History of Birmingham – Adamson Ford

Adamson Ford has been a part of downtown Birmingham for 100 years. We take a look at the history of the dealership and the secret to their 100 year success.

A part of downtown Birmingham for 100 years


Adamson Ford

Adamson Ford is located at 1922 2nd Avenue South in the Midtown District, the fastest growing part of Birmingham, in a historic building which was originally built as The Grand Theatre.

Adamson Ford was established by Reese Adamson in 1918 as Adamson Motor Company. After doing business for 19 years in Southside Birmingham, Adamson and his two partners, A.D. Harris and Ralph Howard, purchased and subsequently remodeled The Grand Theatre for their growing Ford dealership. The Grand Opening for the new building was held in 1937.

In 1956, John R. Israel, Jr. purchased the Ford franchise from the three original owners, remodeling the building again and putting a more modern façade on the building in the 1960s. Israel chose to retain the name Adamson Ford due to the company’s longevity and the sterling reputation of the dealership and its owners.

His son, William B Israel, bought the dealership from his father in February, 1982 and expanded Adamson Ford’s property holdings to include the site of the Adamson Collision Center at 700 8th Street South. In the early 2000s, Israel remodeled the showroom and the rest of the block. He was recognized in 2004 by the Birmingham Historical Society for preserving and enchancing an entire city block. With the assistance of the architect, Al Chiesa, the Showroom of the dealership was gutted to the original brick and plaster walls and the enormous heart pine rafters and beams were exposed. The Catwalks and stage arch original to The Grand Theatre can still be viewed at the rear of the showroom.


Still a family owned business, Adamson Ford is operated by Linnea Israel. We are looking forward to our 100th Birthday Celebration and to our next 100 years!

Click here to learn more about Adamson Ford


This post sponsored by Adamson Ford


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History of Birmingham – Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

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