Specializing in sales of such a rare vehicle means the North Freeway Hyundai team has had to become experts at servicing and reconditioning SSRs, too, but that hasn't been problematic.
"The car doesn't really break. It's [got] a Corvette engine," notes Peebles. "As a rule, we can fix just about anything that goes wrong with the car, but there are a few items that we still take down to the Chevy store. But most Chevy stores aren't very good at it. There's not very many experienced SSR techs out there."
David Gray, of Houston, who bought his 2006 SSR from North Freeway in 2012, said the dealership staff taught him little tricks to keep his SSR in top shape, such as closing the bed's hard tonneau before the tailgate to avoid creating dimples in the cover. "Sometimes, Paul's techs and staff know things better than the [Chevy] dealers," Gray says.
Linda Dewhurst, of Orange County, Calif., purchased her 2006 SSR from North Freeway in late 2013, sight unseen, and had nothing but praise for Peebles' operation. When Dewhurst's SSR suffered a mechanical failure after purchase, she says, the dealer unexpectedly cut her a check to cover part of the repairs, without her asking. "It wasn't the amount of the money," she said. "It was the fact that they did it on their own."
Dewhurst and other SSR customers say it's possible to find lower-priced vehicles through classified ads but North Freeway tends to stock better-quality, lower-mileage SSRs, along with the hard-to-find special models.
That inventory is sourced from all over the country. "We have bought or sold into every state and shipped to Europe, Asia, Australia and South America," says Peebles.
"We buy from 70-year-old guys, and we sell to 60-year-old guys," Peebles adds. "The great thing is, 70-year-old guys don't lie to you. You don't really actually have to look at [their cars]. So I buy them all over the phone."
Maintaining good relationships with buyers and sellers is critical, given that SSR owners are a close-knit group who talk frequently online and in person. It's not unusual for Peebles to sell more than one SSR to a single buyer, or for the same SSR to pass through his hands several times.
Ray Lamothe of Summerland, British Columbia, sold North Freeway his prized Signature Series SSR back in 2010. After they agreed on a price, "Paul forwarded the full amount immediately, even though it took us two weeks to get through the documentation required to get the truck back into the U.S. from Canada," said Lamothe, who has owned no fewer than five SSRs, and he still keeps one in his garage.