bd21318_.gif (286 bytes)
bd15072_.gif (423 bytes)
 
Wright Studies
Hoffman Auto Showroom, New York, New York (1954) (S.380)
 

Hoffman Sales Material 1947- 1975

 

Max Hoffman formed the Hoffman Motor Car Company in 1947, with a showroom on Park Avenue. As legend has it, and he was, the showroom opened with a single French Delahaye four passenger coupe. According to the extensive article in the June, 1947 Road & Track, with "twenty-five years in the sales of European automobiles" he was "formerly the Viennese representative for Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Alfa-Romeo, Delahaye and other Continental manufacturers." As a self-promoter, he may have stretched the truth a bit, since he was born in Austria in 1904, and moved to Paris in the late 1930s, then settled in New York soon after the start of World War II.
 
The Hoffman Motor Car Co., Inc., 1947. 487 Park Avenue, New York.                              Courtesy June 1947 Road & Track
 
The Hoffman Motor Car Co., Inc., Circa 1950. 487 Park Avenue, New York.   

Although Hoffman started with a single Delahaye in 1947, he was also the sole distributor for Alfa-Romeo, Lancia, Daimler, Allard, Lanchester, Hotchkiss and H.R.G.

The Hoffman showroom opened in 1947 with a single French Delahaye four passenger coupe.     Courtesy June 1947 Road & Track

Hoffman continued to develop relationships with other manufacturers. By 1949 he was also representing Jaguar, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Austin, Cooper, Rover, Lea Francis and Morgan. Volkswagen was struggling to find an interest in their Beetle until Max Hoffman took the risk, signed up to be the eastern US distributer and arranged for the first public showing in the United States.
      In 1950 he met with Ferdinand Porsche at the Paris Motor Show and imported 15 Porsches. He also added the Jowett.
      In 1951 began his involvement in racing, entering a Porsche in May. In September his Jowett Jupiter placed first. On October 28, Hoffman entered the Mt. Equinox Hillclimb, Manchester, Vermont. He placed first in Class 6. It was reported that "The most outstanding performance was put in by Max Hoffman, driving a Porsche." He purchased the Glockler-Porsche No. 2,

 

after Walter Glockler successfully raced it in Germany. He entered it into the Palm Beach Shores, Florida in December 1951. Hoffman, in car #40, lead the race for the first 24 laps, but was unable to complete this race. The notoriety was invaluable. Hoffman was undeterred.
      In 1952, the headline read, "M.E. Hoffman Victorious in 1 Hr. Race Driving 'Glockler' Porsche!" after he entered the Vero Beach Florida race on March 8. In the six hour race his drivers took second in his Jaguar XK 120. His continued participation and showmanship into 1953 paid off. An example of Hoffman's influence is the Porsche 356, first produced in 1948. According to Porsche, by 1952, U.S. sales accounted for 21 percents of Porsche's sales. By 1955 it reached 50 percent, and by 1965, the last production year of the Porsche 356, the share of sales to the US amounted to a nearly 75 percent.
      He was the first to import the Mercedes-Benz in 1952, and was instrumental in creating the 300SL sports car. He imported Mercedes-Benz from 1952 through 1957 when Mercedes-Benz Inc. was formed. His influence was repeated in the mid '50s with the creation of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider. He was also the first to realize the potential for the sale of BMW in America. He influenced the design of the BMW 507 roadster.
      In 1953, Hoffman contacted Wright about designing a new showroom to display Jaguars.
      In 1955, after a few delays, Hoffman finally opens his newly designed Frank Lloyd Wright showroom three blocks to the Southwest at 443 Park Avenue. The July 1955 issue of Architectural Forum ran a two page spread on the new Showroom.
      In 1957, Hoffmann began importing the Facel Vega and continued until 1962.
      In 1959, according to the SEC, "Hoffman Motors was organized on February 16, to succeed to the business of seven corporations which had been organized by Hoffman at varying times commencing in 1947. It is engaged in the automobiles, both directly to customers in New York City and in Beverly Hills, California, and through more than 475 sub-distributors and dealers located in over 370 cities and towns throughout the United States. Principal sales areas are the Eastern and Far Western States. The cars presently distributed by the company are the Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Porsche, Facel Vega and BMW."
      In the mid 1960s, he sold his other distributorships and focused his attention on BMW, again impacting the design of the BMW 2002 and dominating BMW sales.
      In 1975 Max Hoffman sold his interest to BMW and retired.
      Unquestionable was Max Hoffman's single-handed impact on the automobile industry. He was the driving force behind the success of many brands imported into the United States.


Max Hoffman in his showroom, circa early 1970s..

 
 
Of the seven corporations Hoffman formed prior to 1959, these are what we have been able to identify, and the automobiles imported under those corporations:
1) Hoffman Motor Car Co.
487 Park Avenue, New York
Alfa-Romeo, Allard, Austin, Bentley, Cooper, Daimler, Delahaye, Hotchkiss, H.R.G., Jaguar, Javelin Jupiter, Jowett Jupiter, Lancia, Lanchester, Lea Francis, Morgan, Rolls-Royce, Rover
2) Hoffman Organization
487 Park Avenue, New York
Aston-Martin, Jupiter, Porsche, Simca, Volkswagen
3) Hoffman-Porsche Car Corp.
443 Park Avenue, New York
BMW, Porsche
1) Hoffman Motor Car Co.
443 Park Avenue, New York
Fiat, Lancia
4) Hoffman
443 Park Ave., New York
Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA
Alfa Romeo, Fiat

5) Fadex Commercial Corp.
487 Park Avenue, New York

BMW

Possible additions:
Hoffman Motors Eastern Division
Hoffman of California (Western)
Tohoffman Motor Car Co.
 
1959:
Hoffman Motors Corporation
443 Park Avenue, New York

Alfa Romeo, BMW, Fiat, Lancia
Hoffman Motors Corporation
375 Park Avenue, New York

BMW

 
 
  Road & Track, June 1947

The Hoffman Motor Car Co.
487 Park Avenue, New York

Sole Agents for U.S.A.
Alfa-Romeo Lancia Delahaye
Daimler Allard Lanchester
Hotchkiss   H.R.G.

 
The Hoffman Motor Car Co., Inc. (Circa 1949)
487 Park Avenue (at 59th Hoffman Corner)

Jaguar    Rolls-Royce    Bentley
Austin, H.R.G., Cooper, Rover, Lea Francis, Allard, Morgan

 
 
  Britain's Latest Car
The Javelin Jupiter (1950 Ad)
the race-bred, high-speed, 3 seater sports convertible

Sole Distributor East of the Mississippi
The Hoffman Motor Car Co, Inc.

 
  Road & Track, June 1950, Page 1

the Javelin Jupiter

Sole Distributor East of the Mississippi:
The Hoffman Motor Car Co, Inc.
487 Park Avenue, at 59th St, New York

 

 
  Two high performance cars from Britain (1951 Ad)

* The Jupiter stripped for action at Le Mans, France. The car was first in the 1 1/2 litre class and broke the class record at 75.8 m.p.h. average.

See and buy these cars at:
The Hoffman Motor Car Co, Inc.
487 Park Avenue, New York

 

     
  The Sensational New 1951 Volkswagen

A masterpiece in Automobile Design.

Porsche - Jupiter - Aston-Martin - Simca
Hoffman Organization
487 Park Avenue, New York

 

 
  Road & Track, August 1952, Page IFC (Inside Front cover)

The fastest production sports car in the world.

Jaguar XK Super Sports

Eastern States Distributors:
The Hoffman Motor Car Co, Inc.
487 Park Avenue, New York

 

 
  Road & Track, August 1952, Page 31

Can you really handle a race-bred European Car?

the 1 1/2 litre Jowett Jupiter

Jowett Distributors:
The Hoffman Motor Car Co, Inc.
487 Park Avenue, New York

 

 
Road & Track, May 1955
"Years Ahead in Engineering, Miles ahead on the Road"

The Hoffman-Porsche Car Corporation, Inc.
443 Park Avenue, New York

 
  Porsche Vacation Delivery Plan

A Real Double-Barrelled Deal

The Hoffman-Porsche Car Corp., Inc.
443 Park Avenue, New York

 

  Road & Track, February 1957

Porsche trio of Champions

U.S.A. Distributor:
Hoffman-Porsche Car Corporation
443 Park Avenue, New York

 
  FIAT, The new 1100 (1957)

For full information and a catalog apply to:
The Hoffman Motor Car Co., Inc.
443 Park Avenue, New York

 
  Alfa Romeo Ad (1958)

Price Reduced, Save up to $892

Hoffman
443 Park Ave. (New York)

Auto Show New York Coliseum

 
  Road & Track, May 1958

Fiat's The Car That Captured America

See your local dealer or call:
Hoffman
New York: 443 Park Avenue
Beverly Hills, CA: 9130 Wilshire Blvd

     
  Road & Track, 1958

presenting an exciting new Porsche
...the Convertible D

Hoffman-Porsche Car Corporation
443 Park Avenue, New York

 

 
  Road & Track, June 1958

In any season, any weather
Porsche
and pleasure go together!

Hoffman-Porsche Car Corporation
443 Park Avenue, New York

 
  Lancia Ad (1959)

An open invitation to learn the new definition of Excellence.

U.S. Distributor:
The Hoffman Motor Car Co., Inc.
443 Park Avenue, New York

 

     
  Hoffman Brochure (Circa 1959)

Hoffman Motors Corporation
9130 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA

     
  BMW Ad (Motor Trend - June 1959)

BMW opens new doors to space economy
BMW "600" 2-Door

U.S. Importer
Fadex Commercial Corp.
487 Park Avenue, New York

 

     
  Fiat Ad (1960)

Never before - so much car for so little a price!
Fiat 600

Hoffman Motors Corporation
New York: 443 Park Avenue,

 

     
  Lancia Ad (1960)

This motorcar has never known an equal.

Hoffman Motors Corporation
443 Park Avenue, New York

 

     
  Alfa Romeo Ad (1961)

Italians Build Such Exciting Cars
Alfa Romeo

U.S. Distributor
Hoffman Motors Corporation
443 Park Avenue, New York

     
  BMW Ad (1964)

The New BMW is all Three! Sports Car, Family Car, Luxury Car

Sole U.S. Distributor
Hoffman Motors Corporation
443 Park Avenue, New York

     
  BMW Ad (Road & Track 1969)

Good news travels fast.

U.S. Importer:
Hoffman Motors Corporation
375 Park Avenue, New York
1862 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles
Dealers coast to coast

 

 
 
 
Copyright 2010, Douglas M. Steiner
 
 
BACK
 
 
bd21318_.gif (286 bytes)
bd15072_.gif (423 bytes)
 

HOME    ARTIFACTS    AUDIO    BOOKS    PERIODICALS    PHOTOS   POSTCARDS   POSTERS     STAMPS    STUDIES   ASSISTING   COLLECTING

 
To donate or pass on information, comments or questions:
 
 
bd21318_.gif (286 bytes)
bd15072_.gif (423 bytes)
 
Copyright 2001, 2011