Acadiana Business

Auto dealer Adrian Vega dies

by Leslie Turk

The longtime owner of Acadiana Dodge lost his battle with cancer at the age of 63.

Lafayette auto dealer Adrian Vega died at home Monday night at the age of 63 following a three-month battle with cancer. Born in Cuba, Adrian lived the classic American dream, beginning his career in the auto business as a teenager washing cars and sweeping floors at Dependable Motors. The dealership was located then as it is today, under the big American flag across from Lafayette Regional Airport. He spent his entire career under that flag, a fitting symbol for someone so dedicated to his family, community, employees and country.

Over 45 years, Adrian worked his way up through the ranks at Dependable Motors, eventually buying the dealership and renaming it Acadiana Dodge in 1991. Along the way, he bought and sold dealerships from Lake Charles to Slidell, but the focus remained on growth and acquisition here at home. His expansive local property on Evangeline Thruway offers Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Mazda products along with All Ride Autos nearby.

Although he was well known for his impeccable sense of personal style, Adrian preferred to live a low-key life. A generous contributor to numerous causes, from the Academy of the Sacred Heart and many Catholic charities to UL and Hospice of Acadiana, he did so quietly, never seeking personal recognition.

He also continued to share his success throughout his life with his expanded family back in his native Cuba. "He gave so much," says close friend and company President Mickey Comboy. "He was extremely successful, but he was so generous and a good steward of his money. He was a gentleman. A good man."

Adrian was preceded in death by his first wife Rita and one daughter. He is survived by his second wife Cathie, a daughter, three sons and three grandchildren. The dealership remains family-owned with the current top management team at the helm.

Martin & Castille is in charge of arrangements.