For a lot of car enthusiasts there tends to be a certain brand or make that “is their life.” We know many fans of Mopar, Ferrari fanatics and plenty of Porschephiles, but in most cases those cars actually have very little to do with a person’s life or well being, beyond fascination.
That doesn’t hold true to Mike Furman. When he says Corvettes are his life, he means it. From the age of 17 when he started working at Malcom Konner Auto Group in New Jersey, Mike has made his living putting Corvettes in other people’s garages. If you ever wanted to get into Corvette sales, Konner was the place. From the early ‘60s until the family sold the dealership in 1991, Konner was the world’s largest Corvette dealer.
To date Mike has sold more than 3,000 Corvettes and in the process has become one of the biggest names in the new Corvette market. He also holds the GM records for most Corvettes delivered in a single month at 57. We caught up with Mike to ask him about his storied sales career and find out where he wants to go next.
Read on to find out what we learned about this super salesman.
Mike made his first Corvette sale, a 1978 model to Cassius De la Victoria of Washington Township, New Jersey, and he has never looked back. People from all over the world come to Mike to place the orders because he does everything he can to make sure you get exactly what you want; a rare trait in today’s auto sales world.
While Mike says that every one of the 3,012 Corvettes he has sold so far are all unique and memorable, he really enjoys the special circumstances and stories he can help create. Some of his favorite sales are when fathers and sons come in together to get new ‘Vettes.
He mentioned a recent sale in which he arranged for two cars to be built around the same time period so that both father and son could partake in the special R8C Corvette Museum Delivery option. The father lived in Tennessee and the son in Minnesota, but they came together, along with a host of family and friends to celebrate the occasion and take delivery of the cars. Arnie Anderson — the father — used to race Corvettes in his youth.
Mike was even able to use his sales talents to secure a relationship. One time a customer named Paul came in and brought his daughter Maureen. Mike promised he wouldn’t ask to date Maureen if Paul purchased a car. Paul was already aware that his daughter fancied Mike, so instead he challenged him to a game of table tennis for the right to date his daughter. Mike won, and he and Maureen were in relationship for a time.
Apart from selling them, Mike also has a certain affliction for parking Corvettes in his own garage. He is currently on his thirteenth Corvette, a 1992 Convertible in Quasar Blue. The car only has 8,075 original miles. Mike also said he already has a deposit down for the 2015 Z06 that was just announced at the Detroit Auto Show .
I asked Mike what his dream Corvette would be and he picked a model only a true fan would know about. He wants a ’63 split window coupe with the 36-gallon endurance tank donning a red-on-red color scheme.
Beyond the sales and the customer stories, Mike’s success has given the opportunity to meet some great people and experience some truly special events. Larry Shinoda and Zora Arkus Duntov used to visit the Konner dealership on a regular basis, and Mike was even invited to Le Mans a few times to cheer on the Corvette Racing team.
Currently, Mike is only 53 years old, so he has at least another decade before he hits retirement age. He is hoping he can cross over the 5,000 mark before he hangs up his hat. As a bonus feather in his cap, the Marketing Manager of Criswell, where Mike currently works, is trying to get Mike’s record into the Guinness Book of World Records.
Everyone here at TopSpeed wishes Mike the best of luck, and if you want to buy a new ‘Vette for your garage he can be reached at MFurman@CriswellAuto.com.