By KEN de la BASTIDE, Kokomo Tribune staff writer

The lot at Conkle Pontiac GMC is full of snow-covered vehicles, but no salesmen are in sight.

The Conkle Pontiac-GMC Superstore on East Markland Avenue closed its doors Tuesday.

After 61 years of selling Pontiac vehicles in Kokomo, the showroom doors were locked. The only activity was in the service department.

An employee there said the dealership confirmed that the business had been closed, but said the service department will complete repair work already scheduled.

Several calls to owner Charlie Conkle were not returned Wednesday.

Owners of a new or used car covered by a warranty or extended warranty can still get service at Eriks Chevrolet or McGonigal Cadillac-Buick.

The Conkle family first opened a dealership in Howard County in 1905, and the third-generation family of car dealers has been selling the Pontiac brand since 1937.

They moved into a new facility at 2828 E. Markland Ave. in 1997 and acquired the former Wiese Oldsmobile-GMC dealership in 2002.

In 2003, the dealership was recognized for selling the most Pontiacs in Indiana. The dealership in previous years was selling almost 1,000 new cars a year.

In 2004, the dealership was one of 63 dealers nationwide to be a recipient of the Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award. The award was sponsored by Time Magazine in association with Goodyear and the National Automobile Dealers Association.

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