With each passing day bringing more tough news about the state of the car companies and the plight of the autoworker, it's sometimes easy to overlook the effect that all of this economic gulag is having on mom-and-pop dealerships across the country. Bringing that idea into stark focus is news that Gregory Graham, a Pennsylvania car dealer recently died of a heart attack while torching cars at his own ailing dealership.

Graham, 61, was found amidst a row of a dozen fire-damaged vehicles on the lot of Graham Colonial Motors early in the morning on Feb. 17, and now police are confirming that the fire was due to arson – rolled up newspapers and a gasoline can were found on the scene.

According to Automotive News, court records indicate that the Pittsburgh-area dealership owed more than $420,000 in 2008 federal tax liens and some $11,000 in county property-tax liens.

The Jeep, Buick, Pontiac dealership closed last week.

[Sources: Automotive News (subs. req); Image: MSNBC]