Life in the Fast Lane
As you enter Fast Lane Classic Cars, you’ll find neon signs lining the walls next to dozens of classic cars in rows with the light hitting them just right to see the fresh detailing work making you feel like you just traveled back in time.
“You don’t have to be a classic car person to come in and appreciate everything that we have,“ Dan Hilleberandt, general manager of Fast Lane Cars said.
Fast Lane is a full-service classic car dealership that also includes:
- The buying, trading, selling and consigning of classic cars.
- Three showrooms open to the public for free.
- Full service detail and restoration departments.
- Classic car memorabilia, artwork and a gift shop.
Rediscovering an Old Love
David Williams, the founder of Fast Lane, worked in men’s retail for many years of his life. He is originally from St. Louis and eventually moved away. When he came back to visit family, Williams was involved in a severe motorcycle accident. The incident left him bedridden for years and moved him back to St. Louis. After the accident, Williams wanted to have a side job. A close friend came across a classic car and Williams partnered with him to help sell it. His true talent of sales shined through and Williams didn’t let his success of selling one car stop there.
With some help from another close friend, Williams was able to open the first Fast Lane building at 501 Little Hills in 1994 that now serves as their restoration department. He started off with just a handful of classic cars to sell and as inventory was ready for expansion, so was Williams. Today, Fast Lane consists of a five-building campus that houses their showrooms and service departments.
“St. Charles has grown around us,” Hilleberandt said. “We got lucky picking out this space.”
Connection Through Passion
Instead of being an average dealership, Fast Lanes chooses to open up their space to the community. Hilleberandt said he has customers who have bought about 40 cars over the last 20 years, but Fast Lane also values their fanbase who keep up on their social media or regularly visits the showroom. Both customers and fans are vital to their community.
“We’re not just a Classic car dealership; we’re somewhere that we want people to come and experience multiple things, “ said Sarah Bonderer, business development at Fast Lane.
To connect the dealership to the community, Fast Lane created an event space that anyone can rent out for occasions like meetings or birthday parties. They also take it upon themselves to host their own events in their space like their annual car show, drive-in movie nights and a monthly cars and coffee event.
For now, the business is done expanding its campus and instead wants to focus on connecting with customers and fans through more events and a larger online presence. Social media and digital marketing manager, Jameson Leavell, wants to target the young car-loving community who will hopefully be their next generation of car buyers. Fast Lane strives to be on-trend with the classic car buying market to provide the most appealing stock for their customers.
“My true hope and belief is that in another five, to 10, to 15 years we’ll be very well positioned and be very successful,” Leavell said.