Longtime aftermarket executive Stanley Davidow died July 31 in Dallas from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. He was 75 years old.
Davidow founded, managed and sold several automotive aftermarket companies during his long career, which began in 1961 and ended in 2012 when he sold CompressorWorks (CWI) to Standard Motor Products. He founded CWI in 1999 and grew the compressor company into a full-line climate control and engine cooling supplier.
During Davidow’s tenure CWI acquired R4 compressor production from Delphi, and CWI became the worldwide supplier of the R4, including fitment on new vehicle assembly of all up-armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, commonly known as the Humvee.
Davidow founded Car Air Components (Carco), a climate control replacement parts supplier, in 1972. He sold that company to Standard Motor Products in 1978. SMP merged Four Seasons of Fort Worth, Texas, with Carco and moved the combined companies to a new facility in Grapevine, Texas, and named Davidow as general manager of the newly formed Four Seasons Division of Standard Motor Products.
By the time Davidow resigned from Four Season in 1998, the company had become the largest auto air conditioning remanufacturer in the world, and the largest climate control product supplier to the retail channel.
Earlier in his career, Davidow managed, eventually acquired and sold King Auto, which he grew into Florida’s largest automotive climate control service provider. He worked there from 1964 to 1977. He also founded and later closed Zero King Auto Products, one of the earliest climate control replacement auto parts suppliers. He also worked for Tom Nehl Truck Co., and Lake Shore Auto Parts, a family-owned independent jobber that he acquired in 1963.
Born Aug. 18, 1939 in Greenville, Miss., Davidow graduated from Tulane University in 1961. That same year Davidow began his aftermarket career with King Sales, a family-owned dealer expediter and accessories installer in Jacksonville, Fla. King Sales installed air conditioning systems on dealership vehicles that were not equipped with factory air, which introduced Davidow to auto climate control.
Davidow is survived by sons Malcolm Davidow of Wynnewood, Pa., and Seth Davidow of Dallas; daughters-in-law Melany Trudeau and Marni Davidow; and three grandchildren, Gabrielle, Ari and Joelle Davidow. Funeral services were held Aug. 2 in Dallas. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Dallas Symphony Orchestra or Temple Emanuel.
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