DARLINGTON, S.C. — Taylor Harpe has been in the car-selling business in some aspect or another ever since before he could drive.
Harpe, the owner of Harpe Auto Sales, opened up his own car dealership a little more than 12 weeks ago, continuing his family legacy.
Since 1950, the Harpe family has owned used car dealerships throughout Florence, Darlington, Chesterfield and Marlboro counties with a mission to provide a better car-buying experience, Harpe said.
Harpe, a third-generation car dealer, said his grandfather, John Preston Harpe, began selling cars in 1950 before being drafted for the Korean War. When he came back from serving, he continued to build his business for 54 total years.
Taylor Harpe said he began working with his father, Billy Harpe, around the age of 16 at his dealership.
“My dad started wholesaling in 1976 before going into business with my uncle in 1982,” Harpe said. “This year, he will have done it for 44 years. So, I wanted to kind of follow in those footsteps. I opened this one up for myself and it’s very exciting.”
Harpe’s Auto Sales, at 1736 S. Main St., is a used car lot. Harpe said the location was an ideal place to put a car dealership.
“There’s a ton of traffic on this road,” Harpe said. “This used to be a pool place and I approached them and asked them about purchasing it. It’s been a long process, but a good one.”
Harpe said the best thing about being in the car business is meeting and helping people.
“I really like the freedom,” Harpe said. “I enjoy meeting with people and trying to help them out and understand their situations. I really am just trying to provide people with a better option. You have a lot of new car dealerships, but they’re a lot more expensive and, in some circumstances, an independent dealer can really make up for that.”
Harpe said he looks forward to continuing to be involved in the community and doing business in the Pee Dee.
“I’ve been around it for as long as I can remember,” Harpe said. “I’m not just a dealership that pops up over the next couple nights and then is gone. We’ve been here, been in the business forever and intend to keep doing it as long as we can. We try to help people out and make sure to give the best price possible.”
The dealership is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information, contact Harpe Auto Sales at 843-968-9113 or visit their website at harpeauto.com.