June 23, 2016
A first-of-its-kind classic car chain is opening July 15 in Gloucester County.
The showroom will be the 13th for Gateway Classic Cars, an Illinois-based company that spent two years studying the Philadelphia-area market, according to spokeswoman Sarah Boothby.
The West Deptford showroom, Gateway's first East Coast location outside of Florida, was selected because the region offered a high volume of online classic car sales, Boothby said.
Finding a site outside Philly assured the company could find a space for a large showroom with capacity for at least 100 cars on location at all times, she said. The classic car dealer sells vehicles on consignment primarily for private owners, collectors and estates.
South Jersey made sense for a potential market in a 200-mile ring around Philadelphia.
Cars will go for as little as $7,500 to as much as a half a million, said Boothby. Gateway's record sales price, though, was an even $1 million for a special edition Bentley.
She said Gateway offers inspected, top-of-the line vehicles that the company stands behind, unlike online private sales. She said her company has a track record of drawing top dollar for sellers.
A new segment of the used and exotic car market are the “investment buyers” who buy a rare car and hold it as it appreciates.
Most car buyers are still hobbyists, though the market is mushrooming. Sales of classic vehicles are up 490 percent since 2006, said Boothby.
“It’s a passion business,” she said of Gateway’s customers.
Once the showroom at 1228 Forest Parkway opens, Boothby said the company will get to work building the local market, with monthly coffees, an annual car show and partnerships with local groups.
While they will not perform repairs or restorations on-site, Gateway plans to partner with top shops in the region to provide services to their customers.
With the 61,321-square-feet West Deptford showroom, the company will have a total of nearly 730,000 square feet across the country.
Sales this year are projected at $58 million. Next year, sales are expected to hit $80 million.