Marc Treiber spent last Wednesday packing up the Chrysler memorabilia that festoons his Rallye Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep store in Monroe, N.Y.
He has old logos, including a Dodge Brothers Star of David logo and a Willys logo, all accumulated during a lifetime spent as a Chrysler fan.
"If you ever saw the place, you'd say, 'Boy, this guy's a Chrysler guy,' " said Treiber, 53, who learned to drive in a 1967 Chrysler New Yorker. His pride and joy is a 1972 Dodge Challenger.
But Treiber's feelings for the company changed forever May 14 when he got a UPS package containing a letter notifying him Chrysler was rejecting his dealer agreement.
The news shocked Treiber, a quick-witted man with a pronounced New York accent.
Speaking by phone Wednesday, June 10, what he called "day one of my new life," Treiber said he is trying to move forward. He has a Suzuki franchise at the same location. Treiber sold about 400 new Suzukis and about 300 new Chryslers, Dodges and Jeeps in 2008.
Treiber is trying to unload $110,000 worth of parts, and he hopes other dealers will take the 17 remaining new Chrysler vehicles off his hands.
Treiber has had to lay off "six or seven" employees since he got the bad news and may have to lay off more.
"Unlike Chrysler, I care about these people," he said. "This is just beyond words."
Treiber hopes he can preserve most of the remaining jobs by expanding the other areas of his business.
"Customers were here in tears. They bought generations of cars from us," Treiber said of his last days as a Chrysler dealer. "Hopefully, we can flip them into a Suzuki."
Contemplating his memorabilia, Treiber said: "I'm not a scientist, an artist or musician. I didn't discover a cure for cancer. But this is my life's work. I've been a Chrysler guy all my life, since I was a kid. To just cut me off at the knees like this ...
"I've got all my memorabilia. But if someone comes in here in the future, how am I going to tell them 'Buy a Dodge' in good conscience?"