There are two kinds of car dealerships: Those that are businesses and those that are temples. Ford, Chevy, Toyota, and the like are all businesses. When you walk into the dealership you see cars, and you see people sitting at desks and studiously ignoring you, and maybe some posters on the wall, but that’s about it.
On the other hand, walk into a Jaguar, Audi, BMW, Mercedes , or Land Rover dealership and you might as well be in church. There is a definite aura of worship in the place. The attitude is hushed, the décor is sumptuous, and the people are well –dressed and quietly spoken. If you want your car serviced, you call ahead and make an appointment, then meet in an office room with a service consultant who takes all the pertinent information and finally consents to fit you into the schedule.
If you have to use the restroom, you’ll find it well appointed, with top-of-the-line fixtures. The towels will be in a little basket on the marble washstand, and there will be flowers on a stand in the corner, maybe a copy of The New Yorker to read.
If you want service, you’d better wear your Yuppie duds. Get the Rolex out of hock, shine up the tassled Bally loafers, press your jeans and wear a Lacoste shirt (DI gets them from time to time). Oh, and get a haircut.
My problem is that I love to worship at these shrines, but the only cars I have are so old that no one will take me seriously. While people will roll out the red carpet for a 2007 Range Rover, they chuckle indulgently over my 95 Discovery (the one with the permanent list to port).