Clay Dooley Tire & Auto - Champaign
Mon - Fri: 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Clay Dooley Tire & Auto - Bloomington
Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Sat: 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • January 29, 1886:

    On January 29, 1886, Karl Benz applied for a patent for his “vehicle powered by a gas engine.” The patent – number 37435 – may be regarded as the birth certificate of the automobile.

    January 29, 1886 | Clay Dooley Tire & Auto
  • December 20, 1893:

    Clay Dooley is born

  • 1898:

    Frank Seiberling founded the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Ohio

  • 1908:

    Henry Ford introduced the Model T and William Durant founded General Motors.

    1908 Ford | Clay Dooley Tire & Auto
  • July 4, 1917:

    Clay Dooley first opens in the 300 block of West Washington Street in Downtown Bloomington, Illinois. He borrowed $500 from the old Corn Belt Bank and opened shop with the principals that good merchandise, fair prices and professional service were the key to a successful business.

  • 1928:

    Clay Dooley moves to the 200 block (210-214) of West Front Street in Bloomington.

    Clay Dooley's 1928 Tire Shop | Clay Dooley Tire & Auto
  • 1942:

    Clay Dooley gets into the appliance business - Because of the rubber shortage during WWII, the company started selling small appliances – which they would do until the 1980s when big box stores took over retail.

  • 1945:

    Clay Dooley offered customers the opportunity to be the first to reserve new tires if they no longer became rationed due to the war.

    1945 Form | Clay Dooley Tire & Auto
  • October 1948:

    Vernon Trower, age 20 looking for a full-time job joins Clay Dooley

  • February 3, 1962:

    Clay Dooley moves from 210 W. Front Street to 210-216 W. Grove St. in Downtown Bloomington

    1962 Shop | Clay Dooley Tire & Auto
  • 1965:

    Vernon Trower becomes a partner at Clay Dooley

  • January 13, 1968:

    Clay Dooley’s dies at age 74

  • 1968:

    George Davis (part of the company since 1936) becomes partner (and remains in that capacity until his death in December 1979)

  • 1979:

    Trower family takes ownership of Clay Dooley

  • August 19, 1985:

    The second Clay Dooley location, a full-service auto center, opens at 1507 E. Vernon Avenue in Bloomington

    Vernon Avenue Shop | Clay Dooley Tire & Auto
  • November 1, 1986:

    The Clay Dooley downtown location moves again from 210-216 W. Grove Street to 207 S. Gridley/307 E. Grove Street and stops selling appliances.

    1986 Grove Street Shop | Clay Dooley Tire & Auto
  • May 31, 1996:

    Following the April 16, 1995 death of their father, the Trower family takes over Clay Dooley operations

  • December 31, 2017:

    Clay Dooley closes 307 Grove St. location and consolidates business into single location at 1507 E. Vernon Avenue in Normal.

  • September 1, 2018:

    The Trower family transfers ownership of Clay Dooley to ISU alum Jeff Beasley. The single Vernon Avenue location undergoes renovations with a new, modern showroom and updated service bays.

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