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Ammon R. Smith Auto Company, York, PA

 
Old 12-31-2012, 11:58 PM
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jerhofer
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Default Ammon R. Smith Auto Company, York, PA

I joined NCRS and got their report showing the dealer that originally got my car. It was shipped to Ammon R. Smith Auto Company in York, PA. Somehow it ended up on the west coast. I found an Ebay ad where the guy I bought the car from had purchased the car in Covina, CA. There was a phone number which I called. Turns out this guy had sold the car on consignment. I asked him to give my contact info to the owner which he did. However, I have not heard from the guy yet.

I had some time to look up this dealership. It was a very old dealership that was taken over in the 60's by Dave Strickler who married Ammon Smith's granddaughter. Dave Strickler was a famous drag racer running "Old Reliable" which was also the slogan for the dealership. Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins tuned the cars as they were early racing partners. I found a number of photos of interesting cars he ran including a very early funny car Corvette.


































Last edited by jerhofer; 01-12-2013 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:36 AM
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Anybody from the northeast who was a Chevy or drag racing fan in the 60's, knew of Ammon R Smith Auto Company, and Grumpy and Strickler. They were regulars at all of the tracks here in the northeast; Cecil County, Atco, Old Bridge, York US 30, etc.

Pretty cool having a Corvette ordered new out Smith Auto Co.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:00 AM
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Congrats on your find.

I know a bit about Dave since I was born in York.......and he was my cousin.

I was at those races all the time back then.

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c1-a...the-1960s.html
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill32 View Post
Congrats on your find.

I know a bit about Dave since I was born in York.......and he was my cousin.

I was at those races all the time back then.

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c1-a...the-1960s.html
a lot of fast Chevys came from that dealer
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill32 View Post
Congrats on your find.

I know a bit about Dave since I was born in York.......and he was my cousin.

I was at those races all the time back then.

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c1-a...the-1960s.html

That video from the 60's is fantastic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=ydvcA_O-TNg
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:51 PM
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Mike Terry
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Looks like they may have added on to the front end of that 66 Corvette just a little. Maybe more then a little. Kind of looks like a real fast Corvette Limo. Looks cool and that is cool that you found out all that info on your car.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:05 PM
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jerhofer
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I found some more photos of Dave's cars.



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Old 01-01-2013, 04:09 PM
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Dan Hampton
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Outstanding photos. Don't forget Larry Lombardo who was also from that area. Not only did he win the '68 Stock Eliminator Championship at Indy in '68 with his '61 Corvette, he also became Grumpy's Pro Stock Vega driver later in the decade.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:16 PM
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BrentF
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Ammon R. Smith Auto Company, and not to be confused with A.O. Smith "Auto Company"


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Old 01-01-2013, 09:32 PM
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Great info on this dealer !

Dave
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:43 PM
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:46 PM
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AMMON R. SMITH AUTO CO.

Chevrolet Dealer



The Ammon R. Smith Auto Company dates back
to 1907 when Ammon R. Smith, as a lad of seventeen,
set himself up as an auto repair mechanic in his
father's blacksmith shop at Dallastown, Pa.

By 1910, he was buying and selling used cars
and got the agency for the "Little 4." A year later,
he built a garage of his own at the edge of town
and sold Chevrolet cars built by Louis and Gaston
Chevrolet.

Originally, the "Little 4" was manufactured by the
Little Motor Company, and thereafter the Chevrolet
Motor Company was organized by W. C. Durant,
taking in both the Chevrolet brothers and the Little
Motor Car Company. In a little while General Motors
Corporation was organized, and Chevrolet Motor



Company became a part thereof. He is still a Chev-
rolet dealer and has been a Chevrolet dealer since
about two years before the Chevrolet Motor Com-
pany was organized.

In 1914, he came to York and bought an old Luth-
eran Church building and by adding to it he has in-
creased it to about four times its original floor space.

The business grew from year to year until in 1941
seventy-six people were employed, thirty of whom
were in the Sales Department. That one year over
eight hundred new Chevrolet cars and trucks, and
sixteen hundred used cars and trucks were handled.
The ten best years prior to World War II were: New
cars and trucks, used cars and truck 19,338 units.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:03 PM
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I found out some more information and photos. Ammon R. Smith had to be one of the earliest Chevrolet dealers. Supposedly Louis Chevrolet himself raced in York, Pa in 1914 in an Ammon Smith prepared car. These are some of the earlier photos of the dealership that I found.







Here are some photos from the fifties.







And the 60's.







Dave Strickler ran Chevy's in the early 60's but switched to Mopar when GM pulled out of racing in '63/'64.



When GM got back into racing in the late 60's, he switched back. The Corvette was a stretched 1966. The car won 1967 NHRA nationals funny car class with this car. In the early 70's they had a party to celebrate the Corvette and burned it to the ground!!! Just goes to show what that old race cars have little perceived value once they are outdated. Think what that car would be worth today.







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Old 01-13-2017, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jerhofer View Post
AMMON R. SMITH AUTO CO.

Chevrolet Dealer



The Ammon R. Smith Auto Company dates back
to 1907 when Ammon R. Smith, as a lad of seventeen,
set himself up as an auto repair mechanic in his
father's blacksmith shop at Dallastown, Pa.

By 1910, he was buying and selling used cars
and got the agency for the "Little 4." A year later,
he built a garage of his own at the edge of town
and sold Chevrolet cars built by Louis and Gaston
Chevrolet.

Originally, the "Little 4" was manufactured by the
Little Motor Company, and thereafter the Chevrolet
Motor Company was organized by W. C. Durant,
taking in both the Chevrolet brothers and the Little
Motor Car Company. In a little while General Motors
Corporation was organized, and Chevrolet Motor



Company became a part thereof. He is still a Chev-
rolet dealer and has been a Chevrolet dealer since
about two years before the Chevrolet Motor Com-
pany was organized.

In 1914, he came to York and bought an old Luth-
eran Church building and by adding to it he has in-
creased it to about four times its original floor space.

The business grew from year to year until in 1941
seventy-six people were employed, thirty of whom
were in the Sales Department. That one year over
eight hundred new Chevrolet cars and trucks, and
sixteen hundred used cars and trucks were handled.
The ten best years prior to World War II were: New
cars and trucks, used cars and truck 19,338 units.

I thought you may be interested in some verification for information you posted in January 2013 about Ammon R Smith Auto Company. I'm Ammon R Smith's grandson and have the cup/thophy his dealership won at the York Fairgrounds July 1914, an event you refer to in your post. Ammon said one of the Chevrolet brothers drove his entry for that event. Unfortunately, I have no way to verify that.

Below is a photograph of the cup with the hand engraving very legible (no machine engraving yet).

Vern Smith
Naples, FL
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:58 PM
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vettsplit 63
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Originally Posted by Bill32 View Post
Congrats on your find.

I know a bit about Dave since I was born in York.......and he was my cousin.

I was at those races all the time back then.

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c1-a...the-1960s.html
I met Dave at the World finals at Amarillo in 70 I think it was.... he was driving a white 69 ZL1. I hung around him all day, and he was completely cordial and answered every dumbass question I had with a smile. A truly nice guy!
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Old 01-13-2017, 06:07 PM
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Two of the above drag race cars pictured above from Strickler Jenkins will be sold at the Mecum Auction tomorrow.
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Old 01-13-2017, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by vettsplit 63 View Post
I met Dave at the World finals at Amarillo in 70 I think it was.... he was driving a white 69 ZL1. I hung around him all day, and he was completely cordial and answered every dumbass question I had with a smile. A truly nice guy!
Vern, 1970 was my last year with our drag team since I was headed to college. I would talk to Dave a little bit at the track but was a busy gofer on our 3 car team, He was a great guy and Grumpy wasn't all that grumpy.

Guess you and I are almost related, kinda, sorta.
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jerhofer View Post
That video from the 60's is fantastic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=ydvcA_O-TNg
Love the video.
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:49 PM
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great stories / memories, thanks for sharing !!
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Old 01-13-2017, 08:33 PM
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It's always great to read new and interesting info. Dennis
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