Staff Report

The gasoline engine vehicle was ‘road tested’ for the first time in 1893 by Frank and Charles Duryea, who then opened the first U.S. facility designed for volume motor vehicle production three years later. The internal combustion-engine motor vehicle was then patented in 1895.

At about this same time, Fred Ferman became sole owner of Tampa Cycle Company.
In 1899, he and Tampa Cycle Co. employee Victor James crafted two vehicles from bicycle parts, one of them powered by steam, the other by a French-made gasoline engine. The latter was the first gasoline car driven in Tampa. Ferman had already established his instinct for emerging industries.

Intrigued by the 1901 C u r v e d Dash Oldsmobile Runabout, 28 year old Ferman applied for and won an Oldsmobile sales agency in 1902. Now, both he and the Tampa area had its first auto dealership.

Chevrolet was founded on November 3, 1911, and since then has produced over 200 million cars and trucks. Chevrolet awarded Ferman its first Chevrolet dealership in 1930 establishing it as Tampa’s Heritage Chevrolet dealer.

A Chevrolet Motor Company executive whose internal memo noted Fred Ferman, Sr.’s ‘good name and reputation’ and declared, “… this is the best connection we can make in Tampa.” In 1931, Tampa’s newest Chevrolet dealer advertised its new location at 307 Florida Avenue in Tampa and changed its name to Ferman Chevrolet in 1933.

According to the website, “Since opening our doors, Ferman Chevrolet has been all about the ‘ease of doing business’ and growing our dealership ‘one Guest at a time’ by exceeding expectations with an outstanding selection of new Chevy vehicles, competitive prices and lease offers, and an impeccable guest service experience.”

Much has changed since 1895, but one thing remains true…the mission and values guiding every dealership proudly bearing the Ferman name.

Today, you can visit Ferman Chevrolet at 9751 Adamo Dr. in Tampa. For more, visit or call 400-2649.

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