Mile of Cars

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Located in National City, California, between San Diego and the border of Mexico, the Mile of Cars Association is an automotive association in the United States. The mile-long stretch of National City Boulevard comprises 21 new car franchises. It was first established in 1904 when the first motor car was introduced to the city, which was soon followed by the opening of the first dealership. Some time afterward, more dealerships and vehicles began to appear.


Entrance to the Mile of Cars

Crowds gathered in 1904 when Ralph Granger, one of National City's most prominent citizens bought the first motor car in the city. The vehicle traveled on the dirt road carved by Spanish missionaries, from Mexico to the north. The first dealership opened later that year. Sales were slow but increased over time, fueled by an ad for the $850 Ford Model T in The Saturday Evening Post.

Over the decades, more dealerships opened in the prosperous area. Chrysler Crown Imperial sedans arrived in 1941. Chrysler Town and Country convertibles, trimmed with wood, arrived shortly after. In 1955, the Ford Fairlane Sunliner arrived, advertised for $2,764. At this time, the region took the name: "Mile of Cars" and was the center of California's car culture.

In 1960, muscle cars arrived. There were twenty car agencies competing for attention. By 1970, more than one million dollars in vehicles were sold on the "Mile". By 1978, the Mile of Cars showcased cars from around the world, from Suzuki to Alfa Romeo to Toyota.

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