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1215 N. Main Street

Jacksonville, FL 32206

904.354.8521

1215 N. Main Street

Jacksonville, FL 32206

904.354.8521

THE HISTORY OF CATLIN TRUCK ACCESSORIES

In 1917, William Catlin, a Real Estate Broker in Richmond, Virginia, moved his family to Jacksonville, Florida.

He took a sales job with Burts and Williamson, a Studebaker Dealer in Jacksonville and within six months became Sales Manager. In those days the New Car Dealerships were responsible for tires, gas, financing, and selling of both new and used cars. Mr. Catlin saw the need for an independent Used Car Dealership and took his ideas to a friend, Mr. B. K. Hall of McCants-Hall Ford Dealership.

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William Catlin Desoto & Plymouth Dealer 1936

Mr. Hall owned a building on Adams street right next door to their Ford Dealership and William Catlin became the first exclusive Used Car Dealer in the state of Florida.

He started this in 1919. By 1930 he had five used car lots in Jacksonville and his biggest problem was getting cars to sell. He bought land at the NE corner of 2nd and Main Street for a Used Car lot where the business is still located. In 1930, he took on a Desoto-Plymouth Distributorship extending to Orlando in the South, Tallahassee in the West, and Waycross and Valdosta in the North. It was a 5 year contract and he would also get a second one into 1940.

When William Catlin Jr. graduated from VPI in 1936 he came to work in the wholesale end of the NEW CAR business.

He was made a partner in 1938 before going on Active Duty in Italy in 1940. Marshall Catlin was offered a Partnership in 1944 while overseas in the Central Pacific. The Partnership took on a Studebaker franchise at 301 Park Street in 1945 adding a Packard franchise in 1955 and a Distributorship for Mark IV Air Conditioners for cars and trucks in 1956. They dropped the Studebaker Packard franchise in 1957 and moved the operation to 2nd and Main Street. When William Catlin died William Catlin Jr. bought out Marshall Catlin’s interest and became the sole proprietor.

William (Bodie) Catlin III joined the family business in 1971, implementing a more concentrated effort on the auto-air conditioning and automotive accessories business. Foreseeing a boom in the automotive accessories market, Bodie created one of the first accessory businesses in the country. Keith Catlin, who joined the company in 1999, brought his marketing expertise to the business. As President, Keith has been extremely successful in his plan of making Catlin the local choice for folks to dress up their trucks.

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Keith Catlin and William (Bodie) Catlin III

Catlin is the second oldest Truck Accessory store in America.

We pride ourselves in having one of the largest inventories in the Southeast of auto and truck accessories that we both sell and install. The continued success of our fourth generation business is due to our loyal customers and the dedication of our employees.

A HISTORY IN PHOTOS