Colonial Motors


Colonial Motors, a Lincoln-Mercury dealership, was located on 5th Avenue at 28th Street.


HUNTINGTON — Jacob Cowee “Jack” Rardin III, who died in 2003
at age 87, was a longtime Huntington auto dealer.

Jack Rardin was born in Huntington in 1915. He attended schools
in Huntington and the University of Virginia. A veteran of
World War II, he served as a lieutenant in the U.S.
 Navy in the Pacific Theater for three years.
After the war, he was the president of
Galigher Ford and Colonial Motors.

Colonial Motors was a Lincoln-Mercury dealership organized in 1947,
 with Rardin as president, Henry N. Pace as vice president and
Paul Hardy Jr. as secretary and treasurer. Like Rardin, Pace
 and Hardy served as U.S. Navy officers during the war.

The three men purchased a site on 5th Avenue at 28th Street for
$19,500 and awarded a $60,000 contract to E.D. Lambert,
a general contractor, to construct a two-unit structure.
 The first unit, containing the display floor and offices,
was built of brick with a distinctive glass front.
The second unit, a cinder block, brick and steel
structure, housed the dealership’s garage.

Auto manufacturing had been halted during the war so car
makers could devote their production exclusively to
military needs. When the war ended, Americans
were eager to buy new cars, and Lincolns
 and Mercurys were big sellers.

In 1955, E.W. Earnhardt bought Colonial Motors.
 When he died in in 1972, he son Don took over.

In 1980, the younger Earnhardt announced he was closing
and selling the dealership. “At this particular time, the
automobile industry nationally is not in good shape.
 I just found a chance to sell out, and that’s
 what I’m doing,” he said.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on May 19, 2020.


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