Huddy Hyman, along with most other Saturn dealers, was devastated when General Motors Co. pulled the plug on his business last year.
But Hyman's story has an upside.
A year after the brand's collapse, as he prepares to take down the last sign on what were once three thriving Saturn stores in the Richmond, Va., area, Hyman says he is having a blast rebuilding his original brand: the Hyman family.
"It was an emotional thing to have them kill Saturn like that," says Hyman, a 58-year-old second-generation dealer. "But I feel pretty good about it now. We're having fun. I feel like I'm 16 again."
At 16, Hyman and his brother were scouring the garages and for-sale listings of Richmond after school. They bought used vehicles, worked on them and resold them at a profit. They operated independently of their father and uncle's Pontiac dealership but traded on the family's reputation in town for being honest and reliable.