When Chris Hundley was 10 years old, he remembers being fascinated by the Los Angeles Airport. “I told my Dad that the airport was exciting,” says Hundley. “People were coming and going constantly. I felt incredible energy. I remember saying that I wanted to be involved somehow in the transportation business.”
In 1977, with a used Bradford Coach Lincoln limousine, Hundley’s dream became a reality. His business, The Limousine Connection in Los Angeles, CA, was finally open.
“I started with my Dad,” says Hundley. “We bought our first new limousine in 1979, an Armbruster-Stageway Cadillac. It had a two-tone paint job which was the big thing at the time.”
Hundley focused almost exclusively on special occasion work. This is an exciting city and people liked to go out on the town,” he says “There was no sedan industry at that time and almost no corporate clientele.”
Hundley’s first business card reveals how far the stretch limousine has come.
“The Limousine Connection ...take a ride in our new 42-inch stretch.”
“At that time, the only available limousines were 36-inch conversions,” says Hundley. “When I saw the first 60- inch conversion, I was astonished.”
Hundley is also amazed at how the business has evolved. “We have eight sedans now, as well as 10 limousines and three buses,” he says. “There was a time where no one would consider renting a sedan.”
Today, the Limousine Connection has a large corporate clientele with many long-term clients and employees, “We have an office manager and several chauffeurs who have been with us for more than 15 years,” says Hundley. “We have prospered by taking good care of our clients and our employees.”
Hundley is concerned about certain industry issues. “I don’t think we have enough qualified chauffeurs to drive all of these big vehicles,” he says. “I believe a Commercial Drivers License should be mandatory in our business. I have also noticed that the quality of chauffeur applicant has declined over the years. I see too many applicants who do not dress well and who act inappropriately.”
However, Hundley still enjoys his work. “I like the pulse of the business,” he says. “No two days are alike. The key is that when things go wrong, don’t get bitter, get better.”