I bought my first car out of college at Mel Farr Ford on Greenfield and 10 Mile.
It was important to me because I needed transportation for my new job as a sports writer at the Grand Rapids Press. And I had little money and no credit to speak of. But I got on my feet thanks to Mel Farr extending credit to someone like me so I could get the blue Datsun (now Nissan) B-210 that took me to gyms and football stadiums in Lowell, Kentwood and Middleville.
I got a Farr better deal.
The guy that sold me the car was former Lions running back Mel Farr who became one of the most successful auto dealers in the nation after his playing career ended. He was more than a football player. He was a great businessman and activist for minority dealers and businessmen.
I know he was a flashy running back out of UCLA and displayed the same personality on the football field that he did in business when he put on a cape to convince people to purchase cars from him. Every time I buy a new car I think of Farr and my first car which was probably put in a scrap yard many years ago.
I am sure he was burned on many of those high risk finance deals to help people who did not quite have their act together. I was one of those people and made every last payment on time. I was grateful to get on my feet as a young sports writer.
I paid $118 a month and kept the car for about three years until I got a writing gig at the Detroit Free Press where I doubled my salary and could afford a new car from another dealer, which I got ripped on by the way.
The salesman told me there was air conditioning. I found out the next summer that there was no air.
I did not get a Farr better deal from that clown.