Written by Marilyn Pearlman
Whether in fashion or cars, it is a matter of picking the right item/style and the right color says Tevie Dante Fraser, co-owner of Fraser Dante LTD, with her husband Thomas Fraser. The decision to go into business started with one car and lots of Passion, a 1972 Red Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible, which was a great pick 28 years ago. That choice has evolved into a full show room with around 50 cars plus! The husband-wife team speaks from experience—in the 70’s TOM drove Corvettes, Chevrons and Lola’s within the International Race Series from Daytona to Watkins Glen to Sprint Cup Series as well as being active in current Sports Car and Indy racing. Always Entrepreneurs, they both spent time in Owner/Management at women’s clothiers, Casual Corner, T. Edwards and Florida Adams. They were very successful in the fashion business, but then Tom Fraser wanted to follow his passion that lead to the Classic and Special Interest Car Business.
In business in Roswell for all of their 28 years, they sell about 60 to 80 cars a year in the major worldwide arena. Many include restored Mustangs, imports and muscle cars to buyers in France, Moscow, Norway, UK and Canada. Saturdays being there busiest day as they often have an OPEN HOUSE and could have a great day with about 40-50 or so people in the show room. They have also sponsored tours and clubs to have their meeting at Fraser Dante. For example during the 50th Anniversary of the Mustang, they had a large Car Club from France in to get the tour and royal treatment!
In marriage and business, they know their strengths—TOM runs the business, picks the cars, does the very informative descriptions and prices them; and Tevie is the Head Maitre D and the main seller in the business both in the show room, on the phone and through the internet and all the social media. Their right hand, CFO, has been with them for over 24 years and wears many important hats,: including handling the money and working with all the documents to complete a sale. She is the company’s Queen of the Internet!!!!
“We’re very hands-on,” says Tevie. Fraser Dante is a dealership where the staff educates its clients and shows them features and options regarding the cars or trucks, shows them the workshop and if weather permits a small test drive. Fraser Dante tries hard to not just have pretty cars but cars that work well, even though most of the cars are 25-75 years old. Not surprisingly, accolades have come from many prestigious entities. They were chosen by Ford Motor Company for the Collector Car Series that featured their 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang. At Amelia Island in March, they represented a 1965 Shelby Mustang R Model which sold for $984,500.00; and they were invited to the Amelia Island Concourse d’ Elegance where they represented a 1955 Ford Thunderbird and a 1964 Pontiac GTO convertible.
Not only do they have longevity in their relationship—met in 1978, worked together for years and married in 1981--but they believe in having a qualified and passionate staff with a track record. Not only do they maintain a car for customers, but also they keep it in great running order and refresh the cosmetics too.
Fraser Dante has more staff working on cars then the selling of them. If they work well and look good, then the sales will be there!! In addition, they have two fabulous and talented mechanics and a visiting British mechanic to keep their import section running well! Many celebrities (even without a showroom visit) have ordered from Fraser Dante—a pickup truck to John Travolta, Charlie Sheen bought six cars and Conan O’Brien a ’52 Ford truck. Not only the Movie Stars are interested in the dealership’s quality service and selection of cars, but also Fraser Dante’s cars have appeared in the Fast and Furious movies, and the new Usher music video features a ’67 GT convertible from the showroom. Other prestigious customers are the Oldsmobile Museum, the General Motors Museum and Ford Motor Company.
Most important, unlike buyers of the past, families and celebrities alike buy classic cars for driving—not just to look at them. They want to enjoy cars at car shows, cruise nights, cruises, and just good weather weekends.