Our History

A living Ford museum in Appleton City


Motor Inn

Owned by the Schuller brothers, Zink Motor Company in Appleton City Missouri started life as the Motor Inn. The Motor Inn carried Ford, Buick, Overland, and Hupmobile automobiles from 1913 through 1917.


A.F. Zink Motors

The Zink family purchased the business in 1916. Changing the name to A.F. Zink Motors in 1917.


Time to expand

In 1918-19 all franchises but Ford, Dort were sold and Fordson tractors were added to the lineup. Our original building was located 200ft west of our current location and was a mixed use facility. Three quarters of the building was used for automotive sales and service. The remaining quarter was used to house the Appleton City Fire Department. In 1918 they decided it was time to expand and built a state of the art facility designed by Ford Motor Company. It was a two story brick building with a 6,900 sq ft footprint with 13,800 sqft between the two floors. The showroom and vehicle storage area was located on the first floor. The Service Department and Body Shop was located on the second floor. From notes passed down by Wilbur Zink we know that per Ford guidelines in the early days we didn’t have an outdoor lot to display vehicles for sale.  Every aspect of the business was contained within the four walls of our store.    


Ford Model T

Many early automobile owners in Appleton City only drove their vehicles when leaving town and chose to store their automobiles at our dealership.  That is what much of the main floor storage area was used for during the Model T days.  The second floor service department and body shop was and still is accessed by driving or walking up a 51ft long wooden ramp.  We have notes stating that most of the Mechanics choose to back the T’s up the ramp to keep them from running out of fuel before reaching the top.


Zink Motor Company

Jeff Cross begins purchasing stock in Zink Motor Company, becoming 100% owner in 2002.


Zink Motors Building Restoration

The second floor service dept is displayed as it appeared in the late teens and twenties.  As well as having a 1919 Dort Model 11 and many original items on display in our showroom.  We are very proud to have a Henry Ford era dealership that has been continually selling and servicing Ford automobiles for over 100 years.

Early Days Zink Motor Co

Learn about Zink Motor Company's history with the Ford Model T