Exclusive Plymouth Dealers

PeugFra

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Now back to the beginning! Some 40 posts back I left you with your engines running on Woodward Avenue.

Continuing our tour of the first Plymouth exclusives in Greater Detroit, if in those early months of 1957 you would take a short drive along Woodward Avenue from Ferndale to Royal Oak and turn right entering 11 Mile Rd, at 110 N. Washington St you would find another newly-opened exclusive Plymouth dealer, Frank Pepp Plymouth, Inc. In 1953, he had acquired the Dodge-Plymouth dealership at that location and in order to become a Plymouth-only dealer he had shed the Dodge line by March, 1957.

In his March 4, 1957 ad he strikes the volume seller chord:

"IMMEDIATE DELIVERY 1957 PLYMOUTHS Why wait? Large selection, all body styles. HARDTOPS - STATION WAGONS - BELVEDERES 175-PLYMOUTHS TO CHOOSE FROM-175 FRANK PEPP PLYMOUTH, Inc. Exclusive Plymouth Dealer 11 Mile Road, Corner Washington, Royal Oak"

Being a volume seller has its own problems. One of them is the need for showroom space. At least for the summer, Pepp had a solution according to this July 18, 1957 ad:

FrankPeppRoyalOak19570718.png


Maybe by "outdoor salesroom" he meant a structure marketed by Childers Manufacturing Co., a kind of giant carport.

The last ad I found for Pepp dates from April 1958. Maybe the Eisenhower recession knocked him out.
 

PeugFra

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October 1959 another exclusive Plymouth dealer is present at Pepp's address: Suburban Plymouth, Inc., with Dan Schmidt as general manager, so the ad says:

SuburbanRoyalOak1959.png


Note that he doesn't call himself the president. This smacks a bit of a contractual dealership, a wholly-owned factory outlet. That's different from DE dealerships, that were usually 75% owned by Chrysler. So Chrysler was hell-bent on having a Ply-only dealership at this location.

It must likewise have been a short-lived affair; at least, I found no ads after April, 1960. But we have a pic, reportedly from 1961:

SuburbanRoyalOak1961.jpg
 

PeugFra

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Also on the other side of Detroit, in suburban Grosse Pointe, an exclusive Plymouth dealer sprang up in early 1957. Glenn Walker, Inc., had been a DeSoto-Plymouth dealer since 1940. By 1957 he had two locations, and one of them, at 20139 Mack Ave, he now operated as a subsidiary, Glenn Walker Plymouth, Inc.

A picture of the Mack Avenue location presumably shortly before the split (winter 1956/1957, I guess):

GlennWalkerGrossePointe.JPG


He had also signed a new DeSoto single-line franchise for the other location, 13333 E. Warren Ave, where he continued Glenn Walker, Inc., initially as "volume DeSoto dealer". Who said DeSoto was doing bad saleswise?

From 1958 on, however, he deals DeSoto and Plymouth at that address, while continuing his Plymouth-only concern at Mack Avenue as well, at least through 1958. After that he must have consolidated all sales activity at Warren Avenue, as in 1959 the Mack address is occupied by a dealer in import cars, Transatlantic Cars, Inc.

Even before the termination of DeSoto Walker became unsatisfied with his business relation with Chrysler Corp., because June 1960 he sells the DeSoto-Plymouth-Valiant-Willys dealership. It then becomes Start, Commes & Ricci, Inc., 13333 E. Warren Ave, at first continuing with the same lines before fading away shortly after 1961.

In 1961 Glenn Walker himself became "Detroit's newest Chevrolet dealer".
 

PeugFra

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The fourth and last exclusive Plymouth dealer established during early 1957 was located in Detroit proper: Raynal Plymouth Co. at 9151 Chalmers Ave.

Raynal Bros., originally Pol, Harry and Albert, were seasoned Dodge-Plymouth dealers, with the Dodge-Dodge Trucks activity located close by at 9103 Chalmers Ave, their main address since 1925. However, in the first years the name "Raynal Plymouth Co." is used only sparingly and freely intermixed with Raynal Bros., "The House That Service Built".

And very differently from the three early-1957 dealerships visited so far, Raynal Plymouth Co. remained in business for more than two decades. From 1981 on they appear as Raynal Chrysler-Plymouth Co., before finally closing in 1984.

@tallzag: Could you post the dealer account number for Raynal Plymouth Co.? Theoretically it should be in your books.
 

ayilar

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@SGT FURY posted about his experience with Zumvalt here as he worked there many years.
 
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PeugFra

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The paperwork posted by @SGT FURY goes to show what pitfalls lie in dating franchise changes.

The window sticker for a 1970 MY car shows "Zumwalt Chrysler Plymouth":

ZumwaltSantaRosa1970.jpg


But at the end of that same model year (July 1970) Zumwalt still uses the old letter head "Zumwalt Plymouth Center":

ZumwaltSantaRosa19700713.jpg


As far as I could see from ads, Zumwalt added Chrysler to the company name in 1969.
 

tallzag

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The fourth and last exclusive Plymouth dealer established during early 1957 was located in Detroit proper: Raynal Plymouth Co. at 9151 Chalmers Ave.

Raynal Bros., originally Pol, Harry and Albert, were seasoned Dodge-Plymouth dealers, with the Dodge-Dodge Trucks activity located close by at 9103 Chalmers Ave, their main address since 1925. However, in the first years the name "Raynal Plymouth Co." is used only sparingly and freely intermixed with Raynal Bros., "The House That Service Built".

And very differently from the three early-1957 dealerships visited so far, Raynal Plymouth Co. remained in business for more than two decades. From 1981 on they appear as Raynal Chrysler-Plymouth Co., before finally closing in 1984.

@tallzag: Could you post the dealer account number for Raynal Plymouth Co.? Theoretically it should be in your books.
Raynal Brothers Co was dealer number 52446. Have two addresses listed, 9103 Chalmers and 9151 Chalmers.

The 9103 address is a collision shop now, super cool huge old building. The 9151 is a food bank now as of 2019.
 

PeugFra

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Thanks!

Dealer number 52446 was issued for a Dodge or Dodge-Plymouth franchise. If there is no separate dealer number connected with Raynal Plymouth Co. as a Plymouth exclusive that would mean that they consolidated everything under that number.

Kind of a surprise to me ...
 

furious70

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The paperwork posted by @SGT FURY goes to show what pitfalls lie in dating franchise changes.

The window sticker for a 1970 MY car shows "Zumwalt Chrysler Plymouth":

View attachment 558406

But at the end of that same model year (July 1970) Zumwalt still uses the old letter head "Zumwalt Plymouth Center":

View attachment 558407

As far as I could see from ads, Zumwalt added Chrysler to the company name in 1969

The paperwork posted by @SGT FURY goes to show what pitfalls lie in dating franchise changes.

The window sticker for a 1970 MY car shows "Zumwalt Chrysler Plymouth":

View attachment 558406

But at the end of that same model year (July 1970) Zumwalt still uses the old letter head "Zumwalt Plymouth Center":

View attachment 558407

As far as I could see from ads, Zumwalt added Chrysler to the company name in 1969.
Probably had a few boxes of that paper to use up
 

tallzag

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Oops my bad, didn't search the entire sheet. Raynal Plymouth Company at 9151 Chalmers Ave Detroit, MI was dealer number 61052.
 

PeugFra

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Very well! Now everything falls in place. Nice old number, too.
 

PeugFra

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Just to show how the split of a Dodge-Plymouth dealership into two separare outlets usually worked out in the dealer account numbers, consider these two cases:

Kuhn had been a Dodge-Plymouth dealer since 1945 and split off the Plymouth line in 1956:
54076 Kuhn Auto Sales and Service, 765 Carlisle St, Hanover, PA
61016 Kuhn Motors, Inc., 735 Carlisle St, Hanover, PA 17331, orig. date 04-56, incorporated 4 May 1956

Banning, originally Banning-Sheehy Motors, had started out as a Dodge-Plymouth dealer in 1946 and split off Plymouth in 1957:
55024 Banning & Sons Motors, Inc., DBA Banning Dodge, 5800 Baltimore Ave, Hyattsville, MD, orig. date 04-46, incorporated 12 June 1946
61185 Bob Banning Plymouth, Inc., 5720 Baltimore Ave, Hyattsville, MD, orig. date 09-57, incorporated 16 October 1957

With the new info, Raynal now conforms to this pattern.
 

PeugFra

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The Plymouth-only status of Raynal Bros. was initially low-key. That also shows from a labor dispute from 1961, in which a judge had to decide how many companies were at play here, two or one.

The Plymouth facility was only engaged in the selling of new cars. New-car preparation and servicing of sold Plymouths were carried out at the Dodge facility, just as selling of parts. And, contrary to the intentions of Colbert's "divisionalization", Raynal's Plymouth salesmen could freely take a prospective customer to the Dodge salesroom and sell him a Dodge, just as Dodge salesmen were free to sell a Plymouth to a Dodge prospect. Even the provisions for such sales were regulated. Yet, Raynal had gone through the expense of erecting a new building for the Plymouth facility, just to please the field men of the Plymouth Division.

Something of this lopsidedness was also present in the relation between Hodges and Northwood Plymouth Sales. In the evening hours, Northwood would send Plymouths for servicing to Hodges.

It leaves you with the impression that many Plymouth exclusives were mainly selling points.

By the way, the judge concluded that Raynal was just one company.
 

PeugFra

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I get to go on a short business trip, so no updates from me this week!
 
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