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History

Driving, Striving and Thriving in Southern California since 1936

Suppose U Drive was founded in 1936 by the pioneering spirits of Edwin E. Johnston and his wife, Mildred, when they personally transported three Dodge trucks from Detroit to Los Angeles to start a truck rental company. After initial success, they quickly learned how large the market for truck rentals truly was. They realized how sustainable the industry was, and went on to thrive year after year. Suppose U Drive now has three locations across the region and has been in business for more than 80 years.

Come speak with us today and learn why Suppose U Drive has always been the community’s first and best choice for truck rentals.

Once upon a time…

The concept was all started by Estele Edwin Johnston (Ed) while working at a car dealership. Continuously, customers would come up to him and ask to borrow a truck. After all, they only needed it for a couple of hours. While Ed’s employers weren’t able to strike a deal with the locals, Ed was inspired to find a solution for them, and that’s what he did. In 1936, Ed and his wife, Millie Johnston, saved up enough money to buy three Dodge trucks in Detroit, Michigan and drove them out to California where they officially opened Suppose U Drive’s first location.

1936

Our very first truck for rent, over 80 years ago.

Eddie Johnston and Millie managed the company’s first location for many years. Through the years, he helped set up other locations for in-laws and relatives throughout the state of California. He was a talented businessman and very generous when it came to his family and the community.

1936-38ish

Suppose “You” Drive

Eventually, Ed’s relatives sold their trucks and retired. But Eddie kept working. He was determined to turn Suppose U Drive into a long-term business that he could pass down to his children and, eventually, his grandchildren.

The War Years

When World War II began, Ed didn’t want to see his business perish. That’s when he realized a golden opportunity that would keep his business alive while supporting the nation’s troops. When the war started, he began renting equipment to the military to support their efforts.

1941

Suppose U Drive’s Original location on San Fernando Rd. in Glendale, CA

Thanks to his innovative response during a time that led to the end of many other businesses, Ed was able to keep his doors open. And the business didn’t just survive, it thrived. He used the money he earned during this time to grow his business even further, eventually branching out into the studio industry.

1954

Loading Drums with a Liftgate onto a stakebed.

The time’s they are a changing

In the 1960s, Suppose U Drive opened a location in South Gate for a short time before migrating to a new lot in Norwalk during the early 1970s. With time, Ed’s son, Edwin Estel Johnston (Eddie Jr.), started working in the shop to help his father with the business.

1972

Norwalk Office Opens

After gaining hands-on experience and knowledge, he later graduated to working in the office where his father worked to pass down his strong work ethic and winning business concept to ensure the family’s legacy would live on. When it came his turn, Eddie Jr. proudly took over his father’s company and continued living out his promise of serving the community with a smile. Eddie ran the company for twenty years before passing it onto his own sons who operate the company today.

1978

The original Glendale Facility, 40 years old and counting.

1986

Semi-Tractors in Glendale, CA

A New Millennium

The turn of the millennium saw Cameron Johnston as Suppose U Drive’s Vice President of Sales and Justin Johnston as its President/COO. And as the proud grandsons of the original owners, Suppose U Drive remains a community-focused, family-owned business that continues focusing on the things that set the business apart: Being “responsive” to our customers’ needs.

2000s

Our iconic Glendale sign

One of the reasons why you’ll find that every person at Suppose U Drive is so helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable is because of the work ethic that has been passed down through the decades. Everyone in the business has earned their spot and worked their way up. Cameron and Justin both started out washing trucks in the yard each summer throughout high school.

2013

Ontario Facility Opens

It was through this process they learned the vital skills and first-hand experience they needed to continue propelling the business forward into the future. Having this in-depth knowledge of the details about the entire rental process has helped every person at Suppose U Drive better understand the needs of customers and, ultimately, that’s what allows the company to continue offering such stellar service.

Suppose U Drive has witnessed many changes occur over time, but the business continues to grow and thrive through them all. In just about 80 years, the company has grown from three trucks and a founder’s dream to now multiple locations and more than 800 vehicles being rented across the region.

Most importantly of all, Suppose U Drive has stayed true to the original values that inspired its founding. Servicing customers, being responsive to their needs, and remaining flexible and family-oriented are proven to be the driving factors of Suppose U Drive’s continued success.