Bozzani Motors started around 105 years ago with humble beginnings.
The Bozzani brothers came from Italy, and opened up a motorized bike shop in downtown LA in 1911.
Brothers Amerigo, Joe, and Carlo Bozzani then opened a showroom selling Overland and Willys-Knight automobiles on North Broadway in the heart of Little Italy. The dealership sold 2,200 automobiles in 1928 alone.
Brother Amerigo Bozzani would later become a California Highway Commissioner who oversaw the construction of the state’s first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway.
Since then they have had various franchises until around WWII.
Bob Bozzani then opened up shop in Monrovia with VW in 1957. In 1995, his son Greg operates that VW dealership in Covina
“It was all Italians in the area," said Bob Bozzani, 86, who still lives in Pasadena. “They had an Italian bakery shop for pastries, and they’d have an Italian place that made sausages. There was a meat shop, a produce shop. There were about four Italian bakeries in that area.”
For Bozzani's immigrant parents, Little Italy was the old neighborhood. His mom, who arrived in the U.S. in 1903, grew up there. His father and uncle arrived in 1909 and started their first business, a bike shop, in Little Italy.
The war was a major reason why L.A.’s Little Italy ceased to be, Gatto said. Some Italian immigrants were displaced or interned in relocation camps by the U.S. Others felt the sting of discrimination because of their roots in a country that opposed the Allied forces.