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Packard53
11-07-2010, 05:27 PM
One of the things that I miss this time of year is going to see all the new cars. I am 61 years old and my father has been passed away for several years. When I was young kid my father would take my brother and me to all to new car dealerships in the area to see the new cars introduced for the new year and get all the latest car new car info.

John S.

Flashback
11-07-2010, 05:46 PM
I will agree. I am 66, and my Dad and I used to visit the dealerships here in town when
I was a kid. My sons and I did a number of years back. It seems to not be a big deal,
even with the dealers any more.

okc63avanti
11-07-2010, 05:47 PM
John,

Thanks for sharing such a great memory. Here in OKC in the fall we have our State Fair and one of the pavilions is set up with new car models from all the domestic makers and from several of the larger foriegn companies as well. Next time their is a Auto Show Exhibition or State Fair in your area why not go for old time sakes and bring along a family member or a friend. I love checking out all the new cars this year I particularly checked out the following for a closer look ...

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2011 Lincoln MKX
2011 Ford Edge
2011 Toyota Highlander

rockne10
11-07-2010, 06:05 PM
Also now in my sixties. Even before I was old enough to drive I would go to the dealerships, ogle the new models and gather the always plentiful sales brochures.
They would be worth something if I hadn't pitched them years ago.

BobPalma
11-07-2010, 06:19 PM
Good topic!

The Indianapolis New-Car Auto Show takes place roughly December 23 through January 1 every year, figuring many people are off work with time on their hands to attend such things. I'll be 65 in a couple months and Dad (the former Packard-Nash-Studebaker-Willys dealer) is 93. My son Joe is now 30.

When Joe was a youngster, the three of us (me, Dad, Joe) would go to The Indianapolis Auto Show together on New Year's Day afternoon. 'Stop on the way at a certain Arby's Roast Beef in Speedway IN for lunch, then spend until mid-afternoon at the show. Very much an annual tradition; just the three of us. We might have done it about nine years running.

Ultimately, of course, Joe graduated from college and went off to Washington and New York City to do his "cheffing" thing about 8 years ago. I continued to take Dad by myself for a couple years, although we both missed Joe being along, while Dad still wanted to go to the show, or felt he could. As of about four years ago, he didn't feel up to it, so the tradition died.

'Funny how simple things like that are important beyond their apparent simplicity. BP

jclary
11-07-2010, 06:24 PM
Well, buying a new car was so unrealistic to my large rural family, it wasn't even a topic for discussion, let alone going to a dealership and get in the way of real potential customers.

Our fall tradition was a trip to Sears and Roebuck for a pair of jeans and coveralls. Maybe a winter coat and new shoes. I remember the little comic books with western and rodeo stories that came with the jeans.

We kids merely marvelled at the new cars and dreamed ..."some day..."

My parents were happy just to have a car but I never recall them discussing buying a new one until I was in my late teens.

Now, when you look at what passes for domestic cars, you have to wonder just how much of it was really made here. Who would have thought that you'd see a Toyota made in Texas, a BMW in S.C. or a Mercedes in Alabama, or a Volkswagen from Tennessee?

8E45E
11-07-2010, 06:47 PM
This one is somewhat philsophical for me. The big three (when they really WERE 'big') always had their new car showing for the public on the Friday evening and Saturday, usually in mid-September. Without fail, I always went with my dad to see them, and grab a handful of brochures while I was at it. It was an annual event that I looked forward to. A few years later, one of the Ford dealers would rent the Jubilee Auditorium for one evening, usually the Tuesday or Wednesday previous to the weekend, which was invite only for regular customer who were on their guest list which my dad was one for a time. International Auto Shows held at a trade center as BP speaks of them were basically unheard of until the early 80's here. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, and others have always had them, probably since the beginning of the automobile, but it was a relatively new concept here. As I recall, the AMC dealer was usaually a week late, or a week early with their next year's offerings, and rarely did you see any of the foreign cars until the actual calendar year.

Craig

Flashback
11-07-2010, 07:01 PM
I didn't mention in an earlier post, but the new car introduction I remember most, was the 64 1/2 Mustang.
Three buddies and myself, climbed a 6 foot fence, went thru briars, and slid down a bank to see the one
and only one that was "hidden" til show date at the local Ford dealer. We later learned there was a unlocked
gate we could have sneaked thru.

2moredoors
11-07-2010, 07:24 PM
I too looked forward to seeing the new cars in years past partly because as previous posters have stated, dealers made a big event of the new car offerings. Most if not all manufacturers had their new offerings in the fall. My father and I would go from one dealer to the next to see what they were offering perhaps sample a donut or cookie. Even VW dealers who basically were offering the same style of car year after year would invite you in to "spot the changes". Car manufacturers would also sponsor certain television shows (Chevrolet, My Three Sons) and would show teasers of their new cars. The cars mostly covered would be shown and they would uncover a tail light or some other area of the car. There is no hype now and car manufacturers bring out new year models at different times. There just is not the same "fall fever" and cars do not change much from year to year. Plus the price of cars has jumped so much over the years who is trading in a car every year or two. Anyway that is more than my 2 cents worth.

JBOYLE
11-07-2010, 09:36 PM
I can recall going with my family to look at 65 Mustangs. That was a BIG deal.
Also, the fun of looking at new cars when my dad bought his beloved 69 Ford LTD four door hardtop (a great loooking car).

With the new car introductios spread all over the calendar, it's no fun anymore.
My wife bought her new 2011 Volvo in April.

clonelark
11-08-2010, 03:27 AM
Those were fun times for sure,we also have a new car showing every year, ours is in march. but this year was a real flop. NO GM cars showed up at all (Bankrupt) and most foreign makes didn't make it either. Even if they have it next year i bet attendance will be way down.

Bill Pressler
11-08-2010, 05:48 AM
Wonderful memories here. I used to look forward to "new car night" more than anything else. We were a Chevy family and my Dad would get an "invitation" in the mail for it ("You Are Cordially Invited.."), although no one was turned away, I'm sure! I remember cars behind soaped windows, or windows covered in newspaper. Exciting! My Dad or grandfather would maybe buy a new Chevy in the spring or summer, but would still be down on 'new car night' to see the changes. In our small town, you'd also see about everybody you knew, and enjoy cider, donuts, door prizes, and scooping up all the brochures. I saw the one brother that ran the Chevy dealer just a few weeks ago--he's in his late 80's--and he smiled about new car night when I brought it up. He said, "It was a big deall--and Chevy wanted us to make it a big deal!" His brother told me a few years back, that they'd typically sell four or so new cars on introduction day...pretty good for a small town.

I can remember one Sunday, my Dad and I saw our first new '70 Monte Carlo outside the dealership. It had a sheet covering the grille in front and another over the taillight/rear panel area. We hadn't looked at it for a minute when a guy came out of the shop and got in and pulled it inside--it wasn't introduction day yet!

Although I'm too young to remember new cars at our Studebaker dealer, the owner and my good friend told me once about a fellow in town and added, "We used to buy our cider from him for 'New Car Introduction Night'.

garyash
11-08-2010, 08:23 AM
It was a big deal when the new cars were introduced every fall in the '50s. I was too young to drive, but my buddies and I rode our bikes to rear lots of the dealers, hoping to get a glimpse of the new cars long before official introduction dates. We even had some friendly guys at the dealerships that would sometimes let us look at one hidden inside. Especially in the 1954-59 time frame, it seemed that the cars got almost entirely new bodies every year. And what bodies they were - not jelly beans like today, but finned, chromed sculptures with details to separate them from the competitors. Mercuries were different from Fords, and each of the GM brands had an identity. DeSotos were flashier than Plymouths, and faster, too! Every kid knew that only the Imapalas in 1958 had three tail lights per side, while the lesser models had only two.

My wife still marvels that I can spot an old car coming down the road and know immediately the make and year, at least for post-WWII cars. I'm still getting better at the pre-war stuff. I don't think kids today have the same fascination with cars as they have become look-alikes intended for "safe" transportation. I'm glad that there are still the good-looking exceptions with new cars. My wife loves her new-to-her Ford Edge, but she really wanted a new Dodge Charger with a hemi.

Lark8girl
11-08-2010, 08:41 PM
The new car introductions were such big fun days in the 1960s and seeing the cars change every year was exciting. We had new displays, refreshements and promo items to give away. As much fun was to look around my small town and see the FIRST new car owners who traded during introduction week. In the mid 1970s the introduction day was winding down. In 1976 I was selling AMC/ Jeep and we sent out the invitations and had rented a big searchlight and no one came to look at the cars. It was the last time we did any introduction promotions. Today the new cars come and go at the dealership I work at and no one pays attention to introductions.

studegary
11-09-2010, 12:50 PM
New car introductions were a big deal to me in the 1950s and 1960s in Dutchess County, NY. I usually knew someone that woud show me new models before introduction day, but I tried to go to as many introductions as posible. Most of the dealerships had a big party including food.
A) The Buick dealership had the best parties. They emptied their shop area and had buffet tables with food and drink, including hard liquor, all for free. The rest of the shop area had new cars that wouldn't fit in the showroom.
B) When the 1965 Riviera came out, a salesman was stationed in the showroom at the new Riviera making the headlights open and close for the public. I thought, I wouldn't want that particular car.
C) One introduction day, a Chevrolet dealer in the middle of Nassau County, NY, had an unusual sale. A dissheveled appearing older lady came into the showroom and looked around. The salespeople didn't pay much attention to her. She finally got the attention of one and said that she picked out this car (pointing to one). She then opened up her pocketbook and paid the salesman, in cash, the amount on the window label.

8E45E
11-09-2010, 01:38 PM
New car introductions were a big deal to me in the 1950s and 1960s in Dutchess County, NY. I usually knew someone that woud show me new models before introduction day, but I tried to go to as many introductions as posible. Most of the dealerships had a big party including food.
A) The Buick dealership had the best parties. They emptied their shop area and had buffet tables with food and drink, including hard liquor, all for free. The rest of the shop area had new cars that wouldn't fit in the showroom.
B) When the 1965 Riviera came out, a salesman was stationed in the showroom at the new Riviera making the headlights open and close for the public. I thought, I wouldn't want that particular car.
C) One introduction day, a Chevrolet dealer in the middle of Nassau County, NY, had an unusual sale. A dissheveled appearing older lady came into the showroom and looked around. The salespeople didn't pay much attention to her. She finally got the attention of one and said that she picked out this car (pointing to one). She then opened up her pocketbook and paid the salesman, in cash, the amount on the window label.

A) Very similar story here. The Pontiac/Buick dealer did serve food and pop. They never emptied their showroom to do so, but the did have a table spread along the one wall with some room to stand while the Lincoln/Mercury dealer kitty-corner to the Pontiac/Buick dealer handed out corsages to the women.

B) That sounds very similar to what they do today with the rectractable hardtops at the annual auto show. The hostesses raised and lowered the metal roof on the Volvo C60 on a twenty minute schedule. BTW, That salesman must have had to start the engine every 4 operations to build up vaccuum in the reserve tank to make those headlight covers continue operating.


C) That sounds like what my mom did in 1981. Though she didn't get ignored, she did pull her wallet out of her purse and paid for a brand new Lada in $100 bills when the salesman wrote up the deal much to his amazement.

Craig

Bob Bryant
11-09-2010, 02:05 PM
[QUOTE=studegary;C) One introduction day, a Chevrolet dealer in the middle of Nassau County, NY, had an unusual sale. A dissheveled appearing older lady came into the showroom and looked around. The salespeople didn't pay much attention to her. She finally got the attention of one and said that she picked out this car (pointing to one). She then opened up her pocketbook and paid the salesman, in cash, the amount on the window label.[/QUOTE]

In the early fifties I worked part-time at a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership. An area farmer in bib overalls had walked to the Oldsmobile-Cadillac store wanting to buy a car. He felt he was ignored, so he then came in to the C-P showroom. He drove home a new Imperial after writing a check for the total amount!

studegary
11-09-2010, 02:23 PM
In the early fifties I worked part-time at a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership. An area farmer in bib overalls had walked to the Oldsmobile-Cadillac store wanting to buy a car. He felt he was ignored, so he then came in to the C-P showroom. He drove home a new Imperial after writing a check for the total amount!

Before becoming a new/used car salesman, I learned this lesson by my own experiences. For a period of time, I would buy a one to three year old car, drive it awhile and then sell it. I would then buy a $100 load of a car for transportation until I replaced the sold car with another near new car. When I pulled up to many dealerships in a $100 car many salespeople would completely ignore me. Sometimes, before leaving, I would show the salesmanager the cash in my pocket for the car that I was interested in. They usually fell all over themselves trying to get my purchase, but I was done with them. There is always another car/dealership. When selling cars at a dealership, I always liked to see customers arrive in either a rental car or a demo from a competing dealership.

8E45E
11-09-2010, 02:33 PM
He felt he was ignored, so he then came in to the C-P showroom. He drove home a new Imperial after writing a check for the total amount!

I mentioned an experience one of my customers had with an arrogant dealer in this thread:

http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?29820-How-Hyundai-did&highlight=sonata

Craig

JRoberts
11-09-2010, 02:34 PM
Boy, this does bring back fond memories. I remember the dealerships with search lights shining across the night sky attracting folks to their showrooms. For my family it was a family affair. Dad and Mom brought by brother and me with them when they visited the new car displays. I too got as many brochures as I could, but I cut the pictures of the cars out and played with them. i remember visiting the local Studebaker dealership when it had an Avanti on display. It had all the show stuff that explained the exploits of Studebakers on the Salt Flats. My dad carefully explained the significance of all that. Locally all the dealership had their initial showing almost at the same time. So we would spend the evening visiting them all. Even the VW dealer made this a big deal. I guess keeping quiet about the new models isn't all that important any more since they rarely change much from year to year. As I remember it nobody had a clue as to what the new cars would look like back in those days. When they came in on the transporters they were full covered up and the windows of the dealerships were covered until the official showing time. That certainly was fun.

BobPalma
11-09-2010, 02:40 PM
In the early fifties I worked part-time at a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership. An area farmer in bib overalls had walked to the Oldsmobile-Cadillac store wanting to buy a car. He felt he was ignored, so he then came in to the C-P showroom. He drove home a new Imperial after writing a check for the total amount!

Anybody that has been in the car biz longer than 15 minutes has a true story to tell about the person who looked penniless but paid cash on the spot for a car or truck...and a contrary story of someone they thought was a sure-bet high roller but couldn't get financed for a set of tires, much less a whole car. As soon as you figure that out when you're new to the business, the more money you'll make.

My story: During the 1990s, I bought and sold late-model Harley-Davidson Sportster motorcycles through my friend's "Hawg" shop here in Brownsburg. One week, I had one advertised for $6,000 in the statewide Wheeler-Dealer magazine, Indiana Auto/RV.

'Couple calls on the bike from New Castle IN, about 70 miles east of Brownsburg. This guy doesn't sound overly bright, but nice enough and I treated him courteously from the get-go, although I didn't think he was a buyer in that I was sure he couldn't afford the bike, just from our conversation. Although the motorcycle shop was right on U.S. 136, Main Street right through the middle of town, he was unsure of finding it and asked if I would meet him up by the I-74 exit and guide him to the shop, that he'd call from a pay phone when he got there.

He called a couple hours later and I went up to meet him, his wife, and their two daughters in a terribly clapped-out old Chevy Blazer that I would have been afraid to drive from New Castle. And the Blazer sort of reflected the occupants, although I retained my polite and courteous attitude as I learned long ago you don't kiss people off until they give you a reason to. And they did seem like nice enough folks.

I showed them the bike and his wife says, "Well, you've always wanted one, so you go ahead and buy it." In the course of our conversation, I learned she was a stay-at-home mom who babysat a few kids on the side, and he was a full-time custodian with New Castle Public Schools, not exactly your high-roller position. But, again, I remained courteous.

The guy says, "Your ad said you would deliver the bike for free on your truck anywhere in Indiana; is that right?" I said indeed it was, that I would want a $200 non-refundable deposit to load the bike and bring it over to New Castle, and would have to have cash when I arrived with the bike, in that it was going to be Saturday afternoon when I came over. I asked politely and respectfully if that would be a problem, still not wanting to offend as he seemed serious.

Whereupon his wife says, "Oh, no; that won't be a problem. We won $80,000 two weeks ago in The Hoosier Lottery and the first half was deposited to our checking account earlier this week. I told him he could now have his "Harley" and this is the color and model he has been looking for."

As I said, you never know. The salesman that judges a book by its cover and discounts what appears to be an unqualified buyer is the salesman that will lose a sale every so often.

And he deserves it. BP