Dealer gets award from alma mater

Auto dealer J.L. Huffines of Dallas is among the 2001 recipients of Texas A&M University's coveted Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest honor the university bestows on its alumni.

Mr. Huffines, class of 1944, served in WWII combat, then returned to A&M and completed his degree in economics.

He launched six auto dealerships in the Dallas area while finding time to serve on several community and civic boards. He has endowed the university with several scholarships.

Town & Country gets Ford store

Town & Country Dealerships, one of the largest dealership groups in Portland, OR, acquired Coliseum Ford and renamed it Town & Country Ford.

The 70,000 sq.-ft. facility is the company's first Ford dealership. The dealership is owned by Ralph Martinez, Town & Country's CEO, and new partner Mark Gilbert.

“We plan to make this one of the most visible, highest volume Ford dealerships in the area,” says Mr. Martinez.

Since 1998, the Town & Country group has opened seven new dealerships and acquired three others.

The Ford dealership has an inventory capacity of 600 new and used vehicles. The facility has the second largest Ford service center and parts department in the Northwest. It employs 140 people.

Manheim opens new auction in Virginia

To celebrate the grand opening of Manheim Auctions' newest facility, the Fredericksburg Auto Auction hosted a themed event and mega-sale showcasing the new facility and selling 1,900 vehicles.

More than 1,500 dealers attended “The Ultimate in Southern Hospitality” sale, bidding on cars in the new 14-lane auction facility. Dealers were also able to participate in drawings for prizes such as $4,000 in cash and a brand-new Sea-DO.

The new auction replaces the Fredericksburg Auto Auction facility that had served dealers since 1957. The new state-of-the-art facility is located roughly 10 miles north of the old facility on Route 17 North on I-95. The new facility features a 64,000-square-foot auto auction center and an 88,000-square-foot reconditioning center.

Legendary NASCAR racer Harry Gant was on hand to drive the first car across the auction block for the commemorative sale, and a fife and drum corps band led the dealers into the lanes.