Sleazy Car Dealership Commercials From Yesteryear

I just bought a new car, a bright red 2014 Jetta with some nice bells and whistles that was marked down by $4,000 to make room on the lot for the 2015s. And yet I can't help but feel that I still got hosed--just a bit. 

The car I'm trading tomorrow in is in decent shape; a 2003 Honda Accord with 126,000 miles and a V6 engine, sunroof, and leather seats. I always had it serviced according to the maintenance schedule. Everything still runs and operates it except for the digital radio display which was replaced twice under the extended warranty but burned out a third time when the warranty expired. According to Kelly Blue Book, I should have received about $4,000 for it, even with its scrapes and small rust spots. The dealer even asked me how much I was hoping to get for it. But the value they offered was almost half that KBB value. They reasoned it by saying that had the Jetta been selling for its original price, I would have received the full value for it. But because it is on sale, that's the best they could do. 

It sounded like a bunch of malarky to me, but I had already been to another dealer I wasn't crazy about, and had a hard time finding this specific trim with a sunroof, cream interior, and an outside color I liked. I wasn't about to visit every VW dealer within 50 miles to find the best deal, or someone else might have snatched up the car.  

Of course, it doesn't end there when you buy a vehicle. There's sales tax--which in my case, living in Massachusetts equated to over an additional $1,000--documentation fees, and then the fun additional coverage stuff the finance department tries to push onto you in the back room, not to mention insurance and my state's annual excise tax. (I opted for an extended bumper to bumper warranty, but passed on key replacement and paint protection.)

Long story short, I am wondering if car buying back in the day (as in the 1950s and 60s) was as stressful and hard on the wallet. My father would keep his cars for three or four years during this time, then trade them in for a newer and different model. I don't recall hearing him complain about being nickled and dimed. 

But that doesn't mean that sleazy car dealers didn't exist. The proof is in this roundup of vintage dealership commercials found online...

Holy &*$%! You won't believe the &^#$@!^ language in this old car commercial!

It turns out this was a blooper take of the commercial, done just for laughs. We can all breath a sign of relief that the kiddies were not subjected to his colorful language for real.

"Did we fool you, Daddy?" "Yep, honey...just like I fool the suckers who think they're getting a great deal!"

I wonder how much she got for the trade-in value on her horse. Side note...that fellow in the freeze frame above reminds me of Dennis Farina. 

Ernie Boch was a local celebrity in his own here in the Boston area and became known for his catchphrase, "Come on down!" His son, who now runs the franchise, is even more annoying, and his dealerships have the crappiest Yelp reviews.

Yep, I always assess the rearview mirror when researching cars. They have to be large enough for me to properly apply my makeup. 


  1. Great stuff, Pam! I completely bought into that first spot until he started firing off those four letter words. That's a classic, the kind a business or TV station saves for its "goody reel" and plays at the annual company Christmas party.

    In the 70s thru 90s I worked for TV stations and wrote, directed and edited many car dealership commercials. Most dealers I worked with were unsophisticated (see Mad Men). They insisted on using gimmicks so that viewers would remember them. It usually involved a pretty girl in a bikini being chased around the lot by a guy in a gorilla suit.

    Good times! :)

  2. Bobby TrosclairJuly 15, 2014 4:03 PM

    Love the photo of Kurt Russell from "Used Cars," filmed not far from me in Mesa.

    Ralph Williams was a recurring punch line of Johnny Carson sketches. Back in the 1960s, one of his managers was kidnapped and held for ransom. Without calling the police, he gathered the ransom money in a briefcase, went to the meeting, busted the kidnapper in the head with his briefcase when his attention was distracted, freed his manager, called the police, and rushed back to his car lot to complete the deal he had interrupted!

  3. Great Kurt Russell pic - I actually liked that movie, ha ha.

    I totally believe that all film sleaze balls of the car variety are based in fact.

  4. Damn, I'd give my left arm for that '66 Rambler! Used to drive a '67. That thing was indestructible!


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