Once a month, C Magazine interviews a prominent Columbus figure to discuss what makes them tick. This month, we met up with standout gentleman Greg Nelson, owner of Nelson Auto Group.
C Magazine: What one thing do you believe is your greatest achievement?
Greg Nelson: I guess my success. I guess when you look at it, I started in 1981 with a $15,000 loan from my father. I bought two cars with that, and my first annual sales were like $120,000. I think I could do $100 million in sales this year. After 28 years, I think I’ve worked real hard, and I’ve proven myself, and I’ve done it with dignity and respect for people.
C Magazine: What would have been your other career choice?
Nelson: I suppose my second passion is aviation, so I would probably own an airplane brokerage business.
C Magazine: Your biggest pet peeve?
Nelson: I am a perfectionist, so just the littlest things set me off. Everything has a place, and I like everything to be just the way it’s supposed to be.
C Magazine: You get to choose the next law, what is it?
Nelson: Banning seat belt use for people who hold a motorcycle endorsement. If I’m allowed to get on a motorcycle with absolutely no protection around me, including my head, why can’t I get into a 4000 lb. car, with steel all the way around me, without wearing a seatbelt?
C Magazine: What extravagances do you regularly afford yourself?
Nelson: My jet plane.
C Magazine: How hard is it to repo a lambo?
Nelson: We never have.
C Magazine: Biggest mistake you ever made was?
Nelson: Divorcing my second wife, Nancy.
C Magazine: You can have a drink with anyone in history. Name the person, the drink and the place.
Nelson: Boy that’s complicated, because you think sometimes you’d like to have a drink with someone like Hitler. What the hell was he thinking? That would be interesting. I think Kennedy was probably a great guy; I wouldn’t mind talking to him.