Tuesday, April 5, 2011

L Is For Lawry's Used Cars

Lawry's Classic Cars

It's time again for ABC Wednesday. If you aren't participating in ABC Wednesday, you are missing out on a lot of fun.

This week the letter is L. L is for Lawry's Used Cars. My Daddy started Lawry's Used Cars in Mena, Arkansas in 1979. I have been in business with him since I moved to Arkansas in 1981. My Daddy has been in the car business since he was in college. For most of my life I have worked with him. I got started very early as these photos show. Here I am helping him sand a car in Collegedale, Tennessee.

How Long Have I Been Sanding

From Tennessee he moved to Colorado where he opened Tri Town Service in the Dacono, Frederick, Firestone area. In the early 70's, the business was moved to Erie, Colorado. When Daddy moved from Colorado to Arkansas I operated Tri Town Service.

Tri Town Family

Several years ago I made a trip back to Erie, Colorado and took this photo of the old Tri Town Service building.

Tri Town Service

When we moved to Mena, Arkansas in 1981 I joined Daddy at the Lawry's Used Cars location. This is what the business looked like in the 1980's.

Bullet Nose

Here is an aerial view of what Lawry's Used Cars looks like now. Several buildings have been added over the years.

Aerial View of Lawry's Used Cars

Even though Daddy is at the age when a lot of guys are taking it easy, he still works full time operating Lawry's Used Cars.

30 Model A

Over the years the business has had some close calls. We have been right on the edge of two tornadoes. In the 1993 Mena tornado the 4 bay carport was picked up off of its foundation and moved a couple of feet, and a tree fell across one of the buildings and we had to repair and replace the roof. In the 2009 Mena tornado We had signs blown down but very little other damage even though less than a mile away homes were completely destroyed.

In April of 2007 a controlled burn in our area became out of control. The fire jumped the tracks behind our business and burned a number of cars. Thankfully the fire was brought under control before it reached our buildings.

Fire at Lawry's Used Cars


For 30 years now Lawry's Used Cars has been a big part of my life. It is still enjoyable to go to work each day; I get to meet so many nice people. We have had people from all over the world stop in at our little business here in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas. Here is a partial list of collector cars for sale at Lawry's Used Cars.

Sign Of The Times

Lonely Studebaker

Snowy Ranchero

Kaiser in Fall


  1. Of course, you know I love the photo of you and your dad when you were just a little shaver. So cute! :)

  2. Wow, I can really see both your dad and your mom in you. Neat to hear the history behind your business.

  3. I am always interested learning how family businesses got started and how they have progressed. You've told the story well. I really enjoyed the photos.

  4. What a great post for the L Day, Richie! Marvelous story and photos of the business and your family! Hope you have a wonderful week!

    ABC Team

  5. Great story and chronicle of your lives and the business. That old Studibaker is quite awesome are are some of those classics.
    So glad that fire didn't destroy everything.

  6. My father-in-law loves vintage cars

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  7. Times sure have changed! You look a bit different from your first days helping your dad. :)

  8. My Dad had an old 57 Olds which was the delight of my heart. I wish he had kept it and redone it.
    It was the best car ever.He also liked to tinker with cars and I took great pride in being with him and washing and polishing all the chrome on it.


  9. Wow! I just loved your story! And those cars are to die for...I know someone who'd just LOVE to travel down to see them all. :D

    abcw team

  10. I LIKE your L, so pretty..

    Please come take a peek at the laughters at my page. Thank you!

    PS.. I am now following your blog, would you follow me back too?

  11. Enjoyed this post - it's nice to know people who stay put and find pleasure in that. In one of my lives, I had several collector cars and saw a number of Studebakers at the local shows. My daughter helped me sand a car, too, when she was about your young age - the problem: she was sanding with gravel while I was washing the other side of my brand new car. Arg. Bless her heart. LOL

  12. Beautiful and LOVELY choice for L.

    Please come and see the Lamborghini at my page.

  13. What a wonderfully charming post. It was fascinating to see and hear about the growth of your family business. I think it must be so wonderful working on these gems and getting them back into pristine shape.

  14. loving the ols cars...priceless....love Mena also