Old dealer dept.
by Jim Corbran - posted 9:39 pm, June 26, 2009
If you were driving down (or up) Sheridan Drive back in October 1961, you probably couldn’t help but notice this dealership, C. Hettinger for Rambler, as it was nothing less than the “5th largest Rambler dealer in the USA.” Not often you hear anyone claim to be the 5th largest anything in their advertising, but there you go.
Today, 3900 Sheridan Drive is the home of Northown Kia/Mazda, and adjacent to Northtown Lexus. Back in 1961 Hettinger’s service department ran two full shifts, and was open until 1 a.m. daily, and Saturdays until 5 p.m. I don’t know if this is a reflection of Hettinger’s commitment to service, or a comment on the reliability of the Rambler that they were kept that busy. Whichever, it was commendable, especially seeing that back in those days dealers weren’t quite so hounded by manufacturers to keep up their customer satisfaction quotient like they are today (to the point of driving the customer nuts — “So I can put you down as ‘Completely Satisfied’ then, even though your car wasn’t ready when I promised it would be?”)
There were some great trades being advertised that October: ’57 Ford convertible – $794; ’55 Imperial hardtop – $494 (someone traded an Imperial on a Rambler?!); or a ’56 Nash for a mere $394.