Dan Martin's Auto Depot from NINES Magazine #356 - Saab General Bulletin Board - Saabnet.com
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Dan Martin's Auto Depot from NINES Magazine #356
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Posted by Scott Paterson [Email] (#13) [Profile/Gallery] (more from Scott Paterson) on Wed, 8 Feb 2023 17:17:56 Share Post by Email
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I do recommend NINES Magazine which comes with a Saab Club of North America (SCNA) membership. You can find SCNA online here: https://saabclub.com/

Below is an excerpt from NINES #356 (June 2019) that features long-time Saabnet.com classifieds advertiser, Peter Toth. How he finds so many nice Saabs that he posts in the classifieds is simply amazing.

Dan Martin's Auto Depot

This is the tenth in a series of articles about those who care about the Swedish brand enough to focus on the repair, service and sales of Saab cars even as others have moved on. The point is to let those who continue to enjoy the individuality and great value of the cars to know where these unique shops are and what they offer.

Without those firms that continue to focus on the preparation and sales of lower-mileage used Saab automobiles, the marque would not be what it continues to be today to many car enthusiasts. An example would be one who is appreciates the Saab 2002 9-3 features and individuality to the point of flying from Texas to Yonkers, NY, (just north of New York City) to purchase and drive back in a 53,000-mile example of that sixteen-year-old car. That is dedication. There continues to be that long term commitment to Saab on the part of tens of thousands of United States customers.

Dan Martin's Auto Depot, Ltd. is the firm that sold that 9-3. The owner, Peter Toth, has shown tenacity, and dedication and regularly collaborates with other firms in getting the job done. At the time of a visit to Yonkers in early January 2019, he had about fifteen used Saabs on the lot for sale. These ranged from a 2002 9-3SE with a five-speed manual transmission with only 105,000 miles on the car for $4,200 to a 2011 9-3X XWD wagon with 77,000 miles for $14,000. The offerings included a nice light blue 2008 9-3 Aero with only 45,000 miles for $11,500. Additional Saabs which were set aside for preparation for future sale included two old generation 9-3SE models and a few old-generation 9-5s. In 2018, he sold about sixty used Saabs, making his business one of the top three retailers for the brand in the New York/New England region. It is not unusual for the sold cars to be shipped to buyers outside of the northeast region. Dan Martin Auto Depot seems to be helping time stand still in terms of the cars it has for sale.

The above picture shows a part of line up of the Dan Martin’s Auto Depot cars for sale. All photographs by the author.

Peter Toth bought the Dan Martin business back in 1995. Dennis Dassatti has run Magnum Motors since 1981. The two businesses share the building and adjacent lot located at 16 Graner Place in Yonkers. Peter and Dennis collaborate with Dennis’s staff regularly performing preparation (on cars for sale), service and repairs (on customers’ cars) on Saabs for Peter. Driving up to the building you will see the Magnum Motors sign outside. Peter and Dennis are semi-partners in keeping their joint venture going. Magnum services other brands and Dan Martin’s does sell other brands including electric-powered Fiat 500 subcompact cars. Magnum has two employees in addition to Dennis.

Peter Toth immigrated to the United States from Hungary in 1990. Growing up abroad in his youth he was always into cars during the 1980s. He graduated from Pace University in New York. His first job was as a waiter in a diner while he was in college. He worked for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. in Manhattan for fifteen years starting in 1997. On September 11, 2001 he went to work at 2 World Trade Center and the South Tower and was having breakfast on the 63rd floor when the plane hit the North Tower. He indicated that no one told them to evacuate at first but they all went down to the 44th floor via elevator to gather there. Then they walked down the dozens of flights of stairs to the main lobby. At that point the second plane hit the building. Police prevented them from going outside to keep from being hit by debris from the adjacent building. Peter said he saw hundreds of pairs of shoes in the concourse outside. They were directed to go to into the subway which was full of smoke to be able to come outside to Church Street which was the surrounding street which was farther away from the Towers. Upon coming to the exit of the subway, he discovered that the cell phones were not working. Standing there for a moment, a Yellow Cab stops right next to Peter and others and they got right in and went up to Midtown before the one of the Towers collapsed. Peter feels lucky that he went where he did that day!

Dennis Dassatti (left) of Magnum Motors and Peter Toth (r)ight of Dan Martin’s Auto Depot.

Toth’s first Saab was an early 1990s red 900 convertible. His interest in cars prompted him to sell cars. He went to the Manheim Auto Auctions to purchase vehicles in the wholesale market. He eventually left his Morgan Stanley desk job to run Dan Martin Auto on a full time basis. Back in the 1995 through 2005 Saab had its own lane at Manheim. There were regularly 100 to 150 Saabs to pick from but there were bidding wars to get those cars. The cars were typically two to four years old with many just off lease. In addition to Saabs he used to specialize in European station wagons including VW, Mercedes- Benz and BMW. Toth indicated that the other brands did not hold up in quality as the Saabs do. He says the Saab is like a “driver’s car”. Toth feels that Orio and other companies will provide parts availability for many years to come for the 9-3 series. He also maintains a supply of certain used parts on site. He has a local firm cut out and replace rusted 9-5 doglegs with new steel.

TA view inside the Magnum Motors/Dan Martin's Auto Depot service area.

Toth has some first-time buyers for the Saabs he sells. He said that the Saab buyers are well educated, understand cars well and can be very selective in their purchases. The average buyer is 30-50 years old for the earlier cars while the buyers of 2008 to 2011 models tend be in their 50s. He did say that the cars are getting harder to find as time goes on. He focuses on the sale of 1999 to 2011 9-3 (and first generation 9-5) model Saabs. In another part of his business, he exports mostly other brands of cars to Europe for specialty markets.

Peter Toth can be reached at 917-692-4108. He can also be reached by email: Click Here

Roger S. Harris, the author of this series, is a life- long exclusively Saab car owner who lives in Western Massachusetts.

_______________________________________ Saabnet.com Webmaster Saabs Owned: 1973 Saab Sonett III (Current) 1983 Saab 900 Turbo 1985 Saab 900 Sedan 1990 Saab 900 1992 Saab 900S 1999 Saab 9-3 Turbo 2005 Saab 9-2X Aero (RIP 95K/Accident-guy ran stop sign) 2005 Saab 9-2X Aero (Current) 2007 Saab 9-3 SportCombi 2010 Saab 9-3X Wagon Winner 1996 Saab Owners Convention Rally Novice Class Winner 1999 Saab Owners Convention Rally (All Classes) Also Founder of two non-profits: Poverty2Prosperity.org RunClubMenloPark.org

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