April 12, 2024

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Longtime automobile dealer Mike Steven dies at age 80

Longtime automobile dealer Mike Steven dies at age 80

Longtime automobile dealer Mike Steven has died at age 80. One of his ahead-of-its-time ideas was a motorized bike store in Wichita well before the bikes became popular nationally.

Longtime vehicle supplier Mike Steven has died at age 80. Just one of his forward-of-its-time ideas was a motorized bike retailer in Wichita properly ahead of the bikes became well-known nationally.

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For most of past week, there was a table reserved at the Candle Club for a person who would not be coming to use it.

Which is because longtime regular Mike Steven — one particular of only two persons who experienced his title embroidered on a Candle chair — died Wednesday at age 80. In his honor, the club didn’t seat everyone at the desk, which experienced a signal with his title on it, an unlit cigarette in an ashtray and his preferred Ten High bourbon with a splash of drinking water.

“Well, that was his place,” reported Brandon Steven, his 3rd cousin. “He was there a great deal. Most of his small business was completed there.”

By way of the several years, Brandon Steven acquired a amount of vehicle dealerships from Mike Steven, together with his father’s Eddy’s Toyota of Wichita, and the Candle Club is in which they would negotiate.

“Mike will negotiate tooth and nail on each individual deal,” Brandon Steven explained. “He’s heading to rely the staples in the stapler.”

However, he additional, “In enterprise, I figured out this from Mike . . . and I say it all the time, a truthful deal is a very good deal for you and a great deal for me.”

As challenging of a negotiator as he could be, Brandon Steven stated his cousin “was one particular of the most generous people” in his personal existence.

“You ended up not going to pay out for a consume or meal if Mike was there.”

Retired auto vendor Dawson Grimsley of Davis-Moore Vehicle Group reported Mike Steven “always tried to buy me a set of golf clubs simply because he desired me to go just take off and play golf rather of competing towards him.”

They didn’t constantly concur, like when a 17-calendar year-outdated Grimsley pinstriped a auto for Steven and “he sort of raised hell for how substantially I billed him.”

The two later on did significantly larger enterprise together.

“Mike experienced his good friends and foes, but when Mike informed you a little something, you could set it in the bank,” Grimsley claimed. “I bought a Chrysler keep from him again in the working day on a handshake.”

Parks Motors operator John Culver said when he bought his dealership in 1990, Steven arrived at out to supply aid.

“There was no one that was better enjoyment or had far better tales just after several hours,” Culver mentioned. “His tales would maintain you at the bar well past quittin’ time.”

Most of individuals stories are the kinds that possibly should not be shared in an obituary or a relatives newspaper.

“Well, no, I’m going to have to draw the line there,” Culver claimed.

There was one more side of Steven as well. Culver said when his daughter worked at the Initially Place, she always reported, “Mike was just the most genteel gentleman to wander by means of the doorway.”

In company, Culver said Steven “was often variety of avant-garde” with the “freshest ideas on the block. Now, they didn’t constantly operate, but they were absolutely novel ideas.”

That involves leasing cars from a place at the shopping mall, taking into consideration using his compact dealership public when no other folks had been carrying out so and promoting motorized bikes lengthy ahead of they became popular.

“This dude was about a mile in advance of most people else,” Culver said.

In the Wichita automobile group, he said, Steven was “about the last of the aged guard.”

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In honor of the late Mike Steven, the Candle Club final week did not seat any individual at his table, which had a indicator with his identify on it, an unlit cigarette in an ashtray and his favored 10 Large bourbon with a splash of water. Courtesy photo

Candle Club handling spouse Judah Craig mentioned Steven appreciated the club since he could smoke there and it has “the old-college really feel.” The club even saved Vegas-design and style eyeglasses — a taller, thinner variation of a traditional cocktail glass — for Steven.

His desk was the 1st a person previous the hostess stand “so he could sort of see the entire place,” Craig reported.

Just after the death of Midwest Company Aviation owner Marvin Autry — the only other Candle member with the exclusive embroidered chair — the club honored him by maintaining a photo of Autry in entrance of his favourite plane. Craig reported he’ll do some thing related for Steven.

However, he claimed, “It’s unquestionably going to truly feel like something’s missing around below.”

Carrie Rengers has been a reporter for more than 3 many years, like just about 20 several years at The Wichita Eagle. Her Have You Listened to? column of enterprise scoops runs 5 times a week in The Eagle. If you have a suggestion, you should e-mail or tweet her or get in touch with 316-268-6340.