Culpepper Ford plans to close

A family-owned Ford dealership will soon close its doors after more than 60 years.

Culpepper Ford, at 2210 Washington Road, Thomson, will continue sales through Saturday and possibly into next week, owner Bobby Culpepper said Wednesday.

“The economy is just so bad,” Culpepper said, citing financial reasons for closing the dealership that has been run by his family since his father opened the first location in 1949.

Culpepper, who has served as mayor of Harlem since 2008, said he’s been semi-retired for three or four years while his son, Brian, ran the day-to-day operations.

“That’s one reason I had more time to spend as mayor,” Culpepper said.

After 48 years operating the dealership in Harlem, Culpepper moved the dealership to Nature’s Way, near Interstate 20 in Appling, in 1997. Seven years later, the dealership moved to Thomson.

Culpepper said he plans to continue to keep open a Grovetown used car lot he’s run in association with the dealership for several years.

Whether he becomes fully retired or continues to run the Grovetown lot depends on whether his son plans to stay in the car business.

Culpepper said he is still finalizing details of the closing.

“I’ve been in business for a long time,” Culpepper said. “But I’ve never gone out of business yet.”

More