WACO, Texas – Cruising down Valley Mills Drive, one could hardly miss the Marstaller dealership packed with luxury cars and its eye-catching ‘M’ sign.
But entering the showroom it’s a ghost town – no cars, empty walls and boxes with paper. The reason is because after 70 years, the Waco staple is choosing to close its doors.
Charlie Marstaller started the business back in 1950, and quickly got his family involved – including his son-in-law, Mac Hughes.
“My wife is in it. My brother-in law Ronnie is in it,” said Hughes.
For 45 years, Hughes worked his way up – starting out as a salesperson to manager. The decision to close the franchise came late last year, when Lincoln wanted to expand.
“The process would have been about $4 million. To put in a new facility and buy land and we’d have one new car franchise,” said Hughes.
He said the venture was not the best decision because it takes a long time to get the investment back. And at 71 years old, it wasn’t what they wanted to do.
Employees say the closure will affect many in Waco.
“I’m sure a lot of people are going to regret seeing it close because they will have to go to another town to get their Lincoln work done,” said employee Minnie Fog.
The dealership will officially close its doors on June 30th.