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A sign of (hard) times

STIMULUS SIGNED; BUSINESSES LOOK FOR RELIEF One of Barnesville’s oldest family owned and operated businesses will close its doors Saturday after nearly 40 years in operation. Davis-Cooper Ford will reopen as Trophy Ford under new ownership in Forsyth March 2, principal Dean Davis said. Davis has sold the business to David Sperau of Marietta who is moving the operation to Monroe County just off I-75. Davis and the late Jimmy Cooper opened the Ford dealership here on July 1, 1969. They had previously worked together at Davis Ford in Fayetteville which was owned by Davis’ brother. Cooper was killed in a tragic traffic accident on April 25, 1990. Sperau is combining the Davis-Cooper territory which includes Lamar County and Meansville and Ford’s Monroe County territory. Sperau is keeping all the fulltime Davis-Cooper employees including general manager Joel White, office manager Nancy Mead and service manager David Hudson. ’It is sad Barnesville-Lamar County will no longer have a Ford dealership but car sales have been down for three or four years. I am 71 now and it is time for me to get out,’ Davis said. He estimated the dealership has sold 78,000 vehicles during its years here. ’Back in the 1970s we were selling about 300 units per year,’ Davis said. Sperau is a 1994 graduate of the University of Georgia and has spent the past 14 years at Beaudry Ford and Mall of Georgia Ford. He is moving into a location that has had multiple tenants over the past several years but feels he is getting into the business at the right time. ’We’re hoping better economic times are ahead. The dealer body is constricting and the used car business is good. It remains pretty solid,’ Sperau said. Davis concurs. ‘A lot of people are driving vehicles with high mileages they normally don’t put on one. They will be back in the market to buy at some point,’ he said. White, who has spent nearly a lifetime in the business, promised the dealership will remain active in the Barnesville-Lamar County community. ”We will still be involved in things like Buggy Days,’ he said. Davis said his dealership property is available and has already drawn some attention from potential buyers.

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