Rey Motors: PT Cruisers, Dodge pickups and `Today’s Special’
At Rey Motors in Glenwood Springs, mother and son Jeanne Rey and Allyn Rey like to do things the old fashioned way. Instead of high-pressure sales techniques found at some car dealerships, the Reys prefer to let the customers mosey around the lot and take their time finding something they like. The family has owned the Chrysler and Dodge dealership for 25 years. It seems to be working, so they figure, “Why change it now?” “It’s not a high-pressure place,” says Allyn Rey, who runs the dealership with his mother, Jeanne, and their Yorkshire terrier mascots Printz and Keesha. The dealership is a full-service place, complete with several repair bays, a parts department and around 100 new and used vehicles on display.”The percentage of new and used cars bounces back and forth,” Allyn said. Allyn was born and raised in Glenwood Springs, leaving only to earn a business degree at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. He’s also been a volunteer fireman, and has been a volunteer ski patrolman at Sunlight Mountain Resort for the past 13 years.He and his wife, Barbara, have been married for 20 years and have two children, Chris and Rachel. While the face of West Glenwood has changed dramatically over the years, the auto dealership at 51457 Highway 6 & 24 has remained a constant since the early 1950s. It has changed hands a couple of times, but Jeanne’s late husband, Ernie Rey, worked there almost from the day the dealership was built. “My husband started with Bill Eastwood in town in the 1950s,” Jeanne said. The business started in North Glenwood, where Elk Mountain Motors is currently located.”Then Howard Osborne bought it and made my husband manager of the store,” she said.Ernie Rey bought the dealership in June 1977, and the family has owned it ever since. The dealership employs around 20 people, including salespeople, mechanics, parts experts and office workers. It was those workers who threw a surprise party earlier this year to celebrate 25 years in business. One of the features that most distinguishes the dealership is the ever-changing “Today’s Special” car located at the front of the lot. “Sometimes they’re new, but usually they’re the best bargains on used cars. They’re for people who don’t have a lot to spend,” Allyn said. The special deals are aimed at commuters driving Interstate 70 to and from work, but they’re not the only people who take note of the deals. “We even get calls from the train crews,” Jeanne said. “They’ll look over here and then call to find out about the special.”The railroad used to play a bigger part in the dealership’s routine. Years ago, all the cars were delivered from Denver by train.In the fall, just around this time of year, the new year’s models would have to be covered so people wouldn’t see them before the grand unveiling. “It used to be a big event,” Allyn said of the unveiling of the new models. “But anymore, they’re liable to change model years at anytime.”Big sellersThe biggest sellers these days are Dodge diesel pickup trucks, Chrysler and Dodge minivans, the Chrysler 300 M, The Dodge Durango and the slick PT Cruiser. “The PT Cruiser has been a good seller,” Allyn said. “They’ll put in a turbo in 2003 so it should be even better.”Also, there’s the super-cool Prowler. The Inca gold, 245-horsepower convertible sport coupe captures everyone’s attention as they come through the front door of the showroom. But this Prowler could be the last. Allyn said production on the cars has ceased and it’s the only one he has left. “We sell about one of these a year,” he said.He drives a Dodge truck, his wife drives a 300 M, and Jeanne drives the sporty Chrysler TC by Maserati.Rey Motors also fixes cars and sells Dodge and Chrysler parts. In the old days, the dealership even sold gasoline. The company’s service ethic goes way back. When Ernie Rey was a salesman, he used to drive cars all over the region to show them. “Ernie used to drive to Rangely, Meeker and Gypsum. He didn’t drive to Vail because it didn’t exist yet, it was a pasture,” Jeanne said. “Somebody would say they’d like to see a new car, but they were haying or something, so he’d take it out and show it to them. It was a different world back then.”But Rey Motors has changed with the times, keeping up with the trends, keeping mechanics on the cutting edge and remodeling the shop over the years. “Around the oil shale time is when things were the best,” Allyn said. “People had money and the interest was 18 percent and nobody cared.”Since Sept. 11, 2001, business has been slower than it used to be, but Allyn and Jeanne seem confident that it will pick up again. “There’s always something in this business. Once you think you’ve seen everything, something else happens,” Allyn said. The Rey Motors sales department is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The service and parts department is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.To contact Rey Motors, call 945-5456.
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