The Shelby Cobra is still the ‘King’ of Mustangs' - Dave Knapp
GREENVILLE – Dave Knapp Ford held its First Annual Dave Knapp Mustang Roundup at the Greenville location .
“We have a lot of employees that have their own personal cars here today,” said Dave Knapp. “All Mustangs and we have everything from a GT350 ’65 Fastback and the newest car we have is a 2020 and everything in between.”
“The Shelby Cobra is still the ‘King’ of Mustangs,” added Knapp. “Ford started making them in ’65.”
It has been nearly 28 years since Knapp first came to Greenville and launched Dave Knapp Ford Lincoln at 500 Wagner Avenue not knowing for certain how many years he would be at the location.
“I had no expectations,” Knapp stated. “I just knew I was going to come in here, roll my sleeves up, go to work, infiltrate myself into the community and give back to the community that has given so much to me.”
Now 28 years later, Knapp is continues to come up with new and exciting events for Darke County and the surrounding area.
“This is a time for fellowship and goodwill to the community and just having fun,” Knapp noted. “It is a good time to have fellowship with people that like Mustangs. It is kind of a car show but more of a day where we gather together and fellowship and have fun.”
Knapp believes his longevity as well as any business is based on putting the customers first and resolving customer problems in a timely manor.
“If you do things in the righteous manner you can’t fail,” he said. “We’re going to mess up from time to time because we are human – but we make it right.”
One way Knapp gives back to the community is through the Great Darke County Fair’s Junior Fair.
“Dave is not selfish and that is why he is still in business,” said local businessman and former Darke County Fair Manager and Fair Board President, Brian Rismiller. “Dave gives back any chance he can – he donates to the Junior Fair, he donates everywhere and when you do things like that, you give back to the community, the community comes and supports you and that is how you do it.”
“I think the LORD would call me a ‘cheerful giver’ so He knew He was going to make me successful so I could spread it out – pay it forward and it is personal gratifying to do that,” Knapp said.
Knapp has reduced his workweek to one day turning the day-to-day operation over to his identical twin sons, Bryan and Brad Knapp.
“When COVID hit last year, they sent me home and I had no exit plan,” Knapp said. “When I turned 65 – you have to fill out your Medicare so I started thinking should I retire and then I got rid of that fuzz and just kept on working. The year I turned 70 they sent me home. I only work on Friday. Now I spend a lot of time doing the things I want to do.”
Knapp had no concerns turning the business over to his sons.
“I prepared them over the years,” Knapp shared. “They have held many different positions in the dealership for this day, for this actual day so they are prepared – and I have some old tenured employees.”
“I have employees that have been here for a long time. I have at least 12 employees that have been here over 20 years and some from the beginning, so it’s just been a fun ride.”
“They say life is like a roll to toilet paper – the closer you get to the end the faster it rolls; and it rolls fast. I get up on Monday and, all the sudden its Friday so I still look forward to coming in.”
“What I enjoy the most – my employees are my extended family,” continued Knapp. “I really enjoy them. I am only one guy, I can’t do it all myself. You have to surround yourself with good people and I have done that.”
“I started in the basement and worked my way up – been here for 27 years,” Bryan Knapp said. “It has been great – family business and getting to hang out with dad and my brother along the way as well as my sister.”
“We mix them up,” Bryan said of customers getting him and Brad mixed up. “We have people that have been coming in here for 10 years still get us turned around. We have fun with it but we never intentionally mess with people.”
“The automobile industry is a great industry if you come in with an open mind and an honest heart,” Dave Knapp concluded. “You’ll survive – you will do very well if you can put up with the hours.”