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Family’s passion for cars drives 69 Auto Sales

Jimmie Frost and Janice Maki on the left, stand next to son Luke Holsey and wife Crystie during the ribbon cutting ceremony at 69 Auto Sales. Pictured with Holsey’s daughter, Jazlyn, the family is excited at the opportunity to own their own business and serve the community. (Photo by Kevin Morgan)

September 8, 2017 – If two’s company and three’s a crowd, then four must be the just the right number for a family business. At least, that’s how it is at 69 Auto Sales, a car lot run by two generations of Excelsior Springs residents, Jimmie Frost and Janice Maki, and son and his wife, Luke and Crystie Holsey. Paired up with Nikki Seely, who runs the office, and a man the family refers to affectionately as “Ray the Mechanic,” the whole group is full of enthusiasm and an easy camaraderie not often found at car lots.

Jimmie and Janice are old hands at owning and running a company. Both owned an electricians’ business for decades. But after 30 years, they were eager to try something new. It’s easy to see that Jimmie is a natural born salesman, full of charm and humor. Janice prefers what she called “manual labor.” She details each car, so that the rows of vehicles available on their lot shine.

As for Luke, cars have been his passion for years. His experience comes from buying vehicles in need of repair, fixing them, and reselling them. As an experienced mechanic, his expertise is central to the success of the business.

His wife has her own full-time job, taking care of the three young children. She was a stay-at-home mom before her husband and his parents convinced her to take the gigantic leap into the auto business. Now, she works at 69 Auto Sales four days a week, dedicated, like the rest of them, to making their business thrive.

But the great part about owning and running a car lot as a family is that there is no competition between any of them. A sale by one is a sale by all, Jimmie says, although they all laughingly admit that it was Crystie, the one who had initially been most reluctant to throw their everything into a new business, who sold the first car.

“Of course, she tripped me running out the door,” her father-in-law joked. But, all kidding aside, he explained, their business is “Team 69 Auto,” and the “one for all, all for one” mentality is genuine.

Read the full story in the Friday, September 8, issue of The Standard.

By Samantha Kilgore •

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