King Chevrolet's Signs Have Changed - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/22/05-Tyler

King Chevrolet's Signs Have Changed

It looks like the oldest car dealership in East Texas does not have it "goin' on in downtown Tyler" anymore.

King Chevrolet's dealership signs have changed. Employees tell us King is being bought by Robert Peltier. KLTV 7 has found out the sale will be finalized on Tuesday morning.

"Hello, I'm Jack King, Jr., talking to you direct from downtown Tyler!" the commercial would say.

Like 'em or hate 'em, you've been seeing commericals like that one from King Chevrolet with catchy slogans for decades.

"He's always like ripping the stickers off the window and saying, 'Who's pricing these things? Call the sheriff,'" David Brown, a Tyler resident, remembers the commercials.

While the signs are changing outside, business is changing hands inside. Employees say, when the dealership opens tomorrow, you'll be buying from Peltier, not King.

"That's a shame," Brown said. "I hope they don't change the name. It's such a classic name, you know."

A name that's been around for more than 60 years.

"For over 40 years, King Chevrolet has been the place to buy new cars for less money," a 1983 commercial said.

But the name is already changing. Some signs look permanent, others make-shift.

"It'll be a landmark that's going to go away," Tom Mullins, president of the Tyler Economic Development Council, said.

The office is lined with historic Tyler photos. One of them shows King Chevrolet in the 1960s.

"King Chevrolet has always been a big player downtown," Mullins said. "They've always been committed to downtown. They've promoted downtown Tyler in their commercials."

"We've had it goin' on! We've got it goin' on! We're gonna keep it goin' on!" King shouted.

"All of these car dealerships used to be downtown," Benny Williams, a long-time Tyler resident, said. "They're on the Loop now, but King is the only one that has stayed in the same spot for years and years, King Chevrolet."

The question Williams and others have is: Will Peltier keep it going on and stay in downtown Tyler?

When KLTV was at the dealership, Monday, employees said there were only a few sales people left and customers would have to hold off on their purchases until tomorrow.

Julie Tam, reporting. jtam@kltv.com

 

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