Bell Motor Company in downtown Leonardtown, Maryland was the second oldest, continuously-running Chevrolet dealership in the nation. The company originally opened shop on Jan. 17, 1923. The company had to close its doors forever due to economic hardships in 2008. Gary Bell told Guy Leonard of the County Times on Sept. 26, 2008 that his family’s business has fallen victim to the sharp economic downturn that hit the country.
Subsequent to the announcement of the closing, reports surfaced that the family was shopping the dealership around to other established dealerships in the region. Gary Bell confirmed to the County Times that Winegardner Auto Group was the leading contender to buy the dealership. However, during this same period, the big three Detroit automakers were fearful of failing and had approached the U.S. Congress for billions in federal loans. Both Bell and Winegardner confirmed to the County Times that any sale of the Bell dealership was hinged on the success of the rescue package and the subsequent approval of General Motors in regards to the specific sale of the dealership.
- "Bell Motor Co. Closing After 85 Years In Business". The County Times (2008-09-25).
- "Decision on GM Bailout Could Decide Bell Motor Co. Sale". The County Times (2008-12-04). Retrieved on 2008-12-08.