Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rolls Royce Stories and duPont Registry Cars & Coffee August 16, 2014

Powerful Elegance
Rolls Royce - the name evokes thoughts of money, fame, prestige, performance, power and Palmyra Motors?   What's Palmyra Motors got to do with Rolls Royce?    Palmrya Motors for anyone living in Upstate NY in the 1970's was purported to be the largest Rolls Royce dealer in the US if you believed the stories. It might have been true, as I worked the summer of 1973 for Howard VanBortel , owner of the franchise.  My job was to preen and pamper the 50 or so Rolls and Bentley cars stored at 'The Factory' out in the rolling drumlin countryside stable 3 miles from the dealership.  The cars ranged from the 1930's to new 1970's editions.  It was like a storybook treasure trove of cars collected from worldwide buying trips Howard commissioned.

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:

Click Here

Memories of Howard

du Pont Registry Cars & Coffee August 16,2014

Detroit's Version- Super Sleek Caddy

Beautiful Example of a Porsche 914

Clean Lines

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

Lamborghini Countach- Fast From Any Angle

Another Successful Cars & Coffee-  Every Third Saturday of the Month at duPont Registry!



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