With all the free time as of late, I was thinking back to my days working at Foreign Motors on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. I wasn’t a mechanic so much as a lot boy who did new-car prep and deliveries. I got hired just by walking in and saying, “I’m the new guy,” and the mechanics put me to work. After three days, they figured it out, but they kept me on. We sold mainly Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Rolls-Royce, but it was a funny era when you could sell a foreign brand just by parking one in your showroom with a few brochures.
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Cool! A few stories I haven't heard about before. I laughed so hard at the new guy walk in and start working. Awesome!
I always like the note Jay wrote when he got fired from the Ford dealership because the hubcaps he had to take off every night fell on the ground running into the manager as he was working.
Jay sent a note to Ford Head Office and a Big Wig actually replied. The Ford manager called Jay one say and said angrily; I dont know how you know "so and so" but you can have your stupid job back lol
When i was sixteen and had gotten my driver's license, my Dad suggested that I get a job at the local Kroger. I could not imagine a torture that could be worse than working at a grocery store. I wanted to work at a car dealership. I went down auto row asking for a job at each store and was turned down each time I they found out I was sixteen. That was until I asked for a job at the local Isuzu store. They did not say yes but, they did not say no. So, I went by every week until they hired me. I was great driving the new cars. The Isuzu I mark diesel automatic would do zero to 60 in 20 seconds!
Jays comment about becoming a luxury car dealership by parking one in the showroom is funny but true. In the early 1970's I was living in SoCal. I read the west coast edition of the Wall Street Journal everyday and one day there was a classified ad "For Sale - Ferrari and BMW dealership for sale $5000.00 and a phone number. I called and it was a woman that had gotten the dealership as part of a divorce settlement and did not know what to do with it beyond not wanting it. It was just the dealer contract with the manufacturers without any vehicles or property. All you were obligated to do was to purchase a certain number of cars each year. Five grand was a lot of money for me back in 1972 and I could not swing it. A friend of mine did. To be a registered dealer in California you had to have a location. Since he was operating on a shoestring. He put a fence around the front yard of a house he was renting in Tarzana with a small sign "New BMW for Sale". No car though. Just brochures when you contacted him. Sold a bunch of Beemer's though. No overhead to speak of. The customers generally looked at the cars at full fledged dealer get a price and he would undercut it by thousands. The cars were ordered direct from BMW and flown to their distribution center in Reno, NV. We would fly to Reno. Pickup the new car and drive it down through the Sierra's on Highway 395 to LA which was a beautiful drive. Run the car through a car wash and deliver it to the new owner with just under 300 miles on the odometer.
Jay is a good man. Hes stayed down to earth and sees things through the eyes of the average guy. Hard to do in his profession. Reading and listening to his stories is kinda like hanging out with your favorite uncle.
I used to go down to Foreign Motors in the late 60s and early 70s to see the cars. Yes it was a garage with a few cars, but what cool cars. I would have loved Jay's job!
Jay was the host MC for Brian Jessel BMW a few years ago as a Charity Gala and auctioned off a private viewing of his car collection and so I HAD to bid on it (for a great cause and to see his cars/bikes and special vehicles and it was fantastic!..