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Early Auto Dealers in Richmond

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Early Auto Dealers in Richmond




Advertisements of the Richmond automobile dealers in the Richmond Daily Register half a century ago revealed the community's considerable interest in automobiles and also something of the competition among the dealers in that rapidly developing field. Although the automobile had only about halfway evolved from its "horseless carriage" days, the year 1920 was a good year for auto dealers.

The Reeves Motor Company offered to the public the Auburn Beauty Six which gave, according to one newspaper ad, “freedom of a touring car in fine weather and luxurious comfort of a closed car when it’s wet or wintry.” The price ranged from $1,895 to $2,775. Other cars sold by Reeves were the Maxwwell and the Essex. Goodyear tires size 30 X 3 to 31 X 4 sold from $21 to $24.

The Luxon Garage was dealer for the Paige and Chandler cars, and Paige Detroit trucks. The Paige Light Six was described as "the most beautiful car in America," and the Chandler Dispatch, a four-passenger sedan with "rainbow blue" finish and hand-buffed leather seats, sold for $2,075.

The Deatherage Reid Motor Company was dealer for the Hudson Super Six and the Essex which in a 1,000 mile test had managed to average 44 m.p.h. The New Dixie Auto Company offered to prospective buyers the 1920 Chevrolet Roadster for $1,218 FOB Detroit. W. H. Grider was dealer for the Dort automobile line which ranged from $1,035 for the touring car model to $1,665 for the sedan model.

Other early dealers in Richmond included Richmond Motor Company which sold Fords for a while; the Cental Service Station, dealer for the Chalmers Hot Spot (known for its quick get away) and the Milburn-Electric cars; and Spears Turley the local agent for the Grant Six. The Richmond Buick Company, which was operated by Matt Baxter and Archie Dedman, was located on South Third Street near the rear of the Glyndon Hotel.

The major truck dealer in Richmond in 1920 was the Sandlin Supply Company located in the Soper block on Main Street between Madison and Collins Streets. They had the dealership for the Bethlehem motor truck which sold for around $6,000. The primitive state of development of motor trucks is indicated in the ads of the Service Tire Company of Lexington which urged, "Equip your truck with U.S. solid truck tires." In this same year the Richmond Welch Company was busy selling both wide and narrow track wagons for $135 to $146.

In the 1930's the Chevrolet dealer, Woods Motor Company, was the largest volume dealer in Richmond. Canfield was dealer for the Willys Knight and later the Oldsmobile. Sturgill Motor Company, the Buick dealership, was managed by J. G. James. The Witt Motor Company advertised the 1935 Ford V-8 for $495 FOB Detroit, azs.

Some other dealers from this time were Hymer Motor Company, Berea Motors, Boone Tavern Garage, Johnson Motor Company, Oldham Motor Company, Si Minter and Montgomery Garage.


Dr. Robert Grise





Dr. Robert Grise, “Early Auto Dealers in Richmond,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed August 10, 2020,