By GRANT ROWL
GTR Feature Writer
INDUSTRY STAR: Richard Coltharp welcomes new and repeat customers at the showroom of Don Thornton Cadillac in Tulsa, where he sells vehicles of all types, makes and models.
ROSSY GILLE for GTR Newspapers
Richard Coltharp personifies the quintessential American success story.
Coltharp’s father was a U.S. Marine, stationed in California when Coltharp was born. However, due to his mother’s ties to Tulsa, their family soon relocated back to Tulsa, where Coltharp attended Webster High School.
As a young man in 1985, Coltharp found a job at Don Thornton Cadillac, 3939 S. Memorial Drive in Tulsa, washing and detailing cars. His professional life centered for five years, as he says, around a bucket and sponge.
Coltharp was somewhat content in his position through those early years, though his superiors at the company noticed something positive about Coltharp. He did excellent work putting the automobiles into clean shape and always with a positive attitude. So positive, in fact, that in 1990 one of his managers asked Coltharp if he would like to join the sales staff.
Join the sales staff? Coltharp says he was somewhat reluctant to make the change: “I thought back then that it would be scary to go on commission. I was making a guaranteed hourly income. What if I didn’t sell anything?”
It didn’t take him long to find out how good he would become in sales at Don Thornton Cadillac. Almost immediately, he sold his first car. He says, “The first car I sold was a red Cadillac with 9,000 miles to George and Carole Graham. I quickly learned that the thrill of the close is exhilarating. A sale is like making a touchdown in football. It’s exciting.”
No doubt, Coltharp’s gracious attitude and wide smile played a role in his earning himself a small part in the movie “Home Run,” which was filmed in Tulsa.
Today, Coltharp is a top sales person, averaging 20 car sales a month. He says he loves coming to work every day. “The harder you work, the luckier you get,” he adds, again reflecting that positive outlook.
Coltharp’s enjoyment of his job also includes the relationships that he forms with his customers. “I love my customers,” he says, a sentiment that seems to be mutual. A few of his customers often bring him his favorite food: sweets. One customer recently made him two coconut cream pies.
Concerning the excellent automobiles at Don Thornton Cadillac, Coltharp mentions the Cadillac , a mid-size luxury crossover that has been Cadillac’s best selling model in the United States since 2010. He says that he also sells makes and models of vehicles of all types, new or used.
Coltharp is always interested in meeting new customers and making new friends. He can be contacted at 918-852-8927.