What are they selling?: Gentry Lane houses a vast collection of classic automobiles, which are often rented to film and television production companies. The garage holds up to 50 vintage cars in pristine condition, such as a ’67 Pink Cadillac, a ’55 Porsche Speedster, and a ’73 Corvette Stingray. It’s also the only Toronto dealership selling new Lotuses as well as a selection of vintage ones.
Who’s the clientele?: Their cars have been featured in movies, television shows, and music videos—everything from period pieces to rap videos. Nelly Furtado rode in the back of a ’61 Thunderbird convertible in her 2010 music video for “The Night Is Young.” A 2008 TV movie starring John Stamos, The Two Mr. Kissels, used many of Gentry Lane’s cars and their basement garage as a set. And a 2004 miniseries called The Grid (no relation to this publication), about counter-intelligence in the Middle East, used a number of Gentry Lane vehicles.
So, how is business?: Every year, there are some Lotus owners who trade in their old model for the new one, while other Gentry Lane patrons are vintage collectors and store their cars in the basement. “Our Lotus customers are from all different walks of life, from grandmothers to young entrepreneurs,” says John Simoes, the dealership’s managing director. “Our classic-car customers come from all over the world.” But don’t come looking for a joy ride, says Simoes: “We try to read our customers to make sure they’re not here for play test drives.”