Exclusive Plymouth Dealers

PeugFra

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Common internet knowledge has it that Plymouth-only dealerships were a rare sight. Here's a quote from a recent online publication at Allpar:

"With the resurgence of Plymouth in 1957, some experimental Plymouth-only stores were set up, scattered around the country, perhaps four or five of them.
Curtis Redgap: "Plymouth lost in the chaos at Chrysler, 1957-1960", Nov 16, 2020

The author duely notices that he used other materials (which?) and cautions: "In some cases, the journals go back 50 years".

Relatively recent print sources from two authoritative outlets sing the same tune:

By the late Fifties a few experimental Plymouth-only dealerships were established to test the waters. Although future difficulties would prevent the corporation from pursuing this course, in the fall of 1959 Chrysler moved to partially undo what it had done 30 years earlier by taking Plymouth away from the Dodge dealers.
Jeffrey I. Godshall & James K. Wagner: "Maple Leaf Mutants: Chrysler North of the Border", in: Automobile Quarterly 32/3, Jan 1994, pp. 92-109 - p. 109

"Chrysler could have used the demise of DeSoto as an opportunity to create a Plymouth-only dealer network, but failed to do so. With the discontinuation of DeSoto, the Plymouth-DeSoto-Valiant Division became simply the Plymouth Division, but did not get exclusive dealerships."
Charles K. Hyde: "Riding the Roller Coster: a History of Chrysler Corporation", Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2003, p. 180.

However, when you delve into those journals that go back 50 years and more, quite a different picture emerges:

"Plymouth: One movement that is bound to gain in importance as time goes on is the autonomy granted Plymouth. As of Jan. 1, [1956] there were no exclusive Plymouth deals, but some have been set up since then."
Automotive News, Mar 5, 1956, p. 8

"However, the disappearance of DeSoto did enable Plymouth to show a tremendous rise in exclusive dealerships. Plymouth now [Jan 1, 1961] has 1,596 one-liners, compared with 252 a year ago. About 1,300 DeSoto-Plymouth duals became Plymouth exclusives when DeSoto was dropped."
Automotive News, Jan 30, 1961, p. 115

"Jan 1, 1969 ... Plymouth Exclusives (within corporation) 366; Multiples (within corporation) 3,466"
Automotive News, 1969 Almanac Issue, Apr 1969, quoted from "Role of Giant Corporations: Hearings, Ninety-first Congress, July 9, 10, and 11, 1969", p. 588

Automotive News, "The Newspaper of the Industry", flatly contradicts the first three quotes. Plymouth-only dealerships were founded from 1956 on, inadvertently reached 1,596 in number (about 45% of all Plymouth outlets taken together) due to cancelling DeSoto and remained a part of the US dealership landscape throughout the Sixties.

So what's the story?
 

patrick66

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Now it's Stellantis Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram...
SMH

Stellantis? I thought it is Bursitis. Psoriasis? Appendicitis? To me, the company formerly known as Chrysler is (fill-in-the-soulless-corporate-entity here). It seems to change hands a couple of times a year.
 
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Big_John

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Common internet knowledge has it that Plymouth-only dealerships were a rare sight.
We had Pepper Plymouth here in Syracuse. Sold only Plymouths.

There was Pepper Plymouth, Sam Dell Dodge and Goodman Chrysler Plymouth all within a couple blocks of each other.

Pepper sold out (I think) and they are Lowery Chrysler Jeep. Sam Dell was a pretty big dealer and one of the few that actually owned all the cars on their floor plan. After Sam Dell Sr. died, Sam Jr. put the place up his nose and they're gone. Goodman was shut down in 2009 during Chrysler's dealer purge.
 

PeugFra

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Thanks!

That's a good example of the fate of those ex DeSoto dealers. Pepper Auto Sales, Inc., 1035 W Genesee St, Syracuse, NY, figures on the DeSoto Dealer List.

They had taken out their original DeSoto-Plymouth franchise in 1958, but going by this 1962 ad, they subsequently turned into convinced Plymouth-Valiant dealers: "Pepper For Plymouth".
 

Big_John

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PeugFra

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Great thread!

Well, at least when pictures are concerned Plymouth-only dealerships are rare. Going through the 19 pages of the thread, I saw only these:

Bob Bauer Plymouth, Hwy 94 & College Ave, Lemon Grove, CA
Zumwalt Plymouth Center, 955 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa, CA
(Two ex DeSoto-Plymouth dealers)

Northwood Plymouth Sales, 23100 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI
(A split-off from a Dodge-Plymouth dealership)

First Avenue Plymouth, 3837 1st Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA
King Solomon Motors, 304 E Main St, Morristown, TN
(Two foundations from the Sixties)

For Zumwalt I've found a different picture from the one already posted:

ZumwaltSantaRosa1962.png
 
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PeugFra

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Going back to Pepper Plymouth, Syracuse, NY, at a certain point in the Seventies they added Chrysler to their franchise, as this shipping order for a 1978 New Yorker Brougham shows:

78-119562-CS43T8C119562shippingorder.jpg


@Big_John: Do you have any recollection of that change-over from Plymouth-only to Chry-Ply? The oldest ad that says "Pepper Chrysler Plymouth" that I found is from December 27, 1975.
 

Big_John

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Going back to Pepper Plymouth, Syracuse, NY, at a certain point in the Seventies they added Chrysler to their franchise, as this shipping order for a 1978 New Yorker Brougham shows:

View attachment 552914

@Big_John: Do you have any recollection of that change-over from Plymouth-only to Chry-Ply? The oldest ad that says "Pepper Chrysler Plymouth" that I found is from December 27, 1975.
I really don't remember them selling Chryslers, but I also didn't pay a lot of attention back to this stuff back then either.

I seem to remember that Pepper was the dealership that sold the local Chrysler (New Process Gear) employees cars back then. @68 4spd Fury was a NPG employee and might shed some light on this.
 

68 4spd Fury

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I really don't remember them selling Chryslers, but I also didn't pay a lot of attention back to this stuff back then either.

I seem to remember that Pepper was the dealership that sold the local Chrysler (New Process Gear) employees cars back then. @68 4spd Fury was a NPG employee and might shed some light on this.
I'm don't remember when Pepper's closed, I think Sam Dell used the building after that though but I'm not sure. I started at NPG in 84. There were no exclusive dealers for the employee purchase program, you could choose whoever based on location, inventory ect. My Father had the executive lease cars and you could choose who you went with that too. He ended up using Goodman's pretty much for the Chrysler and Plymouth cars. For Dodge I'm not sure, probably Dell.
 

Big_John

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I'm don't remember when Pepper's closed, I think Sam Dell used the building after that though but I'm not sure. I started at NPG in 84. There were no exclusive dealers for the employee purchase program, you could choose whoever based on location, inventory ect. My Father had the executive lease cars and you could choose who you went with that too. He ended up using Goodman's pretty much for the Chrysler and Plymouth cars. For Dodge I'm not sure, probably Dell.
I think you are right about Dell using Pepper's building. I kept thinking it was the other side of Geddes towards the downtown area, around where Lowery Jeep is now, but I googled the address and now I remember it was between Goodman's and Dell's.

Aldi's and a Dollar store there now.
 

PeugFra

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Isn't that shipping order four posts back for a car from the executive lease program?
 

68 4spd Fury

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I think you are right about Dell using Pepper's building. I kept thinking it was the other side of Geddes towards the downtown area, around where Lowery Jeep is now, but I googled the address and now I remember it was between Goodman's and Dell's.

Aldi's and a Dollar store there now.
People had their dealer preferences for one reason or another. There were occasionally, promotions form individual dealers, flyers passed out at the plant, for additional discounts over the employee price to clear inventory. I bought an 85 Omni, (Dell), and a 90 Voyager (Goodman), under those. If I ordered one, since there was no price haggling, I went with who was the most convenient location at the time. Fayetteville Dodge or Romono Chrysler-Jeep.
 

68 4spd Fury

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I think you are right about Dell using Pepper's building. I kept thinking it was the other side of Geddes towards the downtown area, around where Lowery Jeep is now, but I googled the address and now I remember it was between Goodman's and Dell's.

Aldi's and a Dollar store there now.
I had transferred to Kokomo then. I remember coming back and seeing Dell not just closed but bulldozed. Most shocking though was getting off the Thruway at the circle and seeing Carrier leveled.
 

Big_John

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I had transferred to Kokomo then. I remember coming back and seeing Dell not just closed but bulldozed. Most shocking though was getting off the Thruway at the circle and seeing Carrier leveled.
So much has changed. So many closings.

Never fear though! We are going to re-route RT81 through the city streets and build a new aquarium! (sarcasm).
 

furious70

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First Avenue Plymouth, 3837 1st Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA

When did it say they were P only? Only ever heard of them as C-P
 

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Great thread!

Well, at least when pictures are concerned Plymouth-only dealerships are rare. Going through the 19 pages of the thread, I saw only these:

Bob Bauer Plymouth, Hwy 94 & College Ave, Lemon Grove, CA
Zumwalt Plymouth Center, 955 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa, CA
(Two ex DeSoto-Plymouth dealers)

Northwood Plymouth Sales, 23100 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI
(A split-off from a Dodge-Plymouth dealership)

First Avenue Plymouth, 3837 1st Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA
King Solomon Motors, 304 E Main St, Morristown, TN
(Two foundations from the Sixties)

For Zumwalt I've found a different picture from the one already posted:

View attachment 552802
Have a porcelain valiant sign from Zumwalt, it was behind the Plymouth tower.
 

PeugFra

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First Avenue Plymouth, 3837 1st Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA

When did it say they were P only? Only ever heard of them as C-P

Actually it says so in this picture from 1970, on the building and on the truck:

FirstAvenueCedarRapids.jpg


I have them on record in print documents for the years 1968, 1972 and 1974.
 
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PeugFra

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In occasion of this year's Woodward Dream Cruise, a closer look at Plymouth exclusives on and around Woodward. Greater Detroit members, feel free to chime in!

Among the pictured Plymouth-only dealerships there is Northwood Plymouth Sales, 23100 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI:

NorthwoodFerndale1957.jpg


This was one of the earlier Ply-only dealerships in Greater Detroit, organized in the first months of 1957.

In October, 1959 it was replaced by Masons Plymouth-Valiant aka Masons Sales & Service, Inc., 22525 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, MI. At the same time the original address at 23100 Woodward was occupied by Hodges Foreign Sales, Inc., selling Renault and Peugeot. But by 1962 you get Mason Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc., 1430 S Woodward Ave, Royal Oak, MI, and the Ply-only outlet is not heard of anymore. Mason Chrysler-Plymouth suffered a huge fire in 1980.

All dealerships mentioned so far were branches of "Hodges for Dodges" Hodges Auto Sales, Inc., where James A. Mason, TIME Dealer of the Year for 1960, was president.

Also note that date of October, 1959 for the start of Masons Plymouth-Valiant. At the introduction of Valiant, a stand-alone car line for 1960, Chrysler was very careful in awarding franchises: "no over-dealering!" Mason was there, right from the beginning.

MasonsFerndale1960.png
 
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