Dealership owner Mike Robbins said it took 30-45 days to get the business up and running at about 50 percent capacity after last spring’s devastating storm. Robbins said his showroom sported plywood walls instead of large glass windows for two months during the rebuild phase.
“We just finished our service department (floors) this week,” Robbins said.
He said 95 percent of the cars on the lot had some kind of damage and 75 percent of the vehicles had windows broken from flying debris.
“A lot of the cars looked like they’d been sand blasted,” Robbins said.
He recounted how a wall clock that once hung in the Express Lane (oil change section) was found in the parking lot. It had stopped at 8:36 p.m., the time the tornado struck the dealership.
Robbins said the community supported his business following the storm. He said church youth groups helped clear debris and locate tools and other items scattered by tornado-like winds. An organization called First Response (Team of America) also assisted, Robbins said.
“They go from disaster to disaster,” he said.
Robbins took over the business after his father, A.G. Robbins, retired in 2000. The elder Robbins, 82, established the dealership in 1976. A.G. Robbins said he still works every Saturday so his son Mike can spend time with his family.
· A.G. Robbins opened family-owned dealership on Jan. 1, 1976
· Located at 7154 Nashville Street near downtown Ringgold
· Sales department is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday
· Service department is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday
· For more information call 706-935-2328 or visit ringgoldcdj.com