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Hamiltons mark 30 years of classic cars

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 26th, 2013


photo by Jon Stinnett The Hamiltons—Dave, Maryann and Bob, along with dogs Abby and Gracie and a 1951 Chevrolet with 53,000 original miles that is one of the elder Hamilton's favorite cars. Hamilton Classic Autos marks 30 years in business this week.






For three decades now, a lot at the corner of East Whiteaker Avenue and Highway 99 in downtown Cottage Grove has played host to an ever-changing, often head-turning collection of classic muscle cars. Inside the office located there, however, the scenery rarely changes.

This Friday, March 1, will mark the 30th anniversary of the opening of Hamilton Classic Autos, a family business begun at 101 North 9th on that date in 1983 by Bob Hamilton and managed by Hamilton and a family staff — which consists of his wife Maryann and son Dave — every day since. (An article detailing the opening of the business can be found on page 5A of this edition.)

The previous 20 years had found Gene Cutts operating a car dealership where the Hamiltons now spend much of their days, and Bob Hamilton is proud that he’s only the second business owner to have been located there in a half-century.

Hamilton moved across the street from a sales position at Holloman Ford to open his own dealership, which still specializes in used and specialty cars. But his love of automobiles certainly didn’t start there.

“I’d played around with old cars way before we opened,” Hamilton said. “I’ve always had a hankering for it. Everything I’ve ever done has been around cars.”

To begin with, though, Hamilton had little in the way of cars to go on.

“I started with no cars,” he said. “We started with only consignments of other people’s vehicles, no fancy stuff. We worked into that later.”

The “we” Hamilton mentions refers to his wife, who handles the dealership’s paperwork, and son Dave, who came to the business after finishing high school and now works on the dealership’s advertising and web presence. Dave Hamilton said he always had a hunch he’d join his parents at work, but he had no idea how long he’d stay.

For the complete article see the 02-27-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-27-2013 paper.











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