The Long Beach Auto Company was founded in 1909 by Walter L. Thomas on Pacific Avenue. His son, Glenn E., became very active in the company and eventually purchased the dealership. The name was changed to Glenn E. Thomas Company, and in 1921 the company moved to a new facility in Long Beach on Anaheim Street near Long Beach Blvd.
Two of its most famous guests visited shortly after its opening. One was soon to set a major league record that would stand for years, hitting 60 home runs in a single season. He brought his first baseman with him. Glenn heard the Yankees were coming to town to play in an exhibition game and had extended an invitation to Babe Ruth to be his guest at his favorite duck-hunting club. The picture of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Glenn E. Thomas still adorns our showroom wall today.
In 1934 Mr. Thomas entered into a franchise agreement with Chrysler, and Glenn E. Thomas Company became a Dodge dealership serving Huntington Beach.
1944 brought the paths of a young Navy fighter pilot, Monte Davis, and Mr. Thomas together. Mr. Thomas was duck hunting at the Bear River Duck Club in Brigham City, Utah. Monte served as Mr. Thomas’s guide while he was home on leave, and a bond between the two men developed. He knew he would be good in business and offered him a job at his car dealership when the war ended.
Monte and his bride moved to Long Beach in 1945. He began his automotive career with Mr. Thomas, starting in the parts department and eventually working his way up to General Manager of the Dealership.
Monte Davis became the sole owner of the company in 1968. Monte became very active in the auto industry, being awarded the Time Magazine Quality Award and was finalist for the Time Magazine Dealer of the Year Award. Monte was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1996. He served as president of both the Motor Car Dealers Association of California and the Long Beach Auto Dealers Association as well as on Chrysler’s Presidents Council and was chairman of the National Dodge Dealer Council.
Monte’s son Robert joined him in the car business at our Los Angeles area Dodge dealer in 1973, and was quickly recognized by Chrysler for selling more vehicles than any other Dodge salesman in the United States in 1976.
Chrysler introduced the “Five Star Award” in 1984. Glenn E. Thomas Co. was one of five dealerships to earn the “Five Star” Award in Southern California. The award is based on scores in six different categories: facility, employee, training, processes, sales volume and customer surveys. Glenn E. Thomas Company is one of three dealerships in the world to earn this award every year since 1984.
Early in 1990, Glenn E. Thomas Company opened a new multi-million dollar facility in Signal Hill near the 405 Freeway. At this same time Bob Davis took over the reins as President, while Monte served as Chairman. Bob followed his father in serving the automotive industry and community. Bob is a past President of the Southland Motor Car Dealers Association. He was on the National Sales Council for Dodge and served as the National President for two years. He was nominated as Time Magazine’s Dealer of the Year in 1998.
In 2000, Glenn E. Thomas Co. received the “Top Dealer Award” from Chrysler’s Zone Manager. In presenting the award, Glenn E. Thomas Co. was called, “the flagship of all Dodge dealerships”.
Today, Monte’s son and grandsons, John and Brad Davis, continue to do business the way they were taught by the patriarch of the family.
We are the third largest volume Dodge dealership in California and are the oldest established Charger dealer in the country. We invite you to come to our dealership and experience doing business the Glenn E. Thomas way!
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