Madison Heights, VA - It survived the Great Depression and both world wars, but at the end of July, a car dealership in Madison Heights will close its doors.
The John P. Hughes Motor Company has been in business for nearly 100 years. The owner claims it's the oldest car dealership in the Commonwealth.
Holcombe Hughes' father started selling Dodges in Lynchburg back in 1914 and eventually moved the company to Madison Heights. But the company, built on the American Dream, is now learning a tough reality.
"My father started this company when he was 16 years old. He was too young to sign a check," Hughes said from his office.
His father went from a poor upbringing to a Madison Heights' fixture.
"We've been around a long time, have hired a lot of people, sold a lot of cars," Hughes said.
But when Chrysler filed for Bankruptcy, it pulled 500 franchises and forced the John P. Hughes Motor Company into selling used cars.
Three years later at the end of this month, the dealership will liquidate its assets.
"We don't owe anybody any money. So, we can leave gracefully," Hughes said.
Randy May has a daughter in college and is among 20 employees losing their jobs.
"You've worked your life to get yourself in a position where things are covered. And not to have anything within two weeks, you're back to where you started when you first came out of high school," May explained.
Frank Buhler bought his first car from the dealership more than 50 years ago.
"It's been a good business, represented itself well. And those who took advantage of it gained from it and now they won't. So, it's a sad story," Buhler said.
A family tradition that's survived four generations, comes to an end. It will close on July 31.