New Yamaha Motorcycle Dealer Opens in March, 1970
We recently sat down and spoke to our father about his first day working the old dealership and what it was like to open the door for the first time on that day in March 1970.
“I don’t know what we were thinking, we were so nervous about going into business at that time. I remember when Marie and I were headed South out-of-town one day and there was a billboard from Boeing that said “Make sure to turn the lights out when you leave” It was a tough time to be in business, the interest rate was over 17% and people weren’t borrowing money for toys” said Pops.
He had scraped together $500.00 along with another partner and his $500.00 to get the business started. They rented a building just off Hwy-99 in Lynnwood and were able to get Yamaha to fund a $2,000.00 flooring limit to bring the first Yamaha motorcycles in for sale. “I remember it was the first day and it was just me” said Pops, I didn’t have a service guy or a parts guy. We had Yamaha AT-1′s, CT-1′s and DT-1′s to sell along with spark plugs and oil, that was it! I was so excited, the Yamaha DT-1′s were the bike that everyone wanted. It was a 250cc 2-stroke enduro bike that could be ridden on the street. It came in white and orange, the orange one was the bike everyone wanted.
He started selling them so fast that the folks at Yamaha said they couldn’t keep up the supply of machines Pops needed. He spoke to his friend Wally at Yamaha financial who was worried about Pops flooring allowance but Pops just calmly told him to “Keep-em Comin”.
Here is a great article about the 1970 Yamaha DT-1 from the Bike EXIF blog http://www.bikeexif.com/yamaha-dt-1
After the first 6-months of business sales were increasing but Pops realized that there wasn’t enough profit to keep the doors open with two partners so he offered to buy his friend out. The friend agreed but wanted $10,000 for his share. Keep in mind this is 1970 and the store had been open just 6-months. Pops saw the potential in the business and doubled down on the investment and bought his partner out. And the rest, as they say…is history.