Hemphill - McCombs Ford


Hemphill - McCombs Ford was located at 1025 San Pedro Avenue, San Antonio, Texas. It was owned by Austin Hemphill and Billy Joe "Red" McCombs. McCombs got his nickname from his red hair. Red McCombs is certainly one of the more interesting people you will ever find.

McCombs started selling Fords in 1957. He opened a dealership that sold Edsels. McCombs reportedly said, "We never sold an Edsel to anyone who wanted one."

McCombs is an avid sports fan and University of Texas booster. He has also been involved with numerous professional sports teams. He has owned the Denver Nuggets, the Minnesota Vikings and the San Antonio Spurs.

He has also been involved in real estate and started a company called Clear Channel Communications. He is also owner of the company, Academi (previously called Blackwater).

McCombs understood the importance of advertising. He was known for his sometimes outrageous publicity stunts. One time, he reportedly told people that he had purchased the Alamo.

The dealership used drag racing as way of advertising and selling cars. Picture from the internet.

Here is a great picture sent to me by Mike D. It's the Hemphill lot in 1967.

Here McCombs films a commercial for the dealership. Constant advertising and a large annual budget kept customers in the store. Hemphill McCombs sold a total of 85 cars as a Shelby franchise dealership. They also sold cars to local San Antonio dealers like Gillespie and Jordan Ford.

This beautiful 1967 GT500 was sold new at Hemphill- McCombs. It is number 359. Picture courtesy of Legendary Motor Cars.

The dealership supplied vehicles to the 1968 World Fair held in San Antonio. The fair was called the Hemisfair. It also celebrated the 250th birthday of the city of San Antonio. New cars supplied by Hemphill-McCombs rotated through the Ford pavilion. This picture shows McCombs with a model of the fair.

A picture taken outside the Ford Pavilion at Hemisfair '68. If you look closely you will see a GT500 convertible. The car has been identified as # 1396. The SAAC Registrar was able to identify this car. This photo was shared by Bill Cotter. You may want to visit his website to see more pictures from the World's Fair [www.worldsfairphotos.com]

Here is a closeup of the picture. The oil cooler for the GT500s air conditioner can be seen under the front bumper.

This advertisement shows the observation tower (Tower of the Americas) from the Hemisfair.

The state of Texas issued special plates in conjunction with the fair. Ed's GT500 KR still has that license plate today.

The stationary from the dealership had this logo along with a Worlds Fair logo. This was shared by Vinny.

Promotional vehicles also helped sales. Here is Ford's popular GT 40. This car also appeared at the World's fair.

Shelby # 880 was originally sent to Hemphill-McCombs. It was restored by Randal's Restorations in Texas. David Randal shared this photograph.

Shelby supplied advertising photos were used by many of the dealerships. Here is an advertisment with the new GT500 KR.

One of the most interesting cars to come through Hemphill-McCombs was one destined for Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, the President of Mexico! The white GT500 has not been relocated.

This newspaper advertisment is for the arrival of Miss Reagan Wilson. The Playboy promotions were a very popular way of attracting potential buyers.

This original service envelope originally contained the owner's manual and warranty information.

McCombs would eventually buy out Hemphill's share of the dealership. He continues selling Fords to this day. It's now called the McCombs Automotive Group and is comprised of five dealerships in the San Antonio area.

If you have anything related to Hemphill - McCombs or would like to share a picture, please feel free to email me.