Re: Old Photo: Charlie Nicholas in Fairmont, Minnesota

ROBERT L GREGG <capngrog@...>
 

My Dad was a Crosley dealer in Miami (Gregg Motors) from about 1948 until Crosley went out of business in 1952.  Up until Crosley went out of business, he was selling them as fast as he could get them.  He then looked around for another compact car dealership franchise and briefly wound up as a VW dealer in Miami.  As I recall, he was the first VW dealer south of Jacksonville, Florida.  The VWs didn't sell at that time and be eventually landed a Studebaker franchise.  That also did poorly, and he went out of business in 1956.  He loved both Crosleys and VWs and always had some good stories to tell about them.

Cheers,
Bob Gregg


On Sunday, June 18, 2017 9:04 PM, Milford Brown <mgbrown3243@...> wrote:


Fred,

Thanks so much for presenting that photo of the Charlie Nicholas shop.  Several years ago, I wrote the story of my small car history for Vintage Voice, the newsletter of the Vintage VW Club of America.  I described my first car - a late-'40s Crosley station wagon that provided my transportation during my last 2 years as an undergrad student at the University of Delaware.  In those days of bigger, more powerful, and "chromier" (the VV editor didn't understand that word from my imagination and printed "chromium") American cars, the Crosley made me a believer in the validity of small cars.  Although my dad and I had done some considerable work on the Crosley's engine, when the chance to buy a year-old 1953 VW Beetle appeared, I took advantage of the opportunity for what I considered an upgrade of my transportation (with acknowledgement of the fact that a significant group of Crosley owners is still keeping them operational).  However for a daily driver in all sorts of weather in northern Delaware and central Pennsylvania, I think my choice was a wise one.  Similarly, although still having that 1953 Beetle could be interesting, the 1963 one with a 1600 cc engine and 12-volt alternator is more practical as my current daily driver, both from the standpoint of reliability and the availability of replacement parts when necessary.

Such is my history, but that photo is the first I have seen of Crosleys and Volkswagens being available from the same source.  The mostly-imports shop in Wilmington, Delaware where I traded my Crosley for the Beetle had both, but sequentially, not at the same time, and it wasn't an official outlet for any brand of car.  Volkswagen hadn't yet established the US network of dealerships then, and the Beetle my dad bought several years later came from someone in southern New Jersey whose "dealership" had been a small gas station with a couple of service bays.

Milford Brown


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