The Manly family tradition of holding the customer first and giving them the best treatment throughout the ownership process remains their governing principal. Be sure to ask about our three day low price guarantee, your insurance that you're getting the very best price!
Here are just a few reasons to choose us for your next vehicle purchase:
• Manly Honda offers no hassle upfront pricing.
• The majority of the paperwork can be handled from your office or home
• We will research the value of your trade and guarantee top trade-in value.
• We will research your credit situation to offer you the best loan rates available to you.
• We will professionally detail your car and deliver it to you with a full tank of gas.
• We offer home or office delivery designed for your ultimate convenience.
Bill and Lori Manly have come a long way since they opened their first auto repair shop on Petaluma Hill Road in Santa Rosa in 1959. It was a tin shack back then that cost $50 a month to rent. Their business grew over the years and their legacy now includes a brand new, state of the art Honda store on Corby Avenue!
How did they do it, how did they become pioneers in Honda’s history and the first Honda dealer in the United States? Was it being in the right place at the right time? Was it because of great vision and foresight? Or was it because of luck? Well perhaps it was a combination of all three and in addition and most importantly because they were willing to work as hard as was necessary to make it all work.
Bill Manly was repairing foreign cars in the beginning and had a reputation for being a straight shooter and happened to be excellent at what he did as well which helped to grow his business. But he wanted to be involved in selling something new.
During a race event at the Cotati race track, sadly no longer in existence, and a place where Lori Manly had many top finishes riding 125cc motorbikes. Bill was approached by a gentleman with two brand new Honda trail bikes in the bed of his pick up. He happened to be the San Francisco representative for Honda and wanted to expand the franchise. He had heard of Bill’s reputation, sought him out and asked him if he would be interested in selling the bikes.
It didn’t take long for Bill to say yes but there was one problem, he needed $2000 to purchase the franchise rights. He didn’t have it but knew someone who might, one of his customers, a doctor and a sports car enthusiast.
He went to the doctor’s house one evening shortly after his encounter with the Honda rep. The doctor on answering the door was surprised to see him and asked Bill what he wanted. Bill said that he wanted $2000 to buy a Honda franchise and would the doctor loan it to him. The doctor looked at him and asked him when he might expect the $2000 back. Bill said either right away or you’ll never see it again. The doctor wrote the check on the spot!
And that’s what started the Honda ball rolling and for ten years or so Bill and Lori successfully sold and serviced Honda mopeds, trail bikes and motorbikes in a showroom on Santa Rosa Avenue. Back in those days the owner’s manuals contained cryptic translations from Japanese into English with amusing phrases such as “Beware of the oil on the road for there lurks the skid demon!”
During a visit to Japan in 1967, as a result of winning a sales contest, Bill couldn’t help notice a couple of small cars being displayed at Honda headquarters. They were Honda 600s. He approached Mr. Honda’s interpreter, Mr. Ikeme and said that he would be very interested in selling those back in the United States. Mr. Honda took note of this and soon after shipped the first Honda Automobile to San Francisco. Bill hitched down to the port and drove the car up to Santa Rosa. The car sold right away and it wasn’t long before he developed a waiting list with eager buyers anxious to own this small, fuel efficient vehicle that at the time was dwarfed on the road by large, American made gas guzzlers.
By 1972 the Oil crisis changed people’s concept of economical cars and Bill and Lori’s business expanded in leaps and bounds with reliable, fun to drive vehicles that didn’t impact the pocket book!
So when you buy a car from Manly Honda in Santa Rosa, you’re not just buying a great vehicle you’re buying a little bit of history as well!
To see the first Honda sold in the U.S. come and visit us at our new showroom on Corby Avenue in Santa Rosa. If you like we can show you some newer Hondas as well.
We’re looking forward to seeing you at Manly Honda and making you part of the Manly automobile family!