Our History

The Lee Brothers Story

Lee Bros. was established in 1947 when Dick and Jennings Lee opened their automobile lot at 116 First Street in Reno. The brothers had moved to Reno from Modesto, California just after the Second World War. They came at the recommendation of their father, a traveling salesman, who declared that Reno was the best business town in the West. The job market after the war was tight, but Dick and Jennings decided that everyone should work at something they enjoy and wouldn’t mind dedicating 6-7 days a week. They both loved people and automobiles, so they decided to open a used car business.

At the start it was tough to make ends meet. The First Street lot measured just 25 ft. x 100 ft. and in the spring of 1949, Reno was blanketed by unusually heavy snow fall. Lee Bros. sold just eight cars January through March, but Dick and Jennings persevered and succeed in establishing life-long business relationships that continue today. One example is the oldest current Lee Bros. customer, Bud Mandeville, who bought his first car from the firm in 1948. Since then, three generations of Mandevilles have purchased or leased cars from Lee Bros.

When hard work alone didn’t seem to be enough, Dick said “An abiding faith in the angel of mercy that looks after all good car dealers” helped pull them through. One day in the winter of 1951 when business was terrible they had borrowed money against all of the cars on the lot, except one – a green 1942 Chevrolet. The only customer that came by that day looked at the Chevrolet and immediately paid for with cash. Years later, whenever they were depressed or under stress, Jennings and Dick would always recall that day.In the 1950’s, Lee Bros. was the first company in Reno to specialize in consumer vehicle leasing. Several years later they added equipment leases to their growing portfolio. In 1970, the company moved to its present location at 550 Kietzke Lane. Jennings Lee died on February 24, 1985 and Richard passed away on February 21, 1995.

Like his father, Dick, Michael Lee was also infatuated with cars and trucks. He began working at Lee Bros. when he was 14 years old. In 1974, Michael became partners with Dick in Lee Bros. Truck Rental then a year later they purchased Hertz Truck Rental. Hertz was sold in 1983 and Michael moved to Lee Bros. Leesing. On June 1, 1991, Michael Lee officially assumed ownership of Lee Bros. Sales & Leesing. Under Michael’s management the company has continued to grow. With 10 employees it is one of the largest leasing firms in Nevada having more than 700 current lease accounts.

Lee Bros. Leesing is known for their longstanding business philosophy – no hard sell, great customer service and a commitment to establishing long term relationships with all their customers. Lee Bros. Leasing wants you to be a customer for life. That’s why more of their customers say, “It was so easy at Lee Bros. Sales & Leesing.”