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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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+1 # Guest 2011-03-19 14:07
I am so sadden by the loss of Leonard (as he was known to me while we went to High School together). I thought of him often and made an attempt to link up with him ten or so years ago. Wasn't meant to be I guess...We were good friends in school. He would call my present wife: Miss Sweets!! I will pray each day for Leonard's soul. May his memories last forever...
0 # Guest 2010-12-08 14:55
It was with a great deal of sadness that I just heard of Lenny's passing. I grew up at Lyons and met him several times over many years of attending Lyons. He was always very approachable and always in touch with the fans.

I have owned a lot of cars over the years and recently had a 41 Willy's built for me.....my prayers go out to his family.....
0 # Guest 2010-11-09 14:36
would love to get in touch with Cynthia if possible
met the Woods when they moved to the Quad cities
they were friends with my parents E & E Thompson
befriended her sister W. Jeter
visited them @ their house in Harbor City, Ca in 1978
please give my email address to them if requested
0 # Guest 2010-10-02 22:42
We Pray that the Lord continue to bring comfort to the family and know that our help is in the name of the Lord.
God Bless!
+1 # Guest 2010-09-30 15:06
So sad. My father has worked with Lenny for at least 20 years or more. The news comes as a shock and very heart felt. My father is just sick to know that this has happen to one of his own in the car industry. Our family's warm prayers and heart felt thoughts are with the Woods family right now, as well as all the people that have ever had the opertunity to be in Lenny woods presents. He was a great man, leader, and very smart in his business. You will be forever missed Lenny. R.I.P and god speed. God bless you Woods family.
+1 # Guest 2010-09-29 20:31
This news really makes me sad. The Chino Hills Ford people where my family. Mr Woods and C Samuel trusted me when no one else would, to bless me with my first, and second brand new car. We are praying for you all. He will be missed. God Bless you woods family.
+1 # Guest 2010-09-28 22:42
We use to live in Chino Hills and bought our Ford F150 fromthem brand new in 2003. We are still driving it with only minor repairs since then. Sherman was our sales guy and the customer service was great. They even followed up with us to see if we were ready for a new car or truck in 2009, but of course who can afford anything now. I was on the 71 freeway passing thru there and saw the neon sign stating that they were going out of business in June of this year. How tradgic to hear this information. Our family expresses deep condolences and gratitude to the family for the excellent service we received. May GOD bless and hold you in His arms at this moment in time.
+1 # Guest 2010-09-26 13:22
Please accept my humble regets to the family for the sudden passing of Lenny.I never met him bit have spoke to him several times regarding racing and asked Lenny to sighn some irems ,he was always most courteous and friendly and gladly did my request. Eveylyn, his secratary was just as responsive and as friendly I will not forget either and my prayers go to all. God bless all. Vito
+3 # Guest 2010-09-24 14:11
My family has know Lenny for the past 20 years. Our son's raced gokarts together, he was a wonderful man and we are going to miss him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
0 # Guest 2010-09-24 12:22
Having met Lenny over 30 years ago at a race track when the race car was on tour, he and I started a friendship that lasted till this day. We were in constant communication from the first his first dearlership location to the new facility. We spoke frequently in that I would stop by to just sit and talk. As business began to fall, he was always optimistic that things would turn around, but it never did. He had given his "all" not only to the business, but also to the community, his friends and family. May he rest in peace and GOD speed.
+3 # Guest 2010-09-24 06:24
Thanks to the Woods family for the SWC gasser. The car was always enjoyed by everyone in the gasser wars era. RIP Lenny
+3 # Guest 2010-09-24 05:28
Man Lenny! I am gonna miss you my brother....all the great conversations and your spirit. You were a a great friend and confidant. My sincere condolences to the family...Be strong, trust in God, be there for each other.
+3 # Guest 2010-09-23 13:50
I raced for Lennys father in 1970 Lenny was a few years older and fun to be around.. When ever I had a car buyer, I sent them to his dealership. NO ONE was ever disappointed.. I valued his friendship. He will be missed
+3 # Guest 2010-09-23 10:30
My Prayer go out to his wife and children and grandchildren and his closest friend's may GOD keep you all in perfect piece.
(Isaiah 26:3)

Neice G

BVN National News Wire