Confessions of a Car Man


Cold Calls

I believe it’s a universal truth that all car salesmen hate making cold phone calls. It’s one of the great sources of animosity between salesmen and management. Handing out cold call sheets make the managers feel like their doing something proactive. Whether the calls actually work or not is not the point. In my humble opinion it’s mostly just a sadistic power trip.

I have no idea if the practice of cold calls is still prominent in this great country of ours (and I include my friends in Canada here, too). I hope it’s a thing of the past, but I suspect it isn’t.

Let me tell you a story. When I first started selling cars the salesmen in all the dealerships in the East Bay were unionized. (The now defunct Salesmen Local 1095, may it rest in peace.) Apprentice salesmen were not allowed to take an up for the first 30 days of their employment. This rule was strictly enforced. For that first month, I was put under the tutelage of a couple of journeyman salesmen whose job was to show me as they say, “How the cow eats the cabbage”. One of the things they had me do was make cold calls.

In the sales meeting room of Hayward Ford there was a telephone hooked up to a speakerphone. Each day I was taken to that room by one of the salesmen, sat down at the desk, given a script and was forced to make a few cold calls. The older salesman would listen on the speaker and critique me when I was finished.

Let me give you an analogy. When I was a kid I was raised in the Catholic faith. Nothing terrorized me more than going to confession. Here I was, sitting in pitch-black booth talking to the personal representative of God. It scared the living shit out of me. Making those cold calls made me feel the same way.

The irony of it all is that these leads came directly out of the phone book! Here I was calling people at random, in the vain hope that might just happen upon a person who needed a car. Talk about a needle in a haystack! What the hell was the reasoning behind this? At the time I hadn’t a clue. I felt it was some sort of weird Car Man initiation essentially designed to torment me.

My brother, Danny hated to see salesmen standing around doing nothing. (He didn’t understand that standing around doing nothing is one of our God-given rights!) I remember him getting pissed off, taking a telephone book, ripping out a few pages, and handing them out to equally pissed-off salesmen. I love my brother more than anything, but not when he had that phone book in his hands!

For the first five years of selling cars cold calls, or calls to orphan owners (which I’ll admit made a little more sense) was part of my automotive life. It would have been okay if making these calls worked, but I don’t think I ever sold a car off a cold lead. I hated making the calls, but I was always threatened that a manager would check my phone sheets to make sure I had really called the potential customer. For me, it was a demoralizing and depressing situation.

Then something life-changing happened to me.

I first met Tony Taylor when I worked at Elmhurst Ford in Oakland. Tony was a really great, funny guy and a consummate Car Man. He also had the best hairpiece I have ever seen in my life. Tony seemed to take a liking to me and was always giving me advice about selling cars.

A couple of years after I met him we were working together on the used car lot at CST Ford, a mid-70’s incarnation of Hayward Ford. I had been in the business for five years or so. I was a so-so salesman who never seemed to make a lot of money. I struggled each month just to make a living.

One day Tony came into my office. He closed the door and sat down across from me, and crossed his arms.

“What are you doing?” he asked me.

“Just making my phone calls, Tony,” I replied.

“Cold calls, huh?”

I nodded yes.

“Let me see all your call sheets,” he said. It was not a request. It was a demand.

I handed Tony a stack of sheets. He shuffled through them for a moment, looked up at me--and he tore them all in half.

“You’re done with that,” he said. And then he explained the secret to success in the car business. It was simple and to the point.

“Wait on customers,” he said. “Follow-up on them. Ask them for referrals. Those are the people you want call. No one else.”

“But they make me!” I protested.

“Lie,” he said simply. “Everyone else does it. Why not you?”

“But what if they check?”

Tony laughed. “David, do you really think the managers are going to check your cold calls? Do you think they have the time? Do you think when they were salesmen they made these calls? I tell you, son, it’s all just one gigantic stroke.”

In a blinding light of revelation I knew that Tony was speaking the truth. I took his advice, and I soon discovered that when I concentrated on the people I had actually talked to, I immediately started making more money. Great story, huh?

But hey! What’s that I hear? Could it be the sound of cold call sheets being ripped up?

Music to my ears.

Talk to you later,


Demonstrators (Part 2)

At Hayward Nissan we had a finance manager named Bill Cola. Bill was an avid skier, and every winter he’d take a Nissan Pathfinder for a demo. It was the perfect vehicle for his treks up to the Sierras. The problem was he wouldn’t come back to work until the last possible moment and that meant coming to work with a filthy, snow and mud caked demo. My brother used to really get on him about this.

One day Bill was warned that there would be a demo inspection on Saturday morning after the sales meeting, and his demo had better be clean. Bill, who didn’t like to be told what to do, devised a plan. He told no one what he was up to. The element of surprise was of utmost importance.

On that morning, Bill arrived early and parked his Pathfinder at the very end of the line of demonstrators. He slipped into the sales meeting and waited for his moment in the sun. At the meeting’s conclusion Danny announced that there would be an inspection. We all went outside and watched as he slowly walked down the line looking for violations. Finally, he arrived at Bill’s Pathfinder.

The day before Bill had the Pathfinder detailed. After it was clean he carefully taped plastic sheets right down the middle of the truck, completely covering the passenger side of the car from front to back.

Then, he went 4-wheeling in the mud.

The result of Bill’s carefully concocted plan was nothing less than spectacular. Another Car Man legend had been born that day. Here was the 4x4 perfectly clean on one side and completely filthy on the other! I honestly don’t remember Danny’s reaction to this, but all Car Men appreciate a well-planned joke!

In the early 80’s I was working for a large, multi-store dealership in Oakland (where I had my famous test drive with Rudy Henderson). I worked with a young salesman who was a great guy, but he had a serious drinking problem. For the sake of this story, let’s call him Jim, but that’s not his real name. And I’d like to add that he got sober many years ago and is not a successful businessman with a wonderful family.

It all started when we had a Christmas party. (For the record, I did not attend this party.) The showroom floor of the Honda dealership was taken over for an evening of food, booze, and fun. Jim had way too much to drink. Way too much. And the tragedy of it all is that no one seemed to think that he shouldn’t be driving home to Fremont, which was about 20 miles away. He was completely shit-faced and the let him drive!

It was after midnight when Jim poured himself into his black Mitsubishi demo and headed home. He managed to make his way down 98th Avenue and onto the Nimitz Freeway headed south. Remarkably, he almost made it home. But a couple of exits away from the one that would take him to the safety of his apartment, he lost control of the car. Now here’s the thing. There was no one else on the road at that moment. He didn’t hit anyone, but he spun the car around a few times and managed to bang in the front, back and both sides of the car on the guardrail before finally ending up at the side of the road remarkably out of harm’s way. Bill got out and checked the car. It wasn’t drivable. The rear quarter panel was crushed in so much the wheel couldn’t turn.

Jim figured he was screwed. He was drunk and wasn’t going anywhere. He resigned himself that it was just a matter of time before the CHP showed up and arrested him. He sat down to await his fate. But a funny thing happened. Nothing. The cars that passed him on the road didn’t seem to notice the screwed up, black Mitsubishi with the drunk driver.

After waiting for what seemed to be an hour for the police, Jim, who was beginning to sober up a little, got an idea. He took the scissor jack out of the trunk and used it to push out the side panel. Then, he jacked up the car, put on the spare and drove home. All this time no cops came with red lights to arrest him.

Somehow, he had gotten away with it.

Jim knew, of course, that he was screwed job-wise. The next day about noon he drove his smashed Mitsubishi into the dealership. Without a word he went into the sales office, tossed the key to his demo on the manager’s desk and walked out.

One last story.

In the mid-90s I went to work at a small, very screwed up Chevy dealership that I won’t name here. I was the third salesman at the dealership. When I started work I was pleased to discover that the other two salesmen had demonstrators, but when I enquired about one for myself they said I couldn’t have one. Why? Well they wanted to do away with demonstrators, but they didn’t want to piss off the other two guys so decided to illuminate them through attrition. My two fellow salesmen had brand new Chevy’s, I had a 1979 Cutlass.

Is that screwed up or what?

Talk to you later,


Demonstrators (Part 1)

My first demonstrator was an orange 1970 Ford Maverick. A salesman that had been blown out a few days before I started work had driven it previously. It had 3000 miles on the odometer. At the time I was driving a 1962 VW Bug, so for me the Maverick was the height of cool. I had grown up in a household that had only been able to afford used cars, so driving something so new was quite an experience.

The first thing I did with the Maverick was to load it up with my friends and head for San Francisco. I remember tooling around Broadway checking out the topless places with my buddies. It was an evening that is etched in my memory forever. At the time, life didn’t get any better than that.

Demos, at least here in California, are largely a thing of the past. Starting in the mid-80’s the privilege of driving a new car around on the dealer’s dime began to disappear. Rising insurance rates, generations of drunken car salesmen crashing their cars, and the lessening of perks in general, were the chief reasons for the demise.

When I first started selling cars, the salesmen were the kings of the dealership. They were respected, even coddled to a certain extent, by the managers and owners. On the side of the showroom at Hayward Ford they had their own parking spaces. Each morning the spots would fill with shiny new Ford LTDs each decked out with their own dealer plate. No Ford Mavericks for them! They were reserved for green peas like me.

At one time the salesmen even had their own license plate frames. The top portions would have their name, and the bottom would say Hayward Ford. They would put them on every car they sold. This practice had fallen by the wayside by the time I started selling cars. It had become too expensive. But I still have a Danny Teves/Hayward Ford frame hanging on my garage wall from the days when my brother was on the line.

For me, having a demo was great. Here I was, a kid driving around in a new car at no charge, the envy of my peers. I didn’t even have to pay for insurance! And on top of that I even received a $40.00 per month gas allowance. What a deal!

They mostly gave me Ford Pintos to drive. Believe it or not Pintos sold like hotcakes, and it wasn’t unusual for me to have two, three, or more demo changes in a month. As time went on, so did the quality of the demo. Though I never achieved LTD status at Hayward Ford, I did manage to procure an occasional Mustang. When that happened I really felt like I had it made.

I remember one busy Christmas season. It seemed like I was driving a different car every few days. One cold and rainy day I went to the local mall after work for some shopping. The parking lot was jammed. I spent a couple of hours at the mall. When I was ready to leave, I went walked out to the parking lot and realized I couldn’t remember what kind of car I was driving! I had to walk around in a drizzle for twenty minutes looking for a set of dealer plates on a Ford.

One time the dealership held a dinner for all the salesmen at a local restaurant. It turned into a big party. There was a lot of drinking that night. The next morning we learned that three salesmen had wrecked their demos on the way home. One guy, who was driving one of those cool old Ford Broncos you sometimes see in movies, rolled it!

In the mid-70’s I went to work at Elmhurst Ford in Oakland, California. It was there I met my first sales crew that was mostly African American. They were great guys, a hell of a lot more fun then the old white guys at Hayward Ford. Like their counterparts at Hayward Ford, the Elmhurst Ford crew drove mostly LTDs, and they thought I should drive one too. Now these guys were very cool. When the drove they did something called “leaning”. Leaning consisted of putting the power seat as far back as you could, driving with your left hand on top of the steering wheel, and leaning toward the middle of the street as you drove.

They decided it would be fun to teach me to lean. They showed me how to do it on the side parking lot and made me drive up and down the street while they howled at laughter at the sight. I guess it was pretty funny, this young, longhaired Portuguese kid driving like Super Fly!

When the Mustang II came out in 1974, my brother gave me one for a demo. It was one of the first new Mustangs on the streets of the Bay Area. Although history hasn’t been kind to the Mustang II, I felt proud that I was driving a car virtually no one had seen before. On the second night I had it, I went to visit a girl in Alameda. Alameda is an island in the San Francisco Bay separated from Oakland by a wide estuary and is accessible by a tunnel called the Alameda Tube.

Well, I guess I was thinking too much about getting laid that night because as I drove down the onramp that led into the tube, I rear-ended a truck. The car was drivable, though one headlight was out, but the front end was pretty screwed up. The truck and the guy driving it was okay, but when he later found out the car belonged to a Ford dealership his neck started to hurt. What a mess!

When I was seventeen my brother bought me my first car, a 1957 Ford Fairlane. (Cost: $100.) I promptly crashed it. My mother made me go down to the dealership to confess my sin. I was nervous as hell. Danny is ten years older then I and had moved out of the house when I was nine. I really didn’t know him all that well, and I expected the worse. But when I told him what had happened he just looked at me and asked me if I had gotten hurt. When I said no, he said well, that was the most important thing. What a guy!

Well, Danny forgave me for crashing the Mustang too, though I believe that I was demoted back to Pintos for a while. The only hang up was the car was so new there was no body parts available to fix it for over a month!

Talk to you later,


Don't Get Your Dabber Down

My son-in-law, Tom Dillian, and his family have a winery in the rolling Sierra foothills of Northern California. Great family, great wine. (Visit them at A couple of weeks ago they participated in a wine event that involved all the local vineyards. When I entered their tasting room on a bright Sunday afternoon the place was packed with people enjoying themselves, tasting wine, and most important of all, spending money.

This all made me feel good. It was nice to be in an environment where the public seemed to be spending so freely. As all Car Men know this has been sorely missing from our business lately. Seeing the Dillian winery’s success gave me a little boost in confidence in the future. At least someone is making some money!

Years ago I worked for a sales manager named Pete McKissick. Pete, who has since gone to that great used car lot in the sky, was a great guy. When Pete sensed your attitude was down, maybe you were in a slump or something like that, he would say, “Don’t get your dabber down”. Now I never did figure out exactly what a dabber is, but I understood his meaning: don’t get crapped out.

Getting crapped out is a common Car Man malady. As I have mentioned here in the past, when the buyers go away the idiots still come in. They’re not going to buy a car anyway so the state of the economy means nothing to them. This makes our job harder because people we would blow off in good times are sometimes the only people out there to talk to!

Now the common sales trainer response to this problem is that to remind you that had you been keeping up with your customers both present and past, getting a fresh up is not necessary. If you’ve been doing your job correctly you should be able to prosper even when sales are in the dumps. This, of course, is true. But what’s truer is that most car salesmen don’t do much follow up. That’s the reality, like it or not, amen.

I will be the first to admit that I don’t have the answer to our situation, and I suspect that those who would be tempted to capitalize on the financial crisis and try to sell you a sure-fire plan they claim will work are full of shit. “It is what it is, as they say.”

So what is a guy to do when sales are down? Well, don’t get your dabber down would be my advice. When you approach a customer, take a deep breath and say to yourself, “It’s show time!” and go out there and give them your best shot. Another salesmen saying, “Don’t burn them, turn them.” is a must here. Don’t turn crap, but make sure that if there’s any sign of life at all in that up have someone else talk to them before they leave the lot. And always remember this: “If you don’t go to bat, you’ll never hit a home run.” That doesn’t need any explanation at all.

Pete McKissick had a couple of other sayings. Whenever you checked out for lunch he would say, “Bring me back a six-pack of Cutty”. My favorite saying was one that used to piss me off at the time, but I used it many times as a manager. Whenever you’d ask Pete a question he didn’t want to answer, like how much a trade was worth, he’d say, “How long is a piece of string?”

I for one have a solution. I’m going to open a bottle of Dillian Zinfandel, sit on my front porch and dream of a time when all this is over.

Talk to you later,



Something’s been bugging me lately, and I’ve got to get it off my chest. One of the automotive hats I wear is that of a finance manager. (Ironically, since I basically work alone, I don’t have anyone to bitch at if I can’t get a deal down except myself!) When I run the credit on one of my flakes I like to pay particular attention to the inquiries on their record.

Experienced Car Men know that inquiries can tell you a lot about your customer. It tells you where that sneaking bastard has been and what he’s being doing. It serves as a great lie detector. “The Honda dealer at the mall said they’d get me financed no problem!” your customer claims. But when you check their bureau and there’s no inquiry from the Honda dealer.

I know it sounds hard to believe, but sometimes The Others lie.

Just the amount of inquires on a bureau tells you a lot about your chances of selling a car. 112 inquiries from every car dealership in the tri-county area speaks volumes about the goofball sitting across from you with that blank expression on his face. But I’m not here to talk about The Others, I’m here to talk about the my fellow Car Men out there, many of whom appear to be--dumb shits.

Let me give you an example. If your wonderful, credit-challenged customer has a score of 501, chances are Wachovia or Capital One are not going to take them. A 501 is strictly sub-prime, or more precisely sub-sub-prime. Then why are you, the sales manager or F&I man, sending the deal to a bank that wouldn’t even want your customer to be a passenger in a car they’ve financed?

I’ve pondered the reasons for this. Shot gunning a deal is the term. It’s an easy, simpleminded thing to do. Send it off and go smoke a cigarette. But don’t you realize that it pisses the banks off when you send them crap?

When I look at a bureau I’m thinking, what’s the best source for this goof? Who might buy it, buy it quickly, allow me to sell GAP or a warranty and maybe make a point or two. Once I make I up my mind, that’s where I send the deal.

“So who died and made you the finance God?” you’re thinking.

“No one,” I reply. I just like to pay attention to things. It’s one of the reasons I write this blog: to vent my frustrations. It seems unprofessional and frankly a sign of laziness for a Car Man—supposedly an automotive professional—to do things that are so blatantly stupid. Am I missing something here? If you disagree, please let me know!

If I were one of the traitors and writing an advice blog for The Others, I’d warn them about this. If your score is teetering between getting a loan at 10% verses 15%, it serves you no purpose for a car dealer to send you to ten banks at one time. (God I feel guilty writing that!)

Bottom line: I’m all for making money on those suckers, but let’s do it with a little class, okay? Try using a little control and intelligence before you push the “submit” button on Dealer Track.

Talk to you later,


Demo Rides

Probably the most dangerous thing a Car Man does in the course of doing business is going on a demo ride. Everyone who’s been in the business for a while can tell you a harrowing story of a test drive gone wrong. If you haven’t done so, please read my two-part blog entry called “My Ride With Rudy” for a prime example.

Please excuse me if I repeat myself here. I might have mentioned a few of the points I’m going to make before, but they are scattered over 50,000 + words of writing, and I’m too lazy to figure out what I’ve said and what I haven’t!

All Car Men know that a proper demo ride is of prime importance to a successful sale. Not only is it important to build up a buying ether for the car you’re trying to sell, it’s the perfect time to ask your customer’s a few qualifying questions while his guard is down. Since my job is to entertain you, not train you, I won’t go any further with this, but it’s something that has to be stated before we get to the fun stuff.

Back at the beginning of my automotive career (a time when dinosaurs still roamed the earth) goin on a demo drive could be challenging. We’re spoiled today. Most cars run good right off the bat, especially new ones. One Ford Focus drives exactly like another one, but that wasn’t true when I was a kid.

Picture this: I have just taken my up into the back lot of Hayward Ford looking for the perfect LTD to put under his ass. There they are, fifty of them lined up in a row all shiny and new. But here’s my problem: each one drives a little differently than the other. If you drove off in a car and it didn’t run properly, you couldn’t let your customer drive it. No way! You’d have turn around and get another one!

On top of that every car seemed to have something wrong with it. Most commonly it was a squeak or rattle, but anything could happen when you were demoing an early 70’s Ford. How would you like to deal with that?

A case can be made that any test drive that ends with you still being alive is a successful one. Every once in a while a guy will go out out on a demo and end up dead in a trunk. There’s nothing like looking down the barrel of a gun to make you feel that maybe you should have gotten a job at the post office.

I've been pretty lucky with demo rides. No one has ever pulled a gun on me, and as you can tell, I’m not dead. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my share of nuts. More than once I’ve demanded that someone pull over because they we’re driving like a crazy person.

When I was a sales manager, I had a salesman who went on a test drive and came back without his customer. He was white as a sheet when he told me his story that is saying a lot since the salesman was black. He told me that once his customer got behind the wheel, he started driving at speeds in excess of 100 MPH, weaving in and out of traffic for miles down the highway. Somehow the salesman got the goof to pull over to the side of the road, and when they changed seats, he locked the customer out and left him there—about ten miles from the dealership!

I’ve had test drives that were nothing more than an idiot trying to catch a ride home. This happened to me a couple of times when I was young. A customer appears on the lot, you take him for a ride. The customer says he wants to show the car to his wife; let’s drive to his house. Once you get there he tells you he’s got to think things over, and no thanks, you doesn’t need a ride back to the dealership!


I once went on a test drive in a Ford Econoline Van. We went to his house to get his trade. As he pulled up he side-swiped his own car with the new one! The guy ended up buying that van and having to get it fixed!

As an ending to this particular scribe, I want to tell you another one of my demo ride screw ups. This isn’t as good as my ride with the late Rudy Henderson, but its close.

One dark winter night in 1994 I was working at Hayward Nissan in Hayward, California. About 7:00 in the evening I uped a young African-American female who came onto the lot on foot. After looking around for a couple of minutes she asked me if she could drive a used Pathfinder we had on the lot. Unlike the ride with Rudy, I made a copy of her driver’s license and left it with the desk. We were good to go—or so I thought...

Now a little geography lesson will be necessary here. Hayward lies on the eastern side of the San Francisco Bay south of Oakland. I used to take customers on a demo route that went east towards the San Mateo Bridge. Along the way the road crossed over Highway 80, the north/south corridor that heads toward Oakland. On my route we would stay eastbound until just before the toll-booth. At this point we’d turn around and go back.

Things started off well with the customer. After a brief presentation we started off toward the bridge with her behind the wheel. But when we reached the point where our route crossed Highway 80, she suddenly veered onto the northbound on ramp going toward Oakland. I was a little ticked off. In my experience if a customer won’t stick to your prescribed demo route, you’ll probably have other problems with your deal. But I gave her the benefit of the doubt. She’d made a mistake, that’s all, I assured myself. I asked her to take the next exit so we could turn around and go back. But instead of exiting she shot into the fast lane and continued north.

I asked her where she was going. She said nothing. She just starred straight ahead and drove. I became extremely nervous. Was she trying to hijack me, or did she just want a ride home? One thing for sure, I didn’t want this lady taking me into the heart of East Oakland in the dark. It was a good place to get killed.

Exits passed by. We were now in San Leandro, the next city up the highway on the way to Oakland. I didn’t know what to do. She was going seventy, so like it or not she was in charge. All my demands for her to get off the freeway were met with deaf ears. This was in the days before cell phones so there was no way to call for help. What the hell was I going to do?

Eventually she exited the freeway just south of Oakland. She blew passed the stop light at the end of the exit. At this point I started to yell at her to stop the damn truck! About four or five blocks later, she turned right, got caught in traffic, and was forced to stop at a light. I didn’t hesitate. I reached down, slammed the transmission into park, and grabbed the key out of the ignition. The lady looked at me with a decidedly pissed off expression on her face, opened up her door, and ran off into the night.

Now who said selling cars was boring?

Talk to you later,


My Most Favorite Conversation With An Up

In 1979 I was working at Hayward Datsun in Hayward, California. I was standing on the used car lot when an Asian gentleman approached me. This is what he said, and I swear on the head of my granddaughter that it’s true.

“Hi! How are you today?” I asked.

“I looking for best price on car.” He replied in a heavily accented voice.

Well, what type of car are you looking for?”

“No, no, no. You give me price, then I tell you what car.”

I argued about this point with him for a moment, pointing out the lack of logic in his request, but he wasn’t buying it. I remember feeling more amused then pissed off. So I decided to call his bluff.

“My best price on a car is $500.” I offered.

“What car $500?” he asked incredulously.

“I have an old trade-in out in the back I can sell you for $500.”

No, no, no. I want $5000 car!”

“My best price on a $5000 car is $5000.”

“Too much money!” he cried.

He turned and walked off the lot!

Talk to you later,


Mother Ships

I get upset when I hear about dealerships closing, so I’ve been spending a lot of time being upset these days. It seems as if a way of life is being stolen from us. The worse part for me is that the Mother Ships are going away and with them the heritage that makes up the world of a Car Man.

A Mother Ship is the dealership that made a difference in your life. It’s the place that you consider home even though many years might have passed since you worked there. I know that every Car Man has a place like this in his heart. Some of them work there for many years, even an entire career in some cases.

Earlier this week Good Chevrolet in Alameda, California went out of business. I never worked there, but I know that it was the Mother Ship for generations of Car Men. It had been in business for fifty-eight years—the same age as me. For many years you couldn’t buy a job at Good Chevrolet. Salesmen tended to stay there for many years. I believe I read that the sales manager had been there for thirty of those years. And now it’s gone.

This tragedy is repeating itself on an almost daily basis all over this country. Some of the dealerships deserved to go, I suppose. As we all know mismanagement is rampant in this business. When times were good, they managed to stay open because of the sheer number of people buying cars. When things tubed they were the first to go.

But it still makes me feel bad.

Personally I have two Mother Ships. The first one, of course, is Hayward Ford, in Hayward California. I have written about this dealership extensively so there is no need to go into it now. Suffices to say, I learned the building blocks of my trade there, and that’s something I can never forget.

My second Mother Ship is Shellworth Chevrolet in Vacaville, California. I lucked into Shellworth at a pretty low time in my life. There were a few things that were a little screwy about the place, but they took me in, gave me the opportunity to redeem myself financially, and gave me a home for many years.

I quit Shellworth three years ago to take my present job. I have often wondered if that was a good idea. When I visit my friends there, or even drive by it on the freeway, I am filled with good feelings and thanks that I had the opportunity to work there. The owner, Tom Shellworth, is a smart and capable guy. If he isn’t able to weather the storm that has been swirling around our industry, no one can.

Where is your Mother Ship? I’d like to know. What special place trained you, gave you a place filled with opportunities, friends and memories? If you’d leave a comment, I’d be glad to read it.

Talk to you later,


UPDATE: In May 2010 Shellworth Chevrolet was reinstated by General Motors.