Check out This Sweet Porsche Shop That's More Car Museum Than Car Dealership
This spot is a site to behold with high-end cars, a gorgeous showroom, and a friendly staff with mad barista skills.
There are all sorts of different car dealerships out there. I’ve been to some where the staff will make you a panini on the spot. I’ve been to others where you have to pay for your own Pepsi. Just like the cars these dealerships sell, they come in all shapes and sizes. Believe me when I tell you that the high-end dealerships are some of the best-looking dealerships around. But this one wasn't just easy on the eyes, it was easy on the soul. It didn't feel like being at a retail shop, it felt more like a museum. A pantheon of Porsche sitting in my backyard — Porsche West Broward.
I know most people only dare to enter car dealerships when they really have to. They hate the entire experience. It's why "No haggle" lots like CarMax have become so popular. I go at least once a week. If you head in there and are honest then you can have a blast. Sales people spend 75 percent of their time sitting around. Tell them up front you're checking out the new cars and want a tour of the dealership and most of them will happily oblige.
At this lot, never mind the obvious appeal of Stuttgart’s greatest encircling you. Every step you take you get a view of something beautiful and it’s not just the cars. Entering the dealership after a quick right on its roundabout you drive past a row of new cars. The customer parking lot is nestled in the middle of rows of 911s, Boxters and Caymans. The large glass front reveals the most sought after treasures in the showroom. Other dealerships can be a confusing mess. Where do I park? Where is the service department? Why is there a giant, inflatable gorilla holding bananas?
Here, the main floor is light, airy, and highlighted by a large TV display on the west wall. The various hallways lead to the parts room, new vehicle delivery areas encased in glass, the gift shop, a viewing area for the service department, and a little coffee stand where one of Porsche’s Brand Ambassadors, Marcos Flores, will gladly serve you up one of his custom concoctions. “You gotta like the brown sugar. That’s the secret!” he says while he hooks up a coffee for me in a Porsche-branded mug.
The real secret is upstairs. You can take the elevator but I prefer the escalator to the top. From there, not only can you see the outside lots and the main floor, but the treasures hidden on the second floor. Behind the ropes, tucked away near the on-site racing simulator, is arguably the single greatest analogue supercar the world has ever seen; a customer’s Porsche Carrera GT is proudly on display. You can look, but you can’t touch. The Carrera GT is roped off in an area which included models from other manufacturers like a Ferrari 360 Modena and 458 Italia. Imagine the cars the Carrera GT owner must have if he's fine with loaning his to the dealership just so they can show it off. It's not something you get to see everyday.
I've seen dealerships have an eye-catching car parked near the street to get people to stop by. It's usually a red sports car or a giant off-road truck. The real treasurers here are tucked away. From the outside, the average person would have no idea there's a Carrera GT, a GT4, a GT3 RS, or any of the other rare gems housed within this sports car cathedral. It made me wonder, how many other dealerships have I written off in the past? How many hidden cars have I missed that are hiding in plain sight nearby?
All these cars give this place a feeling that's more car museum than car dealership. The walls are tastefully adorned with dramatic photographs of various Porsche cars. From the upstairs vantage you get a birds-eye view of the service department where various customer cars are being worked on. The department is so clean you could probably eat off the floor. It looks more like an operating room than a mechanics garage. As I looked at the cars on the lift all I could think was, "Boy I sure hope that car's still under warranty." I didn't ask what the hourly shop rate was butI bet it's crippling.
Flores first greeted us in the side lot as my girlfriend and I were checking out a Sapphire Blue Metallic Panamera hybrid. There are a few tricks to getting the rock star treatment at car dealerships. Be respectful, ask buying questions, and pulling up in a nice car helps too. It's like that episode of Seinfeld where George Costanza carries the picture of a model in his wallet to pick up women. When you have a nice car, they know you're already in the club.
We spent the day with Flores, test-driving various cars. Unlike other dealerships I’ve been to, Marcos never once looked bothered by our requests. In fact, he encouraged us to try other cars. First I had her drive the Panamera, but it was too “Mom-like” for her. Then an older 911 to try out, finally a Cayman. It was the Cayman that tickled her fancy. Specifically, the 718 Cayman S in Racing Yellow that wound up being about $30,000 out of the price range.
“I want to have a happy customer because if you’re happy here, you’ll tell your friends, and you’ll come back to buy more cars in the future,” Marcos said to us. Even though we told him it’s going to take a month or two to get things in order, he was more than willing to show us the fleet. Some dealers will do whatever it takes to jam you into a car or into a financing deal that you'll later regret. Marcos was most concerned with us being smart and making the right purchase than us driving away in something that day. That sort of honestly is rare to find anywhere in South Florida.
It was one of the best near-buying experiences I’ve ever had at a dealership. None of the snootiness you’d expect from a high-end dealer. Gorgeous facility, wide-selection of cars, and friendly staff. Not sure what more you’d want from a dealership. Well, a panini would have been nice.
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