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Lenny Woods, Chino Hills Ford Owner, Found Dead in Dealership

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Cheryl Brown –

Timothy “Lenny” Woods was in business and a very proud owner of Chino Hills Ford for 30 years. Woods was found dead at his dealership on Tuesday morning.

Woods was born in Riverside, 64 years ago, into a family of builders and racecar enthusiasts. His father Timothy Leonard Woods, had the first Black owned construction company and built neighborhoods on the eastside of the city. The family was also the first Black drag car racers and raced a 41 Willy’s car named Stone, Woods, and Cook. They were always race favorites and have many trophies to show for it.

In Riverside, he attended Longfellow Elementary School before the family relocated to Los Angeles. He later graduated from the University of Notre Dame.

Fast forward, Woods knew the car business and was prepared when Ford instituted the Minority Dealership Program.

He was one of a few Black owned dealerships in the nation to be developed by automakers in the country. He was highly successful and had developed a market niche.

In 2003, the market began changing, housing was exorbitant, gasoline was on an upward climb, and the ap petite for American cars changed drastically.

In April of 2010, due to a failing economy, he became one of the casualties and was forced to close his dealership and return or sell his inventory. He was unsuccessful in getting a loan from the banks after their bailout, a loan from the city, that had recently received stimulus money, and when that failed he had no where else to turn.

Known as a hard-nosed businessman with a soft side, he helped little league teams, car racers, and community organizations of all kinds especially in Chino but he could not overcome the economy.

Wife Cynthia, daughter Dana, son Timothy III, and two grandchildren, sister Sandra Woods-Wellington and a host of relatives and friends survive him.

Memorial arrangements are not announced at this time.

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