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November 18, 2019


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In 1969, my wife and I were car shopping and we stopped in at Irv Leopold dealership. It must have been getting late because Irv himself was locking up the doors. He opened up for us and let us look around. Then he took us into the shop area and showed us the Datsun 240z. It hadn't been marketed in the US at the time. I really wanted to buy it, but we had two kids and needed a bigger car.

Was located at 8890 SE McLaughlin Blvd. (corner of McLaughlin Blvd. & Ochoco st.) Milwaukie OR.

I am going to have to backtrack on my posting above. I am pretty sure now that we were not in the area of McLaughlin Blvd shopping for cars in 1969. Does anyone remember a Datsun dealership somewhere around Stark Street near the 12 mile corner in the Gresham area (a little bit west of where Weston Kia is located)? After 50 years my memory must not be as good as I think it is.

JohnH Datsun newspaper ads in the Oregonian in 69-70 list Del Pranke Datsun at 21855 SE Stark, Gresham, which is a stones throw from 12 mile corner. The location where the Tonkin Kia dealership is was the former site of the 12 mile market for several years. Your memory is not that bad, I lived farther out off SE Stark Street in the mid 70's, and had no recall of this dealership.

A correction to my earlier post it is Weston KIA that is located at the site of the former location of Zim's 12 mile market.

D Gibson - Thanks for jogging my memory. It was Del Pranke who opened up the door for us. He did quite a bit of advertising and I remember telling him he was the first celebrity I'd ever met. He seemed amused by that.

Wasnt Irv on 102, near Mall 205? I recall Jim Fisher there, thought he followed Irv....

JannM: Jim Fisher opened a Datsun dealership in a former Albertsons grocery store at SE 102 & Stark in the early 70's near Mall 205.

My Dad bought a slightly used butterscotch-colored Datsun from Del Pranke when it was a year or two old and always liked Mr. Pranke afterward. I guess he figured he got a "square deal" from him. It ran well for years and years. And boy, was it one of a kind recognizable!

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