Born in Brooklyn, native New Yorker, John Staluppi started his life from humble beginnings. His father, Francis, was a hard working electrician who worked two jobs to make ends meet and his mother Millie was a homemaker.
It was the 1950's - the golden years of the American automobile. There would never be another era like it and John Staluppi was fortunate enough to have witnessed the innovation, imagination, and vision in the automotive industry.
Even though his father encouraged him to become an electrician, John was already bitten by the car bug. His father did, however, teach John the value of quality, hard work, family and friends. John went for the American dream and had the courage to do what he really loved – to be a part of the automotive industry in America.
Part of American Auto History
He was rebellious and had a run in with the law in his youth, but was able to move forward towards his dream. First, he started out as a 16 year old mechanic. John was motivated and talented and soon became an expert in cars. It was at this time that his dad recognized John's exceptional drive and decided to help. His father took out a loan so his son could run a Sunoco station. John Staluppi is incredibly grateful to his father for his support and guidance during that time.
Through creative marketing, John was able to make this and other gas stations a success. With these successes and practical experiences, he was able to take a risk on a venture called Honda - an unknown name at the time. John Staluppi was, however, able to see it's potential. Within a decade of hard work, he owned close to 20 dealerships and the Honda name took off in the United States.
His commitment to Honda during this time, made him an integral part of shaping the automotive industry. The next venture for John Staluppi was Hyundai, another solid success. The Hyundai investment showcased his business philosophy - to stay with quality franchises, focus on a particular market and try to get the best people. Through all successes, John Staluppi always made sure he put people first. In fact, John is proud that there is a sign in all his dealerships that reads "Every visitor to our dealership is an honored guest in our home, every day, every time, without fail, no exceptions". This statement represents his commitment to his customers over the years.
John Staluppi 's successes were never just for him. He vowed that if ever really made it - he would help those less fortunate. He grew up with an intimate knowledge of people who have a tough life - and now he feels an obligation to help needy people have an easier life in some way. The list of charities and fundraisers that John is involved with is extensive -from Hospice, National Kidney Registry, to Make a Wish Foundation - John Staluppi says that each charity event keeps him down to earth. When a child hugs him for granting his wish (Make a Wish Foundation) or when he can provide state of the art wheelchairs for spinal cord injury victims (Darrell Gwynn Foundation) - John Staluppi says “ I hope this is my legacy.”
Insight: John Staluppi, superyachts, and Spectre by Superyacht Times
For the second time, famed automobile collector John Staluppi is selling most of his automobile collection so he can start all over again.
Among all collectors of rare objects, whether they collect vintage wines, hand-crafted watches or fine crystals, the common characteristic is unwavering passion. Philanthropist and entrepreneur John Staluppi, owner of one of the most admired and notable classic car collections in the United States, is no exception.
Staluppi’s Cars of Dreams Collection will be a featured auction item of Barrett-Jackson, the leader in collector car and automotive events, at the 16th Annual Palm Beach Auction, April 12–15 at the South Florida Fairgrounds. Staluppi’s collection features approximately 140 classic American cars — predominantly convertibles — from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. This collection is recognized for the quality of the cars and for the meticulous care each of these beauties has received. So why exactly is Staluppi putting them up for auction? Dolce put the question to him in a recent interview.
“It’s all about ‘the find’ with me,” says Staluppi. “I’m all about finding the cars, buying the cars and collecting the cars. I’m not a long-range holder on anything. Even in the stock market, when I feel like selling — winning or losing, I’m selling. I enjoy finding the cars, bidding on the cars, buying the cars and working on the cars.”
This might sound like a surprising philosophy, but Staluppi can’t be wrong. After all, from his start as a gas station mechanic in Brooklyn, New York, he has built a billion-dollar automotive dealership empire that employs more than 3,000 people.
“Even though my family were electrical contractors, I had no interest in putting my hand in a plug and getting a shock,” recalls Staluppi. “I always loved cars and I was a very good mechanic, and always wanted to open my own shop. So my family took out a mortgage on the home and helped me open my first gas station. That’s how I progressed.”
“I’M ALL ABOUT FINDING THE CARS, BUYING THE CARS AND COLLECTING THE CARS”
Inside every one of Staluppi’s car dealerships is a sign that summarizes his outlook on his business and toward his customers. It reads, “Every visitor to our dealership is an honoured guest in our home.”
“Car dealerships can be very intimidating environments for most people, as you’re walking in to buy an expensive item — probably the second-most expensive item, next to a home,” says Staluppi. “We want people to be relaxed. My guys do not say, ‘Can I help you?’ They say, ‘Good afternoon, how are you? My name is John, what’s yours?’ This makes people feel a little bit more comfortable. So that’s why we have that sign: so the customer knows how we want to treat people.”
Staluppi has been a car collector for decades. A few of the crown jewels in the Cars of Dreams Collection are a ’58 Dual Ghia Convertible; a ’69 Chevrolet Camero RS/SS Indy Pace Car; a ’65 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible; and a ’63 Volkswagen Beetle, one of the cars used in several of the iconic Herbie the Love Bug films by Walt Disney.
CHEVROLET CORVETTES RAISE $2.325 MILLION AT BARRETT-JACKSON TO BENEFIT MILITARY VETERANS
GM and Chevrolet offered two first retail production Corvette models for auction at Barrett-Jackson today raising a total of $2.325 million to benefit military veterans.
First up on the auction block was the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition coupe signed by President George W. Bush was bought by John Staluppi, owner of Atlantic Automotive Group, for $1.4 million. The proceeds will benefit the Bush Center’s Military Service Initiative. The primary goal of the Military Service Initiative is to ensure post-9/11 veterans and their families make successful transitions to civilian life with a focus on gaining meaningful employment and overcoming the invisible wounds of war.
With his James Bond themed yachts, groundbreaking designs and larger than life personality, John Staluppi is one of our industry’s most recognisable figures. Staluppi, who expects his latest yacht, the 69m Spectre, to be delivered by Benetti in May 2018. Staluppi described his 57m Skyfall as his “interim” boat, when he met Felix Sowerbutts earlier this year at the Palm Beach Boat Show. Read Full Article
"Five charity cars raised the roof as they sold for a total of $515,000 (with an additional $10,000 donation by Michelle Mauzy and family), bringing Barrett-Jackson close to the $94 million mark in total funds raised for non-profits to date. A highlight was a ’96 Ford Mustang (Lot #3001) built by students at the Jordan Vocational High School in Georgia. Entrepreneur and collector car magnate John Staluppi and his wife Jeanette purchased it for $50,000.
“In an ultimate show of generosity, John and Jeanette announced they would re-auction the Mustang at our Northeast Auction to spur additional donations for the Jordan students,” said Jackson. “We’re grateful for their kindness and that of our other bidders who purchased charity vehicles."
Vocational education in high school helped shape Staluppi’s future, Harris said. “That was near and dear to his heart, because he saw how much value it had in his life.”
Staluppi, according to his online biography, “is a walking, talking embodiment of the American dream. Starting out as a gas station mechanic in Brooklyn, Staluppi built a billion-dollar business of car dealerships before turning his hand to creating some of the most iconic superyachts ever built.” He also established a vintage automobile museum, Cars of Dreams, which Team Red Jacket toured in North Palm Beach. Fla.
The bidding for Team Red Jacket’s car started at $10,000 and quickly quintupled, zooming past the auction’s $9,000 record for a student-restored car, Harris said he was told.
“We were excited and happy and emotional all at the same time,” Breanna said. “Most of us didn’t even think it would go past $18,000 or $20,000, but then it just kept going up.”
“Barrett-Jackson continues to lead the collector car community in supporting veterans, youth programs, medical research and countless other worthy causes,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “Our history of helping runs deep in our company’s DNA and it’s such a rewarding experience to share the stage with many of the individuals that our charity vehicles benefit. Having a true hero like retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell on the block to support the Lone Survivor Foundation was one of the more inspirational moments we’ve experienced during a charity auction.”
Based on the new Sunrise 68m by A. Vallicelli & Co, Project Skyfall was designed for one of the world's most experience yachtsmen, renowned for his spirit of innovation.
The aggressive sleekness of the yacht's lines reflects its ambitious performance targets: a fast displacement steel-hull, Project Skyfall will have a shallow draft of less than 3 metres, a top speed of 25 knots and a transatlantic range.
The yacht will also be a showcase of innovative technologies, never utilized on a yacht before, including VOITH linear jets propulsion and MME microturbines power generation.
The bidding was fierce, taking barely 3 minutes to complete. We all know from the Disney Love Bug movies that Herbie can drive himself, and did he ever this past Saturday. Herbie drove himself right into the record books selling for an eye popping $115,000 to well-known millionaire car dealer and collector John Staluppi.
On Saturday, WWE Hall of Fame member Hulk Hogan took center stage and, in true “Hulkamania” fashion, ripped the shirt off his back to help Barrett-Jackson raise much-needed funds for U.S. veterans, children, cancer patients and others across the country. A few generous, philanthropic car dealers combined to raise $400,000 for the Achilles Freedom Team. David Flynn purchased the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro COPO Race Car VIN #001 for $300,000 followed by an additional $100,000 pledge from Jeanette and John Staluppi.
“Every Barrett-Jackson auction brings with it an opportunity to improve the lives of deserving individuals and organizations through the sale of charity cars,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “We truly appreciate the consignors who donate their vehicles and the bidders who bid from their heart. I’m confident that some wonderful opportunities will open up for those in need with the nearly $1 million in charity auction sales in Palm Beach.”
Barrett-Jackson has raised literally tens of millions of dollars for charity and there's probably never been a woman who's done as much for automobile racing then the legendary Linda Vaughn, a/k/a Hurst Miss Golden Shifter.
So when the two of them team up, it's magic, especially when a noted philanthropist and car collector like Palm Beach resident John Staluppi is involved and so is noted Oldsmobile restoration house Thornton Motors Inc.
Friday at the 12th annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Collector Car Auction, a 1969 Oldsmobile 442 convertible Hurst Shifter car replica built by Thornton Motors sold for $200,000, every penny of which will go to Darrell Gwynn Foundation.
The 1969 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible Hurst Shifter Replica made famous by Linda Vaughn sold for $200,000 at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach on Friday, April 11. The car was purchased by longtime foundation supporter John Staluppi. Proceeds from the auction of the car benefit the Darrell Gwynn Foundation. The Darrell Gwynn Foundation’s mission is to SUPPORT people with paralysis and PREVENT spinal cord injuries.
Faith was rewarded: Having raised $7.7 million for construction, the 1,300-member Palm Beach Gardens church broke ground on the Staluppi Center, the crown jewel of its construction campaign. The 26,450-square-foot center comes complete with theater stage, kitchen, band room, choral room, art classroom with kiln, middle school science lab and computers, coffee shop and bookstore.
“St. Mark’s is a jewel,” says John Staluppi, a businessman and philanthropist whose two young grandchildren attend the school. “My wife Jeanette and I are thrilled to provide this gift to St. Mark’s, because the children, parishioners, and members of the community will benefit from the enhanced programs the center will provide.”
(Excerpt from April 2012 - Boat International.com) Literally and metaphorically, John Staluppi has spent much of his life with his head in an engine. As a 16 year old mechanic he fell in love with the muscular engines of classic 1950s cars, whose voluptuous forms convey speed, even when standing still. Later his mechanical passion was the basis on which he built an empire of auto dealerships, and of his sideline in super yachts, which he commissions, uses, charters and sells. His success has afforded him the luxury of a private museum, Cars of Dreams in North Palm Beach, Florida, filled with angular sedans and undulating soft tops. But a visitor is still most likely to find him out the back, tinkering with a carburetor.
(Excerpt) The largest yachts expected at this years show is the New 200' Benetti Luxury Superyacht "Diamonds Are Forever". Shown by Ocean Independance, this true luxury yacht is a stunning collaboration between John Staluppi, Benetti Yachts, and Evan K. Marshall. This combined talent has resulted in a yacht that meets the most demanding charter requirements; palatial amounts of space, the very best materials and technology, the highest levels of service, and the utmost privacy and security. This fantastic yacht cruises in on Friday morning so come see the queen as she makes her appearance at Palm Harbor Ramp E; Slip E300A
(Excerpt) Our charter experts had the priceless opportunity of touring Owner John Staluppi's newest Bond-themed megayacht, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER. This Benetti 60-meter masterpiece is a dazzling tribute to the superb naval architecture and engineering synonymous with the brand, and the artistic genius of designer Evan Marshall . . .
John & Jeanette Staluppi Buy "Garlits vs. Gwynn Dragsters" from Darrell Gwynn Foundation for $100,000 at 10th Annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction, April 7
(Excerpt from Article) Car purchase caps off amazing week of generosity by John & Jeannette Staluppi
DGF Donates $24,000 Wheelchair to Madison Wilson of Miami
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Longtime foundation supporters John & Jeannette Staluppi purchased the Garlits vs. Gwynn Dragsters (Lot #3006) from the Darrell Gwynn Foundation for $100,000 at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach on Saturday, April 7 hosted by the South Florida Fairgrounds. The car was donated back to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation by Ron Pratte after he purchased them at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale. Proceeds from the sale of these cars benefit the Darrell Gwynn Foundation's mission to SUPPORT people with paralysis and PREVENT spinal cord injuries.
"What an amazing gesture by John Staluppi," said Darrell Gwynn. "They've done so much for us and did so much for us this week I just can't thank them enough. Their generosity propelled our mission so much this week. I just thank them and may God Bless them."
In addition to purchasing the Garlits vs. Gwynn Dragsters, John & Jeannette Staluppi hosted "Wheels of Dreams", a fundraiser at their Cars of Dreams Museum to benefit the Darrell Gwynn Foundation on Thursday night and donated the 1960 Chevy Impala to the foundation that sold or $70,000 on Friday to Joe Riley at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach.
Also, while on stage at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach several Barrett-Jackson bidders and supporters pledged their generosity by making donations to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation collectively totaling approximately $30,000.
While on stage, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation donated a $24,000 "Mini-Mouse" themed power wheelchair to 4 year-old Madison Wilson of Miami. Madison, who is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy with complications was denied the power wheelchair she needed by Medipass. She is a patient at the Ann Storck Center and she was referred to DGF by Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital. Her new power wheelchair will give her the gifts of mobility and independence and allow her to start school next fall.
WHEELS OF DREAMS - Event to benefit the Darrell Gwynn Foundation
View Article "Wheels of Dreams Gala hosted by John & Jeannette Staluppi Raises funds Darrell Gwynn Foundation"
NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Darrell Gwynn Foundation, on behalf of its donors, donated a $13,500 "Batman Themed" wheelchair to Tyler Wright, a six year-old from Pompano Beach, Fla. "Wheels of Dreams" Gala at the Cars of Dreams Museum on April 5. Tyler, a well-liked student at Charles Drew Elementary School, is diagnosed with cerebral palsy and could not propel himself in his old manual wheelchair. Medicaid denied his claim for the proper wheelchair he needs. The new power wheelchair will give him the gift of mobility he needs so he can ride the bus to school on his own and engage more with his classmates as well as be more independent at home. The donation was made through the Darrell Gwynn Foundation's national Wheelchair Donation Program.
Tyler in his new Batman themed wheelchair complete with cape and mask was able to visit with his family a replica of the famous "Batmobile" which is on display at the Cars of Dreams Museum. The event was hosted and underwritten by John & Jeannette Staluppi. Proceeds from the event benefited the Darrell Gwynn Foundation's mission to provide SUPPORT for people with paralysis and PREVENT spinal cord injuries.
AUTOMOTIVE LEADERSHIP ROUNDTABLE AWARDS - JOHN STALUPPI - BUSINESSMAN EXTRAORDINAIRE
"It's the Oscars of the Auto Industry," said Grant Cardone, best-selling author and noted sales expert.
12 Questions with John Staluppi
Becoming Number One:
It's all about people and process.
Staying on top:
Focusing on the growth areas of our business, customer retention and the Internet.
Something unique about Atlantic Hyundai:
Our average employee tenure is over 10 years.
Favorite part about being a dealer:
The continuous challenge and excitement.
One homerun in 2010:
Using the Joe Verde training sessions
Something you would do differently last year:
Well, we just didn't have enough focus on our used car business.
What would you improve in the automotive industry?
Due to the industry reputation, it is very tough to recruit and attract educated young people. It is a great business and people would see that if they gave it the chance.
Next five years:
Look for Hyundai to continue on its path of gaining market share.
A leader finds a way to get the most out of his people. A leader builds a team and surrounds himself with people more talented than himself.