Elizabethton Free Service closes doors

From Staff Reports

   After doing business in downtown Elizabethton for more than 50 years, Free Service Tire and Auto Center, 432 E. E. St., has closed shop due to economic reasons and an increased need for advanced diagnostic equipment to repair vehicles.
   Customers who arrived at the business Tuesday were greeted by a sign in the window telling them that the center's operations have been consolidated with the Free Service stores in Johnson City and Bristol, Tenn. The sign also promised the company will honor all "warranties and car care cards" at its other locations.
   Charles King, store manager for 11 years, began his new job as manager of the Bristol location Tuesday. Two other Elizabethton employees were also hired at the Bristol center.
   According to King, economic reasons led the company to close the Elizabethton branch.
   Free Service currently operates 11 retail locations, two full-service truck tire and service centers, three wholesale centers, truck, and earth-mover retread plants. The businesses are located throughout East Tennessee, Western North Carolina, and in Roanoke, Va.