It was after World War II that Dan Collins, then a blacksmith apprentice at Coleman’s Garage in Millstreet, Ireland, came to the United States alongside his brother Johnny. Collins first worked at a Ford agency in New York, and within a few years news of his expertise as a mechanic had spread all the way to Oregon where Gordon Smith, owner of Lakeview’s local Ford dealership, offered Collins a job. With only a few dollars to his name, Collins traveled cross-country to Lakeview to join the Ford operation, which subsequently burned down soon afterward.
Despite the setback, the Collins brothers persisted, and by 1953 established a repair shop in Lakeview. Two years later, having built a Dodge-Plymouth agency alongside their repair shop, another fire nearly ended the business. The family regrouped, and by 1958 had bought the Chevrolet dealership from Buz Thompson, which in 1960 suffered yet another fire. [read more …] “Dan Collins Ford”