Not to be too boisterous about the business of selling Rolls to the rich and famous, Howard pioneered the $49.00 over invoice craze that hit the industry at the time and he claimed to sell 5000 Chevy and Olds cars a year in a town of 4000 people. He also had a mural painted on the west end of the showroom building for everyone to see as they came into the village of Palmyra - a beautiful Corvette with the bold letters, 'World's Largest Corvette Dealer". And I am sure it was true. As one of the gang of guys that prepped cars for delivery, we were working from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM trying to keep up.
Enough of the daydreaming of days gone by- Here's pictures and some well written testimonials to Howard after his death a few years ago. I was inspired to post this after recently visiting 'home' and seeing Howard's daughter, Kitty VanBortel at the car show held at her Chevy dealership (See previous posts) and chatting with the Sales Director, Mark Powell from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Tampa Bay last Saturday at Cars& Coffee.
My dad and Howard were partners in the franchise in the 1950's. My dad sold out his interest and went on to his own pursuits as an American Motors and eventually Dodge and Dodge Truck dealer. The picture of Palmyra motors shows Howard (tallest person next to my dad in the suit)
|Palmyra Motors Circa 1955|
Howard VanBortel and Karl Ziegler
Here's some interesting stories of Howard from people who spent years working for him:
Memories of Howard
du Pont Registry Cars & Coffee August 16,2014
|Detroit's Version- Super Sleek Caddy|
|Beautiful Example of a Porsche 914|
|Wow- What A Stable!|
|Sam Posey's 1970Trans Am Race car|
|Trans Am Racer -All Business and Real Loud Pipes|
|My 1987 Trans AM GTA w/ Factory Corvette Motor Option|