"Miracles happen," said the voice on the other end of the line. "I'm one of the 15!"
It was Long Island dealer Mark Calisi telling me that his dealership, Eagle Auto Mall in Riverhead, N.Y., had won its arbitration against Chrysler.
To some it may have seemed like a miracle. When Calisi got the news on June 23, he was one of only 15 dealers who had prevailed, compared with 44 wins for Chrysler.
But ever since December, when President Obama signed the law establishing the arbitration process, Calisi has been confident.
He figured winning in arbitration would be a cinch. After all, he was profitable and well capitalized. Chrysler had chosen him to be a Genesis dealer, selling all of the franchises, and there aren't any other Chrysler dealerships in his neck of the woods.
And then there was the internal Chrysler e-mail that surfaced in Bankruptcy Court last year -- the one in which Calisi was cited as a good dealer, but fingered for being litigious.
Like many, Calisi was stunned when he got a rejection notice from Chrysler in May 2009.
But his optimism grew as the Committee to Restore Dealer Rights made political headway in Washington last summer and into the fall. Calisi became a fan of the committee's leaders, especially Jack Fitzgerald and Tammy Darvish.
Along the way I cautioned Calisi not to get too excited because Chrysler would stick to its guns.
That's when he told me about a sign in his house: "Miracles Happen." He sent one of those signs to Fitzgerald and a similar sign saying "Whistle Blower" to Darvish -- along with a card bearing the miracles message.
Since then, Fitzgerald has come to terms to keep two GM stores, won his first Chrysler arbitration, in Florida, and is waiting for an arbitrator's decision in Maryland. Darvish settled with Chrysler and was reinstated by GM. And, of course, Calisi won.
Sometimes, miracles happen.