All good things must come to an end, even a used Corvette dealership that opened its doors just five years after the first Chevy sports car left the assembly line in 1953.
Even if you’ve never been to Pennsylvania, you might still recognize the name Stoudt Auto Sales if you’ve ever searched for Corvettes on-line.
Sadly, after some 63 years of parking Corvettes on their lot along the Warren Street Bypass, Stoudt Auto Sales in Reading is closing after being sold in a transaction finalized Monday.
The dealership actually can trace its roots back nearly 100 years when Jay Stoudt’s grandfather, Warren Stoudt, opened Stoudt Chevrolet in Leesport in 1923. A 1955 Corvette sold new by the dealership is said to still be in Reading area.
Eventually, however, the family-run dealership dropped its affiliation with Chevrolet, switching over in 1958 to sales and service of all makes and models of used vehicles.
The emphasis was always on Corvettes, though, as Stoudt Auto Sales says on its website that it has sold more than 6,400 classic and late-model Corvettes over the years, in addition to holding an annual Corvette show for more than 42 years. They also offered an extensive Corvette parts department, including new, used, and hard-to-find Corvette parts for most years.
“We would like to thank all our customers who purchased vehicles over the last 60 years, and God bless,” the dealership said in a message on its answering machine.
New owners Winna and Cheney Vasquez bought the property at 1342 Butler St., for $425,000, which included a 1,000-square-foot showroom, 2,400-square-foot garage, and one-acre parking lot. When they eventually reopen, they won’t be specializing in Corvettes.
That means the dealership’s vertical neon green and red sign proclaiming “Stoudt Auto Sales” will be gone, with the new owners saying collectors have already been inquiring about buying it.
“It was a landmark in Reading,” said Vasquez, a New York native who’s lived in Berks County for 13 years. “Mr. Stoudt was very proud of his business.”