Flood Pontiac Company, an institution among District of Columbia auto dealers and once the area's only Rolls Royce and Checker dealership, has closed after 47 years.

Flood's showroom at 4221 Connecticut Ave. stopped selling cars three weeks ago and now is clearing its inventory of parts and equipment, said Paul Flood, one of three family members who own the business.

Flood said the dealership "was a victim of inflation," whose demise was triggered by the current slump in auto sales.

The company is not bankrupt and has no fanancial problems -- it simply has gone out of business, Flood said.

Flood sold Pontiacs and Checkers unit last month, but gave up is Rolls Royce agency some time ago.

Another dealer may take over the franchise for Checkers -- the car originally built as a taxi-cab -- but the Pontiac dealership is not likely to be picked up, Flood said.

The dealership was founded in 1933 by Everett Flood, who died in 1972. The business passed to two sons and a son-in law. The Flood founder sold ice in the summer and coal in the winter when he was a boy in Arizona, and once said he turned to selling cars, because customers had so much fun buying them.

Paul Flood said no decision has been made on what to do with the showroom the dealership owns on Connecticut Avenue.

The property is in the Van Ness shopping center, across from the University of District of Columbia campus adjacent to a future Metro subway stop.

The site is considered prime for retail and office development, although not necessarily the best place for a sprawling auto dealership.

Flood Pontiac is the latest in a series of District of Columbia auto dealerships that have closed or moved out of the city lately.

Capitol Cadillac moved from 22nd and N streets NW to Greenbelt, Md., last fall, joining a migration of car dealers to the suburbs.

The financial troubles of Chrysler Corp. and the slump in auto sales that began last summer forced several Chrysler dealers out of business.

Capitol Hill Dodge on K Street NE, Bethesda Chrysler-Plymouth on Hampden Lane and Marlow Heights Chrysler-Plymouth on Branch Avenue closed in August.