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1950s: New and Used Car Dealerships in Brattleboro, Vermont

Today’s car dealership images were all taken in Brattleboro, Vermont, the home of The Old Motor. The lead photo and the enlargeable view of it below show Robertson Motors which was located at 1147 Putney Road next to the intersection of Vermont Routes 5 and 9 on the North side of town. Four 1956 Dodges and a 1956 Plymouth are in the line up out front along with a number of used cars.

At some point later on the name was changed to R.S. Roberts and the outfit moved to the South side of town into a new building and was in operation until closing about ten years ago. None of the buildings have survived and today at the original site is a Ford dealership.

  • Robertson Motors, Brattleboro, Vermont sold Dodge and Plymouth cars in 1956.

About a mile South of Robinson Motors, on Route 5 at 556 Putney Road on the way to the center of Brattleboro, Sas Ratti opened the “Motor Mart,” a used car dealership in the mid-1950s. It appears Sas was in this location for only a few years, and then he either moved on to another spot in town or began a career selling new cars that lasted at least thirty more years, he last sold vehicles at R.S. Roberts mentioned earlier.

Shortly afterward in the late-1950s or early-1960s most of the “Motor Mart” building was torn down, and the new M&L Motor Co. building was constructed on the site. M&L apparently sold and serviced Chrysler Products at this location and may have moved here from a location in downtown Brattleboro. Exactly how long the Company was in business at this location is not known. In the 1960s or early-1970s Brattleboro Tire, which sells Goodyear tires and performs service work located here and the building and the Business has survived.

Tell us what you find of interest in these photos courtesy of the Brattleboro Historical Society.

11 responses to “1950s: New and Used Car Dealerships in Brattleboro, Vermont

  1. One thing I noticed — all three sites seem to have gravel lots. Having recently driven through your neck of the woods, I noticed that a lot of the roads are still gravel as well. I assume this is due to frost heaves? It’s easier to grade a road or lot smooth every spring rather than repave it every ten years?

  2. The 1956 Chrysler products were excellent and very handsome, and particularly the Dodges. Then came 1957 and the new-look finned Chrysler products with torsion bar suspensions and other features, not quite ready for the marketplace. Chrysler quality suffered as the cars were rushed into production. It might be said the demise of Chrysler began with the 1957 models.

  3. Back in the 1950s, the first rank of vehicles for sale on a used car lot contained Fords, Chevrolets, Plymouth and Dodges !If you were in the market for a Packard, Nash, Hudson or Studebaker, you had to go to the back of the lot, and that’s where the bargains were.

  4. In the lead photograph, parked under the “USED CARS” sign, looks like a 1947 BUICK Super Sedanet.

    In the 2nd picture are 1953, 1954, and 1955 BUICK cars.

  5. David, You know my 1912 T was the first old car Elmer Bemis owned in 1950. Did he have a dealership or garage in Brattleboro? I have two photos of his T in front of a building with GULF Pumps in front. Funny how I’ve had it for 34 years and I still think of it as the Bemis or Coley ’12. Sure would be nice to see some photos if the Bemis shop. Bob

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