View Full Version : 1404 - Original Dealer Clegg Motors

03-06-2014, 04:22 PM
While perusing the Mark II Data Base, I noticed that 1404 was sold in my lifelong hometown of Port Arthur, Texas. The selling dealer was Clegg Motors. The building still stands near the corner of Gulfway Drive and Woodworth Blvd. I was able to locate a photo of the owners of the dealership standing in front of a 1957 Lincoln Premiere. I wonder if 1404 was the first Mark II I ever saw. I must have been 5 or 6 at the time and I went to Merchant's Bank with my dad. I have always been a "car nut". Parked in the parking lot was the most beautiful car I had ever seen to date. My dad lifting me up so I could look inside. From that moment, I was a Mark II fan. For the record, the car belonged to the President of the bank, Jack Craig.

03-07-2014, 05:49 PM
Pat, the gentlemen on the left is John Clegg, on the right, Ted Clegg. Clegg Motor Company was in business from the early 1950's to 1967. They sold Lincoln-Mercury products, but was also Port Arthur's only Edsel dealership. The Clegg's sold out in 1967 to a person whose last name was Artlidge and the firm's name was changed to Port Lincoln-Mercury. The building that Clegg and Port occupied still stands. In 1970, Aubrey Raiford, a long time Port Arthur car dealer, became the Lincoln-Mercury dealer. Raiford Motors (now Energy Country Ford owned by his daughter Patti), 4545 Twin City Highway, also was a Ford dealer. In 1974 my 22 years working in auto dealerships began at Raiford Motors.

Regarding the Craig car, it was black. The year would have to have been around 1957. I know I was a little kid and my dad had to lift me up to see in the car. As for the interior, for some reason I thought it was a two toned brown, but I see 1404 was a two tone grey. It suppose it could have been two tone grey. Years do things to memory:(. Whenever my dad and I would go to the bank, I would always look for the car. Most of the time it was not there.

03-07-2014, 06:20 PM
Is this the building Howard?

03-07-2014, 06:42 PM
That is it! Of course it looked much better when it was a dealership. The large brick wall on the roof is where the L/M and Edsel logos were. In 1960, attached to that wall, were lights that would come on one letter at a time and spell C O M E T, then a group of lighted arrows would flash that give the appearance of a comet's tail. While the front of the building now has white plywood, in the dealership days, that was all plate glass. The service and parts department were on the side and back of the building. Frankly, I have no idea what kind of business is there now. It's located in a part of the city that you don't want to travel without an armed contingent! :D.

03-07-2014, 06:56 PM
Howard, it appears that there was another Clegg Motors at 2108 Houston Highway, Victoria, Texas
Check out this newspaper ad:

And this one:

03-08-2014, 04:17 AM
John, I don't know if the dealerships were connected. Just guessing, I would think they might be under the same ownership, since the products were the same at all the locations. I'm afraid I don't have any further info. Regarding 1404, based on our Mark II Data Base, it does show that 1404 was sold at Clegg Motors, Port Arthur location. The dealer location is what caught my eye, when I was looking at the Data Base detail. Frankly, if the city had not been shown, I would not have caught it.

Bryan Moran
07-10-2014, 09:02 AM
Don't you always wonder if the neon signage or other dealer artifacts are stashed in the back of that building (or other post-auto dealerships)? I always do.

As to the original owner, that is interesting. Bank President. It was always anecdotally a given when I was growing up that Bank Presidents, some doctors and other professionals typically purchased Buicks, Oldsmobiles, or other conservative cars.

However, a black Mark II could be seen as acceptable given the conservative elegant appearance.

07-12-2014, 06:00 PM
Bryan, the building was last used as a car dealership in 1970, under the name Port Lincoln/Mercury. The Clegg family sold the dealership in the late 1960's. In 1970 Port Lincoln/Mercury went out of business. Over the years, the building has been used for a variety of different businesses. I doubt that anything from the it's car days survive. As an aside, the Lincoln/Mercury franchise in Port Arthur was granted to Raiford Motors owned by a gentlemen by the name of Aubrey Raiford. I worked there from 1974-1979. I never ran across any old Lincoln memorabilia during my working years there. Mr Raiford started in the car business in the late 1940's selling used cars. Later he became a new car dealer selling Ramblers and Dodges. A long time Ford dealer in Port Arthur retired and Raiford bought that store in 1964. The logo became RaiFORD Motors. Mr. Raiford passed away some years ago, but his daughter still operates the dealership under the name Energy Country Ford. His daughter was a little kid when I started working there. Energy Country gave up the Lincoln franchise a little after the Ford Motor Company killed Mercury.