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Tags » ‘auto’

Who the hell was Peter Epsteen, and how’d he get Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Sammy Davis Jr to sing commercials for him? A Chicago car dealer with friends in high places..

April 17th, 2018 by admin

Why do you think? Three little letters. M.O.B.

Most of the references on the Web claim that Sinatra did the gig for Sam Giancana, boss of bosses in Chicago from the late `50s to the mid-60s, a friend – if friend is the right word – of Sinatra’s since 1958, and the person who Sinatra acted as the front for in his buy into a piece of the action of the Cal/Neva Casino in Lake Tahoe.

However, it’s more likely that the favor was asked by one of the Fischetti brothers, Rocco, Charlie, and Joe. Charlie Fischetti was the Mob’s political fixer in Chicago, and a friend of Sinatra’s since the early `40s. Sinatra, nice guy that he was, used to go along with Charlie when he visited his mother in Brooklyn. Charlie died in 1951, but Sinatra and Joe Fischetti were also close friends. He took a trip to Cuba with the brothers in 1946, the so-called “Havana Summit” held by Lucky Luciano, a trip that would haunt Sinatra for the rest of his career.

Mr. Sam Giancana : My Life with Frank Sinatra By George Jacobs, William Stadiem

So, Pete Epsteen. What do we know about him? The Sacramento Bee newspaper once published a story entitled, “Palm Springs – Where Stars, Pols – and Mobsters – Live in Style.” Although not mentioned in the article, Pete Epsteen was referred to in a photo caption as “an automobile dealer financed by the Mafia.”

Represented by Sinatra’s attorney, Mickey Rudin, Epsteen filed a $6 million libel suit against the newspaper. He denied any affiliation with the Mafia and demanded a retraction. The Sacramento Bee published a story reporting Epsteen’s denial but did not retract the charge.

According to a Google Search, Epsteen divorced his wife in the `70s, moved to California, and opened a Honda dealership. In 1995 he was prosecuted for his role in a kickback scheme in which dealers in 30 states gave executives of American Honda up to $15 million in cash and gifts in exchange for hot-selling cars and franchises. He was also convicted of perjury in the case, fined $200,000, and sentenced to six months in prison. He died in 1997, in Palm Springs, California.

Peter Epsteen Pontiac was the largest-volume Pontiac dealership in the country in the 1960s. You wouldn’t have known it looking at the dealership’s tiny showroom in Skokie, Ill., a stone’s throw north of Chicago. I believe it held just one car.

But when it came to throwing a party for unveiling the all-new 1965 Pontiacs, no one could match Epsteen’s extravagance and talent for revving up the crowd and selling Pontiacs.

The whole rickety dealership franchise system is a dusty marketing vestige of an era when there were 200 American car manufacturers, each eagerly trying to ply their newfangled horseless carriages.

In the 1920s storefront after storefront of hawkers of Reos, Packards, Stutz Bearcats, Mercers, Oldmobiles, Fords and the like fought to sell cars.

As the dealership system boiled down, it ended up being a cash cow for the con-men left standing who used their government clout to safeguard their privileged market status.

No wonder organized crime began to move into the auto dealership game in Chicago during the 50s and 60s.

Crypt 33: The Saga of Marilyn Monroe: The Last Word By Adela Gregory, Milo Speriglio

and Peter Epsteen Pontiac sold a prototype Bonneville convertible, which ended up in Eagle River Wisconsin (fishing lake resort town on the famous chain of lakes where I spent a summer working at a resort the summer before my high school senior year)

It had a ‘58 front end mated to a ‘57 tail. “And it’s a special model, too,” the car rebuilder insisted. “A Bonneville, or something like that, with fuel injection straight from the factory.”

Paul Joseph was the President and Master Salesman of Peter Epsteen Pontiac in Chicago, IL from the time he graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in business after distinguished service and discharge from the Army in 1941-45 until 1972

He was injured in the Battle of the Bulge and received a Purple Heart and Silver Star for his efforts.

Continued here: 
Who the hell was Peter Epsteen, and how’d he get Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Sammy Davis Jr to sing commercials for him? A Chicago car dealer with friends in high places..

Our Family Car

January 18th, 2018 by admin

Lujan, purchased the Chevy from a cousin in the early 1980’s while he was creating the movie-themed artwork in the Hollywood and Vine Metro station.

one of many of Lujan’s family cars looks essentially as it did in 1987 when Lujan used it as a canvas.

Using pinstriping brushes and lacquer-based textile crayons, Luján transformed his family’s 1950 Chevrolet sedan into a lowrider with what he called “a lighthearted kind of folk art narrative.” Unlike other lowriders, Luján humorously blends the aesthetic elements of street rods with symbols of Chicana/o culture.

Later, when times were tough, Lujan used the car to cover rent and traded it to his landlord, who stored it in the auto-salvage yard he owned.

Another artist bought it, but he then needed money, and a pawn shop ended up putting the car for sale on eBay.

Dunlap was shopping for a hot rod on the website when he saw the ad for the 1950 coupe, went to the shop, paid $7,000 for the Chevy and drove it home.

Dunlap sought out Lujan and commissioned the artist to restore the car to its original glory. They became close friends.

Here is the original:
Our Family Car

Andy Warhol had one rare Ferrari, he bought it only to make an art piece parody of Rolls Royce, but sold it without racing it, making art of it, or knowing how rare it was

December 11th, 2016 by admin


Want to go to SEMA? But think it’s impossible because you aren’t Chip Foose? I’ve got a long list of how you can get a pass

June 25th, 2015 by admin

I’m going to put SEMA’s mission statement right here so you know that they want you to become a part of the show:
  • Proactive leadership in our industry to help it expand domestically and worldwide.
  • Delivering programs, activities and information in response to the ongoing and emerging needs of our members.
  • Producing the industry’s leading trade show.

maybe the most remarkable thing you’ll see today, the 1965 Chevrolet Corvette demonstration stand. It just traded hands for $715,000

June 11th, 2015 by admin

The 1965 Corvette Sting Ray sitting atop this demonstration stand was not originally purpose-built for this use. It actually began its life as a road-ready early-production example that was finished in Le Mans Blue and had a white interior. When new, it was shipped to a specialty company that produced dramatic and attention-grabbing exhibits for commercial and industrial shows. There, the car was fully disassembled and rebuilt as this one-of-a-kind display stand for use by General Motors and Chevrolet on the auto show circuit.

In order to properly demonstrate all of the hidden mechanical components of the car, the body was mounted on elevating rams that would raise the exterior nearly two feet off of the chassis, leaving its internal running gear exposed. Careful and well-thought-out incisions were made into all of the major components to further illustrate its build quality and overall operation. The exterior of the engine, transmission, driveshaft, and other mechanical parts were finished in bright red to clearly contrast the body, and the casting of the four-speed manual gearbox was “cut-out” to showcase the clutch and flywheel. The heads received custom-made, transparent valve covers, with additional cut-out panels revealing the critical inner workings of the fuel-injection unit, exhaust, intake manifolds, and the block itself.

At the show, a series of electric motors would lift the body off its chassis by its elevating rams, and then it would operate all of the “cut-away” internal components. Rather than function in real time, the components were geared to work at just a few revolutions per minute, as this would allow for observers to fully digest and understand how the underlying mechanical components functioned. Just like any other engine, the turning cam pushed the corresponding intake or exhaust valve, while the crankshaft pushed each piston to and fro. Brightly plated U-joints, which were attached to the Positraction rear axle, drew onlookers’ eyes to where the wheels spun and moved, activating the rear suspension and thus demonstrating the Corvette’s road-holding abilities.

After it left the show circuit in 1965, the display stand’s history is largely unknown. It was discovered in South Africa in the mid-1990s, and from there, it was sent back to the United States with a new owner. Later, it became a centerpiece of the famed collection of Al Wiseman and was then purchased by the Andrews’ in 2007.

Under Mr. Wiseman’s ownership, the display stand received a sympathetic restoration, which returned it to the condition that it would have been seen in on the show circuit in 1965. All of the car’s original instrumentation, including the speedometer, tachometer, gauges, a teakwood steering wheel, and amusingly, even its AM/FM radio, are still intact, and the car is still fitted with its original wide sidewall Rayon cord tires. All of the car’s mechanical demonstrations remain in fully functional and working order, including the initial lifting of the body, which is accomplished by the simple push of a button, allowing for its ornate mechanical dance to be enjoyed by all who see it.

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maybe the most remarkable thing you’ll see today, the 1965 Chevrolet Corvette demonstration stand. It just traded hands for $715,000

Women are fed up, and might be opening their own car service garages (will they discriminate and refuse to hire male employees?)

June 10th, 2015 by admin

When one woman in Philadelphia was dumbfounded at the lack of women in the car mechanic industry, she decided to quit her job and plans to start her own car shop.

Patrice Banks, 34, was a materials engineer and manager at DuPont for 12 years, about six years ago, she said she looked for a female auto mechanic to find help, but couldn’t find one. She decided to go to school to become one, taking classes at a community college on the side. After two years, she received a diploma in automotive technology. In 2013, she started the Girls Auto Clinic, which offers workshops and consulting for women.

Banks said she wants to educate women so they feel confident taking care of their cars and avoid being swindled by the male-dominated car service industry.

The anticipated business will have a “beautiful lounge” that’s “welcoming and warm” and a nail salon, Banks said. Armed with a business plan, she has a location in the works in Philadelphia, and she has applied for funding.

Hilary Noack, a Centennial College auto body repair instructor, is hoping to raise $20,000 via an Indiegogo campaign to start Canada’s first all-female-staffed auto body shop.

She has had a passion for muscle cars and hot rods since she was a teenager and worked with a shop to restore her first car, a 1970 Oldsmobile. She turned that apprenticeship into a diploma from Centennial College, got a job at Toronto’s well-known Legendary Motorcar, then went back to her alma mater to teach.

She’s been instructing in the auto body and collision damage repair apprenticeship program for four years now.

While she already had most of the tools necessary to get a garage started, she still needed to raise some capital, and a traditional bank loan just wouldn’t do.

SAFETY NEWSFLASH: 2.6 million GM vehicles have been recalled since February, 13 people known dead, in 32 crashes, due to a 1 dollar switch

April 19th, 2014 by admin

At least 13 deaths in Saturn Ions, Chevrolet Cobalts and other models have been linked to the faulty ignition switches, which are prone to being bumped or jostled into accessory mode while cars are still moving. That can shut off engines and disable power steering, power brakes and airbags.

The company is facing numerous lawsuits over the vehicles, on behalf of individuals injured or killed in crashes or customers who say their cars lost value as a result of the recall.

Fiat declares 93 Vipers must be crushed, they were all not street legal and donated to schools for educational programs (never heard of a race car being give to a school before!)

March 6th, 2014 by admin

those hoods are roughly a 18 thousand dollar part. Carbon fiber… true fact

Automotive professors and students at South Puget Sound Community College were in shock Tuesday after being notified their $250,000 pre-production Dodge Viper SRT must be destroyed within two weeks.

Steven Glasco, vehicle donations coordinator at Chrysler, confirmed that the complete collection of the educational donation Vipers nationwide must be crushed. He would not comment further on the numbers of vehicles or why the decision was made.

Chapman said he was told by a company official that the destruction of 93 vehicles is the result of two educational Vipers that “got loose” and were involved in accidents, costing parent company Fiat millions of dollars.

Car companies regularly donate damaged, non-street-legal, or unsellable vehicles to high schools, colleges and tech schools to be used for training students. SPSCC has about 20 donated vehicles in its auto shop.

Part of the contract with the donated Viper reads that it will be destroyed if the company orders it to be.

The 1992 Dodge Viper is the fourth produced by the company.

Chapman admits the Viper has limited educational value — few mechanics will ever have to work on such a specialized vehicle. But it is a prized promotional tool for the auto program, which displays the car at high schools and auto shows around the state.

“Everybody wants their picture taken with the Viper,” professor Bob Riggin said. He said visiting teachers and dignitaries often get to actually drive the car when it’s strapped down to the shop’s dynamometer. “This car belongs in a museum, not in a crusher,” he said, adding that Jay Leno had unsuccessfully tried to purchase the Viper for his personal collection.

Scot Keller, chief curator at LeMay-America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, said he would love to have a prototype Viper at the museum “These are magnificent cars,” he said. “Who wouldn’t want a Viper?”

But, having been a GM executive himself for many years, Keller said he knows that trying to rescue this one would almost certainly be pointless.

“I’m an enthusiast but also a realist,” he said. “In this case, I feel somewhat obligated to protect the industry. It’s easy to say, ‘Those doggone people in the industry.’ But having sat in a number of meetings on issues like this, I see the other side.

“It’s heartbreaking if you love cars,” Keller said, “but it’s the only thing companies can do to keep the cars from getting out there and people potentially being harmed in them because they are not up to standards.”

Found on thanks to Dave!

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Fiat declares 93 Vipers must be crushed, they were all not street legal and donated to schools for educational programs (never heard of a race car being give to a school before!)

Keeping an eye on all the subscription notices you might spot a deal

February 8th, 2013 by admin

Does anyone know a member of Walter Seeley’s family? Jim is trying to return a book to them

January 6th, 2013 by admin

these were all found in the book that Jim bought, and he thinks that this book would be better kept by Walt’s family