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Dealer stories

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by scotts52, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. cavman
    Joined: Mar 23, 2005
    Posts: 648


    A friend of mine ordered a new car in late '69. A new Chevy II with the HP alum headed 396. He wanted to go drag racin'. Black, no frills sleeper. He waited several months for it to be delivered. He kept calling the dealership...when...when...when? At last they told him it was an it's way and he could come down and watch them off-load it from the truck. He and a couple of his buds went, all standing around watching as the driver started to back it off the top front of the got to the ramps, it wasn't quite lined up.....right rear tire went up and over the edge of said ramp...the car landed on it's roof on the sidewalk. They still talk about that.......

    Another friend took in a 38 Chev on trade at his shop. (for parts to fix his) this 38 had no water pump on it, but it did run. Richie, (the friend) wanted to see how long that old six would run without water so he started it, wired the throttle wide open and went back in his shop. This thing had so much grease caked on the engine that it caught fire when it got too hot. A customer grabbed the radiator fill can and emptied it into the carb. It kept running. 16 minutes later, it slowed down and stopped. "Richie" looked up and calmly said..."THAT was a good engine"
  2. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,620


    My mom was working in the office area at a Chevy dealership in Inglewood, Ca. in the early 1970s and came home one day and said a car had fallen of the rack in the service department. IIRC she said it was a full height drop. This was just amazing to hear.
  3. 37slantback
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 429


    The principal of an un-named High School was also a used car dealer on the side in the early 70's.. He used to pull some of us out of school and take us about an hour away to drive cars back to his lot. We got 5 bucks! I drove a 68 Charger one time with my knee planted in the carburetor.
    Ah, good times!
  4. I haven't made it all the way through this thread (only up to page 7) but it's cracking me up.

    My brother was shopping for his first "good" car. You know, like Not one we dragged out of my Grandpa's wrecking yard and got running. Sunday morning paper he sees an ad for a 78(?) camaro berlinetta, v-8 auto, etc - $1995. We went down to check it out. Dealer says "oh, that car is 2995 now" Turns out somebody traded it in on Friday afternoon and they hurried up and put the ad in the paper before they looked it over. The 305 that was in it was chock full of STP or something. When they started it saturday morning they couldn't believe the sounds coming from it. Put a new 350 in it saturday afternoon. There's my bro standing there with the paper and a little black and white pic of the car. Long story short- they weren't happy about it but they did sell it to him for the advertised price. Pretty sure somebody got an ass chewing for not checking out that trade in. Dumbass put it into a canal less then two weeks later.

    Sorry, not anywhere near in the running for a Great Story, but it's what I thought of when reading about the trade in escapades.
  5. _sir_charles_of_reno
    Joined: Jan 16, 2013
    Posts: 56


    All these great stories, I can only related my buddy's tale.

    My buddy Frank was a service manager for a Ford dealership in Oakland from '60-'68. He had this brother come in (the way he tells it is way less PC) and he says "Hey Frank I wanna buy a car. I want a new Fairlane with a 428, a 4 speed and a Dee-Troit Locker rearend." He was a dealer and everyone knew it, he wrote it up and was paid cash on the spot. Frank always is adamant that it was dope money and the only reason a brother is buying a Ford that built is cause he's running from the fuzz. Well the car comes in and Frank calls him up and says lets test drive. They take it to a section of freeway that wasn't completed yet and smoke the brand new tires up on it. The new owner is more than impressed and orders on the spot larger wheels and tires.

    That guy has worked on and ordered more amazing cars than I'd even hope to see at shows.
  6. Cerberus
    Joined: May 24, 2010
    Posts: 1,381


    I worked as a salesman at a downtown Chevy dealer, back in the day. A lady old enough to be my grandmother said she was interested in a certain car, would I show her how the car drove. We went for a demo drive through the local neighborhood. She gave me some directions, a short while later, asked me to stop. She got out. I thought she was going to drive the car back. Instead this clever lady said, "thank you young man. This is where I live. Appreciate the ride." Thought I was driving a yellow cab. :p
  7. I was working in one shop that had a bizarre cast of characters, this was in 1974 or so. We were on our 9 AM break having coffee and the phone rings for the service manager, he leaves his coffee and goes to answer it.

    One old times walks over... unzips, whips it out and dunks his unit in the unattended cup of coffee.. and says "oooohh that was hot.".

    We all laugh and I look up and see this customer waiting with his little girl who must have been all of 7. He walks away, must have had her wait in the car, comes back alone. Since there were no repercussions, I don't think the kid saw anything.

  8. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,688

    from vail az

    1972. Joe and I rode up on ten speed bikes. I had a licence and no idea.
    It was a Fiat rear engine spyder something. The salesman let us take it for a test drive. I kinda figured the clutch out and we were off. There was a rail road track the at was about 6 feet above the road and had a sharp hill so it could be driven over.
    I was going faaar to fast when we hit that hill and it launched. The car made a horrible noise when it landed and didnt feel right. The windshield also popped out. We recovered the glass and put it back in as best as two freaking out teenagers could.
    We pulled back into the lot and thankfully the sales man was busy with another customer We got on our bikes and hauled outta there like we were on fire.
  9. HotRodToomer
    Joined: Jun 25, 2006
    Posts: 857


    I worked at a Cadillac dealer as a porter/detailer for a little over a year, learned 5 things...
    1) SOME Cadillac owners are assholes when it comes to how their car is dried.
    2) You will find more illegal things then you first expect from the sent of weed.
    3) CTS-V manual coups are x2 as powerful as you think, make sure the service writer thats driving you can handle.
    4) Always be kind to the guy who tips $30 on a simple car wash.
    5) If the shitty car blows up while your moving it, somehow, its your fault.

    Even if the owner didn't know how to put oil in it, really, DID NOT KNOW.
  10. Mike Smith Buick...Lockport

    Huber Chevrolet..Omaha...Winter...
    The other service team had a Chevy station wagon(diesel) towed into an open bay just before lunch. I was just fininshing putting the last bolts in a Corvette crossmember three stalls over. I saw out the corner of my eye the other service writer approached the wagon. The hood was up and I heard it cranking over ...then a boom...THEN I saw the middle section of a connecting rod sliding across the floor towards me....I was on the ground laughing....The service writer had used ether spray to try and start the diesel.....the dealer bought the guy a new engine......
  11. Surprisingly enough they're still around. They got bigger too! Bought up 1 or 2 places in the Falls and Al Maroone Ford in Williamsville.

    Those old GM (Olds) diesels were a real laugh and a half. ;)
  12. I worked at another GM dealership as the Parts Manager out west which was a family owned store. Father and two sons. Fine upstanding father who screwed me out of my last commission check. Had to get that in.....

    More background, I was also a volunteer Firefighter/EMT with my hometown department 48 miles away.

    I had a parts driver that used to pound loudly on a locked door instead of walking 20 feet to the shop door. I told Phil one morning if he did it again he would not like the results. So a couple of hours later, a loud pounding on the door. Now I'm pissed, exit my office and fling the door open and get ready to rip him a new one. Instead I smack a salesman with the door, he and a car hauler driver are holding up another driver with a large gash in his head. Slip and fall from the middle of the deck to the ground and hit his head on the way down and off the trailer,

    So, EMT kicks in, take charge and get the driver to sit down. He is uncooperative but sits then gets up and starts to argue. I am trying to get him to allow me to treat him at the same time I am telling one of my countermen to call the local fire department. The victim gets up. And while telling me he is fine, swoons and falls to the ground. Great, now he cannot argue anymore as he is unconscious. Under my license, once they go out that patient is "mine" and under my control. Fight over.

    At this time I have a whole crowd of spectators, emptied the dealership out and all eyes are on me. I am assessing the patient and see that he is not breathing. Do the head tilt, just getting ready to start CPR thinking that I have no pocket mask and this driver is a smelly guy missing a few teeth. But a life is a life,gotta do what I have to and just before I commence, he starts to thrash and awakens.

    Yahoo! Anyway, he tries to get up and I tell him "Game's over, your loss of consciousness indicates you cannot now make a rational decision for medical care. You are my patient, under the laws of the state if you refuse I will have you arrested(legitimate under that state's EMS law) and you will be treated." Now he shuts up while the local FD and I work on him, I was still in charge as their responders only had basic responder first aid and under state law I could not give him up to them.

    Now local "Mother Jugs and Speed" ambulance pulls up. Their two third world Generals (due to all the gold buttons,badges, patches and scrambled egg epaulets) come up to me as I am standing there to inform them of the patient's status and give them a state EMS report filled out and signed by me when the head General pushed me with a hand to the chest telling me that he does not need any "CIVILIANS" to get in the way. Or maybe he didn't like my suit and tie I wore that day. Whatever.....

    Well, now the shit is hitting the fan. I proceed to tell him that this is my patient, I am the lead EMT and to keep his f*****g hands to himself (out of earshot of the patient but witnessed by the local FD Chief) unless he wanted some shit. And at this point I told his partner to come over. After ascertaining that his partner was a EMT which under state law he had to be to occupy a seat in a ambulance I turned my patient over to him after getting him to sign my EMS report. And told him to teach his buddy some manners as some day he would push the wrong person and the outcome could be a lot worse. The local Chief also had a couple of words with him on the side as I was assisting the EMT that I released the patient to.

    Anyhow, my fifteen minutes of fame that day........
  13. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,992


    I worked at a dealer for about 3 years and the only stories I can tell are from the mechanics doing stupid things like driving a car into the big garage doors or leaving a car on the lift with a stand under it over night and the car was flipped over in the morning,then there was two identical cars and they pulled the motor out of the wrong one.
  14. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,099


    still holding on to that 15 minutes aren't you.
  15. Nope,that particular fifteen minutes was almost thirty years ago, just one of many fiascos in 43 years of dealership life. Only so many times cars dropped off hoists or totaled on the lot can it be entertaining. Even technicians starting cars on fire after awhile becomes ho-hum.

    Previous dealership I worked at overlooked the parking lot of a low price motel chain. Trysts are Us should have been the name of it. My office door gave a great view to their parking lot and back half of the building. Saw a couple of busts go down there, pretty entertaining. Got to recognize more than a few "regular" customers cars. Married, but probably not to each other.
  16. Awesome thread :cool: Keep em coming! I am waiting on some more Olds dealership stories :)
  17. grazy
    Joined: Jun 21, 2008
    Posts: 223


    I was a service manager in a big tire shop in a small town and would tell customers a car was not safe to be on the road because of a badly rusted frame. Two weeks later another customer of mine would bring it in the same car into my shop and they would say they just bought it and had to tell them the same thing. There is nothing that a person can do that surprises me after working with the public long enough.
  18. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,317

    Barn Find
    from Missouri

    I'm looking for some history on Wilkinson Motors in Salt Lake City. The Bonneville truck I just found came from the Diamond T dealership owned by OJ Wilkerson, who also owned the Auburn Cord Duesenberg dealership and Zion Motors. I found this photo of Wilkinson with Ab Jenkins and a few others of Diamond T trucks on the Salt Flats. I can't seem to find much info on the truck dealership itself and whether they offered trucks concurrently or consecutively with Aurbuns and Cords. Ultimately, I'm trying to learn and document more about the realtionship between my new treasure and Salt Flats racing.

  19. luckyuhaul
    Joined: Jul 11, 2005
    Posts: 182


    In 1969 ,late winter i was workig for Don Yenko Chevrolet, it was so cold the cars on the transportor would not start! it was below 15 degrees and the high compression motors with the standard v-8 batteries simply would not fire! They probably had the thicker racing oil and that did't help a whole lot.

    Any way Don had us move the whole rig inside for the night to warm up the blocks and in the morning it was all hell break loose! Slow cranking at first , but when they fired up , it was magical music for sure!
    Wish we had the video rolling , it was a time never to be repeated!
    Talk about comb overers spinning loose, it made "Kingpins" look like an Aquaunet test flight. Never had seen Don's eight inch spread strung out to full max! A Hall of Fame Kodak moment for sure!
    As you know the rest is legend , long live Kingpin!
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  20. True story.........

    Remember when guys would look under when buying a car and they'd lean on the grille.

    Well back in late '65 I wanted my father to buy a new Mustang. So he goes to the local Ford dealer and checks one out. He opens the hood, puts his hands on the top of the grille to lean on and check out the engine and crushed the grille. My 'ol man looked over at the salesman and said "I'm not buying this piece of shit, they used chicken wire for the grille"!

    He came home with a new '66 T-Bird. :D
  21. gary terhaar
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 656

    gary terhaar
    from oakdale ny

    What ever you do,never leave naked pictures of your girlfriend in your car when getting it worked on.
    That's right,every car got riffled through. We never took anything,some guys would take pot if they found it but I was looking for those infamous naked pictures.
    One day I found them,showed everyone including the service manager. There was a announcement in code when the person who owned it picked up his car with his was like she was in a fishbowl with twenty cats looking in.
    One day while up on the lift pumping brakes for my wise ass buddy I found a woman's repair kit in the console.we would put a hat aka a number on the rear view mirror when we parked it.
    So i took off the hat and hung this tampon on the mirror,well he didn't notice it. The next day the customers husband came down flipping out on my buddy,he had no idea then the guy said "hey I thought it was funny but my wife didn't." It took ten minutes for him to figure it out.
    Now it's my turn,you never know what and when.
  22. thunderplex
    Joined: Nov 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,183


    Somehow, I don't find humor in going though other peoples personal belongings. But, I' m 66 years old and was raised to not mess with another persons property. If the pics or the "stimulating apparatus" was out in the open, it would be Game-On!!

    Sent from my DROID device using the TJJ mobile app
  23. gary terhaar
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 656

    gary terhaar
    from oakdale ny

    Well try to change a evaporator coil in a new car without removing a console or glove box,if you owned a Chrysler/jeep you either changed it or it needed to be replaced.
    ESP in the north east.
    For the most part people just don't think,drop off your car for a tune up in a van and leave the cover loaded with crap it's going to be sprawled all over when you get it back.
    Leave your vibrator in your glove box when you know they are tearing the dash out to fix your air condition,we work with our eyes open.were not thieves.
  24. thunderplex
    Joined: Nov 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,183


    You know what I'm talking about! Going through compartments without a "service reason".

    Sent from my DROID device using the TJJ mobile app
  25. blue68deville
    Joined: Oct 11, 2011
    Posts: 36


    When I was at the Benz dealership in downtown Dallas, we had more than a few stripper-owned cars come in. There were always nudie pics floating around. Those gals didn't care. Maybe figured it was free advertising.
    Saw a lot of guns, weed, and a few crack baggies there too.
    Now in Denver, we have a LOT of cars come in smelling like they just put the joint down.
  26. shadams
    Joined: Mar 16, 2011
    Posts: 1,491


    Great stories here. I have tons of them but the only one I can think of right now is when I was "test drying" WS6 Ram Air Trans AM.

    I think it was a 2000, but I was tasked with cleaning it up for the showroom, black of course. Spent all day titsing it out, then rolled in the showroom. The next morning, I see the car sitting outside way out back, find out some asshole salesman took a customer for a test drive, then didnt want to take the time to put it back in. It had rained that night, I was pissed. I said, f'it, I am just going to rinse it off and park it up front, not going through all that again. So I rinsed it off and took off for what we called a "test dry" which is what we did to avoid having to spend 20minutes with a shammy. We basically just hauled balls up the access road and back.

    So on the way back, I get it to about 80-85 when all of a sudden it sounded like I rolled down and window. I looked left, then right, then up and to my horror the dr side T-top is gone. Apparently the a-hole saleman took the t-tops off and didnt lock the drivers side on, and I didnt notice...I look in the rear view mirror and see it sailing up about 20ft in the air and land in the grass on the side of the road. I shit myself. I kept going, didnt want to see it, and as I am pulling in to the dealership one of the other guys was coming out to go on his test dry. I point up and he immediately has on OH SHIT look on his face. I hide the T/A out back and jump in his truck and we take off. We get to the scene and I slowly walk up to the outer frame with the handle in the unlock position and attached to it is a floppy rubber strip.
    I grab it up and head back, make the walk of shame into the parts dept to see how much it is, maybe its only $20, and I can get it replaced before anyone finds out. No suck luck, something like 400 if I remember right. They didnt make me pay for it or even ask why I was driving it, just had to take a drug test.
  27. shadams
    Joined: Mar 16, 2011
    Posts: 1,491


    Another one, new 3/4 suburban, just finished the PDI and was parking it in the overflow section in front of a little sunfire. Same time, aroudn 1999-2000. Line up to back up in front of the car and one of the techs was waiting for me so he could get by, and I pretended like I was jacking around and didnt see him just to be a dick, then did the "haa j/k and punched it backwards. I hit the shit out of the sunfire, again, shit myself. I pulled forward and got out...

    Now, this is hard to explain, but the sunfire had a flat license plate bracket that riveted in 4 spots, two up top on the bumper and two way back at the bottom so there was a long tube that reached back where the facia was to rivit on. The trailer hitch 2" sqaure tube on the sub hit dead center on the lp bracket hole with the tube and collapsed the tube, didnt make a scratch on the car. I ran into parts and bought a 5$ lp bracket and riveted it on, never said a word....
  28. shadams
    Joined: Mar 16, 2011
    Posts: 1,491


    Another one....Salesman wants to take some customers on a road test in a new Park Avenue. The battery is dead so he comes and borrows my jump box. Gets it going and they all hop in. Of course, puts it in gear and the doors lock, then the car shuts off cause he didnt let it run long enough for the battery to get a decent charge.

    Now its the middle of the summer, three old people, including the salesman, sitting in a hot car with all the doors lock and no electrical power. Everyone starts to panic and the salesman decides he is going to lay over on the customers lap and kick the window out. If you have ever tried to break a car window, you know it aint as easy as it looks in the movies. He kicks, and kicks, and kicks, and kicks, and then turns over (face in customers crotch) and donkey kicks over and over and over. The window never breaks, but he manages somehow to bend the window frame far enough out where he can pull the keys out of the ignition and unlock the door from the outside, saving the day...

    He gets everyone out and they are so traumatized by what happend they blaze out. He comes into the service office carrying the jump box and tells me that story at about a hundered miles an hour, sweaty as hell, red faced, but super stoked he just saved these peoples lives and acting like he should get a medal...I said

    "Al.............why didnt you just unlock the door with the little knob on the door panel....?"

    He went from bright red and exicited, to green and white in about two seconds. He left the car where it sat and in about 3 minutes I had managed to tell everyone what happend and damn near the whole dealership was standing around the car pointing and laughing..He even peeled some of the door skin of the door frame....$2000 dollars and a battery later and all was well.

    We called him Al "daniel son" P from that day forward..
  29. After seeing things like used sanitary napkins between the seat and console, general garbage about the interior... I stopped looking too far in customer's cars.

    But I worked with guys who did. One brings me some German hardcore porn magazines to look at that he found under the seat. So of course I take a look... nothing but shit eating, cover to cover... I almost lost my lunch on the spot.

  30. Back in 1973 I purchased a Winnebago motor home with the Chrysler 413 engine and drive line. I kept it well maintained because I used it to pull my hydroplane and trailer rig all over North America. At the time in 1975 I also had a buisness selling speed parts to Canadians; this was before the free trade agreement days. On this one weekend I happened to win the Grand Prix Hydroplane event and also sold a bunch of speed parts to the Canadians. Before crossing back over into the US I stopped at the money exchange and converted the Canadian money into US dollars loosing at the time 10%. Back then they exchanged the money in five, ten's, and twenty's. The next morning it was time for the Winnebago to be sent into the Chrysler dealership for the usual maintenance, oil and tune up. I had put the cash around nine grand in one of the cupboards and had forgot about it. I leave off the Winnebago and one of my guy's who had followed me over to the dealership picked me up and drove me back to my shop. When I got back to the shop I remembered that I had forgotten to take out the nine grand in the cupboard. In a panic I jump on my motorcycle and sidecar and head back over to the dealership. I pulled into the service area and you know how no one is allowed in the back while the blue shirts do their magic. I jump over the chain and head into the Winnebago with the service manager and two other blue shirts following him. I open up the cupboard door and all my money looks to be their. As I'm counting it out all in tens and twenty's the onlookers can't beleave it. The service manager said "it was safe no one would have touched it". I returned with "they may not have touched it but it sure as hell would have been tempting to even the most honest amongst us". I grabbed up all the bundles of cash and walked out to my sidecar and threw it into the passenger compartment. The guy's in the dealership were talking about that for sometime to come. Back at that time in history nine grand would be like sixty grand today. Would someone if they had known about the cash have helped themselves too it? That's hard to say, but you know how they always have a sign stating that the dealership isn't responsible for lost items. I was lucky that day and made sure in the future that I kept my loose cash in a better hiding place.
    Thanks for reading, Johnny Sweet

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