CARS Recon founder Ron Hope, a veteran of more than 50 years in the auto auction industry, died last week at the age of 80.

Hope, who passed away June 21 at his home in Franklin, Tenn., formed Capital Automotive Reconditioning Services in 2002, growing the operation from a single location with 12 employees to a national corporation with a staff of more than 700 operating in 19 states.

In 2022, after 20 years at the helm, Hope stepped down as president and turned the company’s day-to-day operations over to new president Becky Anderson. He retained the titles of chairman and CEO.

Hope began his automotive career with Chrysler in the 1960s and moved into the auto auction sector in roles with ADT Auction Group and ADESA. In 1999 he formed Global Automotive Solutions and began consulting for British Car Auctions, assisting its growth across Europe. He founded CARS on his return to the U.S.

Hope served in the U.S. Navy and was heavily involved in racing as owner of a rebuilt dragster called “Rat Trap” and the Rat Trap Racing team.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Dianne, and children Wendy Landsiedel, Brian Hope, Virginia Veal, Rebecca Anderson, Deborah Wright and Jeneal Whitmore, as well as 18 grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Shriners Hospital.