End of an era: Family of famed SoCal car dealer Cal Worthington selling last. car lot did anyone here ever buy or see any of em?

Now if you watched almost any tv channel in la ,orange ,ventura and riverside(or further) counties you know these commercials as they ran incessantly on the independent channels and then on major ones years later during the day and late at night

after he passed they ran the old commercials with his “dog spot” him in it and then his son or grandson shilling the autos then they’ve sort of disappeared recently
I never thought his prices were special I mean sure you could get that nice pickup for 150 a month as long as you didn’t mind 5 to 6-year payments for it

but what made the jokey commercials eye-catching was the "dog "spot were usually animals he owned from his private zoo until the early 90s when a rumored spat with bob barker over animal rights bob barker and barker said he couldn’t advertise during the price is right so he just used old footage in the newer ones

here’s one of his infamous commercials

How many car dealers get a character based on them in a major TV series? (starts at 18:27)

Ol’ Cal was certainly a SoCal legend when I was a kid. It was always fun to anticipate what critter “Spot” would turn out to be this time.

RIP Cal, you were an amazing dude. And now, RIP the business you bequeathed to two generations (at least) of your own kids.

He had at least one dealership in the Seattle area, too. I was a kid and was fascinated by those tacky commercials.

They had to pass a law that car salesmen had to stay on the lot because his salespeople would go into the street to try to get people to buy cars while stopped at stop lights in front of Cal’s lot.

My sister was the finance manager for one of his lots in the Sacramento area. The guy also made bank by buying up lightly used Toyota 4x4 trucks and shipping them up to Alaska, where they sold like the proverbial hotcakes for premium prices. My ex husband discovered this little racket when he drove his own Toyota up the Al-Can after he graduated college and had people waving fistfuls of money at him everywhere he went because it was between deliveries from Cal. Guy was quite the businessman, no doubt about it.

I never did find out what a Pussy Cow was.

We used to look forward to the newest commercial and would call out to each other CALS ON, CALS ON!!! and everyone would come running to see his latest dog.

We drove by one of his car lots on a semi-regular basis but never once saw any four legged critters hanging around. Dad refused to stop because he was just an ol’ meany poopy head.

I was stationed at the Long Beach Naval Station on Terminal Island in the early 1980s and definitely remember those silly Go see Cal! commercials.

Yeah, I remember them too. Also the Ralph Williams car dealer ads in the late 60s and onward. He was far more annoying than ol’ Cal. Worthington even opened a dealership in Anchorage.

When did they first air? Because I could swear I was seeing them in the very early 60s.

There used to be a Doper named @PussyCow. She got her name from the commercials.

Like others, I grew up on the ‘Go see Cal!’ commercials. I think I remember that he had an actual dog in one of his commercials.

IIRC from SoCal childhood …

The head shill for Felix Chevrolet near downtown LA had a German Shepard dog that appeared with him in all his otherwise conventional commercials. This was in the heyday of German Shepards as the must-have pet breed. He’d say something like “I’m Joe Jones and this is my dog Blaze. Come on down to Felix Chevrolet & see us. Blah blah blah.” Ordinary straight-man TV car sales, but the dog was his hook and you really could bring the kids to the dealership to see the dog.

Anyhow, when Cal got started he’d already seen how effective the damn dog was. And he being the Dodge / Chrysler / Plymouth dealer needed to defeat that Chevy guy. He apparently really did have a wacky sense of humor. So “Spot” the ever more exotic not-a-dog was born. Just to tweak the German Shepard’s nose. And his owner’s.

I’ll be damned if I can remember the name of the man or the German Shepard, but when one of you does post it, it’ll ring a bell instantly. Not gonna look it up now; that seems like cheating,

Another memorable LA icon.

My Dad really didn’t like him for some unknown reason. Always called him “Bald Ralphie”. “Hey kids, Bald Ralphie is on”. “Quick, change the channel; it’s Bald Ralphie.”

I always thought he had an annoying voice, but other than that he was just another pitchman with his own name over the door. Not good, not bad, just there.

The only German Shepherd I knew back then was Jack Lalanne’s white one, named Happy.

This thread has car dealer jingles going through my head. Come on down to Discound Land… Cormier Chevrolet and See Pearson Ford we stand alone ad Fairmont and El Cajon!

Earl Scheib was the one with the really annoying voice. $29.95.

RIIIIGHT! I’ll paint any car, any color for $29.95.

Earl Schieb’s voice was fingernails on a chalkboard. Bald Rahie wasn’t that bad, but he still had a sneering sort of off-putting tone.

And for an additional $200, I’ll roll up the windows first!

I just remembered something about Cal’s commercials up here in the Seattle area. He’d refer to his lot being on Pacific Coast highway. It was actually on Pacific highway with Pacific Coast highway being in California. I don’t think he ever got it right. Used to drive my dad bonkers.

It would drive me bonkers hearing ‘Pacific Coast Highway’. Everybody knows it’s ‘the PCH’. :wink: