I Hate Car Dealers

Today’s Reason:  Your local Ford dealer.
This is an 88-90 Ford Escort – your basic shitty econobox of the day, made as ugly as possible in its last years on this platform – bad taillights and ugly WalMart bumpers to announce to the world that you:Ford Escort

  • were stupid
  • were cheap
  • didn’t care, or
  • had put on your mommy pants and given up on the world.

But wait, it gets worse.
Ford dealers were not content to sucker college students into buying cars they could barely drive and could not afford.  They needed those incrememental dollars, those add-ons to boost the ticket. And, not everyone was dumb enough to fall for the Dick Loehr fake Maroney sticker ($1995 for $5 scotchguard, redundant tire warranties, Sparkle Buggy Wash quality “paint sealant” and BS like that).  So, it was time to get crafty.

In the case of the Escort in SW Michigan, it was the Escort “Sport.”  Usually they used Escort “Pony” models.  Per Wiki, the Pony

was the least-expensive U.S.-built Ford at the time. Pony models used plainer interior trim with greater use of vinyl and plastic instead of cloth, and a 4-speed manual transaxle was standard, although buyers could opt for the 5-speed found in LX models or the 3-speed ATX automatic. The list of available options was very limited, to the extent that such luxuries as power steering and factory-installed air conditioning were not offered (a dealer-installed A/C system was available).

In other words, loss leader – no margin.  Enter the Sport package for just $595 (about $1170 in 2013 dollars).  What do you get?  A dealer installed tape stripe on the side and new plastic wheel covers.  And a sticker.  Stickers are cool.  Stickers and stripes and “dubs” mean you’re no longer this guy!

Michael Douglas Falling Down Chevrolet Chevette
Sweet ride, dude.  If only it had a stripe

Now you’re practically this guy!

Magnum P.i. Ferrari 308GTS
“Sport” – Axe for Men before it was cool


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