It’s common these days for car dealerships to be located next to many other similar businesses in “auto rows” or “auto malls.” The economic theory of agglomeration gives credence to this practice, based on the logic that a rising tide raises all ships, all businesses benefit from a single destination for vehicle buying that draws all comers, irrespective of make and model. Then there are places that buck that trend and eschew every known economic theory. Here are some of the strangest locations and practices for car dealerships.
British Motor Cars, San Francisco
This high-end auto emporium is the antithesis of the auto mall ideal. Compared to rows of autos laid out around some suburban interstate cloverleaf where there’s ample room for customers to park and view the inventory, this establishment is practically hidden. The showroom is located in downtown San Francisco on an extremely busy section of Van Ness Avenue that’s actually collocated with US Route 101. There is no parking to speak of except for metered spots on the streets, and those max out at two hours. If, however, you are serious about buying a vehicle at British Motor Cars, you can most likely afford to have a limousine drop you off. Inside the slate-gray Greek Revival building lies a cornucopia of exotic and expensive rides. The gilt marble interior is the perfect backdrop to sip a house-made espresso while perusing the selection of high-horsepower Italian speed demons, leather trimmed British mobile palaces, and state-of-the-art German sedans.
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwymdrobwllllantysiliogo-gogoch Autos, Wales
No, I didn’t just mash my hands against the keyboard accidentally, that’s the real name of a town in Wales and one of its car dealerships. If you’ve ever spent any time in Wales, or maybe heard people speaking Welsh, it will come as no surprise that this delightfully long and seemingly impossible to pronounce word originates in Western Britain. Welsh is an ancient language descended from the Celtic linguistic family, spoken on the British Isles for far longer than English. English derives its name from the Angles, a Germanic people. While less than a quarter of the people in Wales speak it fluently, the language still gives its name to many towns and, thus, business establishments. Thankfully, the salesmen at this location are happy to shorten it to just Llanfairpwllgwyngyll.
Unlike the other auto dealerships on this list, Ling’s is actually primarily a leasing business. Unlike other car dealerships anywhere, Ling’s is just flat out weird. Only here can you get an affordable lease on a quality pre-owned vehicle while also buying a dozen farm fresh eggs. Ling’s has a hen house on the premises and collects and sells the eggs as part of the wacky business. If that’s not enough, the owner has even been known to ride around the premises in a military surplus missile carrier.
Next time you think the car buying experience is too boring, check out one of these spots!