PORT ANGELES — A long-time family owned business and decades-long fixture at Race and First streets is closing.
Reid & Johnson Motors Inc., will officially shut down April 30, said proprietor Bob Reid, but may remain in place for a few days after that for cleanup and a possible sale of tools.
Between now and then, only two cars are left to sell: a handicapped van and a vehicle owned by Reid’s wife and business partner, Kathy Reid.
“I want to thank all our friends and customers for being so loyal and making my life really happy,” said Reid, a Port Angeles native, Friday.
“I’ve had a great career.”
The independent dealership was known for selling clean and dependable used auto, truck, and commercial vehicles. Most clients lived on the North Olympic Peninsula — Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks and Port Townsend. But the business also sold cars throughout the state and beyond, selling as far away as Perth, Australia.
In 1995, Reid was given the Washington State Quality Dealer of the Year Award. He has won the distinction of Best of the Best Car Salesperson several times in the Peninsula Daily News’ “Best of the Peninsula” contest.
The Reids have owned the dealership since 1987, when they purchased it from Stan Johnson, who had been Reid’s father’s partner until Ed Reid sold his interest to Johnson in 1981.
Ed Reid had started the business in 1968 as Ed Reid’s Eighth Street Motors. The car lot was moved to 108 S. Race St. in 1971.
Over all, the car dealership has operated for 53 years.
“So many people who heard we’re leaving have come by to congratulate me and say they are sorry to see the businesses go,” Reid said.
“It’s been a wild run.”
Reid said he had known what he wanted to do since he was 5, when his dad was working for Howard Ruddell as a car salesman.
Reid started at the bottom. He began attending auctions when he was 8 and his father had him washing and detailing cars after school when he was in the eighth grade.
After earning a bachelor’s in business/economics from Central Washington University, he returned to Port Angeles to take over the dealership.
Reid said he’s retiring because “the business is not as fun as it used to be; the margins have gotten smaller.
“I’m 61 years old and thought it was the right time.”
In retirement, he plans to focus on his hobby of restoring old British cars and work on the couple’s home on Lake Sutherland and also on a Lake Crescent rental he co-owns.
Through the years, he said he always looked forward to coming to work.
He couldn’t pinpoint one particular reason.
“Getting the cars looking as nice as I can, meeting the customers — it was all encompassing,” Reid said.
“When I sold a car I wanted people to be really happy with the car.
When he was at the grocery store or other public places, “I wanted to make sure every customer I met, I could be confident in talking with them and asking them about the car,” he said, “without having to run away.”
Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected]