Hampstead car sales lot to be sold Hanover dealer wants to buy it


Carroll car dealer Jeff Barnes will sell his Chevrolet-Geo dealership in Hampstead to spend more time at his Eldersburg dealership, he said yesterday.

"You can't do two things right. Not in these times. I'm running out of money," he said.

Used car dealer Gordon H. Stambaugh of Hanover, Pa., will buy the business, Mr. Barnes said. The sale should be final by the middle of April, he said.

Mr. Stambaugh owns Stambaugh's Auto Sales, a used-car business on Carlisle Street in Hanover. This will be the first time he has sold new cars, he said.

He and two of his sons -- James and Joel -- will work at the Hampstead business at 1111 S. Main St., he said.

Mr. Stambaugh said he plans to keep current employees and has no immediate plans to change the business. The Hampstead dealership employs 23 people and sells about 500 cars a year, Mr. Barnes said.

"Everything's working good now, so you don't want to fool with it," Mr. Stambaugh said.

He said yesterday he's not sure what the business will be called.

Neither he nor Mr. Barnes would comment on the sale price. Mr. Barnes said they negotiated the deal for six to eight months.

Mr. Barnes called Mr. Stambaugh "a good friend of mine" and said they have done business for years.

"He'll be a good competitor," Mr. Barnes said.

Mr. Barnes has owned the Hampstead dealership for three years. He bought the Wheeler Chevrolet dealership from Warren Wheeler, who sold the Hampstead business in March 1990 to devote more time to his Westminster Chrysler-Plymouth dealership.

Mr. Barnes said his Eldersburg dealership suffered because he had to split his time between the two locations. "I found being away from here [Eldersburg] cost me customers here," he said.

The South Carroll business has 45 employees and sells about 1,000 cars a year, he said.

Mr. Barnes became part-owner of the Eldersburg dealership in 1977, when it was known as Neel Chevrolet/Oldsmobile, and became sole owner in 1983, he said.

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