Phil Dagger, ‘almost too nice’ salesman who established automotive empire, dies at 69

Phil Dagger, who reworked a compact utilized auto whole lot in Colwood into the greatest independent automotive and leisure vehicle team in B.C., has died unexpectedly.

Dagger, 69, was located useless sitting on the sofa at his North Saanich household on Monday.

He was born on Jan. 8, 1952, in Birkenhead, England and put in the early part of his lifetime in the U.K. He immigrated to Canada in the 1970s, next his parents and his older sister, Janice, who experienced arrived earlier.

He was a chef by trade and worked in the kitchens of a amount of effectively-regarded motels for 20 several years. He made the decision to strike out on his individual and opened a tiny restaurant in Brentwood Bay. After doing work 16-hour days attempting to make his undertaking lucrative, he hung up his apron for the very last time on Xmas Eve 1986.

With his easygoing character and his potential to make pals with nearly every person he achieved, Dagger made the decision to check out selling autos.

“I was a mediocre salesman at most effective,” Dagger mentioned in 2015. “But that was an enhancement over the complete catastrophe of jogging my possess cafe.”

Mates don’t forget his early initiatives effectively. “He was nearly far too good to be in the car organization,” claimed Bruce Walker, who has regarded him for far more than 30 a long time. “He finished just offering absent the earnings on every vehicle he marketed. He was way much too sort.”

When an prospect to acquire Galaxy Motors, a compact employed-vehicle dealership, introduced itself in 1990, Dagger snapped it up. In typical motor vehicle-organization manner, he purchased the business with no revenue down and payments of $1,666.66 for every month for two a long time.

With a mortgage of $10,000 from his mom to purchase inventory, all the significant financial institutions owning turned him down, he was in business.

The enterprise has developed in the earlier 31 many years to encompass 8 operations spanning Vancouver Island, with five automotive and three RV dealerships in Langford, Courtney, Parksville and Nanaimo.

In the early times, Dagger washed and marketed the cars himself, once more operating 16-hour days. Now the enterprise employs about 160 folks.

Even as his empire grew, Dagger never missing his particular contact.

“He was unquestionably an aged-faculty self-built guy,” explained Todd Mechalchuk, president of operations at Galaxy Motors. “Every morning and lunch, he would make his rounds, declaring howdy to the income employees, to the people in company and discuss with prospects.”

His gregarious mother nature did not stop there. Each individual Saturday, he would host a barbecue at the dealership, where he would make it a level to chit-chat with everyone.

“His business was his daily life and his employees have been his family members.”

Dagger, who nevertheless owned ­Galaxy when he died, formed extensive bonds with his lots of competition. “He was properly respected in the industry,” explained Leonard Carson, basic manager at Suburban Motors. “I will pass up listening to his viewpoint of the industry.”

Foods shared with relatives performed a massive element in Dagger’s existence. Cooking was his first passion and he frequently cooked foods for his niece, Amy Jones, and her relatives.

“He designed a killer key rib,” mentioned Jones. “He enjoyed cooking for buddies and relatives. He was also happy to go on the techniques he discovered in teaching them to my 15-year-aged daughter.”

Dagger’s other hobbies included travelling to off-the-crushed-path destinations and poker, with repeated trips to Las Vegas, reported Jones.

Dagger hardly ever married nor experienced young children.“Phil was like a father to me and he regarded me as the daughter that he in no way experienced,” reported Jones.

Dagger is also survived by a nephew, Mark Jones (Amy’s brother), who will work in Japan.

A memorial and celebration of everyday living is tentatively planned toward the conclusion of September, with a day and place to be ­determined.

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