Tag Archive | oldest dodge dealer

1953 Reconstruction of Gulf Gasoline Station

Due to changes in the highway, Reed Brothers Dodge began an extensive remodeling and rebuilding program. The program consisted of a sizable addition to their Service Department which enlarged the Showroom area and housed the Parts Department. Two-thirds of the original location at the junction of then Route 240 and Veirs Mill Road was razed and a modern Gulf Service Station was erected. The following photos were taken before demolition and after reconstruction of the Gulf Gasoline station.

Before Demolition

Gulf Gasoline Station

1936 Reed Brothers Dodge canopied Gulf Gas Station prior to 1953 reconstruction of Gulf Gasoline Station. View Rockville Pike side

Gulf Gasoline Station

1936 Reed Brothers Dodge canopied Gulf Gas Station prior to 1953 reconstruction of Gulf Gasoline Station. View Veirs Mill Road side.

After Reconstruction

Gulf Gas Station

After reconstruction of new Gulf Gas Station, view from Rockville Pike

Like many building types of commercial and roadside industries, gas stations often underwent alterations or changes over time. Reed Brothers Gulf Gas Station underwent five alterations over the course of 55 years that were built to follow corporate design. The famous Gulf “ice box” design dates back to late 1930’s, and there were probably more of these built than any single one of the later Gulf designs.


The Montgomery County Sentinel. November 12, 1953

From The Montgomery County Sentinel. June 04, 1953

Reed Brothers Will Move June 13 to New Building

Reed Brothers, second oldest Dodge dealer, which has been serving the county for 38 years, is moving from its present location at the point of the Veirs Mill Road, Route 240 triangle in Rockville to a modernized location nearby at 608 East Montgomery Avenue. Open House will be held June 13 from 6p.m. to enable residents to view the new structure.

The automobile firm will have greatly enlarged quarters in the new location, with increased floor space for the new car department and the repair department. A completely new parts department and a modern service department where the tradition of service that has been built up by this firm through the years will be carried on, and if possible, improved.

The service department will be completely equipped with parts for all Chrysler made cars and will have facilities for repair of all makes of cars. The paint and body shop will be one of the best equipped in the area and the glass department will be prepared to install any or all automobile glass and also to prepare custom cut glass for any other use.

The shop and sales offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and will remain open until 6 p.m. Saturdays.

The familiar triangle gasoline station will be razed and an ultra-modern Gulf gasoline service station constructed. The new service station will be operated independently of the Reed Brothers plant. Every effort will be made to serve the customers while the transition is taking place, company officials said.

1953 Open House

The Montgomery County Sentinel. June 11, 1953

Batter Up! 1950s Service Reminder 

Batter Up Service ReminderRemember in the 1950’s and 1960’s when gas stations were called service stations? They pumped gas and gave out road maps and promotional giveaways like pens, calendars, thermometers, etc. These items are rare finds, because most get thrown away when the doors are closed.

This item is a promotional 1950s Reed Brothers Dodge-Plymouth 3-1/4 inch cardboard BATTER UP! service reminder. The dealership still used a 4 digit phone number: Rockville 2151 and had the old blue and orange Gulf logo.Batter Up Service ReminderSome of the more difficult collectibles to obtain were awards given to the salespeople for outstanding sales performance, including neckties, cuff links, pen and pencil sets, and award plaques. Unique items were often given to salesmen to promote a new model being released that year.

Batter Up Service Reminder

Batter Up Service ReminderBatter Up Service ReminderThis item is currently being offered for sale on ebay: 1950s GULF GAS-Reed Bros. Dodge/Plymouth 3-1/4″ inch BATTER UP! Cardboard Baseball service reminder.

Description: This item is a promotional cardboard service reminder from Reed Brothers Dodge-Plymouth Sales and Service. Reed Brothers car dealership did business in Rockville, Maryland for almost a century, {1915-2012.} There is a wonderful website/blogsite, with loads of photos, that follow the business throughout the years.

Batter Up Service Reminder

Montgomery Magazine Wheels and Deals Feature

Reed Brothers Dodge, Montgomery MagazineReed Brothers is very proud and honored to be featured in the month of August/September 2022 Montgomery Magazine, “Then & Now” section. The black and white photograph above shows the expansion of Reed Brothers Dogde showroom and Gulf Gasoline Station that took place in 1941. At about the same time as the gas station was remodeled, Lewis Reed split up the Sales and Parts and Service operations by constructing a complete new building that was located at the intersection of at Montgomery Avenue and Dodge Street.

A closer look at the photo reveals the price of gasoline as 15 cents. On the right attached to a telephone pole is a sign pointing the way to Olney. In addition to the Gulf signage there is a small, barely visible sign below that promotes, “Clean Rest Rooms”.Reed Brothers Dodge, Montgomery Magazine

The color photograph above, is the dealership’s location today, now known as Veterans Park. In the 1970s, the site was known as the Francis Scott Key Memorial Park, and later in 1988, it was permanently rededicated as Veterans Park. In the late 1960s, the state of Maryland acquired the land to widen Rt 355 and donated the remaining sliver to the City. The State of Maryland named the connector street behind the dealership’s original location “Dodge Street” following the dealership’s 1941 expansion.

Montgomery Magazine is a lifestyle magazine, with timely articles on county leaders, entertainment, sports, neighborhood and restaurant profiles, entrepreneurs, historic landmarks then and now, plus seasonal special sections of local interest.

Find the issue online at: http://digital.montgomerymag.com/issues/August-2022/index.html

The First Plymouth Automobile Debuted on This Date 94 Years Ago

Reed Brothers Dodge-Plymouth

Plymouths were sold at Reed Brothers from 1930-1969. Pictured is an original 1940s Reed Brothers Dodge-Plymouth three-pocket shop coat made by Anderson Bros. of Danville, VA.

The first Plymouth automobile was introduced on July 7, 1928. Plymouth was Chrysler Corporation’s first entry in the low-priced field, which at the time was already dominated by Chevrolet and Ford. Plymouths were actually priced slightly higher than their competition, but offered all standard features such as internal expanding hydraulic brakes that the competition did not provide. While the original purpose of the Plymouth was to serve a lower-end marketing niche, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the marque helped significantly in ensuring the survival of the Chrysler Corporation in a decade when many other car companies failed. Beginning in 1930, Plymouths were sold by all three Chrysler divisions (Chrysler, DeSoto, and Dodge).

Plymouth sales were a bright spot during this dismal automotive period, and by 1931 Plymouth rose to the number three spot among all cars. Plymouth almost surpassed Ford in 1940 and 1941 as the second most popular make of automobiles in the U.S.

In 1957, Virgil Exner’s new Forward Look design theme, produced cars with much more advanced styling than Chevrolet or Ford. 1957 total production soared to 726,009, about 200,000 more than 1956, and the largest output yet for Plymouth. However, the 1957–1958 Forward Look models suffered from poor materials, spotty build quality and inadequate corrosion protection; they were rust-prone and greatly damaged Chrysler’s reputation.

Most Plymouth models offered from the late 1970s onward, such as the Volaré, Acclaim, Laser, Neon, and Breeze, were badge-engineered versions of Chrysler, Dodge, or Mitsubishi models. By the 1990s, Plymouth had lost much of its identity, as its models continued to overlap in features and prices with Dodges. Plymouth’s product offerings and buyer appeal, and sales continued to fall.

1999 Plymouth Prowler

This Limited Edition 1999 Plymouth Prowler convertible was a vehicle from the dealership owners’ private collection. Photo by blog author.

By the late 1990s, only four vehicles were sold under the Plymouth name: the Voyager/Grand Voyager minivans, the Breeze mid-size sedan, the Neon compact car, and the Prowler sports car, which was to be the last model unique to Plymouth. The Prowler came about as part of Chrysler’s efforts (the last as it turned out) to differentiate Plymouth from the rest of its lineup in hopes of keeping the brand alive. It was hoped that it would be received well enough to garner some attention, some of which might spill over into some of their other models.

Plymouth rarely exceeded 200,000 cars per year after 1990. Consequently, DaimlerChrysler decided to drop the make after a limited run of 2001 models. This was announced on November 3, 1999.

Happy Birthday to Our Founder, Lewis Reed

Lewis Reed

This ca. 1965 photo of Lewis Reed was taken in the new car showroom at Reed Brothers Dodge original location at the triangle at Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike.

Lewis Reed was born in Darnestown, Maryland on November 25, 1887 and was the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge. When Lewis Reed opened his car dealership in October 1915, he never knew he was starting a family tradition that would be carried out for 97 years and three generations. He founded what would become the oldest Dodge dealership under the same family ownership in the state of Maryland, and one of the oldest in the entire United States.

Lewis Reed was just 27 years old when he started selling cars built by brothers Horace and John Dodge in Detroit. Few people jumped onto the Dodge Brothers bandwagon earlier than Lewis Reed, and not many have lasted longer. Reed Brothers was franchised as a Dodge dealership and service facility less than one year after the first Dodge automobile rolled off the assembly line. Lewis Reed was the first to sell Dodge cars in Montgomery County, Maryland and his company was the first Gulf gas dealer in the Washington, D.C. area. During the early years, Reed Brothers represented several franchise nameplates along with Dodge, including Oldsmobile, Hudson and Essex. The Hudson and Oldsmobile were sold at Reed Brothers from roughly 1917 through 1923.

Lewis Reed was a member of the Gaithersburg Grace Methodist Church where he served as a member and Chairman of the Board of Stewards, a Lay Leader, and President of the Men’s Bible Class. He was one of nine original incorporators of the Gaithersburg-Washington Grove Volunteer Fire Department when it was created by charter in 1928. He was a Charter Member and Past President of the Gaithersburg-Washington Grove Fire Department and a member of the advisory board of the Rockville Branch of the First National Bank of Maryland. He belonged to the Masonic Lodge of Rockville, the Pentalpha Chapter of the Eastern Star and the Rockville Rotary Club. Before opening his Dodge dealership in 1915, Lewis Reed was one of the earliest and most prolific photographers in Montgomery County. Many of his photographs are now part of Montgomery History’s photo archives. Unsurprisingly, his love of both cars and cameras resulted in his taking numerous pictures of car culture all over the State of Maryland as it developed from infancy to supremacy.

Prior to World War I, Lewis Reed’s love of automobiles led him to becoming a chauffeur. Chauffeurs were not only trained to be proficient with their driving skills, but they also had to keep the luxury automobiles in tip top shape which is where his mechanic training would have come into play. He received his training as an automobile mechanic at the Pierce Arrow factory at Buffalo, New York, the Dodge and Hudson factories at Detroit and the Washington Auto College.

Active in the dealership daily until the day of his death, Lewis Reed passed on January 28, 1967 at the age of 79. Shortly after his death, the Senate of Maryland passed Senate Resolution No. 10, expressing “the deepest regret and sympathy of every member of this body,” describing Reed as “a kindly and loyal person completely devoted to his duties” which he carried out “with fairness and human understanding.” The resolution was sponsored by Senator Thomas M. Anderson, Jr. and Senator Louise Gore.

When you look back and consider what has taken place in the world in the past 100 years or so, you gain a perspective of what Lewis Reed faced. He overcame a lot of obstacles throughout his life. He steered his dealership through World War I, The Great Depression and World War II. When Reed Brothers had no new cars to sell for three and a half years and many dealers went bankrupt, he converted his car showroom into a display room and sold GE Washing Machines, Westinghouse Radios, and other large appliances. Reed Brothers Dodge occupied two locations, the original at the Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike intersection and the second at 15955 Frederick Road in front of the Shady Grove Metro.

Lewis Reed set an outstanding example through his success, but more importantly through his sacrifices and commitment to the community he served. Today, Bainbridge Shady Grove Metro Apartments pays tribute to the oldest Dodge dealership in Maryland with commemorative art on the former site of the iconic Reed Brothers dealership.

Bainbridge Shady Grove Metro Apartments

Bainbridge Shady Grove Metro Apartments now stands on the former site of the Reed Brothers Dodge dealership at 15955 Frederick Road. A sculpture now installed on the property pays tribute to the oldest Dodge dealership in Maryland history. More than 20 feet high, and over 6 feet wide, the public art is inspired by 1939 Dodge headlamps, and the fender of a 1957 Dodge pickup truck.


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