African-American Automobile New Car Dealers

Rusty Restuccia
Rusty Restuccia

An Extrodinary Man

From the Author

During my 33 year career with Ford Motor Company (1962-1995), I spent the last 14 years as Director-Marketing Services which was responsible for the administration of Ford's ethnic minority dealer program. Our goal was to increase significantly the number of ethnic minorities, specifically African-American, within the Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealer networks. The beginning of a concerted effort to change the way Ford approached minority dealers began in earnest in 1984.

Over the years, Ford had the distinction of having the highest percentage of African-American dealerships (5-7%) of its total.

By way of background, although a graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism/Advertising from the University of Wisconsin (1957), I concluded that my creative writing skills were 'modest' at best. As a result, I obtained an MBA (1961) from the Wharton School of Finance.

When the opportunity to join Ford Motor Company presented itself, I jumped at it. "Madison Avenue" took a back seat to "The Motor City".

After retiring from Ford in 1995, I was challenged to write a book memorializing the history of African-American dealers; pioneers who helped change the course of history. In 2001, I wrote a book titled, "Homer B. Roberts – An Extraordinary Man".

Roberts was the first African-American to be franchised (Kansas City – 1923). I believe it provides historical perspective relative to African-Americans in the retail car business prior to World War II.

Importantly, for those who can provide additional information or correct what has been written to assure we have the facts, it is requested the author be contacted at This is considered a work in progress and hopefully, it adds to the historical knowledge base relative to African-American business entrepreneurs.

...Rusty Restuccia