The Surprising History of President’s Day Auto Sales

President’s Day Auto Sales

Every year, car dealers across the country roll out special offers for President’s Day. In fact, many car shoppers assert that it is the best time of year to get a new car, with several deals and incentives for both buyers and sellers. However, President’s Day auto sales were not always around.

According to, the idea behind an annual auto sales celebration started in the New England area in the 1920s. Alvan T. Fuller held a “Washington’s Birthday” open house to promote the sale of his Packards and Cadillacs. Perhaps because of the timing, this sale made Fuller’s business one of the most successful in the country, quickly transforming his small operation into an empire. He later became governor of Massachusetts, is actually remembered for starting this annual auto tradition.

“Alvan T. Fuller, who parlayed a [Malden] bicycle repair shop into an automobile agency fortune, inaugurated the Washington’s birthday display of new autos in an effort to boost sales after erecting ‘Fuller’s Folly,’ his agency on Commonwealth Ave.,” reads his May 1 obituary. “His promotion soon was copied by other dealers and today is a highlight of the holiday in Greater Boston.”

President’s Day is actually a great time of year, not just for the holiday celebration, but largely because it allows dealers like us here at Bill Walsh Hub to showcase the latest spring line. There is also very little going on during this time of year, so customers tend to have extra time. Plus, winter weather has typically receded by late February. Nevertheless, you will still often see profiles of Washington and Lincoln toting signs for extraordinary deals.

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