Hugh Tighe, Jr.
Chicago transplant Hugh Tighe, Jr. fell in love with Colorado when he was in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Buckley Field. He served in the Air Force from 1943 – 1945.
After his military service, Hugh returned to Denver and completed his education at the University of Denver. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Airport Management, he joined Continental Airlines as a pilot, ferrying chickens.
Yet Hugh really found his passion in the automotive industry, joining Pueblo’s Vidmar- Mathis Oldsmobile as a salesman in 1951. That marked the beginning of a 55-year love affair with cars.
He briefly returned to Chicago to manage a Dodge dealership. Refusing to do business with Chicago’s mob, Hugh instead returned to Denver. He bought the Thomas Hyer Motor Company at 18th and Downing – another Dodge franchise – in 1962, renaming it Skyline Dodge. He moved the dealership to an old Safeway store at 7100 E. Colfax in 1965. Skyline Dodge found its permanent home in 1969 at 750 S. Colorado Blvd.
Skyline was a fixture on Colorado Boulevard until 1986, when Hugh determined his property was too valuable to remain as a dealership. He sold the dealership, but found a new outlet for his love affair with cars, working another 20 years as an automobile broker. He passed away in 2014.
Hugh was a respected figure in Colorado’s auto industry. He was chairman of the Metro Denver Automobile Dealers Association in 1977 and chaired CADA in 1982. He was Colorado’s nominee for the 1985 TIME Quality Dealer of the Year award.
Hugh married Sandra Hawkersmith in 1969. They had two sons, Hugh III and Steven. He served as a member of the University of Colorado Foundation Board and president of the Porter Memorial Hospital Foundation. He was active in Denver Rotary and served twice as president of the Denver Athletic Club.