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

Chester Martin Remembers Sand Mountain

Mention of that good name, Sand Mountain, almost certainly brings a smile to the face of the hearer. I F he is a true Chattanoogan, or someone very familiar with our region, it certainly will. That name has a   definite "down home" ring to it that brings on a sense of happiness and well being. Some of my very earliest memories go back to the days when I would ride ... (click for more)

Chester Martin Remembers Architect William Caton

While growing up back in Neolithic times (aka the 1940's), various friends would point out a slightly built, wiry little man, who drove a funny car.   We would be waiting for the bus at the corner of Anderson and Belvoir Avenues in Brainerd, and, if lucky, we MIGHT get to see him in his odd car. He would be coming down from his modest home on North View Avenue, second street ... (click for more)

DA Pinkston Files Petition To Declare 2 Gangs A Public Nuisance

District Attorney General Neal Pinkston filed a petition on Monday asking that two Chattanooga gangs, the Gangster Disciples and the Grape Street Crips, and their members be declared public nuisances. General Pinkston is also "asking that injunctive relief be given to the law-abiding residents of East Lake by establishing a Safety Zone that covers most of their neighborhood." ... (click for more)

2 Boaters Die In Suspected Carbon Monoxide Poisoning On Chickamauga Lake

Two boaters and their pet were pronounced dead at the scene of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning on Chickamauga Lake.  Kristy D. James and Mike L. Richardson of Chattanooga were reported missing to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office earlier in the day by a concerned family member. The boaters had not been heard from since Saturday. Tennessee Wildlife Resources ... (click for more)

Of Course Gangs Are A Public Nuisance

Now, I don't know it all.  Beginning with my parents, folks of all sorts have been actively pointing out my ignorance for more than seven decades now.  So I'm well aware that I don't know it all.  In recent months I've begun to develop an appreciation for the local work of Mr. Neal Pinkston; I've been impressed with several things he's been doing in his official ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Arnold Palmer’s Greatness

This is hardly meant to be flippant but I’d be willing to bet I’ve been in the presence of more great people than anyone you know. I’ve never ranked them, or ever dared to wonder who was the greatest, such as Muhammad Ali or Elvis Presley, but there are two traits that those who reach the highest pinnacle have in common. First, not a one of them was any good at what made them famous ... (click for more)