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Lathrop G. Hoffman has passed away.

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  • Lathrop G. Hoffman has passed away.

    Lathrop G. Hoffman was the son of Paul G. Hoffman, long time Studebaker dealer and former president of the Studebaker Corporation.

    Lathrop was also a Studebaker dealer (in Los Angeles). In 1971, he bought a VW dealership in Fontana, soon owned dozens of other makes of car dealerships.

    For example: Sierra Autocars in Monrovia.

    Lengthy obituary is located in the Sunday 'California' section of the Los Angeles Times (latimes.com).
    Last edited by WinM1895; 04-06-2014, 09:18 PM.

  • #2
    I am sorry to hear that, he had to be one of the second generation of Studebaker Pioneers, so to speak.

    Bill I always thought (was told) that Lathrop was the former owner of Frank H. Afton Co. in Inglewood.
    But somehow the timing of that does not seem right since Frank who used to be a salesman at that same store, did own it a long time, I am not sure if Lathrop was old enough at the time. The Inglewood store could have belonged to Paul G. the X President of the Studebaker Corp.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
      I am sorry to hear that, he had to be one of the second generation of Studebaker Pioneers, so to speak.

      Bill I always thought (was told) that Lathrop was the former owner of Frank H. Afton Co. in Inglewood.
      But somehow the timing of that does not seem right since Frank who used to be a salesman at that same store, did own it a long time, I am not sure if Lathrop was old enough at the time. The Inglewood store could have belonged to Paul G. the X President of the Studebaker Corp.
      Lathrop was born in 1924, so I doubt he had anything to do with it.

      I think it was a Paul G. Hoffman store originally and that Afton was the general sales manager.

      Hoffman at some point, probably in the 1940's, sold it to Afton.

      Remember the HUGE Studebaker wheel sign on the roof? I cannot see 'ol tightwad Afton buying and installing that sign.

      Located at 1240 S. Figueroa, is the last dealership building remaining from this section of downtown L/A's Auto Row. It's located across the street from Staples Center and the LA Convention Center.

      The building was recently repainted, but if you look at the north side from a certain angle, you can see where Paul G and Studebaker is readable.

      Bob's Studebaker Resource (dealer locator) has a pic of this sign at the end of the CA section. Pic was taken before the recent repaint and Bob is calling it an unknown dealer.

      But, from research I've done, this was the original Paul G. Hoffman dealership. At some point, Hoffman moved north to a former Hudson dealership at the SW corner of 7th and Figueroa.

      After Hoffman left, this was Greer-Robbins Chrysler Plymouth. When Robbins relocated to the SE corner of 11th & Flower (building extant), a succession of Nash dealers were located here.

      The last was Nash California Co. There's more Nash info including pics of this building and the one next door to the south that was torn down years ago at the Nash Dealership site.

      In the late 1990's, "Family Ford" was located here. A pal of mine (Art Icenogle) was the Fleet Sales Manager. "She who must be obeyed" leased a 1994 Taurus from Art, my mom bought a 1996 Contour from Art.

      The Taurus' P/S rack sprang a leak, I took the car in to have it fixed. Art took me upstairs...showed me a 9' Nash porcelain sign they had discovered laying up on the roof.

      The sign went home with me for an el cheapo price, but not in the Taurus. I had to rent an Econoline box van from U-Haul to move it.
      Last edited by WinM1895; 04-06-2014, 11:38 PM.

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      • #4
        Lathrop was for many years an honorary member of The Antique Studebaker Club. I had talked to him on the phone and I had some personal correspondence from him. He was a very nice gentleman.
        Richard Quinn
        Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

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