Honest Charley Speed Shop

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Honest Charley's 1934 Ford Sedan with advertisement for the Speed Shop painted on.
Advertisement from 1955.

Honest Charley Speed Shop was founded by Charley "Honest Charley" Card in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1948. Charley's unique combination of automotive, performance and custom accessories and world wide distribution of the notably humorous Honest Charley catalogs served to establish Honest Charley Speed Shop as one of the most recognized names in the Automotive Aftermarket.[1]

Honest Charley Speed Shop was one of the first advertisers featured in Hot Rod Magazine, and his company was one of the first speed shops with coast to coast distribution. Company expansion included Honest Charley retail stores and and distribution centers throughout Tennessee, Georgia and Florida supplying jobbers and dealers throughout the southeast. In 1980 Honest Charley's Speed Distributors Warehouse was named SEMA's Warehouse Distributor of the Year.[1]

In 1990, after more than forty years of industry innovation and dedicated service, Honest Charley discontinued operations at 108 Honest Street. However, the significance of Honest's legacy of always placing the customer first and his example of embracing all enthusiasts as family and friends continued to influence both the industry and all who knew him. In 1998 the Honest Charley name and trademarks were acquired by Chattanooga automotive enthusiast and businessman Corky Coker. Coker Tire Company has long been recognized for its extensive line of fine tires for collector vehicles. Memories of Honest Charley and Corky's enthusiasm towards all things automotive provided the inspiration to once again guarantee the enthusiast a unique product selection in conjunction with a solid commitment to customer service. In early 2001, Honest Charley ads were once again appearing in leading automotive publications including Hot Rod, Car Craft and Super Chevy magazines.[1]

Today, Honest Charley is located within the Coker Tire Complex in historic downtown Chattanooga.[1]


Tom Hunt



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