By Peninsula Daily News staff
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“My employees are my family, and we're still a locally owned business — and we support the community that supports us,” says Mark Murray, the third-generation owner of the Murray Motors at 302 E. First St. in central Port Angeles.
The business' anniversary — its roots in Clallam County actually stretch back further, into the 1920s — will be marked with ceremonies by the red-jacketed Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors at noon Tuesday.
The public is invited to participate and enjoy cake and beverages.
The celebration will continue with more cakes and beverages the rest of week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.
The chamber has also named Murray Motors as its Business of the Month for April.
Almost five years after losing its Chrysler franchise, Murray Motors is now a Carquest Auto Parts dealer, selling to both retail and wholesale customers.
Mark Murray also concentrates on selling used cars and overseeing his service department — brake jobs, oil changes, tune-ups for all makes and models.
“The whole key to our business has always been service — take care of the customer, and they'll take care of you,” Murray says.
Murray Motors was one of 15 dealerships in the state and 789 in the country that Chrysler dropped in the summer of 2009 when the Michigan automaker went into bankruptcy.
The 80th anniversary actually marks when Murray Motors began selling Chryslers in Clallam County in 1934.
The dealership moved to its present location in 1946. It became a Carquest dealer in 2010.
Murray's grandfather, Bart Murray Sr., started Murray Motors as an auto shop in Clallam Bay in the 1920s.
Mark Murray's father, Bart Murray Jr., took over the company with his brother, Roland, in the early 1980s.
Mark Murray started working for the family business full time in the mid-1970s.
He became store manager and owner in the early 1990s. His son, Matthew, now works with him.
Emerging from bankruptcy, Chrysler returned to the North Olympic Peninsula in 2012, opening a franchise at Wilder Auto at 97 Deer Park Road in Port Angeles. The Chrysler line includes Dodge, Ram Truck, Jeep and Fiat brands.