On the outskirts of Monterey, aural 15 account of the Pebble Beach Concours, the Monterey Historic Reunion, the Quail, and all those added beauteous contest of the anniversary Monterey Car Week, is a archetypal car dealership on the ancillary of a aloft account station.
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It’s not the accepted archetypal car dealership. There’s no ablaze exhibit or glossy salesmen. Actually, there aren’t alike any agleam cars. Instead, to non-believers, this may attending like an alien scrapyard.
But to the accurate beneficiary car faithful, Dodi’s Auto Sales is a little bit of heaven. It’s a abode area every car is abounding of potential, area the ‘restore to aloft glory’ cliché comes to life. And, refreshingly, Dodi’s acceptability is one of straightforward, honest dealings.
If you’re a fan of TV’s Chasing Archetypal Cars, you’ll apparently already accept recognised Dodi’s from assertive episodes, decidedly the one in which appearance host Wayne Carrini takes a abhorrent archetype of a Volvo P1800ES to the adjacent Concours d’LeMons.
‘People alarm me from all over the apple because of the TV,’ smiles the perpetually blessed Dodi. ‘They still alarm me because of the Volvo episode, they don’t realise it was so continued ago now.’
Dodi, who came to the USA as a Palestinian refugee, has been trading in cars aback he was 17, and he’s been on this prime armpit for over 20 years. Now he’s ably assisted by babe Aminah (below), who he says keeps him in line.
He’s a Porsche enthusiast through and through; if you appointment you’re acceptable to acquisition a few Zuffenhausen orphans, annoyed and alone 914s, 911SCs and 996 Carrera cabriolets – and maybe that late-70s 959-style bodykitted Carrera 3.0 will still be there.
‘I’ve consistently dealt with 911s,’ says Dodi. ‘I was attractive at my old invoices… I was affairs the cars [911s] for $2000, $3000. I acclimated to beg people, “Make the deal!”. Now the aforementioned bodies appear aback and they say, “I ambition I’d listened to you Dodi”. And I say I ambition I’d listened to myself! But how do you know? These cars, like the 911 E and the T, now I’m ashamed to acquaint bodies they’re $70,000, $80,000. It doesn’t fit. It’s absolutely adamantine for me to say $70,000, 80,000. It’s outrageous!
‘The accomplished apple cast Porsches now. The Americans, they appetite their cars back. In the aboriginal bearing we would go to Germany and buy the Porsches and accompany them aback here. In the average it switched, it went the added way; the Germans came actuality and took the Porsches back. And now it’s gone the added way, the Americans are bringing the Porsches aback to the United States.
‘We don’t apperceive if this is the aerial aiguille of the 911. Is it activity to go aback down? I agnosticism it.’
Dodi has consistently dealt in added marques too, admitting about British and European. Afterwards Porsche, VWs are his abutting love, and there are usually a few Beetles, Type 3s, Karmann Ghias and Type 2 Transporters on his lot. There are additionally all abode of added classics, all in allegation of abundant adulation and absorption – Ponton Mercedes are Dodi’s latest thing.
Not that he’s accustomed up on Porsches of course. ‘Now let me acquaint you my best admirable story,’ he says. ‘This is the adventure of the year. I adulation Porsches but Porsches accept gone, there’s not abundant left. Some of these cars I accept are on consignment; they acclimated to be all mine.
‘But God gave me added Porsches in the aftermost few weeks. Huge bees came in, they flew in like a massive army. The queen bee moved, and the added bees had to chase the queen. They came in actuality [he gestures about his office] one afterwards another, so I had to accompany in addition to move the bees.
‘One of the men in allegation of the bees, he’s a big fan of the 911. All his activity is honey, he wants to save all the bees in the world, but he loves Porsches too.
‘He says he’s larboard his 911 in a bodyshop for a year and a half, he has a big battle with them. So I went to the bodyshop and I acted like an FBI agent! I say, “Where’s the 911! The guy at the bodyshop, he says the engine’s not working, and the chump claims we biconcave the car.
‘I said, “Stop! How abundant do you allegation to get the car out of the shop?” He capital $15,000, which was a lot but it was an big-ticket bodyshop. So I say attending I’ll pay the bodyshop, and the car will be mine.
‘The bees bought it to me! The agent started fine, it was the arena affiliation from the battery.’
Generally, though, these cars are rather harder to find. Are there alike any bargains left, we ask Dodi.
‘I consistently acquaint bodies there are bargains everywhere,’ he says. ‘Go to the alley, don’t accumulate your eye on the GPS and break on the freeway, attending bottomward the alleys and that’s area you’ll acquisition the bargains.
‘You’ll be afraid what you find. Bodies coffin things, they leave them because they’ve got a bad feeling. I got some cars a ages ago, you would not believe, in a man’s basement, abutting to my neighbourhood area I’ve been activity for the aftermost 30 years.
‘He put the cars beneath the bank in the basement. He did this because he got agitated with the dealership, he said “I’m activity to abuse this car!” The animal apperception is strange! One car was an old Saab, 1960s, and the added one was a actual attenuate car, I can’t bethink the name – sometimes I aloof buy them because they accept the attending about them. I alike accept a Siata!’
The Siata (above) is a ablaze orange 1971 Spring model, which Wayne Carini adopted for the 2018 Concours d’LeMons. It’s conceivably not how you’d account a Siata.
‘They’re not accessible to find, cars like this. I consistently accept in old radio shows. I invested in an ad on a appearance in Fresno, California – you accept to be actual old to accept to the show. I get lots of calls from that ad. I see lots of bodies who are abutting to the end. They appetite to fix things afore they go, advertise their cars – I consistently see bodies afore they die. They’re amazing people.
‘But additionally I’ve awash so abounding cars, sometimes the owners appear aback to you. I accept a admirable story: There was a guy I awash an ’89 911 G50 to. I said to him, consistently accumulate me in mind. And again ten years after, he alleged me. He said, “I’m at the dealer, I’m affairs a new car. If you appear and pay for it [the new car] you can accept my 911.”
‘I said I’ll be there in bristles minutes! He got a cast new Hyundai for $50,000 and I got the 911. So sometimes they appear back!’
I ask Dodi what was his best anytime buy. Of advance addition adventure follows…
‘The best was a accumulating I bought from a admirer from Sweden who endemic a Volvo dealership. When I was 17 he had an ad for a Porsche 356 for $10,000 – I acclimated to watch the bi-weekly advertisements, I’d get up at 2 or 3 in the morning to get the bi-weekly to be the aboriginal to apprehend the ads. He was 50 or 60 at that time, he had aloof retired.
‘So I got his abode and I went to see the 356. I said I came to see the 356, and he said, “Get the hell off my property!”. I was actual offended, and I never talked to him for abounding years.
‘Then 20 years afterwards I accustomed a alarm from him. I’d become Dodi’s, and bodies knew my name. He said to appear over to his office. I didn’t appetite to but my acquaintance said to go.
‘He remembered what he’d done, and he captivated my duke and said, “Dodi I’m sorry. I wasn’t mad at you but I was mad at my abettor because he appointed that ad, and I’d told him not to.” And we became accompany – I’d anticipation he was the affliction man in the apple but he was an amazing man.
‘So he said, “Dodi, I accept a accord for you, aloof for you”, and he fabricated me buy a car. He alleged me every month, “Dodi accompany me money and booty abroad one car.” So every ages I went and took a car from him, for ten or 15 years.
‘And every time he fabricated me buy a car he said, “Just for you”, and that’s why my signs say ‘just for you’. He’s anesthetized abroad now but the aftermost car I bought from him was a Salmson. That was not an accessible car to advertise because no-one knows Salmson, but I managed to advertise it in the end.’
And Dodi’s affliction car?
‘The affliction car I had was the Maserati, the amber one,’ he laughs, alive I’d apparent it, a 1980s Quattroporte on the lot the antecedent year. ‘People would beam at me adage “You still accept the Maserati!” I got it from Mexico. They anticipation it was a Chevy! Eventually I awash it.
‘Why do bodies like archetypal cars? He gives me ten abnormal to answer, as I advance it’s nostalgia. It’s history. That’s what bodies love. I saw my dad, I saw my family. The council caster gave me memories. Why do we advertise a Porsche for $100,000? It because of history.’
And with that Dodi active over to accost added barter like old friends, admitting it’s acceptable he’s never apparent them before, a huge smile on his face, accessible to reel out added stories. If you’re anytime in Monterey, be abiding to appointment Dodi’s Auto Sales.
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