Not Your Typical Car Dealership

By Nate Petroelje

Leadfoot MuscleCars is not your typical car dealership. It doesn’t feature the top trim model of the latest SUV from GMC. There’s no Honda Accords, and if you’re looking for that perfect minivan, you’re out of luck on the Leadfoot showroom floor.

As you walk through the main doors at Leadfoot, you’ll see traces of the space’s previous role, the main room of a now defunct nightclub. Up the stairs to the right, a DJ booth still towers above what was once a dance floor. Turning right on those same stairs finds the once VIP section is now a main office for the Leadfoot team.

The walls of the main room that once wore flashes of strobe lights and lasers are now tastefully decorated with historic signs, posters, and other bits of automotive paraphernalia. Where speakers that killed any chance of conversation once hung from the ceiling, a real-life stock car hangs upside-down from steel cables.

The bar that was once the fountain of liquid courage still stands, finding purpose in the new space as a hosting area for visiting groups. “The bar has been fun, we had a group in yesterday from GM (General Motors), so we had food set up and hung out there talking with them” explains salesman Skip Meyers with a chuckle.

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Every piece of decoration in the Leadfoot space adds to the atmosphere. Even the upside-down race car.

Meandering through the showroom is like stepping into a time machine. Classic Porsches, Chevrolets and Fords sit gleaming next to their modern-day counterparts. Former greats find solace on the showroom floor with the most recent iterations of all that their names stand for. Speed. Precision. Power. Enthusiasm. Cars not geared towards the masses.

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Mama Mia. Bellissimo!

In one corner, a Ferrari F430 Spyder sits gleaming in traditional Rosso Corsa colors. To the left of the Italian thoroughbred rests a classic Corvette that’s nearly 40 years older, somehow sparkling like it rolled off the line yesterday. On the other side, a small desk and two chairs share an elevated area with two vintage Ducatti Racing motorcycles.

In the other main room, a tiki-bar that used to welcome Saturday and Sunday happy-hour guests now houses thousands of horsepower of classic American Muscle. Vintage racing suits hang from the walls, still wearing their oil stains and grease smears proudly.

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Old race suits- bad nightclub attire, good wall decorations.

“[The decorations] kinda tie it all together. Besides the signs, the space is pretty simple- it’s the cars. We want the cars to be the focus.” Explains Ben Bauer, marketing and media specialist at Leadfoot.

Leadfoot doesn’t just sell old cars. They also have a building where they restore classic cars, a paint shop where they can return faded works of art to their former glory and a detailing area that customers can bring their cars.

The same passion and decorating tastes that make the showroom space so special carry over to these buildings as well. Vintage oil cans are stacked neatly on shelves in a room housing still more rare and exotic cars. Old posters of various mechanical technology cling to the walls.

 

The walls of the body shop that house the shell of a extremely rare Shelby GT350 are covered in chunks of bodywork from stock cars of years past. Their scrapes and dents seem to tell stories of instances where bodywork specialists were wanted, but never found.

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Chunks of crashed race cars make better wall decorations than a $125,000 Shelby GT350.

The space shouldn’t work as a dealership. If the core products sold were cars built for the masses, it wouldn’t. But these cars aren’t cars that people need, they’re cars that people want.

“The stuff that we sell inside isn’t stuff that’s a necessity to people. It’s an extra car, a hobby. So we needed to keep the atmosphere that way because we’re [the Leadfoot team] all hobby-people too.” Says Bauer.


Hobby people.

The kind of people who would rather discuss whether the numbers match on the engine and body of the GTO sitting in the corner than the payment numbers on a lease. The kind of people who want to know where you found that vintage Porsche motorsport sign as much as they want to know where you found the vintage Porsche below it.

Leadfoot Musclecars is a place for hobby people.

Their showroom space makes the entire place thrive with the buzz of enthusiasm and passion. It’s the passion of each member of the Leadfoot team that has cultivated their growth since they first opened their doors in May of 2014.

And it’s that space, filled with cars and paraphernalia from a world of automotive hobby people-past and present generations-that will allow them to continue to thrive in the years to come.

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