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1957 Wagons? Gulp: This explains a lot!

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  • #31
    Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
    Somewhere around here, I have a huge 1957 Pontiac full-line brochure, in that my Dad was a Pontiac dealer Sales Manager at Widdis-Neilsen Pontiac Danville IL for part of the 1957 model year. His "demo" was a charcoal gray 1957 Super Chief 4-door hardtop with pink roof and side spears and single exhaust, of which I was so embarrased I did not want my buddies seeing it. (I didn't mind the colors, but that single exhaust was just not "right" on a 1957 Pontiac with those neat dual outlets through the rear bumper being blanked off on that car. Ugh!)

    I wish I could put my hands on that brochure right now, but haven't seen it for awhile and don't have the time to initiate a search. It sounds like whether or not a brochure contained information about the "new" Transcontinental Wagon would depend on when in the model year it was printed, so I'd like to find it.
    Wow Bob! I find that hard to believe its one (U.S.) model '57 Pontiac you've never heard of; especially with your dad involved! To be honest, I can't say I've ever seen one either, and with that low of production number, its hard to say if any at all were sold here in Canada with the market already so well covered with Laurentians, etc.

    Craig

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    • #32
      Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
      Wow Bob! I find that hard to believe its one (U.S.) model '57 Pontiac you've never heard of; especially with your dad involved! To be honest, I can't say I've ever seen one either, and with that low of production number, its hard to say if any at all were sold here in Canada with the market already so well covered with Laurentians, etc. Craig
      Understandable, Craig, but the reality was this: Dad only worked at Widdis-Neilsen Pontiac maybe 9 months. It was in Danville IL, 35 miles north of Paris. We never moved from Paris to Danville; Dad just commuted every day. I think I was at Widdis-Neilsen Pontiac once, as I was only 11 when Dad worked there and, obviously, had no way to get there to see what was going on.

      It wasn't like the dealership was a bike ride away, as were the dealerships in Paris itself, all of which were "downtown," as were dealerships in small towns in the 1950s. Of course, today, they are big places on the edge of town with dozens of vehicles in stock.

      But when Dad was in business in Paris, even the "big" dealerships such as Bishop & Gross Ford and G&O Chevrolet/Cadillac, were right downtown within a block of the courthouse and town square. You could walk to them from the center of town faster than you could drive!

      IIRC, Bishop & Gross started the exodus from downtown with a big new Ford/Mercury facility out on U.S.150 east of Paris, opening in 1957. Boy, that was a great, big deal; it was so BIG! In fact, again IIRC, it is still the Ford dealer location today, if the Ford dealership is open in Paris. It was bought by some mafia types circa 2000 and Ford got shanghied by not having properly vetted the principals of the consortium that bought it. When I went back for my 45th High School Class reunion in 2009 (Paris High School Class of '64), the Ford dealership property was closed and locked with tumbleweeds blowing across the lot. There were all manner of rumors as to what happened, but Ford pulled the franchise.

      Yes, it is difficult to imagine the county seat of a properous rural county in east central Illinois not having a Ford dealership, but they didn't for awhile and I still don't know if it has reopened. (A long time ago, partner Bishop sold out to Bob Gross and it was Bob Gross Ford for years, but Bob Gross passed away some time ago, again AFAIK.)

      So in reality, my experience with Dad as a 1957 Pontiac Sales Manager was about as limited as could be. 99% of my exposure to what he was doing was drooling over that "cool" Charcoal and Pink Super Chief 4-door hardtop, hoping he would back it in the driveway so no one would see those unpunched exhaust ports in the rear bumper and know it only had a single exhaust! For shame! <GGG>

      Dad was fascinated by how easy it was to sell General Motors cars after four years of fighting GM as an independent dealer; he said people just came in with their checkbooks opened and darn near asked the salesman to fill in the amounts so they could go home in their new GM car. (I suspect that reflects a little embellishment.)

      His favorite story was people who came in driving a three-month old 1957 Dodge station wagon to get an estimate at the body shop for a minor collision repair. They wandered into the showroom while they were there and eyed a new Pontiac wagon on the floor; a Transcontinental? We'll never know!

      Anyway, they got to griping about the Dodge's workmanship (in 1957? I can't imagine that!) and were impressed with the Pontiac's fit and finish. So, instead of having their three-month old Dodge repaired, they traded it in right then and there toward the new Pontiac wagon on the floor!

      Those were the days. BP
      Last edited by BobPalma; 11-01-2011, 04:33 PM.
      We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

      Ayn Rand:
      "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

      G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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      • #33
        Looking at that Transcontiental Pontiwhack, ya don't hafta squint TOO hard to see the Broadmoor's general planform there. Looks as tho those taillite lenses would swap right onto a '57 Stude. It may have been that same year that the bigger AMCs had a very similar lens as well.
        No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Roscomacaw View Post
          Looking at that Transcontiental Pontiwhack, ya don't hafta squint TOO hard to see the Broadmoor's general planform there. Looks as tho those taillite lenses would swap right onto a '57 Stude. It may have been that same year that the bigger AMCs had a very similar lens as well.
          I have NO IDEA what you might mean Bob~



          at least from the front you can tell them apart...



          pretty cool, eh?
          StudeDave '57
          US Navy (retired)

          3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
          SDC Member since 1985

          past President
          Whatcom County Chapter SDC
          San Diego Chapter SDC

          past Vice President
          San Diego Chapter SDC
          North Florida Chapter SDC

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Roscomacaw View Post
            Looking at that Transcontiental Pontiwhack, ya don't hafta squint TOO hard to see the Broadmoor's general planform there. Looks as tho those taillite lenses would swap right onto a '57 Stude. It may have been that same year that the bigger AMCs had a very similar lens as well.
            My thoughts exactly, Bob; even the color looks similar to Coppertone & White. Ditto the huge lenses on 1956/1957 Nashes; similar to these Ponch / Stude items, but larger and more bulbous. BP
            We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

            Ayn Rand:
            "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

            G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by mbstude View Post
              No guess as to why, but you'll notice on the invoice for my car that the buyer was given a $900 discount before anything else.
              Sounds like one of those sweet employee, retired employee or V.I.P. - Factory run-through discount deal: $3,921. discounted 23% = $900. & change.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Welcome View Post
                Sounds like one of those sweet employee, retired employee or V.I.P. - Factory run-through discount deal: $3,921. discounted 23% = $900. & change.
                That might be. When I was selling new Chrysler products, the employee price was less than the dealer's invoice price. By employee, that means employees of Chrysler Corp. and their family members. I had a man buy a new Chrysler 300 on his daughter's employee price program and she was grown and living in another state from him. The dealership employees could not get these employee's prices. This changed about the time that I got out of the business (1999).
                Gary L.
                Wappinger, NY

                SDC member since 1968
                Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                • #38
                  Unless I missed it (a distinct possibility!), has anyone figured out from official Stude MSRP's in '57 (including option prices), if it was even possible to get a Broadmoor to list at $3,900? Again, makes me wonder if in the era before window stickers, the dealer was just inflating the MSRP to make it look like he was giving a bigger discount.
                  Bill Pressler
                  Kent, OH
                  (formerly Greenville, PA)
                  Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
                  Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
                  1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
                  1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
                  All are in Australia now

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Bill Pressler View Post
                    Unless I missed it (a distinct possibility!), has anyone figured out from official Stude MSRP's in '57 (including option prices), if it was even possible to get a Broadmoor to list at $3,900? Again, makes me wonder if in the era before window stickers, the dealer was just inflating the MSRP to make it look like he was giving a bigger discount.
                    It stands to reason one could push the price up to 4K if so inclined; not so much through the option book, but with special-order 'deviations' going by Studebaker's track record. Say some eccentric individual wanted one with a supercharger and a genuine leather interior in addition to all of the options, Studebaker would have built it for him.

                    Craig

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