Daily Speculations

The Web Site of Victor Niederhoffer & Laurel Kenner

Dedicated to the scientific method, free markets, deflating ballyhoo, creating value, and laughter;  a forum for us to use our meager abilities to make the world of specinvestments a better place.

 

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2/22/2005
Red Fingers, by Kim Zussman

Dad was an artist who was a successful car salesman working for Jim Moran in Chicago in the 1960's. Moran started as a teen mechanic at a service station. Often customers asked if he could sell their cars for them, and over time the inventory grew. He saved enough to buy the station, and as his service/sales business expanded Moran acquired property and eventually developed what became the largest Ford dealer in the US.

Besides initiative and hard work, Mr. Moran's success evolved from innovation in advertising. He was a pioneer in selling cars using the new medium of television. Moran sponsored "Friday Night Fights", a program where cameras cut between rounds to Jim's live descriptions of gleaming beauties driven past spotlights by salesmen. Even before the boxing was over customers lined up at the dealership eager to buy that fancy TV model or even a better substitute.

As a boy I used to watch the fights on the flickering black-and-white rabbit-ear with Dad. We had a tradition of eating pistachios while feinting and dodging, promising Mom not to drop shells on the floor. The old-style nuts were dyed red, as were our fingers once the show was over.

What would I give for just one more of Moran's shows cracking nuts watching with Dad!