History of Theodore Robins Ford

Theodore Robins Ford: A Family Legacy

Theodore Robins Ford is one of the oldest family-owned and operated Ford dealerships in America. It was founded in 1921 by Theodore Robins Sr., who opened an auto repair shop, Bay Avenue Garage, on the Balboa peninsula. On February 7th, 1923, Theodore Sr. hopped into his Model T and drove to Los Angeles to acquire the Ford franchise. Theodore Robins Ford sold their first Ford for $637.10 on February 14th, 1923 – a week after he’d opened the Ford franchise.

Theodore Robins Sr. was a man of integrity and strong values. He believed in treating customers and employees with respect, and he was committed to community service. These principles have guided the dealership for generations.

Theodore (Bob) Robins Jr. grew up in the family business, learning the ropes from his father at a young age. He began by transporting parts to garages all over town, even securing a driver’s license at 14 years old so he could get behind the wheel of the delivery truck. After his father passed away in 1976, Theodore Jr. took over the dealership, continuing his father’s legacy of providing customers with the best possible experience.

Over the years, Theodore Robins Ford has expanded several times. In 1928, it moved to a building at 22nd Street and Central Avenue in Newport Beach (now Balboa Boulevard). On January 10, 1955, the agency expanded into a larger facility at 3100 West Coast Highway in Newport Beach. Then on August 8, 1966, Theodore Robins Ford moved into its current 10-acre Harbor Boulevard facility in Costa Mesa.

In 2016, Theodore Robins Jr. passed away, leaving the dealership to his two sons, Jim and Dave. They have continued their grandfather’s legacy of providing customers with the best possible experience, upholding the dealership’s founding principles of honesty and integrity. Today, Jim and Dave operate the family business with Dave’s daughters, Nicole and Ashley, who are the fourth generation of Robins to work at the dealership. Theodore Robins Ford marked a remarkable milestone on February 7, 2023, commemorating 100 years of an enduring partnership with the Ford Motor Company. This momentous occasion celebrated the dealership’s unwavering commitment to providing exceptional customer service and dedication to the Ford brand.

Theodore Robins Ford has been honored by Ford with its distinguished achievement awards in recognition of progressive management, sound merchandising practices and high-quality standards of service. In addition, the company has received numerous President’s Award by Ford Motor Company for outstanding sales, service, and customer satisfaction for the years of 2011, 2012, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023.

The Robins family has continued in the tradition of community service established by Theodore Sr.  Collectively, the Robins family has served on the Board of Directors of Hoag Hospitals’ 552 Club Support Group, been active with the Newport Harbor and Costa Mesa Chambers of Commerce, the YMCA Board, Past President of the Exchange Club of Newport Harbor, Past President of the Ford Dealer Advertising Association of Southern California, Past President of the Motor Car Dealers Association, Past President of the Harbor Blvd of Cars and served on the board of directors for the Orange County Auto Dealers Association. In the late 1970’s, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District named the clock tower at Newport Harbor High School “Robins Hall”. It is still named after the family to this day. The company is also active in the Newport Beach and Costa Mesa communities and has supported a variety of charitable organizations.

The key to the success for Theodore Robins Ford is continuing with the founding principles and company’s philosophy as set forth by Theodore Sr. It can best be said in the Mission Statement.

Mission Statement

All Dealership personnel will treat every customer as a potential lifetime purchaser, communicating a professional image that embraces honesty and concern for customer wants and needs.