The Dealer: How One California Dealership Fueled the Rise of Ferrari Cars in America

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From the Publisher

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This is Ferrari of Los Gatos

[This is] the story of how a couple of 30-year-olds, on a tiny corner lot of a small town, built the largest Ferrari dealership in America. They succeeded by doing things differently than the other dealerships, and people liked it.

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Over the years, the lore and legend of Ferrari of Los Gatos has been told and retold by car enthusiasts around the world. I’m pleased to share these stories and other great memories from the days of Ferrari of Los Gatos along with Brian’s personal life and his behind-the-scenes experi­ences with Ferrari. What happened on the corner of Pageant Way and East Main Street may never happen again, but the memory of what took place there will be remembered forever by the people who lived the story. I hope you enjoy the ride. —Jim Ciardella

Chapter 11: Customers (1976-1993) — Kidnapped in Beverly Hills [Excerpt]

Rueben not only picked up cars for Ferrari of Los Gatos but delivered them as well. One delivery was a black Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet headed for Hollywood. It wasn’t unusual for celebrities to purchase a car sight unseen, and that’s what entertainer and movie star Cher had done. Brian had told Rueben to leave Los Gatos early, deliver the car to Beverly Hills, and take a flight back to the San Jose airport. Rueben left on time for the six-hour drive. At about 4 p.m., Brian received a phone call from the salesman who’d gone to the airport to pick up Rueben.

“He wasn’t on the flight.”

Concerned, Brian called Rueben, who answered, alive and well, and said, “She won’t let me leave.”

“Rueben, what are you talking about.”

“Hello?” a female voice came on.

“Who’s this?”

“This is Cher, and you leave Rueben alone. We’re having fun together, and he’ll be back when he gets back. Understood?”

“Well, I . . . hello?”

Cher had hung up, and Brian decided there’s nothing he could or should do. He’d wait until Rueben called for someone to pick him up at the airport or just see him when he got back. Rueben came to work the next day and had to field many questions from the Ferrari of Los Gatos staff.

“Well, she held me there for a long time. She’s a great person. She showed me every room in her house. It’s huge. Every time I said I needed to go, she said, ‘Have another drink.’”

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