HARRISONBURG, VA - Past National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) President Jim Wheatley passed away from cancer Oct. 18, in Harrisonburg, Va. He was 75.
Wheatley served as NAAA president from 1987-1988 and was named to the NAAA Hall of Fame in 1994. One of Wheatley's contributions to the NAAA was to develop the Warren Young, Sr., Scholastic Foundation. Wheatley and his wife Barbara, along with fellow members Henry and Patty Stanley, helped establish NAAA's education fund. Now marking its fifth anniversary, the Scholastic Foundation awards $40,000 annually in scholarships.
Wheatley began his automotive industry career in 1957 as a manager in the Washington, D.C. district sales office for Ford Motor Co. Seven years later, he and a partner opened a Ford dealership in Harrisonburg, Va. In 1970, he and his wife opened the Harrisonburg Auto Auction. They also launched the Wheatley Motor Car Co. in 1987. The Wheatley's sold the auction to General Electric Capital in 1986, which was purchased by Manheim in 1991. Throughout the changes in ownership, Wheatley remained general manager with his wife as assistant general manager. They retained ownership of the Wheatley Motor Car Company.