LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- He was the renowned car salesman with the memorable commercials featuring a catchy jingle and his "dog Spot." Just the name of the late Cal Worthington evokes memories that made the famed car dealer an advertising legend.
Cal Worthington's family continues to run the dealership under the iconic name, but that era is coming to an end.
Grandson Nick Worthington said they are in the process of closing a deal to sell their last car dealership, Worthington Ford in Long Beach.
"It's very sad. Our employees have been with us 40 plus years. I've been here for 20 years, and I am still the new guy," Nick Worthington said. "It's a part of everyone's childhood and life growing up here. It's hard to close that book for everybody."
Worthington said the decision has been in the works for the past six months. The buyer is the Nouri/Shaver Automotive Group.
"I moved here in 1992 from Armenia and remember driving by the 405 and seeing the sign," said Armina Mgerian, one of the owners of the group.
Mgerian said she had flashbacks when she was on her way to meet the employees.
"This is a huge milestone for our auto group," Mgerian said. "Worthington's legacy has been here in the industry forever."
Mgerian said they will be keeping all of the Worthington Ford employees, but they will need to reapply for their jobs.
"It may be the end for us in automotive. We've been really big in commercial real estate and agriculture for a while now," Nick Worthington said. "My grandfather actually started that shift, so we just continued that."
The Nouri/Shaver Automotive Group will be taking over by the end of the month and will be changing the name of the dealership from Worthington Ford to BP Ford.
Editor's note: This story was originally published in February 2023.