Racing mogul Roger Penske has one more thing to add to his near-endless list of achievements: opening the largest Porsche dealership in the country, and it’s right here in Davie.
Roger Penske loves cars, boats and hard work. He talks about his new Porsche dealership in Davie—the largest in the country— his yacht based in West Palm Beach, and a strong love for his family. By the time Penske was 14, his father had encouraged him to work at a gas station in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Two years later, the auto racing entrepreneur, now worth $1.52 billion according to Forbes, was employed by the city’s Jaguar dealership. On his own, he bought and sold older cars, repairing and then selling them. In a few short years, he had found his calling. “Cars were fast, and I always loved working with them,” says Penske, during the recent grand opening of his Broward West Porsche dealership in Davie, where members of his Team Penske IndyCars racers joined him to celebrate. “I got into racing and loved it.”
During his 20s, Penske, now 79, took up professional racing, winning four consecutive Sports Car Club of America National Championships (from 1960-1963), and was named Sports Illustrated’s Driver of the Year in 1961. “To me, racing is so exciting,” he says. “I raced in a Corvette in a hill climb and was ready. I had success from then on.”
Has he ever. The tireless racer retired as a top driver at age 28 and launched Team Penske, which has won 16 first-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 from 1972-2015. In its 50-year history, Team Penske has won more than 170 races and 13 national championships.
In his rare moments away from the track, Penske, who is based in the Detroit area and keeps his 197-foot yacht (The Podium) in a West Palm Beach marina, runs the Penske Auto Group, one of the largest car dealership companies in the world. “We represent 41 brands, including seven other Porsche dealerships in the U.S.,” he says, while enjoying the beauty and grandeur of his new, 61,000-square-foot Davie store, the largest in the U.S. “About 60 percent of all of my brands are in the U.S. and 40 percent are international. We have 342 franchises worldwide, and I travel to 75-80 percent of them constantly.” His Penske Auto Group is part of the entrepreneur’s Penske Corp., with subsidiaries that operate in a variety of industry segments, including retail auto, truck leasing, transportation and professional motorsports. Revenues exceed $26 billion, operating in more than 3,300 locations and employing more than 50,000 people around the world.
Penske has also collected about 75 rare and exotic cars, some of which are on display in the new Porsche dealership, a short pedal-to-the-metal ride from Weston. “We picked this area to open Porsche because of the density of the population and the need for Porsche,” says Penske. “We’re excited and happy to be here.”