NC Transportation Museum group buys space for repair, display

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 19, 2018

SPENCER — The N.C. Transportation Museum will soon have additional space for automotive displays, restoration and renovation with the purchase of the former Country Wide Services property by the museum’s support group, the N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation.

The car and truck repair facility is adjacent to the museum property at 1109 S. Salisbury Ave. in Spencer.

The garage and showroom has nearly 9,500 square feet, with service bays, easy access for vehicles, space to maintain and repair nearly any vehicle in the museum’s collection, and secure storage space for vehicles not on display.

Foundation President Roy Johnson describes the purchase as “a major milestone, one of our dreams coming true.”

“We have long needed a facility well suited to automotive and truck maintenance and restoration,” Johnson said. “Since the property also features a 1950s-era vehicle showroom, it will allow additional space for the display of historic vehicles.”

The purchase was made possible through donations by the children of Earl Congdon Jr. and the late Jack Congdon, longtime executives with Old Dominion Freight Line and Old Dominion Truck Leasing and sons of Old Dominion founders Earl Sr. and Lillian Congdon.

“Jack’s three children and Dad’s three children are the ones who donated the money to purchase this property for the museum in honor of your hard, hard work all your life and your brother’s hard, hard work all his life,” said Audrey Congdon during a ceremony announcing the purchase, as her parents, Earl Jr. and Kitty Congdon, looked on.

Her father shed tears as she continued.

“It is in honor of the contributions you have made and the contributions Old Dominion Freight Line has made to the transportation industry, and we’re so proud of you,” said Audrey Congdon.

The museum is hosting the display of two historic Old Dominion Freight Line trucks, a 1946 Ford Straight truck and trailer, and a 1950 White Super Power truck.

Submitted photo The shop is now occupied by Country Wide Services, which provides automotive repairs and service.

“Partnerships are essential to keeping the N.C. Transportation Museum thriving,” said museum Executive Director Kelly Alexander. “And we are so lucky to have the support of the founding family of Old Dominion Freight Line and Old Dominion Truck Leasing, history-making companies in the trucking industry.”

The property was purchased in the 1940s by L.Q. Goodman of Richfield and was later given to his daughter, Carrie Goodman Wood.  The current shop was constructed in 1950, replacing the original Wood’s Auto Works building across the street. In 1955, the showroom was added and the shop became a Hudson dealer, transitioning to an American Motor Co. dealer two years later and eventually adding Renault and Jeep.

The showroom is undergoing renovations to serve as a satellite special-event facility, with ideal space to exhibit some of the museum’s most notable vehicles. Renovations are planned for the shop area to update the facility for the restoration and upkeep of museum cars and trucks.