Life in fast lane roars into Broomfield
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Lamborghini Denver opened in Broomfield in March.
The Italian automaker is renowned for making iconic sports cars that boast speed, handling, one-of-a-kind style — and eye-popping price tags. The 700-horsepower Lamborghini Aventador will do 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds and has a top speed of 217 miles per hour. The price tag for the limited-edition car is a reported $387,000.
The Aventador's humbler sister, the 570-horsepower Lamborghini Gallardo, tops out at 202 mph and goes from 0 to 60 in about 3.4 seconds. Lamborghini Denver offers it for $224,999.
Lamborghini Denver is one of fewer than 30 Lamborghini dealerships in the nation, according to the automaker.
The market for Lamborghinis and similar luxury/super-high-performance cars is surprisingly strong, Sill-TerHar Motors president Jack TerHar Jr. said. Lamborghini Denver has sold five cars since Sill-TerHar acquired the dealership and relocated it to Broomfield from Centennial. At the same time, it acquired the local Maserati dealership.
As one could expect, selling Lamborghinis is a bit different than selling the Fords TerHar has been selling since 1973.
"We just market totally differently," TerHar said. "We go where the money is, to be honest."
That means traveling to exclusive showcases such as a recent event at the luxurious Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs. Sill-TerHar Motors also partners with other companies such as investment banks and cultural institutions that attract very high-net-worth individuals.
Exclusivity helps, too. Lamborghini Denver is the only Lamborghini dealer between Las Vegas and Houston, and markets to a multistate region.
The community of Lamborghini owners is small but passionate, said Steven Leonard, a sales associate. Potential buyers come in with a great deal of knowledge and enthusiasm.
"It's usually a gearhead or someone who knows everything about the vehicle and has been wanting one since he was 12 years old," Leonard said.
There are only about 50 or so Lamborghinis in the state, according to Leonard, and by becoming the dealer and service center, Lamborghini Denver has become the center of the community.
TerHar feels an affinity with clients that extends beyond their passion for cars. Most of his clients have spent decades working more than 60 hours per week, and, like himself, have built successful companies and careers. Buying the sports car of their dreams is a sign they've accomplished their ambitious goals.
"They're people who have worked very hard all their lives to get where they are," TerHar said. "It's kind of exciting to watch them reward themselves."
TerHar also shares their passion for performance.
"I'm lucky enough to spend a lot of time on the track with all these cars," TerHar said. The time has taught him that most drivers will need some work building their skills before they approach the limits of what the car can handle.
Test driving a Gallardo Spyder makes it easy to see TerHar's point. The vehicle zipped across Broomfield's surface streets, accelerating effortlessly and handling curves and hills nimbly and gracefully. Its only constraints were other drivers and the threat of getting pulled over by the police.
If clients come back unsatisfied with the test drive, Sill-TerHar Motors can put them in a luxury vehicle more to their liking. For a driver wanting something more elegant and refined, Sill-TerHar also sells Aston Martins.
TerHar sold 36 Aston Martins in 2011.
Even though Sill-TerHar Motors has growing success in the luxury and high-performance market, in many ways it remains the quintessential family-owned auto dealership. Hugo Sill and Jack TerHar, Sr., founded it in 1960 as a Ford dealer, back when Broomfield was a sleepy town off the recently completed Denver-Boulder Turnpike.
Jack TerHar Jr. spent 11 years acquiring his father's share of the company, which he completed in 1989. In the years since has built an $18 million complex that covers three acres overlooking U.S. 36. In the next few months, the company will spend $300,000 upgrading its Lamborghini showroom.
The dealership will remain in the family for the next generation, as Beau Smith, TerHar's nephew, is in the long process of buying out TerHar. TerHar and his nephew are in the sixth year of what is planned to be a 21-year transition, TerHar said.
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