LARGO — Scott Harris went looking to buy a vehicle after being transferred here from Houston. He almost didn't get one.
"I needed something reliable to get me to work, and I didn't want to buy a new vehicle," said Harris, who builds aviation parts and airplanes and moved to Clearwater on Nov. 24.
"I went to six dealers and none of them would work with me because I didn't have a Florida driver's license yet," he said.
But seven was the lucky number.
Greg Yancar of Yancar and Sons Auto Sales in Largo had a 1997 Land Rover for $3,595. "It was exactly what I wanted," said Harris, 40.
The two men made a deal. Harris put some cash down and makes weekly payments.
The Land Rover "looks great and runs good," Harris said.
Yancar, the third generation in his family to be in the preowned-auto sales business in Pinellas County, had an online site for years. This summer, he expanded and opened a retail shop in Largo.
The search for a workspace began last year when Yancar, 42, and Kevin Clinton, 43, decided to become partners and find a building that would allow them to put their two businesses under one roof. They've been friends since their years at Largo High.
Yancar has worked in auto sales for 17 years, first as a finance manager for Walker Ford, then as an owner who often buys from his former employer.
"I like to buy from dealers," he said. "I don't do auctions, and I don't sell anything I wouldn't put my wife and kids in."
Clinton owns Largo Automotive and does repairs and maintenance. He has been an auto mechanic since 1985 and in 2000 bought his father-in-law's business, Largo Radiator and Automotive, and changed the name.
The men leased a 3,000-square-foot building at 1300 Seminole Blvd. that had been used for a boat sales business for about 25 years.
Former Clearwater City Commissioner Bill Nunamaker has owned and managed the property for six years. He said he invested $50,000 in upgrades before Yancar and Clinton could move in.
Clinton has his workshop in the back of the building and an office in the showroom.
Yancar has an office to the side of the showroom and has 10 cars, trucks, vans and SUVs displayed outside the building. The vehicles are priced at $4,000 and under. He said he is working on adding 10 newer models for $5,000 to $15,000.
His website features photos, information and slide shows on vehicles ranging from a 1996 Saab for $1,695 to a 2008 VW Beetle for $15,995.
Yancar said he always recommends that prospective buyers take the vehicles to their own mechanics. "I don't make them. I just sell them," he said.
Caitlyn Foster of Thonotosassa found what she wanted at Yancar's online site: a 1999 Ford F-150.
The 17-year-old had begun looking for a truck in February after an accident in which her previous truck was destroyed.
She and her parents met with Yancar and "he gave her a deal that she could manage," said her mother, Aimee Foster. "This is a nice truck. It's immaculate."
The price was $6,000. Caitlyn used her savings to pay half, and her parents paid the rest.
"I can't express how nice and thoughtful he was to her," Aimee Foster said. "He even knocked a bit off the price. He made it a very nice experience for her."