After 46 years in the family, Harvey’s Chevrolet will be under new ownership starting Nov. 1.


After 46 years in the family, Harvey’s Chevrolet will be under new ownership starting Nov. 1.

Jerry and Jason O’Connor have decided to sell the dealership to Cooper Auto Group so they can pursue their passion for dealing classic cars.

“We’ve decided to do something different. We’re going to concentrate more on classic car sales,” Jerry O’Connor said.

Though the move will ease the father and son into the slow lane and afford them more time with their family, they said they will miss their employees and customers. 

“We really want to thank the city of Shawnee and the tri-county area for all of the business and support,” Jerry said. “Without them we wouldn’t have been as successful as we have been.”

The O’Connors said they had been discussing selling for a few years and had offers from three different companies. Two were in-state companies but the other was from out of state.

They ultimately decided to go with The Cooper Auto Group because they felt the company had would be best for their customers and employees, Jerry said. The overall deal took approximately 90 days to finalize, Jerry said.

The Cooper Auto group is a ford franchise and does not have any other GM franchises, though Joe Cooper’s father actually started as a GM Dealers, Jerry said.

The fact that the Shawnee dealership will be the Cooper Auto group’s only GM dealership gives the Harvey employees added job security because the company won’t have to go looking for trained and certified employees for GM products, Jason said.

“Nothing’s going to change for the employees and everybody’s going to stay intact. Nothing should change for any of our customers, all of our employees will be here to take care all of our current customers,” Jerry said.

The last business day at Harvey’s Chevrolet for the O’Conners will be Oct. 28 and the Cooper group will take over Oct. 1, so transfer of ownership should go over without a hitch, Jason said.

The sale marks the end of an era for Shawneee. Harvey McEver, Jerry’s father-in-law started the business in 1969. The dealership was originally across the street from its current location where it moved in 2003.

The old location will serve as the new venture for the father-son business duo. They plan to jump behind the wheel and accelerate their new journey as soon as they hand the keys over of the Chevrolet dealership over to Cooper.

“We’re making it as seamless as possible,” Jason said. “We’re going to focus mainly on the internet.”   

The two have stored some classic cars at the new location already and along with the decor, it is more akin to an automobile museum than a dealership of any kind.

They currently have an award winning cherry red 1955 Chevy Bel Air with new upholstery and a Z06 corvette engine under the hood.

“It’s just like a brand new car, I built this car,” Jerry said.

Jerry and Jason plan to do minimum restoration on the cars at their new venture and outsource most of it.

They’ve been selling cars in the community for a combined total of 66-years, they want to continue in the business but they would rather set the cruise control and just enjoy the ride.