Remembering Bert Brown Ford's Twenty-five Years in Business

Once a Landmark along Rossville Boulevard

Thursday, June 19, 2014
Top half of advertisement in the 1965 Chattanooga Sesquicentennial program, with a picture of the newly-introduced Ford Mustang
Top half of advertisement in the 1965 Chattanooga Sesquicentennial program, with a picture of the newly-introduced Ford Mustang

Rossville Boulevard has long been the address of several used car dealers.    Some names have disappeared, along with the buildings, while other businesses have rolled into the area.   The boulevard also was once the home of dealers selling new Chryslers, Datsuns, Plymouths, and Volvos (and other brands).  Down at the 4509 address for twenty-five years was Bert Brown Ford.

Bert Hillis Brown opened his dealership in 1952.  At the time, the surrounding East Lake and Rossville communities had several manufacturers and neighborhoods where employees lived.   Many of the families became customers at Bert Brown Ford.

The Ford lineup of 1952 offered variations of the base model car, including the Mainline, Customline, Sunliner, and Victoria.  There was a station wagon called the Country Squire, and the always popular Ford pickup truck.

According to a June 19, 1977 Chattanooga News-Free Press interview, Bert Brown won Ford’s Distinguished Achievement Award in his first year in business.   He went on to receive a total of twelve of the awards.

Bert Brown was active in Rossville civic associations, and believed in getting involved.   He was member of the Rossville Kiwanis Club, and served as its president.  Walker County Schools gave him an award for doing the most for the system during the 1962/1963 session.   He worked with the Rossville Development Corporation to revive the area after the closing of the Peerless mill.

Over the course of Bert Brown Ford’s history, the Ford Motor Company increased the number of car models offered.  The sizes, features, and prices targeted different types of buyers.   Over the years that Bert Brown Ford was in business, some of the popular models introduced were the Thunderbird, Falcon, Fairlane, Galaxie, Torino, Maverick, and Pinto (popular before its infamous gas tank design issue was publicized).  Oh, and one called the Mustang, which is still with us today.

After reaching twenty-five years at his Ford dealership, Bert Brown sold the franchise to Marshal Mize.   This was announced in the October 4, 1977 News-Free Press.  The next year, Marshal Mize built a new facility in Hixson on Highway 153, and is still in business today.

Bert Brown passed away in 2002.

If you have memories of Bert Brown or his Ford dealership, please send me an e-mail at jolleyh@bellsouth.net.

Bottom section of same advertisement
Bottom section of same advertisement

Haunts of Chattanooga's Rich and Famous To Be Presented April 6

The Chattanooga Area Historical Association and the Local History and Genealogy Department of The Public Library invite you to "Haunts of Chattanooga's Rich and Famous," a program presented by John Shearer. John Shearer’s wealth of knowledge and information will make this program one you won’t want to miss.  As a former historical reporter for the Chattanooga News-Free ... (click for more)

Chattanooga History Center Announces Staff Changes

The Chattanooga History Center announces changes in its executive staff, following the resignation of Dr. Daryl Black. Marlene Payne has been promoted to the newly created position of Museum director.  Ms. Payne, with the Center for eight years, most recently has been its deputy director.  Other staff members are remaining in their positions: Caroline Sunderland as ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Detective Karl Fields Terminated On Code Of Conduct Charges

Karl Fields, former Chattanooga Police detective, was terminated on Wednesday on code of conduct charges. The Chattanooga Police Department said it received a correspondence from the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office o n Sept. 4, 2014,  informing it of allegations of inappropriate behavior committed by a CPD investigator during the course of a rape investigation. ... (click for more)

Autopsy Says 5-Year-Old Whitwell Boy Died Of Blunt Force Trauma

An autopsy on five-year-old Lucas Dillon of Whitwell says he died of blunt force trauma. The TBI is investigating the death, which is being treated as a homicide. The child, who lived on Jewell Lane Road, was injured on Saturday and died in a hospital on Monday. Lucas was a student at Whitwell Head Start. (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Look At My April Garden

On this April Fool’s Day, as I take my monthly stroll through my virtual garden, there are gorgeous flowers and there are weeds, which appear to be trying harder than the flowers. So let’s see what we find before searching for “The Prize Egg” on Sunday. A FLOWER to the New York cab driver who told a young writer, “Always remember that everyone you meet knows something that you ... (click for more)