Friday, September 24, 2010

Sad Day at Bob Dron Harley-Davidson Oakland

I learned last week that the Harley-Davidson that I have known and loved for decades has been sold and the owners will be entering the wonderful life of retirement. I started working at Bob Dron Harley-Davidson in 1997 shortly after my retirement from the Oakland Police Department. I worked at 150 Hegenberger Road, and at the new building at 151 Hegenberger Road as well.

I met and worked with some wonderful people at Bob Dron HD. Chris Tyler and I worked together for a long time in Rentals, as well as Jimi Kubasiak, both of whom are no longer with us, but are fondly remembered. I met many great people, learned many things, and worked in several capacities over my thirteen years there. I sold motorcycles, rented motorcycles, did special events like golf tournaments representing Bob Dron HD, I worked the International Motorcycle Shows in the Harley-Davidson and Buell displays, and I even worked the Police Motorcycle competition and the bikini bike wash at times.

I obtained my California DMV Sales license through Bob Dron HD, and for a short while I was on the sales floor at 150 Hegenberger Road under the supervision of Bill Martinez. Like I said, I worked with many wonderful people in the 13 years that I was on the employee list.

So, last week I heard that the deal had been struck, and the dealership was changing hands to the capable experience of Mike Genthner the owner of Falultline Harley-Davidson the Fremont Harley-Davidson dealer.

Both dealers were Buell dealers until the demise of the Buell marque. Both dealers supported American Sport Bike Night.

So, there is an open letter by Bob Dron addressing customers, employees, and friends.

Dear Friends, Customers, Employees and Colleagues,

As of October 1, 2010 Tracey and I will be retiring as the owner-operators of Bob Dron Oakland Harley-Davidson. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our loyal customers for their patronage and friendship. I also want to thank my son Jack for his loyalty and hard work at the dealership for over twenty-eight of the nearly thirty years Tracey and I have owned the dealership.

I also want to thank all of our employees for making Bob Dron Harley-Davidson one of the leading dealerships in the world. Selling the dealership and retiring has been a bitter-sweet decision, but the time has come to ride on. After forty years in the motorcycle industry, thirty of those as a Harley-Davidson dealer in Oakland and Livermore, I am filled with great and exciting memories.

Thanks to our customers and employees, we have been awarded many accolades through the years. The dealership won the Harley-Davidson Motor Company's Gold Bar and Shield award eight times, Silver Bar and Shield two times and Bronze two times. In 2001 Harley-Davidson recognized us as Promoter of the Year for the dealership's and Oakland, California H.O.G. Chapter's work in the community.

I am most proud of being recognized as the Number One Motorcycle Dealer in the United States by Dealer News Magazine in 1994. This award goes to one dealer each year, all motorcycle brands considered, and a dealer can only win the award once-in-a-lifetime. Bob Dron Harley-Davidson was recognized as the King of Custom motorcycle builders during the 1980's and 1990's. In 1992 I received the Custom Builder of the Year at the Oakland Roadster Show for the trend setting Heritage Royale. I was the first motorcycle builder to receive this prestigious award. Being a successful Harley-Davidson dealer requires that you become a part of the motorcycle way of life. Tracey and I thoroughly enjoy the lifestyle but need to retire and relax. During the past forty years we sold bikes, clothing and accessories, built custom bikes, cars and trucks, promoted riding, and traveled extensively.

We truly lived to ride and rode to live. Again I want to thank everyone, but especially my family, Tracey and Jack! Without you, this ride would never have been possible!

Yours truly, Bob Dron

P.S. If I see you on the road, move over, I'm coming through.

So, goodbye to an old friend, the dealership, and hello to a new member of the Oakland business community and all the best to the new owner(s).

Bob and Tracey, Retirement is a wonderful thing.

1 comment:

  1. My dad worked for Bob! As a matter of fact,he worked for the Oakland dealership all th way back to Claude Salmon in Oakland as far back as 1950.40 years as a Harley mechanic in Oakland. I sure miss my dad, Joe Furtado