In 1927, Elmer Drew opened Drew's Garage on the corner of La Mesa Boulevard and
Allison Avenue, in La Mesa.Since 1967, Drew's familiar Roundhouse of Values sits
where the I-8 and the 125 meet, in La Mesa.
85 years ago,
on November 1, 1927, Elmer Drew opened Drew's Garage in La Mesa. He rented a vacant building from Ira Robinson. His mother loaned him money to buy the necessary startup tools.
At ﬁrst, Elmer didn't have any real mechanic's skills except to pump gas, change tires or batteries and wash cars. He acquired his skills as a mechanic over the years and people He put in long hours and even had a bed upstairs for on-call emergencies, as he was the sole employee.
In 1934 during the Depression, the local Ford dealer down the street from Drew's Garage went broke. Their head Ford mechanic, Wallace Todd, was told that he could take anything he wanted as there wasn't any money to pay his wages. Wallace walked out with the Ford clock and headed over to Drew'sGarage.
He asked Elmer if he could work for him and then hung the clock inside the garage. (It's still in use at Drew Ford today).
The local Ford car owners knew that Wallace had settled at Drew's
Today the Drew Auto Center covers 15 acres
Garage and soon started bringing their Model Ts, Model As and Flathead V8s in for repairs. Not long thereafter, the Ford factory representative came by and wanted to know if Elmer wanted to be a Ford dealer. His reply? “No, because the previous Ford dealer went broke.”
Wallace Todd and Elmer Drew, early 1940s
The Ford rep left but came back a second time and offered to sell Elmer $200 in parts and a Ford demonstrator car for $20 a month. Elmer responded, "I think I can swing that."
Since then, through the Great Depression, World War II, numerous gas crises and recessions that have devastated many dealers in San Diego, through good times and bad,
Drew Ford is still here!
The main reasons for our continued success are our adherence to practicing the Golden Rule, treating our customers fairly and the fact that we've been blessed with so many good people working for
We were in the right place at the right time. What started as a tiny business in the small community of La Mesa has become a big dealership in a county of over three million residents.
Over the years our company has grown and we've added the wonderful import franchise, Hyundai. Through all of this, our philosophy has remained pretty much the same.
We've been lucky and we've been blessed. Even though we've fallen short of our ideals many times, there's still an ‘oldfashioned' goodness about the place that people seem to recognize and appreciate.
8970 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa
We are glad and proud that we're still, after all these years, family owned and operated in a day when big corporations and absentee ownership are the norm. We believe that as long as we work hard, adhere to the principles that have served us so well and take good care of our customers and our employees, we've got a good chance of being here for many years to come.
We give humble and grateful thanks to God for the wonderful way He has blessed us.
Joe, Kay, Bill & Anna Drew
Joe Drew and sister Esther