With more than a half-century working with motorcoaches, it’s not surprising that Dan Shoup has developed a reputation as a bit of an industry sage.
“Dan’s a go-to if you have a question about anything about motorcoaches,” said Randy Angell, National Sales Manager for Temsa.
When the Turkish coach manufacturer launched its first 35-foot coach in the United States a decade ago, Shoup’s expertise was key to fine-tuning the vehicle for the North American market.
Dan Shoup offers wit with wisdom
“He was one of the very first operators to own one. We sent a whole team of our mechanics over from Turkey to work directly with Dan to improve things and make things better. He was instrumental in helping us through all the new product development stuff early on. For us, he’s our go-to guy,” Angell said.
Trenton Stange, the owner of Compass Coach in Cedar Springs, Michigan, says he has always appreciated the wit that Shoup supplied with his wisdom.
“I remember the first time I brought my bus here and asked, ‘Do you mind working on it?’ He goes, ‘Hell no; if your bus is here, I’m making money on it, plus your bus isn’t on the road,’” said Stange, making both men chuckle during a tour of the Cardinal Tours facility as part of the Midwest Bus and Motorcoach Association (MBMCA) convention itinerary.
Selling the company
Motorcoaches are Shoup’s life. He’s the third generation at Cardinal Tours, a transportation business started by his grandfather in 1923. Without a fourth generation ready to take the reins, he and his brother, Matt, sold the Middlebury, Indiana, business in 2019 to GO Riteway in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
“They aren’t really changing it. We were a family company and they’re a family company,” Shoup said.
As part of the deal, the brothers stayed on for two years to help with the transition. That term expired in March.
“My brother has always been in the front office. I’ve always been in the shop,” Shoup said.
The brothers were honored with the Large Operator Vision Award at the 2018 UMA EXPO in San Antonio.
Pillars of the industry, community
The Shoup family has been a pillar not only of the motorcoach industry, but of their hometown.
His dad, John Shoup, served as president and board member of the Middlebury Town Council and was active in many civic organizations, including service as commissioner of the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau. There’s even a “Shoup Room” at the convention and visitors bureau offices in tribute to the family’s decades of support of the community.
The community rolled out the red carpet for the MBMCA, which had its annual convention in Elkhart, Indiana, in July. It marked Shoup’s last year on the association’s board.
“It’s very fitting for us to be in Indiana because this is Dan Shoups’ last year. He sold this business, so it worked out very well that we were in his area this year,” said MBMCA Executive Director Cherie Hime.
Next stage of life
At 69, Shoup is making plans for the next stage of his life. It will mean more time with his wife, who has been understanding about his motorcoach passion.
“Some of my dates with my wife, she’d be sitting in the front seat and I would be washing the bus,” said Shoup, adding that she was understanding about his work schedule, which could take him away at a moment’s notice or send him on the road for days at a time.
He also has a few shop projects he would like to tackle.
“I’ve got an older bus and a couple of older cars and a boat and stuff. So I’ll go over there and fiddle around,” he said.
Angell says he’s sad to see Shoup retire.
“He’s someone you don’t want to see go away,” said Angell. “And I don’t think he will. I think he’ll always be part of the motorcoach industry as long as he’s breathing on this Earth.”