Filed under: History
In the early 60s, my dad worked at McClure-Norrington Chevrolet at 46th and Troost in Kansas City. He started out in the service department doing “New Car Get Ready”, which was a common starting position at the time. When the new Chevy’s would come off the transporter, they required a few hours of dealer prep before they were ready for resale to the public. Hubcaps were installed, antenna screwed on, floor mats in place, washed, fluids topped, and a dealership name tag installed on the deck lid. My father was in his early 20s, newly married and making a very low wage, but he loved his job, being surrounded by brand new Novas, Impalas, and Chevelles in every possible configuration. Ironically, they were still saving for a car of their own.
A short while later my parents were invited a big-shot family wedding a few hours to the north of KC. The following Saturday afternoon, dad had just prepped a fresh dealer-ordered Impala SS convertible, Ember Red, 283 V8 equipped with every conceivable option installed. Against his better judgement, he unhooked the speedometer cable, told my gullible mother that it was a “dealer loaner” and drove her up to the wedding in the morning. The car was a big hit, with all the relatives remarked how well he must be doing at the new job and how stunning the Super Sport was. Little did they know how badly pops was sweating, as the guilt and worry of loosing his job or damaging the car began to settle in. He drove back to Kansas City at mock speed that Sunday evening, dropping mom off and taking the Impala back to the service department. The car was re-washed, fluids double-checked, speedo reconnected and floor mats put in place on the pristine carpets.
Monday morning came and he walked to work, hoping for the best. The salesman had just sold a little lady school teacher the shiny red convertible that “they had just got off the truck” last week, with a mere 3 or 4 miles on the odometer. As she drove away with a big smile, he cautioned her to break it in slowly, giving the new motor a few hundred miles to break in…
Dad never pulled that stunt again.