Reporting Lisa Petrillo
MIAMI (CBS4) – A Miami man’s dreams have become reality after he created his own business putting stars in his fancy cars.
It is safe to say that Steve Kessler, President of Kessler Auto Group, knows a lot about cars. With more than 30 years experience in the high-end car business, he’s known in the industry as the “The Exotic Car Specialist to the Stars.”
In his North Miami showroom, there are about 30-40 super cars in rotation.
“This is a 1987 slant nosed turbo cabriolet there are only 216 in world. This is a 2008 Aston Martin,” said Kessler pointing out a few cars on his current fleet of 40 exotics in his warehouse. “This one here is a 2004 Rolls Royce Corniche with just 2800 miles.”
There’s about $2.6 million in cars under his showroom’s roof, according to Kessler.
Kessler’s journey started when he received a $1500 graduation present from his parents: a 1960’s Porshe.
“It was a car that my parents gave me to go to college in, but I sold it prematurely. I never took it to college,” said Kessler. “I wound up making money on the car and that’s where the car biz started.”
That was in New York with his wife Alice by his side. About 10 years ago they opened the North Miami showroom.
It’s a family affair; Alice handles the paperwork for the company, while daughter Lindsay is in-house council.
“I’ve learned how to have a working balance. We go home, we try not to take shop home with us,” said Alice. “We try to have fun.”
In 1992, the movie “Scent of a Woman” was filmed in Kessler’s dealership. The star of the movie, Al Pacino, drove Kessler’s personal Ferrari. Through the years Kessler has provided cars for the stars from Bon Jovi, Mike Tyson, Don King and even John Belushi.
“He was not too stable when he came into buy it,” said Kessler. “He drove his car straight into another car, his wife Judy had to order another one”.
Kessler recently bought a 2004 Rolls Royce Cornice with just 2800 miles at the auction – it was owned by Hulk Hogan’s ex-wife Linda.
There are two things in common with all the cars in Kessler’s lot – all are exotic and all are used.
“Everything is used because that has value,” said Kessler. “The first owner takes the most amount of depreciation and once that is fully depreciated than the second car own enjoys that appreciation by being able to drive it, own it and use it for 2 years and not lose a dime.”
Kessler prides himself on finding the exact car every customer wants. He’ll scour the country to find it because it’s all in a day’s work for a man whose “riding high” in his chosen field.
“Our first ad in the NY Times back in 1976 was ‘Our dreams became reality,’ meaning the cars for the people,” said Kessler. “Little did I know it was my dream becoming a reality 30 something years later.”
For more info go to www.kesslerautogroup.com