Monday, July 9, 2007

Jim Cooley, had a genius idea as a young entreprenuer

I was swapping stories with Jim, owner of the JA Cooley Auto Museum, and when I mentioned weeing him in the neighborhood driving his 1930 Ford, he told me how it is that he's been driving it for about 6o years.

Right after WW2, most people wanted to buy a new car, and this was for different reasons, but partly due to them not having had anything new to drive since about 1940. New cars weren't being built until about 1947, as a matter of fact, Jim told me, Ford was selling trucks to civilians in '46, but not cars. They had a car planned and even had a set of 8 car models for the '46 line that they sent out to dealerships to promote the new '46 cars, and garner some interest from potential buyers. No cars though.

So, with all cars being about 7 years old at the newest, people were in the mood to get rid of the old ones and buy new. So Jim saw the opportunity to pick up model A's and T's cheap.

A lot of A and T models had been neglected all through the war, due to rationing, military not coming home, lack of new tires, broken parts, all kinds of things added up to there being a lot of these old Fords being left in garages and backyards with flat tires, and engine troubles.

Here's the clever part.

Jim bought them for 10 or 20 dollars apiece, fixed the minor troubles, and when he had four or five ready to sell, he placed one ad in the paper. The ad cost 2 dollars, and being quite clever Jim had figured he could just wait until he had several cars, to place just one ad. Savings? 6 to 8 dollars.

With just one ad and 4 or 5 cars, he put one out front of his house with the for sale sign to catch buyers attention, and when it sold he pulled around another.

This kept the nonsense about one being nicer, or a buyer flittering around through all the cars to just a bad idea. The people responding to the ad for one car for sale found just one, and then they bought it for about 100 dollars, and went away. Nice, neat, simple. Savings? Time, aggravation.

Now the last of one group was this yellow and black '30 Ford that a fellow bought, and returned in just 3 hours. Nothing wrong with tha car, but the guy lived a block from work, and soon realized he didn't need the car. He'd bought it on impulse, it being too good a deal to pass up. He returned it and offered to Jim that he'd give back the car for half the price, but being a fair and honest guy, Jim gave him back all the money for the car. Since the car came back to him, Jim decided maybe he was meant to keep it, and so he still has it and regularly drives it.

No comments:

Post a Comment