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Tustin Classic Cars

1 Auto Center Drive 

Tustin, Ca 92781

855-975-3881 -  Dan Shepherd

 

Tustin Buick GMC

Tustin Classic Cars

Located in Orange County California, Tustin Classic Cars is a specialty dealer that began 58 years ago and has a rich racing history.

The Parkinson family is well known in the Los Angeles automotive community, and has a rich history as dealers of exotic and specialty cars, including Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Saab, BMW, AM General Hummer, Puegot, Datsun ( now Nissan ), MV Specialty vehicles for handicap,  and has brokered thousands of others, including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bizzarinni, etc.

Today, the Parkinson legacy continues at Tustin GMC - Buick, a leading dealer of GM cars and trucks.

With our family's love for cars and a father who has a history of auto racing, we began as Burbank Sports Cars in 1953 and have evolved into a collection of dealerships in Tustin, CA. For over 58 years, family-owned Tustin Buick GMC has been dedicated to helping our clients make their automotive purchasing decisions. For years, we have been ranked tops in the industry in customer satisfaction and dealership performance.

The family patriarch, Jim Parkinson was a winning driver in what would eventually become known as the Can AM, with a famous prototype sports racer called the Campbell Special.

"JP" fondly remembers the day the original single cylinder 500cc JAP motorcycle engine was replaced by a small block Chevy V8.  " It went from horribly under-powered to horribly over powered, but the suspension was so innovative that the car became the one to beat when Dan Gurney and I were just kids" "It was a blast to drive as it could literally do anything a driver asked, and had perfect manners".

Today, some of the cars JP raced reside in the museums of European manufacturers, such as Renault.

OUR HISTORY:

 

  • 1953 Started a Sports Car Service repair shop, Burbank Sports Car Center in Burbank, California

  • 1954 We were awarded our first new-car franchise for MG-Austin-Morris in February.

  • 1955-1956 We added the Austin Healey franchise to our operation.

  • 1956-1957 We opened an additional location named Italiano Motors representing Fiat-Alfa Romeo-Lancia and added a satellite location with the same Italian brands on Victory Blvd. in Burbank. We also acquired a small used-car lot to add Renaults to our lineup.

  • 1956-1957 We started Abarth Cars. This was a western states distribution of Abarth cars from Italy. We also started selling Peugeots.

  • 1961 We opened Italiano Motors in Hollywood, CA and added Triumphs to our car offerings.

  • 1962 We added Jaguars to the company at the Renault Peugeot location and moved the Renault and Peugeot franchises to a new location.

  • 1965 We purchased a Ford facility and continued with MG- Austin Healey- Austin-Morris-and Lotus.

  • 1968 We were awarded a Volkswagen franchise for Placentia, CA.

  • 1969 We sold Burbank Sports Car Center and moved to Placentia to open our new Volkswagen dealership.

  • 1971-1972 We sold Placentia Volkswagen to start Newport Datsun.

  • 1972 Started operation of Newport Datsun on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach.

  • 1973-1974 We built a new facility for the Datsun franchise by John Wayne Airport on Dove Street. We continued to operate Alfa Romeo, SAAB and Peugeot at our facility on Coast Highway.

  • 1974-1975 Completed construction of the new facility and moved the Datsun franchise to that location.

  • 1982 Added the Maserati franchise to the Beach Imports location on Dove Street.

  • 1986 We built a satellite dealership for the sale of SAAB- Alfa Romeo-Maserati and Daihatsu in the Irvine Auto Center.

  • 1990 Purchased the property at 30 Auto Center Drive in Tustin, CA, and moved our Nissan franchise to that location.

  • 1993 We acquired the Buick and Pontiac franchises to operate at a new two-acre location at 50 Auto Center Drive in Tustin.

  • 1994-1995 We built a new facility at 50 Auto Center Drive for the Buick and Pontiac franchises.

  • 1996-1999 We obtained the GMC truck franchise by swapping the SAAB franchise for GMC, and moved Buick, Pontiac and GMC trucks to the 1 Auto Center facility in Tustin.

  • 2006-2007 We acquired the HUMMER franchise and built a brand-new facility.

  • 2011 After 39 years as a Nissan franchise, we decided to focus our efforts on Buick and GMC.

  •  

  • JP's son, Mark Parkinson, President, continues the family legacy today as an avid motorsports fan, motorcycle rider,and custodian of the Tustin Auto Classic Collection that includes 1927 Buicks, German "micro cars", Husquvarna, Ducati, motorcycles, rare radios and phonographs, and many rare cars.

    Mark offered  " Growing up in a racing family was a great experience and I clearly recall talking to Bruce McLaren while he working on his Can Am car at Laguna Seca, and then seemingly, there was an explosion and just two , wide, black stripes on the pavement, and he was gone !"

    " I still have my commemorative button from the first Monetery Historics, where I think 35 cars showed up to race and we were impressed " !

    "Dan Gurney has been a close family friend for over 50 years, and we were honored to sell a car from his personal collection to a collector that was ecstatic to get the chance to own a Gurney car"....

  • Mark continued, " we just sold the last 14 "new" Hummer H1's from American General, and we are the largest Hummer service center west of the Mississippi. Our service center enjoys customers that have the cars shipped in for the latest upgrades from as far away as Hawaii, and they trust our technicians who even race H1's in the Baja 1000 ! "

 

As a family that has raced prototype sports cars since they were first imagined, it somehow seems fitting that we have the "next evolution" of the legendary Can Am cars.

" We are excited to have the exclusive rights as the factory distributor for the Nu Art Can Am cars and we have the factory support to provide our owners with the best experience possible. 

We believe the car is potentially the most collectible car available today due to the many features that allow it to be enjoyed in ways that were previously imagined for a car of this level and type.  

"No one ever thought a driver ( and passenger)  could take a run up Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles, through Big Sur, pull into Laguna Seca, at 450 horsepower, change wheels/tires, turn it up to 750 h.p. on the steering wheel,  and go directly to the starting line in a professional level Can Am race !"

Today Mark continues the family legacy of helping others through their efforts to sell vehicles with designed "roll in" wheel chair access and hand controls, as well as the Grilled Cheese Truck franchise system that is helping military veterans realize the American dream by becoming successful entrepreneurs in the gourmet food truck arena.

 

 

 

 

Dan Shepherd is managing the marketing of the Nu Art Can Am cars due to his extensive background of sales in specialty and collector cars.  Previously Dan managed Beverly Hills Motorsports, an "exotic and high line classic" dealer as well as Lake Forest Automotive Group ( muscle cars, classics and exotics) , and besides, he owns the email address "Danthemusclecarking"  !!

And what defines "muscle car" better than 500 cubic inches and 18 inch slicks at just over 2,000 pounds?

Please call to arrange a discussion to answer any additional questions you may have regarding the Nu Art Can Am car, participation as a car owner or driver in the Unlimited Racing Championship racing series, or our private track day services, special events/ car shows or sponsorship opportunities.