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

Looking For Robert Springer, Former Chattanooga Printer

I am looking to locate my grandfather who once worked for the Chattanooga News or the Chattanooga Times as a printer before WWII and after returning from the war.   His father was Charles Clinton Springer. His first wife was Barbara Nolan, both of Hamilton County. I am trying to locate family members from both sides.   Robert Springer later moved to Florida ... (click for more)

Chester Martin Remembers UFOs

Yes, I've seen at least three or four UFO's, but they were totally un-dramatic and low-key. I was alive and in my early teens when, in 1947, the big (and now famed) “Roswell incident” occurred in New Mexico. Some kind of alien spacecraft had crashed there, and bodies had been removed; the U.S. Air Force knew all about it and refused to release details. Already an amateur astronomer ... (click for more)

Fire Destroys Highway 58 BBQ

A fire destroyed a barbeque restaurant on Highway 58 on Friday afternoon.   Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to the Highway 58 BBQ around 6 p.m. The business is located at 4921 Highway 58. Though the business was housed in a small building, the flames and smoke could be seen from a long distance away.  Captain Teri Rose with Quint 6 said the ... (click for more)

2nd Independent Candidate May Be On Walker County Ballot

A second Independent candidate may be on the ballot for sole commissioner of Walker County in the election on Nov. 8. Perry D. Lamb, Jr. has been working toward collecting the necessary 1,640 signatures of registered voters on a petition. His campaign said he is close to the goal. Incumbent Bebe Heiskell is running an an Independent. Election officials said since she was ... (click for more)

Save Coolidge Park - And Response (2)

Last Monday morning while at work a good friend messaged me concerning a matter that I had not heard anything about dealing with Coolidge Park and its future. Apparently that night the City Council was to read an ordinance that would allow the mayor to start negotiations with the relocation of the Medal of Honor Museum. This ordinance would enable the city to lease approximately ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Looking For A Wife

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is a really cool place. I tried to buy a huge mounted buffalo head in an antique store there one time until I found out the shipping charges were four times what the head was worth. But suddenly my rapt attention is riveted on Coeur d'Alene again because a dazzling social experiment is taking place this very moment at a plush resort in north Idaho. Several ... (click for more)