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How Future World War I Fighting Ace Eddie Rickenbacker Sold Cars in Dallas back in 1909

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A salesman's gotta do what a salesman's gotta do:


"I was not completely without guile. West of Dallas, near Fort Worth, lies a small range known as "Chalk Hill." A major criterion of automotive excellence was the ability of a car to take Chalk Hill in high gear. Prospects naturally demanded that the demonstrations include this hill-climbing contest. We always made it but, one day, with a particularly heavy prospect aboard, I feared we wouldn't.

In an effort to give the buggy every chance, I made a running start and we approached Chalk Hill at 30 miles per hour. The little buggy bounced and skidded on the gravel road like a skittish colt learning to gallop. We started up the grade, with my potential customer and me both leaning forward and pushing with body English....

Halfway up it became all too clear to me that we were not going to make it in high gear. Quickly I slammed on the brakes, and we came to a dead stop.

The customer turned to me, but before he could say a word I beamed at him with a proud smile. "How do you like those brakes?" I asked. "See how they hold us tight, right here on Chalk Hill?"

He smiled back. "By God, they DO hold us, don't they? Holy gee, that's great."

He bought the car that afternoon for cash."


------- Future World War I fighter ace Eddie Rickenbacker, selling Firestone-Columbus automobiles in Dallas, 1909, in his autobiography "Rickenbacker," 1967

Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.

Posted : 25th December 2019 9:58 pm