Auto business erases Chargers from its walls

Posted at 6:22 PM, Jan 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-13 21:22:11-05

San Diegans are still coming to terms with the Chargers leaving after more than half a century.

But losing the team means even more to one local business and hitting its already cash-strapped owner.

Brian Terrell's most significant life events always seemed to include the Chargers. He met his wife on a blind date at a game eight years ago.

When he bought an Oceanside smog shop in 2012, it was only natural for him to give it a Chargers theme.

He has framed jerseys, football cards, pennants, and an autographed license plate.             

Now, Terrell is spending his time erasing his once beloved team from its walls.

“I’m sad,” Terrell said. “I don't know who isn't that wasn't a charger fan."         

But the team's move to Los Angeles isn't just hurting Terrell’s heart. It's hurting his bottom line.

Now Terrell is taking down his gear, and rebranding to an old gas station vibe with a modern classic rock twist. But buying those vintage signs is expensive; the real ones can cost thousands.

And Terrell said he hasn't been able to afford a charger ticket in years. So he'll be buying more affordable replica signs, which can fade fest.

“I'll have to slowly acquire authentic signs as i can afford them,” Terrell said.

Terrell isn't just removing Charger  memorability from his walls, he's also offering to remove Charger bumper stickers from anyone's car.

Terrell said he'll do it for free with any smog check. 

But there are still two Charger-related things Terrell won't touch. One is his framed Junior Seau jersey.

“He's an Oceanside local native,” Terrell said. “I actually knew him, I used to do business a long time ago, and he was always a really genuine nice guy. “

The other, is the name: Lighting Smog.

“I'm not going to abandon my name. I've built the brand, I'm sticking with it,” Terrell said.

That’s something many San Diegans wish the Chargers had done for them.