Tag: Carl Toffelmire
Mike Sullivan has been racing since his teens getting his adrenaline fix on the backs of dirt bikes, but it wasn’t until 2014 that he decided to give Porsche racing a try. After all, they say that racing your brand is an excellent way to connect with it on another level, and that’s absolutely true according to Sullivan. He teamed up with Carl Tofflemire, the Porsche sales manager at LAcarGuy at the time, and they began racing vintage Porsches together.
The moment that Porsche came out with the Cayman GT4 Clubsport racer back in 2015, Sullivan snapped up two of them with a price tag of about $200,000 each. That’s when he decided they were going to take part in more serious races, they would enter the 2016 Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA series of races.
At the start of the series Sullivan decided to film the whole thing, and to his amazement the videos began getting some serious views. Within the first year of release his series had more than 180,000 views to his astonishment, and both drivers did better than expected with third place finishes in their categories.
It Just Made Sense to Create a Video Series
With nearly $20,000 going into each race, it only made sense for Sullivan to use all the racing footage to help promote his brand and bring more attention to Porsche South Bay. LAcarGUY has an in-house video department that’s responsible for creating videos and promoting them on social media, and the team worked hard to create the Behind the Wheel: GT4 Weekend Warriors series showing off everything that occurred during those 2016 races. The videos are all available at the porschesouthbay.com website.
The series had a production budget of about $50,000 with an additional $15,000 dedicated to social media marketing. The racing series was good business for the store though, and many of the racers featured in the video other than Sullivan and Tofflemire were actually customers that purchased their vehicles at the store as well. Nearly 10 vehicles were sold to racers in the series in 2015 and 2016.
Expanding the Store
Sullivan’s foray into more serious Porsche racing occurred at the same time that his old Porsche store was being improved upon with an all-new store in Hawthorne California. The $28 million construction is three times the size of the old store, and makes a real effort to show off the racing heritage of Porsche, with displays of some of Sullivan’s vintage race cars for customers to see upon entering the building.
Not only does the new store offer more space, more inventory and a richer presentation platform for the vehicles, but it’s right down the road from the Porsche Experience Center that promises to draw in interested buyers from all over the world.
Sullivan sees a real opportunity to expand his brand further with the racing and the release of the new store. He understands that it’s a chance to broaden his customer base and take things to a more national level. He wants to become the Porsche guy of more people around the country, and with more than 180,000 views on his racing series that seems like a strong possibility.