Skinner Autoplex to close after 96 years in business

Medford, Ore. — A long-time Medford autoplex is getting ready to shut down business. Skinner Autoplex has been a staple in the Rogue Valley for nearly 100 years. Now, the owner said it’s time to close the doors for good. It’s been nearly a century of working with cars for Skinner Autoplex.

“Grandfather started in 1921 – actually, the first little shop was on main street,” said John Skinner. Skinner is the third – and last – generation to own Skinner Autoplex.

“Painting of our building down on Riverside. My grandfather moved there in probably the late 20’s, early 30’s. And we were there until 1969,” he said.

John started working at the family company when he was just 13 years old.

“I started at the bottom. I washed thousands of cars. My dad, he has two sons. And my brother didn’t like the car business,” he said.

Luckily, John did, and by the 70’s he was working at the autoplex full-time.

“I’ve been there ever since,” he said.

Now it’s year 2017, and there have since been three generations of Skinner’s at the autoplex.

“Been the same desk for a long time,” he said.

John is ready to say goodbye to the company that saw him grow from a child to a business owner.

“It’s been a long road. I really enjoyed it. I worked real hard and played real hard,” he said.

John said the decision to close up shop is nothing personal, it’s just time to move on.

“I had two daughters and neither one of them were interested in the car business,” he said.

With no one to take over, he knew it was time to let go.

“I got to where I didn’t want to come down here as bad everyday as I used to – and that isn’t a good thing. You’ve got to work when you like doing it,” he said.

John said though the last few years have been tough – trying to figure out how to let go of the family business. He said it’s the people he’ll always remember.

“Our summer picnics every year with the employees. We used to do some fun stuff – go down to the river,” he said.

As for what’s next for this Skinner, he said that’s a simpler answer.

“I’m going to do something else for a while. Not work-related hopefully, but have some fun and not have to go to work everyday,” he said.

For now, John is working on selling the last cars out the lot.

“Everyday, same office,” he said.

The final close date for the autoplex will be early next month. If you’re interested in buying a car or parts, Skinner said everything must go. He currently has over 60 cars in the lot and some vintage items for sale as well.

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