“If the story is true, it’s sad that a guy like Mel Farr could have so much going on for himself and then have to close down or sell his dealerships,” says Carl L. Barnett Sr., one of two African American members of the board of the National Automobile Dealers Association, a trade association in McLean, Virginia. “It’s a loss. At one time he was the guy.”
The former NFL running back has long been credited as being one of the most successful African American business owners in the country, having purchased his first dealership in 1975 after a career with the Detroit Lions. Whether the pending sale is a result of Farr wanting to refocus his business or a desperate exit, it marks the end of an era for one of the more prominent African American business leaders.