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Earnhardt Ford to Receive Chandler Business of the Year Award

A big and “Ain’t No Bull” Congratulations to Earnhardt Ford, which has been named 2016 Business of the Year by the Chandler Chamber of Commerce.

Earnhardt FordA big and “Ain’t No Bull” Congratulations to Earnhardt Ford, which has been named 2016 Business of the Year by the Chandler Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber will recognize Tex Earnhardt and his family, including Jim Babe, Bull, Dodge, Derby, Nature, Ace, Wyn and Hal Earnhardt at an event on Thursday, June 2.

Earnhardt-Ford-to-Receive-Chandler-Business-of-the-Year-Award-3A Chamber committee selected Earnhardt for the award. “Earnhardt Ford has been a staple in the Chandler business community for over 65 years,” said Terri Kimble, president and CEO of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce. “Since then, the Earnhardt’s and their employees have indeed built an empire, not only of their business but also by the way they touch the community through compassion and philanthropy.” Earnhardt employees nominated Earnhardt Ford for the award, noting the company’s contributions to Chandler’s economy and the community.

Earnhardt-Ford-to-Receive-Chandler-Business-of-the-Year-Award-2The Earnhardt organization has been a family operation from the beginning. Tex Earnhardt grew up on a Texas ranch and moved to Chandler with his family in 1951 at age 20. Tex’s father, Hal Earnhardt, Sr., started a small gas station in downtown Chandler. The following year, at age 21, Tex was awarded a Ford franchise and became the youngest Ford franchise owner in the country.

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Hal, Jim Babe and Tex Earnhardt shooting a Earnhardt Ford commercial

Over the years, Tex Earnhardt opened numerous automobile dealerships for many different brands and became known in the Valley for his “that ain’t no bull” slogan in his commercials. The company received numerous awards for sales and service. In 1996, Earnhardt Auto Center was the number-one dealership in the world, and Tex grew his hair into a ponytail for the occasion.

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Tex and Hal Earnhardt with CLN’s Patrick OD O’Donnell and Aaron Kuhl

Earnhardt’s Gilbert Dodge location was recognized as the Chrysler Corporation’s #1 Retail Dealership for four years in a row: 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996. Tex Earnhardt and his family, including Jim Babe, Bull, Dodge, Derby, Nature, Ace, Wyn and Hal Earnhardt joined him, and the family grew the business to become one of the largest automotive empires in the Southwest. Today, Earnhardt employs more than 3,000 people. Earnhardt Auto Centers is significantly known for its constant and continual support to local charities, and employees donate via payroll deduction to different charities every month.

Chandler Chamber of Commerce AZThe Chamber will honor winners of its 29th Annual Community Awards on Thursday, June 2 at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino. Visit www.chandlerchamber.com for more information.

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Carolyn Sostrom is a long-time Arizona resident who loves desert sunsets, warm weather and zumba. As a writer, she’s covered technology, medical and travel topics.

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