San Francisco born, Edward J. Fitzgerald arrived in Phoenix during August, 1955, from Los Angeles, where he had worked with R. Mitchel McClure. Together they began Courtesy Chevrolet, an Arizona corporation, in an old farmhouse at 1521 East Camelback Road, which had a tin shed out in the back, which was used as a makeshift garage and make ready area. At this time, Courtesy Chevrolet was located on the outskirts of town, and especially as far as the business was concerned. In those days, the Phoenix Arizona city limits were located at the Grand Canal, which passes a half-mile south of the dealership.
While the business was getting under way, properties were being purchased a few blocks to the west, architects plans were drawn, and eventually building was begun. In 1957, Courtesy Chevrolet moved down the street to the present facility at 1233 East Camelback Road, and since that time, has prospered and grown. In late 1963 and early 1964, the second floor addition was completed, and in 1978 the building was completed to house recreational vehicles, and where the Commercial Fleet Department is presently located. 1985 saw the completion of the new Parts Department at 1230 East Pierson Street, on the site where Mr. McClure’s home and stable used to be. From 1999-2001, property was acquired on the south side of Pierson, and make ready and reconditioning have been moved there, along with some additional room for vehicle storage. Another building project saw the completion of the doubling of our service bays during this time. During 2001, the used Car Department expanded onto Bell Road, near 16th Street, in an effort to further expand the resale vehicle business. Currently under development is a new and used vehicle get ready facility.
In February of 1969, Mr. Fitzgerald purchased Mr. McClure’s share of this fine business, and in March of 1981, Mr. Fitzgerald included Mr. William R. Gruwell as a partner in Courtesy Chevrolet , where Mr. Gruwell today is the Vice President and Dealer Operator. Upon the passing of Mr. Fitzgerald in 2000, Mr. Gruwell became a partner with Mrs. Fitzgerald. In recent years, both sons of William R. Gruwell, Mark and Scott, having worked in sales, are now Used and New Car Sales Managers, respectively.