Class of 1993
Walter Tilden worked together with his brother Ted for forty years. However, they credit the company’s success to their father, Samuel Foster Tilden.
Sam founded the business in 1925. While it carried the Tilden name, it was really a Hertz franchise. Sam brought Walter and Ted into the business when they were in their early twenties. When General Motors sold the American owned Hertz chain in 1953, the Tildens decided to strike out on their own. The Tilden Rent-a-Car System began with five corporate locations and seven former licensees of the Hertz chain.
The brothers were equal partners in every way. Ted was the more public of the two. He made speeches and looked after the company’s national advertising campaigns. One of his promotional ideas resulted in Tilden pedicabs carrying people around Expo 67. Walter focused on operations and finances. He oversaw the company’s corporate locations, arranged the purchase of properties, and negotiated car deals with manufacturers.
In 1973 Walter became chairman and moved his offices to Toronto. Ted became president and remained in Montreal. Between them they controlled about fifteen thousand vehicles and employed thirteen hundred people at four hundred locations in Canada.
Today, Tilden is part of a Global network called Inter-rent. It allows the company and its affiliates to market under one name on a worldwide basis with access to more than three hundred thousand vehicles in one hundred and twenty-four countries.