Long before there was such a thing as an auto mall, locals purchased their automobiles in specific designated sections of the Sacramento area. And one of the earliest of these areas was the Broadway district.
For some people who have no memory of Broadway’s auto row, such a scene might be difficult to image, as there are very few remnants of its former existence.
The Broadway auto row featured many dealers, who, at various times, operated their businesses from Broadway’s 1200 block to its 3900 block.
A notable increase in the number of auto dealers on Broadway occurred following World War II.
For instance, in 1942, Broadway was home to four auto dealers, and five years later, 14 automobile businesses were in operation on Broadway, as well as four others from T to X streets on 16th Street.
Today, the featured thoroughfare is more known for its restaurants and includes only one used auto dealer at 2000 Broadway.
In 1931, Harold Ellsworth, Daniel Feuerstein and Thomas Taylor became the first automobile dealers to establish auto businesses on Broadway.
The following summaries present a general idea of some of the auto sales businesses that have operated on Broadway, which was known as Y Street prior to 1938.
Lee L. Wilcox, who resided at 2705 16th St., became one of Broadway’s newest auto dealers in 1946, when he began selling used cars at 1301 Broadway.
His business, Lee Wilcox Motors, was replaced in about 1951 by the used car business of J. Arthur Jack. This latter business remained in operation until about 1953.
Sidney C. Woolever’s used auto business, Sid’s Auto Sales, began operating at the site in about 1954.
In 1956, Sid’s was replaced by another used auto business, Phillips Motors, which was owned by Lee and Jack Phillips.
Two years later, Flavorious J. Foster’s Consolidated Motors became the next used auto business to occupy the same location.
The site sat vacant from 1959 until 1966, when it became occupied by the Veterans Thrift Store.
Today, the Asian Food Center is located at 1301 Broadway.
In about 1951, Fred E. Lundstrom, who already operated his business, Lundstrom Motors, at 1631 K St., opened a used automobile lot at the former site of Walter R. Figaro’s gas station at 1801 Broadway.
Following the death of Lundstrom in about 1954, William Coldiron began operating a gas station at the site of Lundstrom’s former used car lot.
The property remained home to a gas station until about 1981.
Today, the site sits vacant in its old state, with a large, asphalt-paved parking lot and a small, service building in its northeast corner.
The used car business of John L. Christopher, who resided at 2426 F St., opened at 1810 Y St. in 1935.
Ray Harbert, who lived at 2550 17th St., established a used car business at 1812 Y St. during the same year.
By the following year, both lots were the site of the used car business of Robert S. McDonald, who conveniently resided at 1820 Y St.
McDonald continued the operation of his business until about 1940, at which time August G. Brietzke opened a fuel station at 1812 Broadway.
The business, C & B Liquors, has been located at that address since 1968.
Alfred “Al” Nahas, owner of Nahas Motor Sales, established a used car lot at 1945 Broadway in about 1949, and he continued its operation for about six years.
The business was then replaced Dalton Motors used cars.
Dalton Motors ceased selling used cars at the site in about 1980, but continued leasing automobiles.
Carquest Auto Parts presently operates in a former Dalton Motors building at 1945 Broadway.
Harold R. Jestings, who had previously operated a used car lot at 2309 Y St., became the first automobile dealer to run a used car lot at 2000 Broadway in 1938.
Two years later, Matt Aswald began selling used cars at the same site.
The site sat vacant from 1942 to 1945, at which time George G. Rudorf, who had previously operated a service station at 2901 Broadway, opened a used car business on the property.
In about 1951, Hamilton Motors, which already sold used cars at 1319 I St., opened a second location at 2000 Broadway.
Hamilton Motors was replaced by the used car business, Pacific Motors, in 1958. The operation was owned by James W. Omand and Nick G. Kockinis.
From about 1964 to 1966, Herbert Selvey operated the used truck business, The Pickup Center, at 2000 Broadway.
The site’s businesses have also included Sacramento Camper Sales (1966-67), Connor Motors used cars (1967-68), Action Auto Sales used cars (1968-71), Wheel City used cars (1971-72), Cowan Auto Sales (1972-74), D & H Motors (1974-76), Jerry Palante auto sales (1976-82) and Valley Motor Co. used cars (1982-86).
Seventy-five years after Harold R. Jestings established the property’s first used car business, Roland Nelson continues the property’s tradition through the used car business, Roland on Broadway.
Don C. Coverdale, who resided at 3400 Leatha Way, opened his own used car business, Don Motors, at 2001 Broadway in about 1949.
The business was replaced by Dan A. Admire and John L. Conner’s used cars in 1960.
A men’s clothing store debuted at the site in 1966.
Money Mart, a check cashing and loans business, is presently located at the site.
Al Nahas opened his second used automobile lot at 2101 Broadway in about 1951.
He continued to operate the business until about 1960.
The site is presently home to the popular breakfast and lunch restaurant, Pancake Circus.
The aforementioned Ford dealer Harrold Ellsworth began selling cars at 2201 Y St. in 1931.
He added used cars to his offerings seven years later, and remained in business at that site for 38 years.
His business, which was once known as Harrold Ellsworth Co., was renamed the Harrold Ford Co. in about 1966.
Ellsworth also established an automobile display room at 2217 Broadway in 1958.
John Drew Chevrolet, John Drew auto rentals and Subaru of Northern California began occupying the 2201 Broadway site in 1970.
In about 1976, the property became home to Good Chevrolet. The business operated at that site for about six years.
Occupying the site today are offices of the state Department of Real Estate.
In 1937, Lester Rickard opened a used automobile business at 2501 Y St. By the following year and until about 1952, a gas station was operating at the site.
The used auto business, Broadway Andy’s, was established at the same site by Lloyd and Wendell Anderson in 1953, and remained in business for about 16 years.
During the 1980s, the site was home to the fast food restaurant, Picnic N’ Chicken.
Today, a Wienerschnitzel fast food eatery is located on the same property.
The previously mentioned Daniel Feuerstein began selling used cars at 2615 Y St. in 1931.
The site had no tenant from 1933 to about 1939, when the W. I. Elliott Co. began selling used cars at that location.
A year later, the site was home to the used car lot of Edward B. Morton, who resided at 4803 10th Ave.
Dryander Motors began operating a similar business at the site in 1941.
After about a year of vacancy, the site became home to the used car business of Homer Darr and Guy Kelly.
In about 1951, used automobile dealer Gordon J. Turner began selling cars at the site.
His business was replaced by Michael B. Cummins’ used car lot about three years later.
Cummins continued to sell cars from that lot until about 1959.
The property sat vacant for about the following two years.
Joe’s Used Cars, which was originally owned by Joe Hagopian, Jr., operated at 2615 Broadway from 1961 to 1987.
Located on the site today is a Carl’s Jr. fast food restaurant.
In about 1951, R. Earl Reeder established a used car lot at 2700 Broadway.
The site became home to Sutton Motor Sales about four years later.
Other used automobile businesses that occupied the site were Davey Hockett Auto Sales (1956-59), A& K Auto Sales (1959-61), E-Z Credit Auto Sales (1961-62) and Gresham Motors (1962-63).
The site, at different times since 1972, has been the location of several Mexican restaurants, with the latest of these restaurants being the present Taqueria Maya’s.