Henry Cherner, 74, a former partner in the old Cherner Motor Co. in Washington and the Cherner-Shirlington Motor Co., its Arlington affiliate, died Saturday at Fairfax Hospital after a heart attack.

Mr. Cherner was born in Russia and came to this country with his family at the age of seven.

After graduating from the old Polk High School here, he opetated a used-car business for several years. He then joined his late brothers, "Uncle Joe" Cherner and Leon, in operating the dealerships.

In 1961, he sold his share of the business and devoted himself to other commercial interests, including real estate and stock market investments.

Mr. Cherner lived in Crystal City. He was active for more than 30 years in the Progress Club and served as club president in 1960 and 1961. He also was a Mason and a member of the Samuel Gompers Lodge 45.

Survivors include his wife, Betty Tary Cherner, of the home; three sons, Stanley and Gerald, both of Silver Spring, and Herbert, of Potomac; a stepson, Dr. Douglas K. Tavenner Jr., of Frederick, Md.; a brother, Reuben, of Washington; two sisters, Ann Gertler, and Luba Lapkoff, both of Maryland, and eight grandchildren.

The family suggest that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions in his name to the Mark Cherner Memorial Fund, Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim Congregation. CAPTION: Picture, HENRY CHERNER