|To say that Charlie Davis is loyal is certainly an understatement considering the fact that he has now worked for Findlay Auto for 54 years.
You might say that Charlie Davis is riding a quite a wave with Findlay Automotive Group considering that he just celebrated his 54th year with the company in June.
After more than a half of century soaking up the history of one of Nevada’s oldest independently-owned businesses, the 77 year-old Davis probably knows as much history about the company as anyone.
When Davis got wind that founder Pete Findlay needed someone to detail cars for Continental Import Motors at 1600 E. Fremont St., Davis walked all the way from downtown Las Vegas to get the job that paid about $95 a week.
Continental Motors would become known as Pete’s Used Cars before the group was awarded the Oldsmobile franchise May 21, 1961. Since then, the company now run by Findlay’s son, Cliff, has become entrenched not only in the car business but the community at the same time.
Now the company’s courier along with being the longest-tenured Findlay employee, Davis is literally part of the landscape with the company that has erupted in growth to include dealerships in Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and Arizona. He was only 23 years of age at the time he joined the company and had no idea that the car business would grow on him like it has in the past half century.
Davis, a native of Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio, he came to Southern Nevada after being stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in September of 1959. He said the Air Force taught him the discipline he has utilized during his career with Findlay Automotive.
While Davis joked four years ago that he wasn’t interested in trying for another 50 years, he also has no plans to retire any time soon. He puts miles on his tennis shoes every day and sitting on a porch reading a magazine isn’t in his future plans.
“I really like it here,” said Davis. “I just like the activity of Las Vegas. All my sisters and brothers live in Tennessee or Ohio, but the sidewalks and the stores all close up at about 8 at night and in fact, some close earlier than that. On the weekends, they’re not even open.”
In addition, Findlay Automotive Group has too many memories to leave behind.
“I could write a book about working for the Findlays,” he said. “Pete Findlay was like a father to me. He taught me to enjoy life and be happy. I took his advice and away I went. I treat everyone just like Pete did. Pete always helped other people and I wanted to be like him.
“Pete taught me to always carry a smile. I’m the same all the time.”
Over the years, Davis has been recruited by several other businesses.
“I stayed here because the Findlay family has always been good to me,” he said. “I just felt that I could nobody would treat me as good as the Findlays.”
Cliff Findlay once said that Davis is not only a big part of the company, but also part of the family. In fact, when Pete Findlay decided to move his family from Panaca to Las Vegas in the early 1961, it was Davis who he called on to spearhead the move down the two-lane Highway 93 for a 180-mile journey no one will ever forget.
“Cliff is a lot like his dad in that he is always helping people,” Davis said. “He has a big heart and he’s always checking on people. He goes out of his way to help as much as possible.”
In fact, Findlay also recalled that it was Davis who used to drive his three kids to and from school in the 1980s. The family sons, Justin, Robby and Nathan are all now executives with the company.
Findlay Automotive CFO Tyler Corder also said earlier that Davis represents longevity in the company adding “Half of the battle is just showing up and Charlie has now done that for more than 54 years. We use Charlie as an example of how people can make a career working with our company.”
Davis said he missed only about 10 days in the first 50 years before needing a little more time off when contacting gout in April of 2014.
“I had it for two weeks and that was the sickest I have been since going to work for Pete,” he said. “I don’t want to quit working because people who retire too early get sick and die.”
Davis and his wife of 35 years, Mercedes, have three grown children including girls Jennifer Cali and Lilliana Jessica Davis and son Charles Patrick Davis; along with one grandson, Isaac Matthew Davis.
Further information regarding Findlay Automotive can be found by visiting www.findlayauto.com.