Barrett-Jackson: First 2009 Corvette ZR1 Sells at Auction for $1,000,000

The first 2009 Corvette ZR1 just sold here on big money day at the big BJ auction for $1,000,000 with a little help from GM's best bud, Jay Leno to Dave Ressler. Although the money's all going to the United Way, we're wondering what this'll mean for the mark-up on the sticker price we'll see for this already $99,000 two-seat supercar. And keep in mind we still don't know what the final number will end up being on horsepower and torque. But — what we do know now is that the sticker price will be $99,000 — thanks to the need to provide the above-and-beyond price for IRS purposes and the charitable deduction. But hey, maybe you'll still get that 100,000 mile guarantee on the powertrain — even if you're buying #1 off the assembly line. Full description from the folks at Barrett-Jackson plus more on winning bidder Dave Ressler, main man at Ressler Chevrolet, below the jump.


From Rumor to Instant Legend in the Blink of an Eye. Chevrolet presents the very "First Retailable Unit Built" Corvette ZR-1 for auction at Barrett-Jackson on Saturday, January 19, 2008 with all proceeds from the auction will benefit The United Way. GM AND BARRETT-JACKSON MAKES NO WARRANTY OR REPRESENTATION OF ANY KIND, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, CONCERNING THE VEHICLE (INCLUDING NO WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE).

About Dave Ressler:

Dave Ressler of Ressler Chevrolet of Mandan, North Dakota was destined to be in the automotive sales business.

"You can say I was inspired because of my dad who was a car salesman for 25 years," said Ressler of his dad, Chris, who died in 1977 and worked at Bob Chase Chevrolet. "From the day that my dad passed away, Bob kept calling and wanting to hire me."

He eventually did.

In 1972, Chase moved into the facility Ressler now occupies. It was Mandan's only Chevrolet dealership at that time - a distinction it still holds today and is home to 21 employees. In 1980, Chase sold to Ivan Gandrud, who held the store until 1988. Thirty people were working for Chase when the business changed hands. And in 1988, Ressler bought the dealership and hasn't looked back.

Ivan started with 30 employees and took it up to roughly 55 when he sold.

With Ressler it went from 55 to over 130 employees.

Ressler is pretty proud of the growth of his business. He's proud, and justifiably so, of a lot of things.

"I'm probably the youngest car dealer in the two towns," he said. "I started when I was 32. I work hard at what I do. I'm a workaholic. I really don't know how I got that way. Maybe I got it from my dad."

The hard work has paid off.

Ressler said his dealership has received eight Customer Choice Awards over the lasts 6 years. He said this is an accomplishment achieved by no other Chevrolet Dealership anywhere.

"The awards are based on customer satisfaction," he said. "We do not get any extra money for this. It's a 'wow' effect, I guess. It tells us we're all doing a good job."

Ressler said he expects a lot of himself and the same from his employees.

"We have a mission statement that we all work by," he said. "There are five critical areas that we focus on everyday."

They are:

Customer Satisfaction

Employee Enthusiasm

Market Leadership

Ongoing Improvement

Financial Performance

"If we work hard at these five things everyday, we know that we're doing a good job," he said. "It's important to have our employees focused on the right things."

Ressler said he's a hands-on employer - he can't help himself being the workaholic that he is - and enjoys being involved in the daily activities. But there certainly must be a point when he has to slow down, take a break and say "enough already."

But, that's not going to happen anytime soon. In March of 1999, Ressler moved to Bozeman, MT. and acquired a Chevrolet-Oldsmobile-Cadillac-Toyota dealership. "I'm back in the day-to-day," says Ressler, spending about half his time in Bozeman, and the other half in Mandan.

The Bozeman store, which employs 85 people, believes in the same values as the Mandan store. Because of this, it enjoys being the leader in the Gallatin Valley with more new/used car sales, service, parts sales and body shop service than any other dealer in the valley.

"Selling BEST PRICE has been well accepted, along with Saturday service and parts sales," says Ressler. "I'm having a blast and business is great at both stores. Enough isn't enough, I guess. I'm not going to stop. I'm chasing to be the best of the best!"