Every time I drive by one of these little independent used car lots. It reminds me of my early child hood. When my father and uncle Palmer were in the car, truck and farm vehicle business. In Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. I was much too young to understand much about this business, but I remember I wanted to be part of it somehow.
The lot boys that worked at the various car lots were all teenagers, and it looked to me like they were having a lot of fun. So one summer, when I was about fourteen, I applied for a job as a lot boy for a used car dealership on Van Nuys Blvd.in Van Nuys, California. At the time I was excited about my new job, because I got to be around cars all day. At home I built models and drew pictures of them, and outside I worked on my 1937 Ford. I was still 2 years from illegal driving age, even though I had a special drivers license that allowed me to drive to work. It only made those 2 years seem like centuries. I guess I had cars on the brain, but I was pleased that I had something to do to keep me busy and out of trouble. My job consisted of starting all the cars in the morning to warm them up, so they would start for the customers. next up was to wash, vacuum and generally keep them clean. But It was a shady operation at best. The guy that owned the place, well, his favorite suit seemed to say It for me. It was a green and beige plaid, and he wore a straw hat that some how made me think of Bob Hope. He chewed on a big nasty cigar that left stains on his shirt and he looked like a carnie. I began to realize that all these cars were just a bunch of tired wrecks that were spit shined just good enough so that some day dreaming sucker would buy them. They tried all the tricks, turning back speedometers, filling the crankcase with oil as thick honey, cheap paint and seat covers. These were all the common ploys. The pitchmen sat perched waiting for suckers while the plastic flags slapped in the breeze. It all seemed kind of surreal, I knew when started painting these car paintings that I just had to paint one of these little car dealerships.