my sister bought a new, bright red/black interior '66 Skylark. Caves opened a Ford dealership in Reedley in the late 60s or early 70s. There was Dutch Chandler Chrysler in Sanger, where my grandpa bought a series of Imperials in the 50s and 60s.

Fresnan1960
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: Valley Ford Car Dealers and others

Postby Fresnan1960 » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:23 pm

If anybody believes it, My Mom, stepdad and me were at Valley Ford in about 1966(?)or thereabouts, and Rose Maddox and her band played there as a promotional act. :-D

Fresnan1960
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: Valley Ford Car Dealers and others

Postby Fresnan1960 » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:27 pm

Anybody remember the commercials for P.J. Eads, with the two cowboys' feet walking along, and the arrows shooting at them..."Whar' you goin?!" (deep voice) "P.J. Eads...." and Shebelut Chevrolet on Divisadero? :-)


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