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If You Can’t Beat Them Join Them – Walla Walla Used Car Center

The definition of “if you can’t beat them, join them” tells us that if you cannot outdo your competition join them as working together may benefit you. In the fall of 1953 Walla Walla, Washington, new car dealers Harold Jackson and Bill Teague did just that when the pair opened the Walla Walla Used Car Center at the intersection of East Rose Street and North Coville Street.

It is not known what automaker Jackson represented at the time, although Teague was a Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealer who began his auto sales career during the thirties in Oregon. Later on, in the early-1960s Jackson handled the Lincoln Mercury franchise and also marketed the Rambler. Until 2015, Ford of Walla Walla, the replacement of the Teague Motor Co. operated the used car and truck sales lot at this location.

Tell us what you find of interest in this photograph courtesy of Bygone Walla Walla.


26 responses to “If You Can’t Beat Them Join Them – Walla Walla Used Car Center

  1. In the front row of all 3 images, a light-colored `51 Lincoln sedan I like. The `51 Mercury with the base-model poverty caps looks to be another keeper!

  2. Such a nice shot! I had all three cars in the first photo, wish I could have any one of them back again, although I had at least six or seven Fords 49-51. All fun times….

    • I had to look again, and see about a half dozen sun-visors, an aftermarket item. Just remembered I have a visor up in the garage.

  3. I used to own a 1953 Ford Victoria Crestliner hardop like the one pictured here, all black. For a low-priced car, it’s very elegant and stylish, Like a 3/4 scale Lincoln… Looks to me the ‘53 Fords are the newest cars here. Now what about the central mounted light in the shoebox-Ford: was that a dealer option??

    • Ooh, I hadn’t noticed that three-eyed Ford. Those were illegal in some states (even though Packard and Wills-Knight had used third headlights back in the ’20s). I’ve got some pictures of another three-eyed car that I need to send to our host.

      • There was a car that appeared nationally after WW2 that completely shocked and frightened the Big 3 automakers because of it’s uniqueness and radical design features… it was named the Tucker after its owner Preston Tucker… It was a rear engined V8 aircooled, beautifully styled and also had, in addition to the outboard head lamps a center mounted headlight that tracked with the car as it entered curves… check it out. The Tucker was perceived as such a threat that there is the theory that the industry was so challenged that due to scandals over finances; Preston Tucker only managed to design, engineer and build less than 100 units for promotion around the counrty. These cars remain today beyond priceless, and represent one of the grandest failures in automotive history. There was even a movie a few years back.

  4. This is blowing my mind.
    I just drove past this lot yesterday afternoon. The lot and the dealership sit empty now.
    I was just thinking how neat it would have been to see it in it’s heyday filled with the cars of the day.
    Lo and behold I look on the Old Motor today and here are photos of the very lot, filled with cars.

    • Walla Walla- the town they liked so much it was named twice! Interesting to hear that the lot is still there…I’m in Yakima btw.

  5. A few years back, we had a 1950 Ford 2 dr sedan. A friend had a ’50 Ford convertible that had one of the center mounted lights that turned with the front wheels and sold me his stationary light kit. I’m 99% sure it was aftermarket as I can’t remember ever seeing a Ford logo anywhere on it.

  6. When the original owners of Walla Walla and Pendleton Ford made the decision to retire , Corporate made the decision to install a minority candidate with little experience , Bad decision ! Both stores died a slow death shortly afterwards. Sidebar, Walla Walla’s Main Street just one block south of this photo location was selected “One of American Best Main Street’s” !

  7. Those wonderful photographs from yesteryear, today look like photographs taken at a vintage car show. The comments are equally wonderful. Thanks to everyone.

  8. I grew up in Walla Walla and the two big dealers were Teague Ford and across town was Logan Chevrolet. Shouldn’t leave out Tex Brotherton Chrysler/Plymouth on Main street. I have fond memories of one year of Teague papering over their windows just before a new year’s model would be shown, then we could ride our bikes downtown on the big day to see the latest from Detroit…a big deal to kids in a little farm town. I bought a used 50’s MGTD of that lot around 1958.

  9. In the photo Aerial of th used car lot, upper right ia WW II GMC/Chev army truck. If it,s a GMC it,s a CCKW. If its a Chevrolet, its a G7100.

  10. looks like the image of the salesman, particularly the head on the guy on the left, is a paste-up

    nice cars though

    Bernard in Australia

  11. Last photo, right side, line of trucks, first looks like AD Chevy truck based upon squared rear fenders, wish there was a better shot of the truck row 🙂

  12. I liked the mixture in the front row, starting from the right and going to the left is the Studebaker then the Packard and amongst the Ford, Lincolns and GM cars are 2 Nash and 2 Hudsons. Can’t make out much of the back row but they look like great cars also.

  13. 1951: The first year for automatic transmissions “Fordomatic in Fords! an excellent, well cooled design, already tested in other FOMOCO products: 2 speeds, normally, but it also had: “Low” for steep hills, a good combo for trailering , especially with the V-8 ! Quiet running, reasonable economy, with its distributor/carburetor combination. the last of three three years of “shoe-box” Fords, ours is reliable . Edwin W.

  14. Looking at the second picture I can see the name Jackson Motor Company Safe Buy used cars. I will guess the Jackson was a Lincoln dealer. Safe Buy was the logo that the Lincoln dealers used for used cars just as Ford used A-1 for their used car sales. I will hazard a guess that the lot was originally split into two lots. With a Ford sales on one end and Lincoln and Mercury sales on the other end. The two owners decided to merge their two lots into one big lot to attract more attention.

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