For most of us, the idea of ââowning a Lamborghini is nothing more than a childhood dream, set in motion by so many book fair posters neatly plastered on bedroom walls. But the idea that these same cars could ever sit in our driveway often seems too remote as we get older.
For Tom Buckley, however, that dream has come true. And he doesn’t just own Lamborghinis, he owns Utah’s first Lamborghini franchise.
Officially opened in July 2021, Utah’s first Lamborghini dealership was slow to arrive. In an effort to further expand Utah’s already impressive supercar community, Lamborghini from North America asked Tom to bring Lamborghini to Utah, and he couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity.
âThe automotive scene in Utah is shocking. It’s amazing what there is here,â he said.
Tom is no stranger to the world of supercars and luxury cars. In his home state of Tennessee, he contributed to the exponential growth of well-known luxury brands like Bentley, Rolls Royce, Maserati, Lotus, Aston Martin and others.
Tom is no stranger to Utah either. Prior to running Music City Motor Cars in Tennessee, he was General Manager of Automotive Group Ken Garff, and he credits the excellent relationships he established in the Utah automotive world as a big part of why he couldn’t resist a callback. to the state of the hive.
It started with a dream
Like so many car enthusiasts, Tom’s passion for cars began at a young age.
âWhen I was 14 there was this photographer, Brad Wagner, who shot a series of Lamborghini Countach under the Golden Gate Bridge. I had his poster on my wall and I was like, ‘When I grow up and that I will succeed, I’m ‘I’m going to buy myself a Lamborghini. Where else in the world can a 14 year old hang a poster on his wall and aspire not only to own one, but also to own the one? franchise? “
But Tom’s dream did not come true as you might expect. He did not graduate from a famous university and has no special connections – he has built his success from scratch.
“I never claimed to be the smartest guy in the room. I’m just a silly country boy from Tennessee who found something I love to do.”
Tom made his debut in cars right out of high school. While his mother was initially hesitant about the career path, he quickly proved that selling cars could not only be a viable vocation, but also a fun and fulfilling vocation.
âI was in my first year of school and I had a boyfriend who sold cars. My mom was a CPA and a former promotion major, and I told her about my friend who sold cars and how he performed. that she was backing me up at the time, I asked if I could sit a school semester, just to see how I would do with this car business. She told me I could take the summer. It was all I needed. My first month, I made more of my mom. “
As fun as it was to make more money than his mother, Tom soon discovered that what he loved most about car sales was talking to people and the meaning of fun he found. to do it. He enrolled in school that fall, but quickly withdrew from every class. The love for people and cars had taken hold, and wasn’t about to let go anytime soon.
âI was 19 with everything at stake. All by myself. I started at a BMW and Mercedes dealership. I loved cars, but the kind of customers those cars brought in was why I was really there, “he said. .
âCars just spark a passion in people, and that passion follows them throughout life. You can’t find anything else that people stick with for a lifetime. It’s fun.â
Back in Utah
Tom’s return to Utah was actually a surprise opportunity. âIn 2019, Bentley reached out and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to Salt Lake, would you be interested? “I absolutely was.”
But Bentley was not coming alone. Lamborghini wanted to be in on the action and also reached out. âIf you’re interested, we’re interested,â they said.
While he loved his time down south, Tom is always open to new opportunities (especially when they lead to Utah). And according to Tom, that’s how he’s built his entire career.
âIf you are given an open door, go through it and follow those open doors until they close. My career has been a series of open doors. I feel lucky and blessed to represent brands like these- this.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the world of supercars, the good news is, you’ve come to a great place to familiarize yourself. The Utah supercar scene has exploded over the past 10 years and it shows no signs of slowing down. With organizations like Envision, Need 2 Drive Utah, 118 Racing and others, some of the rarest and most exotic cars in the world have found their way into the garages of many Utahns – and Lamborghini has paid attention to them.
âWhen I opened Nashville in 2011, we had six Bentleys and 21 Maseratis in Tennessee. It only took me four years to grow those numbers exponentially, âsaid Tom. âThe first year is always tough, but coming out of the gate in Utah with 10x the product and 10x the customer base that I started with in Nashvilleâ¦ it’s a pretty tough opportunity to say no.â
âLamborghini knows Utah is ready,â he continued. Lamborghini North America President Alessandro Farmeschi was telling me about this ride he took from Park City to Jackson Hole and there was so much passion in his voice I knew the Utah deal was concluded. “
“It’s a unique business model. We’re dealing with high-end luxury items, but at the end of the day a Lamborghini is still just a car. It’s the experience that’s totally different,” Tom explained as he walked around his new dealership.
âThese cars are interesting because they are really more of a passion of desire than a passion of need. I need a car to move my children, I need a car to get to workâ¦ but when I want a car it’s a different thing. It’s a different emotion, a different customer, “he said.
When asked what sets the Lamborghini experience apart from other dealerships, he replied, âWe are not a car dealership. A car is our end product, but we are all relationship driven. As the owner, I speak to every customer. If you go to a regular dealership and ask to speak to the owner, you’re going to laugh at yourself – it won’t happen. I take a personal interest in everyone who walks through these doors. “
âI know when someone walks in here they don’t need that car. I’m just a way to satisfy a desire for luxury. They aren’t here because they need a car. . It’s a totally different experience, because the commercial side and the customer side, because everything is in the relationship. I go mountain biking with my customers, I go to the movies with them, I go to dinner with themâ¦ it is not not a transaction, it’s a relationship.
The future of Lamborghini in Utah
With the upcoming opening of his new dealership, Tom is poised to revolutionize the state’s automotive scene. And with a handful of great ideas mulling over, you can expect more to come from this self-described “country boy”.
Until then, Utah is proud to welcome its first Lamborghini dealership, which will undoubtedly be in good hands with Tom Buckley in the lead.
What does Tom think about the progress of his career? “Everything revolves around this Lamborghini Countach hanging on the wall, this childhood dream. It all started with a dream.”
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About the Author: Having owned everything from a DeLorean to an E46 M3 to a Toyota Land Cruiser, Jason Bell is a lifelong car enthusiast who enjoys sharing his passions as a teacher, writer, speaker and social media manager. Contact him at [email protected] for comments, questions, or if you or someone you know has a cool car story and would like to be in it.
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