Chase Craven; GM|Ford Dealer!


Tonight I have the pride and pleasure to expand on an announcement that, depending on who you ask, could be considered one of the worst kept secrets within my sphere of friends. That said, my friend Chase Craven has become the Dealer Partner/Owner of ‘Family Automotive’ – Chevrolet, GMC, Ford.

Typing with a thin veil of experience, this is not a small thing. For example, securing and purchasing a new car franchise has morphed from a challenge, to almost an honor. When a new car franchise opportunity is available, it’s often gobbled up by dealers that own multiple stores, or mega dealers of the world (AutoNation, for example), or other entities.

What do I know about the new car franchise dealership business, you ask? Not much, but maybe just enough to type a sentence or two. My late wife’s dad, Jim Black, owned Santee Motor Company (Pontiac, Buick, GMC) in Manning, and Longstreet Motor Company (Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, Pontiac, GMC) in Kingstree, South Carolina. After we were married, I traveled and worked at the dealership for a bit. It was a good experience, and I learned a lot from her father. A few months after my stint at the dealership Kinsey passed away, and he sold Santee Motor Company to local GM friendly competitor, Prothro Chevrolet. Mr. Black still owns Longstreet Motor Company today in Kingstree (with a local partner). Now you know why I drive a Cadillac. 🙂

What I’m getting at is that securing a new car franchise dealership is no small thing. I’m proud of Chase for navigating through the process and making this opportunity happen.

I’ve known Chase a long time. He didn’t know this until I reminded him years after, but I first met him while selling GAP insurance to automobile dealerships around the state. This was a short profession in my life, but where I first met Chase, as he was the F&I manager at Bilton Ford in Sumter, SC.

Reversing roles, Chase first ‘met me’ at where many friendships begin in Columbia, SC – Za’s! Here’s the scene (and this is a fraction of it). Chase and I are sitting at the ‘big table’ across from the bar at Za’s. You know the one. It’s the high top table that can sit 8 to 12 folks which sits along the wall directly across the room from the big bar. Chase and I are in conversation about former girlfriends. After 15 or 20 minutes Chase looked straight in my face and asks, “Do you know a guy, Franklin Jones?” I pause for a moment and think to myself, “OK. Where do I want to take this?” Well, to my direct left sat mutual friend, Tige Howie, who happens to be laughing his A** off at Chase’s inquiry, which sucked all the mojo out of any response I would have given. We both tell the story to this day and have been great friends ever since.

I’ve known his wife, Becky, a long time as well.  During weekdays we see Becky far more than we see Chase, as she’s a mortgage specialist with First Citizen’s Bank. She is one of our favorite lender partners, actually, and Amanda and I love doing business with her.  Chase being the Dealer/Partner at Family Ford-GMC-Chevrolet will be a fun and exciting endeavor for Becky, too!

Here’s the thing. I shop loyal. I try to shop local and loyal, but sometimes loyal trumps all (Again, I drive that Cadillac because of Mr. Black). That said, Chase Craven and I have become friends on a level that I would go out of my way to trade with him. I trust Chase, and support him. I’m proud of him, and want the best his awesome family who Jennifer and I now call neighbors.

Well done, Chase & Becky Craven.  I’ll meet you at the neighborhood pool steps to exchange leads. Haha.

Oh yeah….I need a black Suburban LT, tan seats, no nav, no roof, no tow, full fob/lock system. Ready….GO. 🙂

Your friend,



  1. I buy local for unique items but a Chevy Tahoe from dealer A is no different than a Chevy Tahoe from dealers B, C, D… or Z. I have used TrueCar to purchase my last three vehicles and have been very pleased with results. I’m willing to purchase local if the local dealer will meet me on price, but if not I’m perfectly willing to drive up to 150 miles to save $1,000+.

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