Looking Back: Roy O’Brien Ford

St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published March 17, 2020

Photo provided by the St. Clair Shores Historical Commission


ST. CLAIR SHORES — On March 14, 1946, Roy O’Brien opened his car dealership at the corner of Nine Mile Road and Mack Avenue in what was then the village of St. Clair Shores. The location was made famous by the jingle that has become a signature theme for the dealership. The jingle debuted a few years after the dealership opened, urging customers to “Stay on the right track, to Nine Mile and Mack.”

At first, things were slow for the fledgling business. It was difficult to get new cars in the post-World War II era; on opening day, there were no new cars available for sale. Often, the 10 employees had little to do. The bookkeeper was known to knit at her desk.

This image shows the original sales and service building in about 1946. The building had previously been home to a Hupp Motor Car Co. dealership and a fire station. While this building was demolished as part of a larger dealership renovation in 2017, the O’Brien family continues to serve its customers at the same corner as Roy O’Brien did 74 years ago.

To view this image and other historical photographs, please visit the Digital Media Archive at www.scslibrary.org.

— Submitted by Heidi Christein, archivist, St. Clair Shores Public Library