Crabtree Motor Group



The history of Crabtree Motor Group starts from Colonial Toyota, which is a great story of My father, Robert E. Crabtree Sr., who owned 10 dealers in New York, and Fred Haas, owner of multiple dealerships in Texas, became partners and acquired Ct. Operations in 1982. Colonial and Westport Toyota was a package deal. Colonial Toyota was a satellite store to Westport Toyota and was located on Barnum Avenue Stratford. My father was a great visionary and when he recognized the marketplace, he knew Colonial Toyota could be a dominating retail automobile dealership, but that required moving to a better location.

The property as it stands today became available because of my father’s clever, tenacious approach. The property was owned by Gannett Publishing Co. and displayed two huge, old-style V-shaped billboards. The property was available, but nobody knew what to do with the challenge of the billboards. What appeared to be a challenging dilemma had a simple solution. I recall when he told me of the great location. The problem was how to get around the billboards. While he was driving down I-95, it dawned on him to make a deal with Gannett to buy the property. He constructed a modern, pylon-style billboard. What a win-win, because Gannett sold the property, yet still took advantage of the location and added two more billboards that still stand today.

Of course, the Crabtree Family was able to then relocate the diamond in the rough, Colonial Toyota to Milford, CT in 1985. The past 29 years, Colonial Toyota has changed the way the auto industry is conducted in CT. Colonial was the first dealer to open on Saturday for service, and the first dealer to spot-deliver cars. Our level of great success has opened the door for hiring. Hopefully, you will be part of our future success. I have an open-door policy, and sincerely welcome you to our family.

– Robert E. Crabtree Jr.