Junior Brubeck is down to his last new Chrysler vehicle — a 2009 Dodge Ram quad-cab pickup, one equipped “with every possible option we build on it.”
And he’s quick to point out that the $40,000 demo vehicle can be yours for the low, low price of $30,000.
“It is for sale,” said Brubeck, owner and still very much a salesman at his Jim Clark Motors, at 29th and Iowa streets in the Lawrence Auto Plaza. “If nobody buys it in the next couple of days, it’ll probably be mine.”
The white pickup represents the last of the hundreds upon hundreds of Chrysler products marketed and sold by Brubeck during his 53 years at Jim Clark, a span that started with sweeping the floors in May 1956. He’s been in ownership since the 1990s.
Come this morning, Brubeck expects his dealership agreement with Chrysler to have been terminated. The automaker is working to emerge from bankruptcy protection as a leaner company, with fewer dealers.
Brubeck had hoped to remain with the automaker, which has filed plans to team up with Fiat to produce and offer a new lineup of vehicles. But Chrysler’s plans didn’t include Jim Clark.
So now, by the end of this week, Brubeck expects to finalize his own plans for continuing in the auto business in Lawrence, where he has about 45 employees.
“We’re going to go forward,” Brubeck said. “We have Volkswagen. We have used cars. We have service. We’ll decide what size we need to be and go from there.”
Brubeck had about 60 new Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles back on May 14, when he learned that Chrysler intended to sever ties with him and 788 other dealerships nationwide. He then sold about half of the new vehicles to individual customers and half to other dealers.
Now he’s down to one more vehicle, one with a significance Brubeck finds difficult to characterize.
“There really aren’t any words to describe it,” he said.