The Farland Fables - Rooted in Denver

From the Shop and Showroom

The Farland Fables - Rooted in Denver

Posted by Pat Curtin on July 2021

In the worldwide automotive market, choosing a proper restoration shop can be a challenge. Many shops focus on a singular brand, others have made names for themselves as tuners or specializing in iconic singular chassis restorations. For those looking for a shop that can work on any brand with Concours quality, the list becomes even smaller. 

This is where Farland Classic Restoration shines, from our roots at the Farland-Buell Chrysler dealership to the multiple in-house Ferrari 250 PF Cabriolet restorations, we’ve seen both the car market and the automotive world change around us over the past 55 years. In that time, we’ve had the chance to get our eyes and hands on many icons from around the world and develop a dense knowledge of classic and modern automotive manufacturing.

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To get started we’ll send it back to the beginning and some of the roots in Denver automotive culture. Denver has a lively history in the automotive realm including the famed Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, many small Colorado-based car manufacturers, and even the Fritchle Electric Car Company way back in 1904. Where we’ll start is in the heart of Denver back in 1926, with Walter Chrysler. 

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After many successful years as an automotive executive with Buick, Walter Chrysler began the Chrysler Corporation in 1924. Almost immediately after the start of the business, Walter began building contracts for dealerships around the U.S. One of the first locations selected was 1000 North Broadway here in Denver.

The building would be deemed the “Denver Chrysler building” and would house a Chrysler / Plymouth Dealership for the next 40 years under the name Cullen-Thompson Motor Company. The building would be noted for its Gothic-Deco style. Originally, ramps ran up the interior of the building to allow Chryslers to be driven between floors for sales and service. Following the end of the 40-year contract, two young automotive enthusiasts named “Fo” Farland and Temple Buell Jr. would take over the lease for the following three years as they got their footing in the dealership world.

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At the end of their contract and the deaths of Cullen and Thompson, Fo and Temple would move further south and leave the Denver Chrysler building. The building would lie vacant for a few years before being purchased by a well-known sporting gear company,  Gart Brothers. The building would be redubbed the “Sportscastle”, a moniker the building continues to be known by today.

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Fo and Temple began their new dealership at 1505 S. Colorado Boulevard. The two were blessed to continue working with many of the technicians that had worked at Cullen-Thompson. Denverites knew Farland-Buell as “the next generation” of dealers. The two men took advantage of the situation and began a working relationship with Modern Classic Motors, a Californian dealer who would come to be known as the west-coast distributor of Ferraris throughout the 1960s.

Fo and Temple would begin moving Ferraris out of their dealership in 1967 alongside the Chryslers and Plymouths their customers had known for years. Aside from the dealership, the two would see minor racing success in everything from road courses here in Colorado to sponsoring a Maserati Formula 1 team in the late '50s but that's the tale for next time. 

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Here you can see a 1967 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 that was originally sold at the Farland-Buell dealership all those years ago. It stopped by our shop for some touch-ups before going up for auction at RM Sothebey's in Monterey.

Thanks for stopping by, spending a bit of time learning about Fo and Temple! Next time we'll be digging into Temple's work as one of the first privateer racing sponsors.

As usual, if you have a restoration, stalled project, or classic needing a little of our mastery give our shop a call at 303-761-1245. If you’re looking to sell a car with us please give the showroom a call at 720-588-8427. Either way, shoot us an email: info@farlandcars.com  Don’t forget to keep up with us over on Youtube, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram for all the metal, paint, and icons moving through the shop and showroom. Thanks!

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