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The following story involves a young boy and a local car dealer - the boy being Newark, NY historian John M. Zornow:
"Read the Fine Print
has a story of their first car or the one that got away. Here is my
story of a 12-year old kid and one of his adventures on automobile row.
time I see a 1941 Pontiac I think of the time that I almost owned one,
at the age of 12! Well actually I never came close to owning the
Pontiac, but I really thought I was going to make it my first car.
Pontiac dealer in Newark, New York in 1955 was Warchall Pontiac. The
dealership was not on automobile row, West Union Street, but over on
North Main Street, the other side of the tracks. (This building is now
Northside laundry and pizza.) Thadious Warchall had taken the Pontiac
store over that year from longtime auto dealer Christy McMann, who was
now in the mobile home business.
N.Y., located on the Erie Canal between Rochester and Syracuse was a
middleclass town of about 10,000 and had a dealer for every make of
car, all the majors as well as Kaiser, Packard and DeSoto.
"At the age of 12, I like many others had a morning paper route that provided spending money. It was the end of June and school was out! I looked in the Penny Saver, an advertising flyer, for other jobs a kid could do and, there it was. Warchall Pontiac was having a sale and 99 cents would buy a car if you were the first one to get behind the wheel when the dealership opened!
you are off to a good start said my mother when I had my papers
delivered so early that day. Lots to do I replied as I took off on my
bike, headed for the 99 cent sale!
made it there in plenty of time for the 9 a.m. opening and saw three
cars, a 1941 Plymouth, 1941 Pontiac, and 1946 Plymouth, all available
for the 99 cent deal. I was already a General Motors fan and picked the
41 Pontiac four door Torpedo, opening the door and claiming my spot
behind the wheel. I waited patiently, thinking of what I would do with
my car and how I was going to get it home, when a loud voice said: Hey
kid make room for a customer. I sheepishly said I am here and have my
99 cents. Another loud voice said no kids!
"What was this? I soon had my first lesson in fine print. The offer was for adults only.
ahead over 50 years. I am retired from a big Rochester company and
working part-time for the local publisher who was still printing the
Penny Saver and in the attic he had one of every issue ever printed. I
sorted through the stacks of musty flyers and there it was, fine print
"Warchall’s 99 cent sale - First adult behind the wheel."
John M. Zornow
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