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Ira Fryer Associate Jeep Dealer

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Reader Stories • TAGS: .

UPDATE: David Silberman has filled in some gaps from a story told by Jacques yesterday.

David writes, “Ira Fryer was an associate dealer, did not have a franchise. He was located at 714 Walnut Street in Reading. During the mid to late 50’s into the early 60’s he also sold Simca and Goliath cars. They knew their product, had a good service department and an excellent parts department. Mr. Fryer wore a shop coat while at work, something you don’t see now.

His son, Robert, also worked there. They had a 1940 Willys pickup and a 3-wheel Harley Davidson for the parts/service department. They went out when Hettinger Brothers got the franchise. The building was torn down to make way for a parking garage.

I seem to remember that he also sold Renault Dauphine at the time. It was an old fashioned garage, showroom in front, passage to the rear along side of the showroom. Mack, the parts guy, rode a motorcycle.

Hettinger Brothers got the franchise and Mr. Fryer disappeared from the scene when the building was torn down to make room for a parking garage. I think that was in 1965.

Hettinger Brothers didn’t last long as the Jeep dealer, as they had the Chrysler/Plymouth dealership and didn’t push the Jeep line. J.F. Kohler ended up with the dealership in 1963, and had it until the Renault fiasco of the early 80’s, at which time many of the dealers turned in their franchises due to the actions of the company.

An interesting side note on Hettinger Brothers. They had the Chrysler/Plymouth dealership for many years, and when the building was demolished they didn’t even take the time to remove the old parts inventory from the basement.”


5 Comments on “Ira Fryer Associate Jeep Dealer

  1. Bryan Grube

    Neat story. I’m from the Reading area and never heard of that dealer. I’ll have to ask some of the old timers if they remember it. The story is not unlike many other old school dealers and shops. Unfortunately they are all gone now. The auto companies don’t want to deal with mom and pop outfits that only sell a handfull of new cars a year.

  2. David Eilers

    Yes. I have some info to add to it, too. I have considered emailing Vern about creating an area on ewillys with that info so I can add to it. I just haven’t got to it yet.

  3. Alan Kohler

    My Grandfather was J.F. Kohler. He died in 1973, and my dad took it over from there.
    I grew up at that shop, and my parents still live in the same home.
    We still have a few cool things floating around.

  4. mmdeilers Post author

    Hi Alan,

    Thanks for the note! If you have any additional photos or stories related to the shop, I’d be happy to share them with readers.

    – Dave

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