Dallas’ Ford Dealerships in the 1920s: Authorized for Your Protection

by Paula Bosse

ford_dal-exp_091622-smAuthorized Ford dealers, 1922

by Paula Bosse

Dallas has always been a big car town, getting its first look at a “horseless carriage” way back in 1899 when E.H.R. Green sped into town at 15 m.p.h. and startled the citizenry. By 1903, The Dallas Morning News was bragging that Dallas had more privately owned cars than any other city its size in the South (“over 40”). By 1909, the Ford Motor Company had a Model T service center in the city, and in 1914, Ford opened an important regional assembly plant downtown (which later moved to more spacious digs on East Grand).

For many years, there were six — and only six — authorized Ford dealers in town. In several ads of the period, “automobilists” were stringently warned to avoid “bogus” agents offering counterfeit Ford parts. (Accept no knock-offs!) Below, the six authorized Ford dealers operating in Dallas in the 1920s. (All photos larger when clicked.)

ford-dealer_fishburn_houston_dmn_101329Above, Fishburn Motor Company, 101 N. Houston St. Long gone, Dealey Plaza now occupies this site. Behind the building, at the right, is the Southern Rock Island Plow Company building, better known today as the School Book Depository.

ford-dealer_flippen_ross_dmn_101329The Flippen Auto Company, 1917 Ross Ave. The building took up part of the block now occupied by the Dallas Museum of Art.

ford-dealer_lamberth_dmn_101329Lamberth Motor Company, 3800 Main St. This building, not far from Fair Park, is at Main and S. Washington and later became part of the Fritos factory. With the building’s renovations over the years, it’s a little difficult to tell, but I think this building is still standing (and is the only one of these six buildings that has survived). To see what this building has looked like over the years, see my previous post, “3800 Main: Fritos Central,” here.

ford-dealer_morriss_lancaster_dmn_101329aThe John E. Morriss Company, 132 North Lancaster Ave., Oak Cliff. I’m not positive, but I think this may have been where Hector P. Garcia Middle School now stands.

ford-dealer_rose-wilson_ervay_dmn_101329Rose-Wilson Company, 1218 South Ervay St. In the Cedars, one block north of the Ambassador Hotel.

ford-dealer_shelton_main_dmn_101329J. H. Shelton & Company, 2311 Main St., at the very edge of Deep Ellum. The buildings seen here were right about where Central Expressway crosses over Main.

ford-logo_1922

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Ad at top from The Dallas Express, Sept. 16, 1922.

Photos of Ford dealers appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Oct. 13, 1929, under the headline “Ford Owners Served by Six Automobile Companies in City of Dallas.”

Ford logo from 1922.

Click pictures for larger images.

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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