Harry Dowson

Empire Oldsmobile-Honda and Empire Lakewood Nissan

Inducted in

2021

Harry Charles Dowson was born in Denver on December 7, 1907. After graduating from Manuel High School, he went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Denver while working at the National Cylinder Gas Company.

In 1932, he met and married Halcyon Weaver, while she attended the University of Colorado. Through her father, Roy J. Weaver, he became involved in the automobile business with Weaver-Beatty Motor Company, a then-Oldsmobile franchise.

Harry enlisted in the U. S. Army at the beginning of World War II and was stationed in Italy from 1941 - 1945 as a Major, after serving in the U.S. Army AND the U.S. Air Force.

After returning from the war and working at Weaver-Beatty Motor, he was presented the opportunity to obtain a Oldsmobile franchise of his own. In 1950, Harry became the dealer principal and owner of Empire Oldsmobile. He added a Honda franchise in 1970.

After Roy Weaver’s death, Harry was involved in establishing the Weaver-Beatty Motor Company as an import dealership in Lakewood, and helped obtain the Datsun (Nissan), Jaguar, MG and Austin franchises at that location.

Harry was President and CEO of Empire Oldsmobile-Honda and Empire Lakewood Nissan from 1950 - 2000. He was named Colorado’s Dealer of the Year and was Colorado’s nominee for the 1988 TIME Quality Dealer Award.

He represented dealers for 12 years — well into his 90s — by serving on the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board. In addition, he was very active in the Rotary Club of Denver.

Harry Dowson