Tripping down memory lane, prompted by a picture of a Dodge Viper, prompts a post when I allowed my inner asshole persona free range.
1992 found me working in a Dodge store on the East side of Seattle. I was hired while the General Manager was on vacation. Turned out, he didn’t like me any better than I liked him but nobody in the store could sell trucks better than me.
Yeah, the mighty Cummins!
Weird to see that wee 4 cylinder in a St. Regis cop car chassis with a pickup body. Dakota, they called it.
We were next to a Toyota store whose manager complained to my manager about me poaching customers off the Toyota lot. Toyota had just brought out the T-100, a wretched excuse for a truck, and I would politely suggest to their customers they step next door and see real trucks, for less money, with better warranties, etc.
(Think the T-100 wasn’t a turd. Toyota had $4,000 per truck in hidden rebates to their dealers to move them)
So on to the Viper. The dealership got one, and only one, of the first batch. Our work schedule gave us one weekend a month off. The manager put up a spiff. Top salesman/saleswoman for the month got the Viper for a weekend. You can guess where this is going.
Yep, the Tankster was top by three units and some $8,000 in gross profit. Plus, four of the seven leases that month. The GM was shitting bricks.
Came the weekend off, I arrived that Saturday morning ready to rumble. The GM worked himself into a sorry state trying to tell me to be careful, etc.
Took off, drove on I-90 to the top of Snoqualmie Pass, and returned to the dealership about an hour later. Parked the Viper, put the keys away, and said, “What’s the big deal? It’s just a fucking car”.
A few days later kissed and made up with the folks at the Ford store I had been working at. Heard later the owner of the store had some harsh words with the GM about losing the top dog for three months running. Oh, well.
A word about assholes. They come in two varieties, usually. They are competent, or incompetent. The first are driven to succeed. The second are driven to save their own asses. I seldom had a problem working for a competent asshole. We understood each other. Neither of us was there for any reason other than dollars in the pocket (legally, mind you) and anything/anyone interfering with that effort got hammered.
Want an outstanding example? Well, you have no choice if you continue reading. President Trump. The man is a gold plated asshole with a backbone of steel. He gets things done. May be kind to children and pets but work for him and you will produce, or you will be gone. I like that.
That Viper? Maybe the most awesome wheels I ever had the privilege to drive.
A word about assholes. They come in two varieties, usually. They are competent, or incompetent.
My Dad always told me there two kinds of people; Assholes, and Good Guys. I'm sure he would have agreed with you on there being two distinct types of the Assholes.
The competent ones can be worked with, and can be quite humorous and amusing, while the others have to be worked around, and I always felt they were cowards.
Yep, and hated the second kind. Saw plenty of them in the military, both officer and senior enlisted...
I have never driven a Viper. I had a friend who owned one and didn't let anyone drive it. Not even his old buddy. I can't blame him. I would have driven it like I stole it.
You are working on a vehicle in the motor pool when an officer or Sgt Maj walks by. You know your cadre is fucking off in the maintenance building. Two choices. 1) Call out in a loud voice, "Good morning, Sir (SgtMaj)" or 2) Don't see them because you are concentrating on your work.
Never opened it up. Didn't need to meet Officer Friendly.
Fastest I've been in a car was a 1957 Supercharged Studebaker Hawk 289 V-8 with an aftermarket two speed rear axle. 180 mph on bias ply tires as timed by the Colorado, then Courtesy Patrol, later Highway Patrol, with the two tube timer set up. That car was quickly stashed in a barn and not driven for a couple of weeks.
This starts out I Had A Friend Once..... who owned a real, live, gen-you-ine Shelby 427 Cobra.
Not the Mustang, a real By God, two seat COBRA.
With a fresh Holman-Moody 427 side oiler in it. Dynoed at something well North of 600 HP.
It was the most violent car I've ever been in......
1963 had an ACBristol for a few weeks. Can't imagine that chassis with that much power. Sold that just before going into the Army.
The 289 Cobras were basically that same car, but with a 260/289 V8 in them, transverse front leaf spring and all.
The 427 Cobras were a completely different chassis, with control arms and coils springs at all four corners.
Shelby produced ONE early Cobra with a 390 FE engine, and it was undrivable. All that torque twisted the chassis around like a pretzel, and you basically aimed it down the straights, and wrestled through the corners.
Always kept a case of dielectric like the TV tech used on the old tube TVs. Damned if I know how they kept them running in foggy England. Rain= no go. I was something of a half assed dealer before the Army. Find something, get it running, and sell it. After the Army discovered airplanes. Them will keep you poor!
Yes, The Donald demands results from subordinates.
Remember during the run of 'The Apprentice' that Donald Jr. and Ivanka would show up in the boardroom from time to time, and supervise tasks on occasion. When asked how The Donald was to work for, and Donnie said, 'we're not privileged, we have to produce or he'll fire us like dogs.'
The Donald's a tough boss.
Never watched him on the Apprentice because I don't watch TV or even have one (choice, not economics). Don't doubt he as was demanding of his children as anyone else. Two of mine worked for me as lot snots and later helping me repo. They were treated the same as anyone else (and paid the same).
The car dealership biz sounds like a rat's nest: selling cars to people that can't afford to pay for them, and then having to go out and grab the units back after they skip all the payments.
"Go see Cal, Worthington Ford, where the freeways meet in Downey." Who wouldn't want that gig?
Me, for one.
You do what you need to do. Like most people I know in the biz, we started because whatever we were doing collapsed and we needed a job. The car biz employs people who can't find a "job"and that no one else will hire. It is a harsh soul sucking way to make a living.
Cal Worthington came to Seattle (Federal Way) and bought out a Ford dealer. Took us just three years to chase him back to Cali.
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