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The History of Colonial Toyota in Milford CT

The history of Colonial Toyota is a great story! In 1982, my father, Robert E. Crabtree Sr. who owned 10 dealers in NY, and Fred Haas, owner of multiple dealerships in Houston Texas became partners and acquired Ct. Operations. Colonial and Westport Toyota was a package deal. Colonial Toyota was a satellite store to Westport Toyota, and was located on Barnum Avenue Stratford. The great visionary, my father, when he recognized the marketplace, knew Colonial Toyota could be a dominating retail automobile dealership, but that required moving to a better location.

The property it stands on today became available because of his clever tenacious approach. The property was owned by Gannett Publishing Co. and displayed 2 huge old style V Shaped billboards. The property was available but nobody knew what to do with the challenge of the billboards. What appeared to be a challenging dilemma had a simple solution. I recall when he told me of the great location. The problem was how to get around the billboards. While he was driving down I95, it dawned on him to make a deal with Gannett to buy the property. He constructed a modern place pylon style billboard. What a win win, because Gannett sold the property, yet still took advantage of the location and added 2 more billboards which still stand today. Of course the Crabtree Family was able to then relocate the diamond in the rough, Colonial Toyota to Milford Ct. in 1985. The past 29 years, Colonial Toyota has changed the way the auto industry is conducted in Ct. Colonial was the first dealer to open on Saturday for service, and the first dealer to spot deliver cars, to name a few, but bar none, the most exciting and revolutionary change was Colonial Toyota’s No-Haggle One Associate Sales Approach. It’s not only a better way to buy a car, it’s a better way to sell a car. I firmly believe that the No-Haggle One Associate Sales approach will be the future of the car industry. Our level of great success has opened the door for hiring. Hopefully, you will be part of our future success. I have an open door policy, and sincerely welcome you to our family.

- Robert E. Crabtree Jr.

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