McCombs bought his automotive begin at a Ford dealership in Corpus Christi. He excelled as a new-car salesman however moved into used-car gross sales when, as he informed Automotive Information in 2011, he noticed a wage chart displaying he earned lower than the shop’s lowest-paid used-vehicle gross sales worker. He would go on to open two used-vehicle heaps in Corpus Christi, later including a dealership promoting the ill-fated Ford Edsel, earlier than transferring to San Antonio to assist flip round a struggling Ford dealership there.

“I constructed a enterprise empire figuring out of an workplace at a automobile dealership,” he informed Automotive Information in a 2011 profile.

His dealership group would develop at one time into the sixth-largest within the U.S., counting gross sales of $1.3 billion in 1997, in line with Automotive Information in 2011. Purple McCombs Automotive ranked No. 69 on Automotive Information‘ listing of the highest 150 dealership teams within the U.S., with gross sales of 13,905 new autos and 11,378 used autos in 2021. That yr, the nine-store group introduced in $1.13 billion in income.

As of November, the group had seven shops promoting Ford, Toyota, Hyundai and Genesis autos.

In 2008, McCombs was acknowledged with the Texas Car Sellers Affiliation’s Legends Corridor of Fame, which the group mentioned is designed to acknowledge sellers “who’ve created a physique of labor within the business and group that units them aside from all others.”

“A lot of you could have tales to retell and particular reminiscences to relive with respect to ‘Purple,’ ” affiliation leaders, together with President Darren Whitehurst, wrote in a word to sellers after McCombs’ demise.

“Purple’s empire is well-known to all of the Texas sellers as he was concerned in quite a few companies from his franchised dealerships to ranching, sports activities, radio and tv, oil and fuel, and plenty of different enterprise ventures,” the affiliation wrote. “His many donations to the group and quite a few charitable organizations are celebrated and notable.”