Thursday, July 2, 2009
Gibson Auto Parts moves off square
By SUE WATSON
The auto parts business started by Jerry Gibson has moved close to its original home off the square.
Johnny Lafever, current owner of Gibson Auto Parts, sold the building on the downtown Holly Springs square and has moved his parts store into the old Kenneth Smith’s Service Station, a property he has owned about five years.
He said he will have slightly more room for parts, a showroom and more parking space outside for customers.
Lafever has been in the parts business 20 years and Steve Gibson, son of Jerry Gibson, has worked in parts with Gibson’s since the age of 8 (nearly 40 years experience).
Jerry Gibson started the business in the block building that is behind the current parts store on Van Dorn in 1968. In 1969, Gibson moved into the building on the west side of the square and stayed there 40 years before Lafever’s recent move.
Lafever has owned Gibson Auto Parts for six years.
This means that the service station property will find good use. Since the station went out of business with the arrival of steep oil and gasoline prices, the building was occupied by a carpet business which recently closed its doors.
Lafever has the building packed with parts and is about 95 percent moved in, he said.
The new location should make customers happier for the ease of getting in and out.
“Of course, the square gets kind of hectic on Fridays, on the first of the month and on court days,” Lafever said. “We’ll have more parking and it will be easier to get in and out. We can install wiper blades under the canopy when its raining.”
Lafever started working at Gibson’s in 1984 and was with the business for about 10 years before working in parts at John Deere for another 10 years.
Mike Garner, who brings another 40 years or so of experience and who worked for the Chevy place, the Ford place, for John Deere and the International place before they went out of business, works part-time for Gibson’s.
Lafever’s interest in parts kind of runs in the family. His father, Tommy Lafever, worked for Standard Motor Supply for years and was Mr. Gibson’s competition.
“I’ve got a 9-year-old who says that’s what he’s going to do,” Lafever said. “I have a shop at home and we play with a race car and do some drag racing.”
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