By Eric Barton
Warren Henry Zinn was maybe 12 when he began working at his dad’s Toyota dealership in Miami Beach. He started by picking up trash and cleaning up here and there. Once his dad trusted him enough, Zinn got the keys to the cars.
Zinn’s job was to move them a few feet and then park them back where they were. He’d flip on the wipers, radio, everything, just to make sure the car was running well. Once, though, he messed up putting the car in gear. He caught first instead of reverse and drove right into a fence. Everyone in the service department saw what happened and, by the end of the day, everybody knew the owner’s kid had damaged the fence and a car. But nobody told, not even when Zinn’s dad, Dave, asked what happened.
Zinn couldn’t sleep that night. Finally, Zinn knew he had to admit to it, and he went in to his father’s office to confess.
“The good news is that I guess people liked me, because nobody told on me,” Zinn recalls.
It’s a story Warren Zinn’s son, Larry Zinn, knows well. The family is about to open its sixth dealership, including a new Lamborghini dealer in Davie, and he has heard the tale about the fence many times. “I could finish it myself,” Larry Zinn jokes.
When Larry Zinn was 12, he began working at one of the family’s dealerships, and just like his father, started by picking up trash around the grounds. And then he had a very similar accident. It happened when Larry Zinn was in college, working at a dealership part time in Boston. He was moving a customer’s car, wasn’t used to driving in cold weather, lost control on ice and crashed it. After, he went to the owner of the dealership and explained what happened. Larry recalls, “He said, ‘That’s the first time anyone has admitted to crashing a car.’”
Getting his start the way he did, picking up trash, is something Larry Zinn considers integral now in his current job as general manager of the Warren Henry Automotive Group. It gave him an idea, Larry Zinn says, what life is like for someone else, someone who didn’t grow up with a father who owns the dealership.
“Now, I wouldn’t ask someone to do something that I haven’t done myself,” Larry Zinn says.
The 25,000-square-foot Lamborghini Broward is the fifth in the Warren Henry Automotive Group. The Zinns expect to sell 55 to 75 new Lamborghinis a year, along with maybe 250 pre-owned cars. In September, they’ll add their seventh dealership with a new Audi store in Gainesville.
Warren Zinn, the company’s CEO, says getting a start when he was 12 is a good reason why he’s still doing it. “My dad left for work when it was dark and came home when it was dark, so it was a way that I could spend time with him,” Warren Zinn recalls. Those days at work with dad made it all seem like fun, and he says that’s something that hasn’t changed.
4645 Volunteer Road, Davie, 888-201-1791, lamborghinibroward.com