On May 14, Rawls Auto Auction, the oldest sale in the country, will be celebrated its 75th year in business.
The sale was founded in 1938 by J.M. “Martin” Rawls, and partner S.L. “Monty” Montgomery. Martin Rawls can be considered the father of the auto auction industry as he hatched the idea for the nation’s first sale while attending a cattle auction in the late 1930s.
Montgomery was initially hesitant about opening an auction at their dealership, Rawls Auto Sales. He eventually relented and a door was put into the two-story building to accommodate the vehicles for sale. The inaugural sale featured about a dozen cars and was attended by 35 dealers.
The auction grew quickly, eventually relocating to a Quonset hut on property next to a Ford dealership.
Rawl’s and Montgomery’s wives provided home cooked meals to the dealers that attended the auction every Monday.
Today, the sale is owned and operated by Martin’s son, Jimmy Rawls, and boast seven lanes on forty acres.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Rawls hasexpanded and improved the facility. “We’ve completed the early phases of construction, adding real estate, a new state-of-the-art reconditioning center and new offices,” he said.
The reconditioning center is a 5,000-square-foot building with eight bays, eight lifts and modern testing equipment.
The auction uses the most up-to-date technology with online sales offered through AWG. The auction also uses OVE.com.
Rawls has received many awards through the years, including being named GM Financial’s Auction of Excellence for the first, second and third quarters of 2012 and Westlake Financial’s 2012 Auction of the Year for the East Region.
Every Tuesday starts with a salvage sale at 8:30 a.m., fleet/lease and rentals at 10 a.m., and consignment sale at 11 a.m.
GSA offers cars once a month and special sales feature Coca Cola and utilities.
The auction offers its own transportation services at competitive rates.
This year marks a huge milestone for Rawls Auto Auction, make plans to be a part of the celebration!
Source: Used Car News. Dealer’s Guide to Top Auctions-Spring 2013, Rawls Auto Auction-The Country’s Oldest Auction Celebrates Milestone, page 16, March 2013.
NAAA Posted 3/14/2013