This Week’s Kent County History Quiz Question:
For many years after World War II, there was a Jeep dealer in Kent County. Jeeps continue to be a popular car for Kent Countians, particularly now that the weather is nice and the tops can come off. Can you identify who of the following area car dealers sold Jeeps?
- Clarence Minner
- Jim Ozman
- Jim Younger
- All of the above
The Week’s Answer: Answer: All of the above.
America fell in love with the Jeep brand after its famed performance in World War II. The Chestertown area has hosted Jeep dealers since the brand’s early days. Clarence “C.B.” Minner opened the first Jeep dealership at 202 Maple Avenue. In 1958 the franchise went to Ozman’s, Inc. on Morgnec Road.
Jim Ozman added the Pontiac franchise in 1960 and Oldsmobile franchise in 1967 followed by GMC trucks. Ozman retired in 1971 and W. N. Cooper and Son bought the business, was awarded the same franchises and continued in the same location. Cooper sold the enterprise to Henry Ramsey who eventually moved to the Kingstown location. The Jeep franchise disappeared from Chestertown after it was merged into American Motors.
By the 1980s, Jim Younger, a Sudlersville native, had acquired the local Ford and Chrysler dealerships and operated just south of town on Md. 213 South. He started carrying the Jeep line in 1987 after Chrysler’s acquisition of the Jeep brand.
One of the most lasting local memories of the Jeep brand was seeing Beau Bridges driving a 1949 yellow Jeepster, owned by a Chestertown resident, in a scene shot near Chestertown in 1984 for the television miniseries Space, based on the book by James Michener of Chesapeake fame.
The Kent County History Quiz is a weekly local brainteaser. Kent County historian and author Joan Horsey contributes to the quiz’s development. Our goal is to create an opportunity for local learning and discussion.
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