California Car Showrooms & Dealerships (page 3)

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James Phelan Building
Fresno, CA


The James Phelan Building was built in 1914 as one of the first car dealerships in Fresno. A ramp from the first floor led to the second floor garage. In the early years, it sold Maxwells, Pierce Arrows, and Hudsons. By 1925, this was Williams & McAlister's Dodge dealership. In 1948, Lester Parks Motors sold Kaiser-Frazer cars here. From 1958-1972, the building housed Fresno Motor Sales which sold Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles. In the mid-1970s, the building was remodeled for offices. The entrance was modified at that time. In 2015, all but the shell of the building was gutted and the entrance was remodeled again. By 2016, it was occupied by multiple retail businesses. For more, see this website. [map]

Century Motorcycles
San Pedro, CA
The Century Motorcycles building originally housed a car dealership. It was built in 1927. Century Motorcycles has been here since 1962. See this page for information about the Neo-Lectra sign on the roof. These photos are from 2013. In 2015, the building was painted red. [map]

former Opera Garage
Pomona, CA
Dahlia Motor Service Building
Los Angeles, CA
The former Opera Garage was built in 1913. In the 1930s, the second and third floors were added. The building housed Tate Cadillac for many years and several other car dealerships after that. In the 1940s, the building was used by the Progress Bulletin Newspaper. Today, the building houses as nightclub and retail space. [map]

The Dahlia Motor Service Building was designed by Ralph D. Holden and built in 1931. The building also housed Whaley's Ford Service. In 2001, the building began housing Fatty's restaurant. Since 2015, the building has housed the Eagle Rock Brewery. For more, see this website. [map]

former Buick showroom
Vallejo, CA
This former Buick showroom was built in 1948 for H.L. Freudenberg & Son. There is a Rotary sphere on one side of the building and a Masonic sign on the other. Herman Freudenberg was a member of the Rotary Club and a Mason. The building has housed North Bay Cabinets since 1994. [map]

former Connell Motor Company
Oakland, CA
2008: 2014:
The Connell Motor Company showroom was built in 1947. The dealership sold Oldsmobiles. At that point, there was just the name "Connell" wrapped around the roof lip. As the dealership added other makes of cars, additional neon lettering was added to the building. In 2011, Bay City Chevrolet moved into the building and removed these signs. In 2014, the building was vacant. In 2016, the windows were boarded up. The general shape of this building will be incorporated into the entrance of a huge apartment complex being built behind it. [map]

former Lincoln-Mercury dealership
Berkeley, CA
This former Lincoln-Mercury dealership was built in the late 1940s. The building now houses Hustead's Collision Center. This photo is from 2014. In 2015, the building was painted grey. [map]

Crestview Cadillac [gone]
West Covina, CA
This Crestview Cadillac showroom was built in 1962. A Cadillac emblem sign once hung in the tower. By 2013, this building had been rebuilt and the tower was removed. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

Casa de Cadillac
Sherman Oaks, CA
The Casa de Cadillac showroom was designed by Randall Duell. It housed Don Lee Cadillac when it was built in 1949. The name was changed and the signs were changed by 1959 and probably earlier than that. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Lou Ehlers Cadillac [gone]
Los Angeles, CA
The Lou Ehlers Cadillac showroom was designed by Stiles & Clements and built in 1955. It was originally a Cadillac factory store before becoming Ehlers. The building was demolished in 2008 just after this photo was taken.

former Robert H. Loud Ford
Pasadena, CA
2008: 2013:
The Robert H. Loud Ford dealership was built in 1953. It was later known as Pasadena Ford & Suzuki. The dealership had closed by 2011. The building was still vacant in 2016. [map]

Suburban Pontiac
Bellflower, CA
Formula 1 Motors
Hayward, CA
Suburban Pontiac closed in the mid-1980s. The Pontiac Indian sign was most likely neon originally. This photo is from 2008. In 2011, this detail was removed. [map]

The Formula 1 Motors used car showroom was built in 1959. The original occupant was the Buchanan Olds-Cadillac dealership. In the 1990s, the building housed a Mitsubishi dealer. [map]

Autosports International
El Monte, CA
The Autosports International building probably housed a car dealership originally. These photos are from 2013. The building has been vacant since 2016. [map]

former Niles Buick
Santa Rosa, CA
2008: 2016:
This showroom was built in 1939 for Niles Buick. Sonnen Motorcars occupied this building in 2008. Since at least 2011, the building has housed Dibble's Auto Center. For more, see this postcard. [postcard scan thanks Alden Jewell] [map]

former dealership
Santa Rosa, CA
Jansen Motor Co.
Santa Rosa, CA
This former dealership building is located next door to the Niles Buick building described above. It was constructed in 1946. The Barnett Motor Co. may have been the original occupant. The building housed Chrysler-Plymouth and Dodge-Plymouth dealers. It later housed Santa Rosa Chrysler Jeep. The current occupant is GS Tuning. [map]

Jansen Motor Co. occupied this building from 1950-1959. They sold Chrysler and Plymouth automobiles, adding other makes over the years. The building appears to be from the 1940s, so, Jansen might not have been the first occupant. Later dealers included Chet Dickson, Chiaroni Dodge and Santa Rosa Dodge which closed in 1990. In 2008, the building was renovated. It is now used as office space for AMR/Sonoma Life Support. For more, see this website. [map]

former Ray Vines Chrysler
Long Beach, CA


This Ray Vines Chrysler used car dealership was built in 1963. The building may have been designed by Paul B. Clayton. It later housed the R.O. Gould Chrysler-Plymouth dealership. When the 2008 photos above were taken, the building housed Nationwide Auctions. After that, the building housed Worthington Car and Trucks. In 2010, there was talk of demolishing the building. However, the building was saved and adapted for a car wash and the Ren Sushi restaurant. The sign is gone. [map]

This same style building, now gone, was used by Simpson Buick in Downey, CA. There is also another building apparently identical and also built in 1963 in Las Vegas. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, 3, and 4 [scan thanks Alden Jewell].

former California Car & Truck
Fontana, CA
The California Car & Truck building was probably built for a new car dealership. It was probably built in the 1950s or 1960s. This photo is from 2013. The building now houses Kiro Auto Sales. [map]

Glendale Dodge (Star Ford Lincoln) [gone]
Glendale, CA



Star Used Cars (now Star Ford Lincoln)
Glendale, CA
2008: 2013:
The Glendale Dodge building with canted windows and steel beam legs was built in 1959 for Bob Smith Dodge-Plymouth. The showroom operated as Glendale Dodge from 1963-1985. The red plastic sign was probably installed in 1963. In 1986, the dealership became Jack Ellis Glendale Dodge. By 2013, the plastic Dodge sign and stainless steel street numbers had been removed. The building was about to open as the Star Ford Lincoln Service and Parts office. In 2014, this building was demolished and replaced with a larger, boxy building.

The hexagonal building across the street housed Star Used Cars when the 2008 photo was taken. It may have been built in the 1960s or 1970s. By 2013, the building housed the sales office for Star Ford Lincoln's new and used cars. [map]

Mazda of San Bernardino [gone]
San Bernardino, CA
former Tate Motors Cadillac
Pomona, CA
The Mazda of San Bernardino showroom looked like it was probably from the 1960s. This photo is from 2008. By 2011, the building had been demolished.

This Tate Motors Cadillac showroom was built in 1957. The dealership closed in the early 1980s. The building now houses Santa Fe Outlets. [map]

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