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M. Zilbermann, Auto Dealer


From the outset we wondered when Agincourt would have garnered its first auto dealership. This afternoon, by a tremendous stroke of good fortune, I almost literally stumbled on this automotive confection. I won’t muddy the waters by revealing its location — and, yes, it’s still largely intact — but simply admit this is too, too good to let pass by. And now, for the fine print.

M. Zilbermann was Michel Zilbermann, who emigrated from France in 1904 and became a naturalized citizen three years later. He appears in the 1920 census with wife Rachel, son Rene (born in the U.S., so an “anchor baby” I suppose), sister Gabriel, and brother Armand. Mr Z was forty-two years of age and still an auto merchant. Now, how I’ll justify such a wondrous example of architectural art is more than a little hazy for the moment. But things have a way of working out. In the meantime, I suspect there are some folks out there who can bring me up to speed on the makes of cars offered for sale: the Premier and the Empire.

I’m trying to sound out “zil•behr•mahn” with a French accent.

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