Wednesday, June 6, 2012
In the summer of 1961, Keen Ford owner Don Keeney received a visit from a friend that changed his life.
“Ron Phillips, the sales manager (for Jameson Ford,) came to my house and asked me if I would sell Ford cars,” said Keeney. “I said I couldn’t sell anything. We discussed that and he said ‘why don’t you try it,’ and I really liked it. I’ve been peddling them ever since.”
It was then that Keeney began his almost-51 year career in auto sales here in Fulton. In May ‘92, he bought Callaway County’s oldest franchised dealership — which had become Tower Ford by that point — and changed its name once more to Keen Ford, dropping the ‘ey’ off of his name for advertising purposes. Keen now celebrates its 20th anniversary with a sale.
Keeney has made a name for himself at the dealership, which started as Jameson Ford in 1913. By the time Keeney was ready to buy, he and John Jameson had become good friends.
“When I started to buy the store, he was the only person I went to, to ask what he thought,” said Keeney. “I told him ‘I’m gambling every penny I have trying to buy this store,’ and he said ‘buy it.’”
The gamble’s paid off. 20 years into his investment, Keeney is celebrating with a 20th anniversary sale on many of the vehicles in his lot, slated to go on until June 9. Keeney said he has no plans to retire, and he hopes to see many more of the dealership’s anniversaries.