Nashville business leader Neely Coble Jr. dies

Leader of four-generation eponymous truck sales company passes away at 87

Neely Coble Jr., chairman of the well-known regional commercial truck dealership started by his father, died Monday. He was 87.

Coble, who took over the Neely Coble Co. from his father, Neely Sr., was the second of four generations of Cobles who have led the company since it was founded in 1951. The company continues to be closely held. His son, Neely Coble III, is the current president of what is now one of Nashville's largest companies. Coble's grandsons, Neely IV and Edward, are both employees.

One of the country's leading dealers of Freightliner trucks, Neely Coble was for years also the South's leading dealer of Mack Trucks. At its zenith, the company had 14 dealerships across the South plus a leasing arm, which was eventually sold to Hertz/Penske. Under the Coble Enterprises umbrella were contract haulers, repair and maintenance services and Sunbelt Rentals, a leader in leasing of forklifts and other heavy equipment.

Neely Coble Jr.'s funeral will be 2 p.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church, 4815 Franklin Pike.