Special Series: True Stories From a Former Car Dealer

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer

Car Pro Show host Jerry Reynolds has more stories than you can count about his decades on the retail side of the car biz before leaving it all behind to become a full-time advocate for car buyers on the Car Pro Show.  He shares exclusive behind-the-scenes looks at his life as a former car dealer in this special series: True Stories from a Former Car Dealer.

Car Auctions

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: Auctions

The first dealership I owned was a Buick dealership in Irving, TX.  It all happened very quickly, but that is a different True Story.  I was 29-years old, and Jerry Reynolds Buick was going to be a challenge.  GM had downsized the Buick lineup and had gone to front-wheel drive platforms, something widely rejected by the older base of Buick […]

19 comments
True Stories From a Former Car Dealer

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: Dick

People in the car sales business today, unless they were lucky enough to have parents who owned a dealership, were trained.  Some dealerships do the training themselves, some hire firms that do this as a business, and some hire individuals who travel around holding training classes. When I got into the business in the mid-seventies, I was promoted to being […]

6 comments
True Stories Police

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: The Po-Lice

Early in my career running dealerships, the first one I worked at was in a somewhat rough part of town in Dallas.  There were only two dealerships on the street where the dealership was located: the Ford store I worked at and a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership next door that eventually closed. We had more than our fair share of thefts, so […]

10 comments
True Story Golf

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: Golf

To say I hate playing golf is a bit of an understatement.  To say I suck at it is also an understatement.  In spite of many lessons by some really good golf pros, I never got the hang of hitting the ball off a tee. I am actually a pretty good putter, but generally, I have hit the ball 7 […]

5 comments
Ordering Cars

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: Ordering Cars

In the car business, inventory management is one of the hardest tasks at a dealership.  You may or may not be aware that all those bright, shiny cars you see at dealerships are financed.  When a dealer orders a car from the factory, as soon as it rolls off the assembly line, the cost of the car is added to […]

16 comments
True Stories Former Car Dealer Shaguar

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: The Shaguar

I have always had a fascination with unusual cars.  When you have been in the car business a long time, you get opportunities to see unique vehicles.  Over the years, I traded for some tricked out and rare Mustangs, Cobras, and Thunderbirds.  I typically kept something cool at home to drive on the weekends. One of my favorites was a […]

4 comments
True Stories From a Former Car Dealer: Lifts

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: Lifts

Hydraulic lifts are a critical part of any dealership’s service department.  How to properly put a vehicle on a lift is one of the most critical things a technician can learn.  To be perfectly honest, I was always afraid of them.  When I had a customer with a concern, I would often get under a car six feet off the […]

12 comments
Cars That Are Lemons

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: Lemons

No dealership wants to sell a lemon, but at the time of sale, you have no idea how well a car is going to perform down the road.  No automaker is immune to building bad vehicles.  It happens with the cheapest vehicle sold and many that will set you back six figures. I’ve talked many people out of purchasing Ford […]

8 comments
True Stories from a Former Car Dealer

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: The Sign

This story comes from the same time and same dealership I wrote about in segment #16, the EXP.  As a reminder, the Ford dealership was on a major freeway, but the property was very narrow and hard to see.  We could maybe put 25 cars across the front for viewing purposes, which is not a lot by most standards in […]

7 comments
Ford EXP

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: The EXP

The year is sometime around 1983, and I was the General Manager of a Ford dealership in Dallas.  The dealership sat on a very expensive piece of property that is today a high-rise office building.  It was a strange setup for a dealership, the lot was very narrow, but very deep. I almost didn’t take the job in 1980.  The […]

8 comments
Car Ignition Switches

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: Ignition Switches

The year was 2001, and I had agreed to be the first Ford dealer to ever serve back-to-back terms as the Chairman of the Ford Dealers Council.  It was a stretch of my time for sure, but the Council had a lot of momentum, and that could be lost in a transition of leadership.  By me continuing, we could resume […]

9 comments
True Stories From a Former Car Dealer

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: I Quit

I was a junior in High School in the mid-1970s, working after school and all day on Saturday.  I started my career in the prep department, also known as the “make ready” or “get ready” department.  Back then, vehicles came in somewhat incomplete. The pickups were delivered to the dealership with the hubcaps and exterior mirrors boxed in the front […]

26 comments
True Stories Psychic Helps Find Money

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: The Psychic

Early in my career, sometime around 1977, I became a sales manager at the dealership I started at in Dallas.  I was young for the job, but had worked extremely hard, and made a lot of friends.  Upper management seemed to really trust me. When I knew they really trusted me was when they gave me a set of keys to the […]

12 comments
True Stories Hawaii

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: Hawaii

It was mid-November, 1982 and I had just quit my job at the only place I had ever worked, a Ford dealership in Dallas.  I started washing cars there 10 years earlier and rose through the ranks, eventually becoming the General Sales Manager at the age of 22. The Owner of the dealership obtained it from his father, who was […]

8 comments
9.11.01 True Stories from a Former Car Dealer

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: 9.11.01

Depending on your age, there are some events in life you remember exactly what you were doing when they occurred.  For me, it was when John Kennedy was shot, the first space shuttle that exploded, and September 11, 2001. I was the Ford National Dealer Council Chairman that year, and on that fateful Tuesday morning, I was scheduled to meet […]

10 comments
True Stories from Former Car Dealer Ice Cream

True Stories from a Former Car Dealer: Ice Cream

In a dealership’s service department, one of the most frustrating situations for a customer and the dealership are intermittent problems.  Typically the customer starts out with the word “sometimes.”  Those are dreaded words for the service advisor because you immediately know the issue is not constant, making it difficult to diagnose and repair. Not sure if it’s Murphy’s Law or […]

13 comments
1997 Ford Explorer Firestone Tires

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: Firestone

The Ford Explorer came out in 1990 as a 1991 model and was an instant hit. We could not keep them in stock and could not get nearly as many as we could sell.  Sales were incredible the first dozen years or so of production, most years Explorer sales were roughly 400,000 vehicles. Starting in about 1997, most Ford Explorers […]

15 comments
True Stories From a Former Car Dealer

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: The AFA

It started one day in late spring of 2005 as I recall, to be more specific, I believe it was the month of May.  I was a couple of years past my term as the Ford National Dealer Council Chairman and had settled back in to my real job, owning and operating dealerships. It started like any other day, around […]

2 comments
True Stories From a Former Car Dealer

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: Celebs

I was blessed during my career as a Ford dealer to meet a lot of important people, including celebrities.  If you were in the “inner circle” of high profile dealers, this opportunity came along pretty often. You see, Ford knew the dealers were big into trips to get away for several days.  It seemed like there were trip contests going […]

8 comments
Cannabis car

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: Cannabis

Thoughout my career in the car business, owning and managing dealerships, I had a number of occasions when customers would say they left something in their car when they dropped it off for service, but it wasn’t there when they picked it up.  This in spite of the fact that there were large signs hanging in the service drive saying […]

15 comments
True Stories Dateline NBC TV

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: Dateline NBC

There was a standing joke among car dealers that if you walked in to your dealership one day and Dan Rather was waiting for you, just run the other way as fast as you can.  Even good dealers fear investigative reporters because no matter how well your dealership is operated, you could have a “bad apple” rogue employee. It was […]

16 comments

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: God Land

It was the middle of March in 1998, about 5:30 in the afternoon at my Garland, Texas Ford dealership.  As was my ritual, I headed toward the front door of the dealership, briefcase in hand, calling it a day.  Before I left daily, I dropped by the large office where the sales managers sat, looking at the sales log to […]

6 comments
True Stories from a Former Car Dealer Ford Goldline Camper

True Stories From A Former Car Dealer: The Camper

I began working at a Ford dealership in Dallas when I was 15.  I started in the make ready department: washing cars, installing hubcaps, and installing mirrors on trucks.  It was also my job to make sure the lot looked good and all the vehicles were lined up straight.  I worked daily in the summer, but when school started again […]

34 comments
car dealer true stories lottery winner

True Stories From a Former Car Dealer: The Lottery Winner

The year was 1995 and I was the owner of a Ford dealership in a Dallas, TX suburb.  Generally, I got to work a little before 7 AM daily, and this particular Wednesday was no exception. I entered the showroom to go to my office and begin my day, and there was a very large African American man standing there.  […]

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