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Tuesday, 25 February 2014 21:19

Harold Tipton, San Diego’s First Honda Dealer, Dies at 97

Harold Bunn Tipton was born on January 7, 1917, in Runningwater,TX, the second oldest of four to DeWitt Tipton and Essie King Tipton. He attended college for one year in Texas before serving as a private first class in the Army for one year. He moved to the east county of San Diego, CA in the mid-1950s and began selling cars—all makes and models—including Kaisers, Fords, Chevrolets, and Lincolns. His method for selling was old-school by today’s tactics. “When he started in the car business, he would go out with brochures and make appointments for people to come into the dealership,” said Peterson. “That is probably as tough as it gets. But he was a salesman.” In 1956, Mr. Tipton opened Tipton Oldsmobile in La Mesa, CA. Over the years, he held other franchises, including Fiat, Saab, Peugot, Chrysler, Plymouth, Volvo, and Jeep before opening San Diego county’s first Honda dealership in 1974, in El Cajon, CA. A Texan through and through, he loved John Wayne and westerns. The walls of his office at the El Cajon dealership were covered with the horns of real Texas longhorns, spurs, branding irons, and lariats.

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