Wheels which keep Progress Rolling provided by Local Auto Dealers
Providing a vital service to the community are Kirkland’s automobile dealers, which have enjoyed a solid growth here since since 1919.
Starting as repair shops for the “flivvers” which navigated the dirt roads from Juanita and Rose Hill, the early concerns earned franchised dealerships and developed complete automotive services for their many customers.
For 21 years. East Side Chevrolet has exemplified the steady forward progress of the six local firms. Manager Leroy Johnson and six employees displayed the latest model Chevrolets in front of their Kirkland Avenue showrooms back in the early ’30’s. The men were Ed Brooks, Homer Morford, Ed Murray, Wayne Jussila, Floyd Berkel, and Eldon Berkey. Ed Murray is still with the firm. Today, East Side Chevrolet numbers 24 employees.
Outgrows First Plant
In 1937, Halls Motor Co. was founded at Lake Street and Commercial Avenue, across from Penney’s. The first dealer to outgrow its facilities, Jal Halls moved his company into a new building in 1940 at Kirkland Avenue and State Street. New parking facilities were added in 1946 and a third expansion was completed this spring when the service space of the company was doubled and new hoist and painting room equipment added.
Hansen Buick Company began as a repair shop on Lake Street back in 1919, making them the oldest of Kirkland’s automotive firms in continuous operation. Emil Hansen, owner, moved his garage up the hill to a brick building on Market Street shortly after. This building is still part of the present showrooms. Recently Hansen completely remodeled its used car lot, situated across the street from the main offices. This is in line with the company policy of keeping up with the times, which they first demonstrated by establishing a Hansen Buick agency in Bellevue.
In Same Location
Today’s modern Simpson Old-mobile showrooms are in the same Central Way location occupied by the Berkey and Simpson Garage, founded here in 1922, as a repair shop and service station. Simmon has been the franchised Oldsmobile dealer since 1936. The only family operation of the Kirkland automotive firms, Bob, Walt and Margaret have all aided their father, K. D. Simpson, and Mrs. Simpson has also played a part in the growth of the firm.
Wills-Schmidt Motors have also made a lO year contribution to Kirkland’s “Fifty Years of Progress.” Bill Wills and Ray Schmidt, owners, have the Dodge-Plymouth frachise and handle all sales and service. Chrysler motor parts are also available at the Kirkland Avenue firm. Complete one-stop lubrication, body rebuild, radiator repair, and towing are among the many complete automotive services at Wills-Schmidt Motors. Used cars may be inspected by customers on a conveniently located parking lot adjacent to the showrooms.
Big Chief Pontiac, located on Central Way, has recently modernized its offices, showrooms, and used car lot. Bill Byers, a partner in the firm, recently assumed management. Pontiac motor parts, lubrication, and repair are included in the complete services at this company.