I recently had my car in for service. I went to a local auto place that specializes in German vehicles. On the face of it, the place looks like most any other dealership – a combination of vehicles for sale up front, with the garages and mechanic areas around the back. But when I took a closer look around, I began to realize that the vehicles in the showroom and out front weren’t exactly commonplace. I was surrounded by Maseratis, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys, Austin Healeys … and lots of Porsches. Basically, if it was exotic and expensive, it was on display and for sale.
I was curious about how such a collection of high-performance vehicles found its way to Reno, as we are the “land of the big honkin’ truck.” So I began asking the folks who worked there about the various cars. It turns out that the dealership is actually a consignment operation. If you’ve got an exotic car to sell and want maximum exposure to do it, you can bring it down to this place, negotiate space and price with the dealership, and let them take care of showing (and hopefully selling) your car.
Towards the back of the showroom, in a separate area, I found three race-ready Porsches. They were older – late 70s, I think – and were nowhere near as flashy as the cars up front. However, taking a closer look I saw that each of the cars had serious racing harnesses installed … which meant there was definitely more to these cars than met the eye. A mechanic wandered by while I was making noseprints on the windows and gave me some background. Turns out all three of the Porsches I was looking at were owned by the dealership owner. He’s a racer and a Porsche lover. He owned more than just the three Porsches on display, too — in fact, several of the cars I had already looked at belonged to him.
That was when it hit me. John, the owner, had found a perfect way to combine his passion for owning and racing exotic cars with a business opportunity. The people he met while racing had cars to sell. Creating the consignment dealership provided him with a way to facilitate those sales, not to mention allowing him to play with some of the fanciest cars ever designed. He makes money, and enjoys his passion to the fullest. And to me, that was pretty cool.