Royal Oak Ford, located right on Woodward Avenue down the road from the Detroit Zoo, was a speed shop for Detroit in the '60s. Then called Stark Hickey Ford, it was an integral part of the hot rod and Woodward Avenue experience. Many would race their hot rods, custom roadsters and classic muscle cars in front of the shop.
"If you wanted a hot rod built, this is where you came," said Ford Hall, commercial account manager.
Today, although no longer for the racing scene, Royal Oak Ford is an integral part of the Royal Oak community.
Hall, who has been with the dealership for three years, works closely with the community.
"It was slowly being started," he said about the dealership's efforts to connect with the community. "Then I took it over."
Royal Oak Ford regularly organizes Drive One 4 UR School test-drive programs. The most recent was in October when Royal Oak High School raised .
Royal Oak High School Interim Principal Jim Moll said Royal Oak Ford provides a lot of opportunities for fund-raising.
"On our end, it's an extremely easy fundraiser," he said. "Each time we do it, there are $6,000 to $7,000 that come back to the schools in a one day event."
Moll said there are only good things to say since the new owners of Royal Oak Ford became involved in the schools.
"We really are appreciative of their involvement. Ford Hall has been the spearhead of that. He has been the face over here," Moll said.
Hall agreed that the dealership puts a lot into the community.
"But it's a two-way street. Our numbers have definitely risen in Royal Oak," he said.
Community Connections More Important in Competitive Market
Royal Oak Ford is one among many Ford dealerships in the area. Hall said there are several within three to four miles.
"It's a competitive market in metro Detroit," he said. "If we could just sell cars to Royal Oak, we would."
Eddie Hall Jr. (no relation) has owned the dealership for eight years. His sons Eddy Hall III, finance manager, and Evan Hall, who is still a student and helps with community relations, work at the dealership.
Ford Hall said the dealership has reestablished its relationships with the city under the Hall ownership. He said Royal Oak Police are bringing their service to Royal Oak Ford, which is supplying them with six new police cars.
The dealership has its new and used car lots at its main location at 27550 North Woodward Ave. Before Christmas of last year, the entire showroom was renovated. It's now a wide space with open offices for many of its departments.
Its body shop and secondary used lot is on Webster Road and Woodward Avenue. There is also Royal Rental and an off-site storage lot not far from the dealership.