Fulton Motors in Albuquerque dates back to 1960, but it got its start and name in Houston.
“It was located on Fulton Street in Houston in the 1950s,” said Amy Mathews. “So that’s where my dad got its name.”
Mathews has essentially grown up in the business, learning it from the ground up from her dad, Dave Mathews.
“It was interesting,” she said. “It was something different everyday. And it was definitely a nontraditional career for a woman.”
She first started selling on the lot in the 1970s as a teenager and “women were not selling vehicles at all.”
And since by then the dealership had evolved into primarily a truck lot, it was even more unusual, Mathews said.
“I believe we were the first all-truck dealership in Albuquerque and probably New Mexico,” she said. “That’s what made us unique.”
But it also made the occasional buyer a bit leery – if only briefly.
“I had to know what I was talking about,” Mathews said. “Even still today I’ll sometimes get somebody who says, ‘What engine is it, or do you know?’ I better know.”
While Mathews briefly worked with some local new-car dealers, she took it over in 1988 when her father passed away. Then her husband joined the business, Duke, joined the business.
She credits her dad for teaching how to sell and how to buy.
“Those are the two important things you had to know,” Mathews said. “And he also told me to stick to what I know and not to branch out into other areas. We know trucks and we drive trucks, too.”
And Fulton has continued to evolve, moving into strictly small utility, commercial trucks.
“Because everybody has regular trucks,” Mathews said. “You can find regular trucks on any corner, but these are special.”
The company faced its biggest challenge surviving the recession of 2008, but it kept right on going.
“It was horrible during the recession,” she said. “But you just had to tighten your belt the best you can and keep going. It wasn’t easy.”