The delivery of any C8 Corvette is a big deal but this one is extra special for Henry Mieszkalski! As a career car salesperson at Preston GM, Henry has branded himself "The Corvette Cowboy". Hear about how he has taken on a whole new persona and made it his mission to be the top salesman of Corvettes in British Columbia. Henry’s owned two Corvettes previously but in this episode, he take delivery of his brand new C8 Corvette Convertible. See the car being delivered to the dealer and Henry’s first impressions as he takes it out on the road for test drive.
Here I am. I can't believe that I actually have a new car. It's only the second new car in my life.
I never even sat in a Corvette until I was 60 years old.
Hi folks and welcome to Center Lane. Today we're at Preston GM in Langley, and we're here for the delivery of a brand-new C8. Henry Mieszkalski is the salesperson who has taken on a new persona. He has become "The Corvette Cowboy" and as The Corvette Cowboy, he wanted to own the latest and greatest Corvette that there is. So we're going to talk to Henry and we're going to see his brand-new car. Now if you like this episode, please subscribe and click the 'like' button. Now let's take a look at the car.
Wow! You know it looks just as hot with the wrap on.
I never thought this day would come. It would never happen and it's happening. It's exciting, absolutely thrilling. I've got a cold sweat going down my spine.
Yee Haw...Yee Haw!
Five years this coming October that I've been at Preston. I'm very pleased and thrilled to work here...a wonderful atmosphere and everyone here is a professional.
Preston GM's been around since the mid 60s. In this current location since 1975 and it was founded of course by George Preston who's now passed away but that's the namesake of the dealership.
Preston as a dealership, sponsors the Boys and Girls of Langley Football Clubs, the River Men, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Langley, and many other endeavors.
We're situated right in the heart of Langley and we sell a great variety of vehicles, whether it's pickup trucks, which of course Langley has a lot of pickup trucks, we sell EVs in a huge quantity, and then of course sports cars and Corvettes. So we're the largest GM dealer in the Lower Mainland, in overall sales and I think it's really, our location, our people, and our community.
My first one, I worked at another GM dealer and it was a beautiful day like today. It was an August day when all of a sudden this gorgeous red convertible pulled in front of my office window and it turns out it was my turn to see this customer. So I sold him a Silverado and his name was John. So I said, so John are you trading anything in? And when they pointed to this gorgeous car I said: Are you insane? Why would you do that I've never seen such a beautiful car. Torch red convertible C4. He said, well I've got two more in my garage at home so this one's got to go. So the very next day I put a thousand dollar deposit on the car. So I was totally thrilled and that was my my initiation to a Corvette. My kids were shocked that their dad bought a Corvette and it was beautiful. After babysitting my grandson one Saturday night, I was driving home and a Dodge half-ton, sorry Dodge, half-ton came through the light and smashed into my passenger door, destroying the car into a million pieces and broke my ribs and I was I was pretty devastated. I searched and searched and I found one on the Island. And I was able to get a good deal on it, and actually the owner of the dealership drove it to my house.
One day, one of my rare weekends off. Leigh Hepner our General Manager came to me and said, Henry, this is your weekend off right? I said yes. And he said well I was wondering if you might be able to help us? And I asked him, well what do you need? He says, well we're having a big event at the Thunderbird Equestrian Centre near Aldergrove and Sarah in fleet is all by herself.
We were a sponsor we wanted some sales people on site to talk to the people there about trucks and we thought you know we should get a few people and I invited Henry just to be one of the people to stand there and talk to people about trucks.
The next morning on Saturday, around 10 o'clock. I drove down to Stampede Tack and uh I walked into the store and said, well I need to buy a hat. Then I said, what have you got for belts? I found a nice black one with brown stitching and then I said, what have you got for belt buckles? So he took me to this big cabinet they had about 15 or 20 belts and as soon as I saw this one, I had to have it. So that was the belt and then one of the sales ladies says, well have you got boots? And, what actually I said was, you know I'm already over $300. You're worse than car salesman here. You're squeezing me for every penny I've got. So we all laughed. So I bought the boots. So after that I got home and I, then about 2:30 in the afternoon, I came and I walked into the front door of Preston. So I had my hat on and my tie, and I walked up to Peter and I said, howdy partner. And he looks at me he goes, Henry, what's this? Well Leigh turns around and sees me and he's laughing for the next 15 or 20 seconds. I says, Peter you're looking at the new me. I said, I've just separated myself from all the guys on the floor. And uh, I think. what better way than dressed like this in horse country. He looks at me and he goes, you know Henry, I think you've got something there.
He said, you know I want to go kind of all in and I said well Henry, if you're, you're going to do it, don't go halfway. We got to go all in. And I didn't even realize what I had said, what would happen after I said that, because he's clearly gone all in!
And then Leigh says, I can't believe it. Henry, you've created a whole new person in the last 24 hours. I love it. And Peter says, okay done!
It does add some fun. I mean, there's a challenge with all sales people to have customers remember who they are when they come in. Because ultimately, you know we all, a lot of times, always look alike. A shirt and a tie and we need to maintain a certain level of professionalism. Thankfully, I think Henry's been able to keep, keep it fun. You know, a lot of customers do think it's interesting, it's memorable, nobody forgets who they dealt with.
I've even had customers, they drive by on on the Bypass and they've seen me out on the lot, and they come and they say, we like to see that cowboy.
Thank you for calling Preston GM, Mary speaking. Of course, hold please.
Corvette Cowboy, line one please. Corvette Cowboy, line one.
You've gone as far as branding your car to match your persona? Yes, I actually had a photograph wrap, a vinyl wrap, put on my car with with me standing inside a fire. And I had my wife, Juney on the trunk lid, and I had Corvette Cowboy on the back of my car with the capital C's were actually horseshoes. So I've been noticed around the community. People honk their horn and my license plate says, Find Me. So they're they're able to find me on Instagram and on Youtube.
They see them on the road, obviously when they drive around Langley and, but he's been able to maintain a certain level of professionalism that we can we can keep too, which has been great.
I'm not just the Corvette Cowboy without "The Car". Today my car arrived, and I have "The Car".
It's very cool to see him get, what could only be described as his absolute dream car. His Corvette now is nice, but this is another level entirely and it is an exciting day to see him finally get that car.
Well basically we do, what's called a PDI, pre-delivery inspection. We bring the car in, do a general once-around, make sure the fluid levels are all topped up: washer fluid, the oil, transmission fluid, all that kind of stuff. Then we do a, put on any LPO options, which are limited production options like, a back wing, a carbon kit, anything like that, that needs to be put on. Then we unwrap it and clean it up in the detail department. We have a very personal relationship with most of the Corvette owners that come in. A lot of them, we know by name. So it's more of a personal relationship rather than just a business relationship. We've already had hands-on courses for the new Corvettes, as well as video courses that we watch online to do with the different systems that are in the Corvette. The sound system, the side detection, the lane change detection, so they all have to be calibrated and adjusted.
So Henry, you've taken delivery of the car. What are your first impressions? Wow, wow, and wow!
It really, it really is quite something. Oh, it's amazing! Just looking at it and thinking that's my car. And getting in and experiencing the drive, like right now, it's it's surreal. It is nothing like my C5. Being at the center of the car uh, and the balance, the steering wheel, the grip, the the beautiful texture of the leather, the stitching. It's so well engineered and put together. It's a thrill from starting it, to driving it, to shutting it off and parking it. I can't help but look at it when I walk away. Well the cockpit of this car, it's kind of like being in a spaceship almost. I mean, it wraps right around you. Absolutely, It's all screen. I've never sat in the cockpit of a jet fighter but if this is about as close as I'll ever get. It's exciting to be, have everything on display, around you, at a touch of your fingertips. Everything is here that I need, and I'm still trying to get used to everything, and how everything works, to be honest.
Is there any features that have surprised you or things that you really like about the car?
Just just the the feel. The steering. Some people didn't, weren't sure what they thought of the steering wheel. I think it's incredible. The grip, and I always know when I'm on dead center with this red leather at the center on the top. It's so well put together, the stitching, the metal covers on the Bose speakers, the wireless charging of the phone right beside me, the climate control on this large divider here. It, it's, so well put together, I uh, I really, I really feel spoiled.
Well this is one of the things that I think some people were not too sure about, was this big strip of buttons and the separation between the passenger and the driver. But it doesn't feel odd sitting here as a passenger. It feels quite normal right. And then of course all the things that you can control on that screen, the passenger can control on this strip of buttons. They have total comfort, whether it's their heated seats, their air-cooled seats-they're vented. Everything's power adjusted for their climate control, they can be comfortable all the time.
The sound of the transmission when it shifts, how it revs up and down. It's like a symphony orchestra, yeah, on its own. I just love it. The visibility. I see everything perfectly, clearly. Well this is one of the things I was wondering because, this is an automatic, and you can't get it in a stick. That's right. Do you still have the real feel of driving, even though there's no stick? Oh, 100%. Absolutely! From the comfort of the seats, to the feel on the road. Just hearing the shifting in the background. I know that I don't hear the exhaust as loud but people behind me will certainly hear it. Well the shifting is very precise and very quick. Oh yes! It senses how much power you're demanding of the car and it shifts differently depending on how fast you're going or slowing down. I love how it revs up and revs down. Well congratulations, because it's...it's really beautiful and, as you know, I have one on order, through you. Yes. I can't wait to get it now I feel spoiled that I've been sitting in here. Well, if you could sense and see my excitement, I know exactly what you're going to feel on delivery day. It'll be thrilling for me with every customer that I have. Well, I imagine it's going to be a different experience for you now, because when you sell a Corvette, at least you will have that experience yourself. Yeah, that's right.
And what's new for me is my blind, blind spot warning, which even in my parking stall where I live, it senses the concrete walls on both sides, and the blind spot on the mirrors lights up. So having that and a backup camera for the first time...seems like a small thing but for me, it's big. And that high-wing on the back, I see it. It just is so sexy. There's no other way for me to describe it. Well there's really no feature that's left off of this car, is there? No. It's...everything is there to enjoy. Well the car is very smooth but very tight feeling as well isn't it. Oh very tight. It is so, so sensitive. I guess my other car was almost 21 years old and this one is only the second new car of my life and what a car! To have a supercar like the C8 Corvette...a dream come true! I never even dreamed it would be possible.