A mere 1.5 miles from where I was living at the time. But I was four, and didn’t really want an ex-taxi, either.
That’s closer than me, I was 3 miles away per Google Maps but also only 3 years old. Also none of the adults in my family were likely to buy old taxis, although a great uncle did drive a “civilian” Checker.
The ad clearly states you have to be a member.
Quite true. I didn’t mean to imply that this was not disclosed in the ad, which is why I put a comma between the two parts in the title. My point was that there are two elements to being able to buy one of these: you have to join and pay a membership fee, and then you have to be willing to buy a used taxi.
Undoubtedly the money maker here was the membership element.
If I’m reading (between the lines) correctly… For the $3 membership fee you don’t actually get to buy these cars. For $3 they will “show you how” to buy these cars at these prices.
Maybe I’m being cynical, but I think the three bucks gets you a list of auto auctions where ex-taxis are sold.
I’m not entirely sure they are just giving you a list of auction houses for your three bucks. Do auction houses typically deliver? Plus, they appear to be offering financing as well.
Still, I’m sure there’s a scam in there somewhere.
“…Do auction houses typically deliver?…”
Nobody said the auction house or the seller of the cars would deliver right to your front door. For $3 the advertiser would MAIL the “complete information” on a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper to you!
On January 1, 1967, a first class U.S. postage stamp cost five cents.
I think they deliver you the information on how to get the car (via the postal service), not an actual car. Think about it – would you want a car delivered to your front door? Of course not! I want the car delivered to my driveway. The front door is where the mail goes!
OK, I’ve got a ‘member’ for them… any time! (; My dad was in the car biz for decades! He worked for Jim Pattison a local billionaire now, but in 1959ish “Baldy” had his 1st car lot on Main st. in Vancouver where my dad started out. For you Chicago boyz, Bobby Hull visited my dad in 1971 to honor him for record car sales for Ford. I saw the b&w pics when I got home from Hawaii. I was always a big Hull/Hawks fan, and my dad played hockey for years in Ontario in the 30s-50s! Moral of the story… “Never try to con a con!”
A used up New York City taxicab. Just what I want.
And a typewriter. I want that too.
So how cheap were these cars compared to dealer lot prices?.
Membership of a discount club is nothing new, look at Costco and Mataln.
My grandfather had stories of mail-order “scams” from the 1930’s which (I assume) he fell for. My favorite was
“Potato Bug Killer – Guaranteed to work every time!”
“Send one dollar to (insert some post office box address here).”
When you sent your dollar, you did indeed get a potato bug killer: two little pieces of wood marked A and B, and a set of instructions: “Place potato bug on block A and smash it with block B”… so yeah, technically -not- a scam. At least you didn’t have to buy a membership to get one.
Funny story Lokki! “I wouldn’t join any club that would have ME as a member!”
I love this kind of stuff. It definitely fits into the “deals too good to believe” genre that were really everywhere at about that time.
My guess is that this thing is like the “Government Auction” and “Surplus Military Jeep” ads that one used to commonly find. That is, your membership simply gave you information about something that you then in all likelihood could never actually purchase. And anyway, the idea of “used taxi” is sort of mind-boggling. What use is any car after it’s been used as a taxi? (rhetorical question…)
Quite a list of brands there in the list of other items that can be bought through the club. Everything from cake mix to …. typewriters.
Just for fun, I’d be tempted to print out the coupon and send it in with three crisp samoleans to see what would happen.
I’m easily amused. 😉
333 Old Tarrytown Road, White Plains, NY 10603 is an office building now
It was back then too — it’s actually an old house that was converted into offices in the early 1960s, a few years before this ad was circulated.
Doing some research on the address, I find references to a bunch of shady-sounding businesses located there in the mid-60s… not just this “Wholesale Discount Buyers Club,” but also a place that sold a cure for baldness, a company that sold high-volume knick-knacks, a seller of self-help books, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if all of those enterprises were somehow related.
“Are you tired of having your scam businesses scattered all over the county? Simply send us $3.00 and we’ll explain how to get your grifting empire under the same roof! Convenient and 100% ‘legal.’”
Any kid that forked over his hard earned seven bucks learned a very valuable lesson.
You could use your Polaris submarine to commune with your sea monkeys.
Which you could always observe through your X-Ray Specs.
Don try to make a MINKEY outta me! L0L
It always amazed me that they used to advertise that government auctions sold Rolls Royces or Caterpillar D-8’s for $275. Just imagine if you were at such an auction and you were about to witness the hammer drop on such a screaming hot deal, wouldn’t you or any one else in the room bid $276?
I’d go $275.50!!!! 😛
I remember reading an article in one of those 4WD off road magazines about buying war surplus jeeps from our government. They were compete and selling for scrap prices. These were the old “Widow Makers” from the Vietnam War.
The caveat? Civilians could not buy these in running order because they were considered too dangerous to operate. So the jeeps were brought out to a clearing, where they were repeatedly driven over by a tank or destroyed by any other means. When the serviceman in charge of this operation was satisfied that the jeep could no way be repaired, he signed off a form. You could now take your “jeep”, obviously worth nothing more than scrap metal.
Strangely I have seen a few of these operating on our roads over the years. (?)
I’ve ran across a couple of WWW II era Jeeps that had been cut in half to decommission them before being sent to surplus. They had been welded back together and had been licensed and on the road for many years before the people I knew had bought them.
The M151 MUTT… Yeah, the issue was that they had 4 wheel independent suspension with swing axles and a high roll center, making them a bit dicey to handle if you weren’t well acquainted with their quirks. I think the majority of those were quartered or halved before sale, but probably not smashed to bits.
Swing axles all around on a high-ground clearance 4×4. And no roll bar because…maybe they wanted to pack them into airplanes? Or something? Or just never had roll bars in jeeps before and didn’t want to copy a good idea from the civilian aftermarket? Yeah, what could possibly go wrong.
The bar interfered with a (planned but maybe never used) recoilless rifle mount, I think.
Bob G, Sorry, I don’t eat CAVEAR, bc I’m VEGAN! L0L
Reminds me of the line from the classic movie ‘Used Cars’”
(*looks at the door jambs)
“Was this car a taxi cab?”
“No-that is yellow primer….”
Wow. I grew up in a world where, at least from my wrecking yard “forensics”, I can tell that most taxis started their yellow lives as used cars, then were driven until every last bit of life was beaten out of them, then were disposed of properly. Popular candidates were ex cop cars… and pretty much any of the Panther cars from the Modular engine era, Ford Tauri, Chevrolet Luminas (Luminai?), and more recently, Prii. The outlier was the owner of our cab company in Kalispell, MT, who had a strong affinity for K cars with a few Diplomats thrown in. Any which way you dice it, they were past deceased when their remains were turned over by the cab companies. This is how I found out that an early Lumina was good for about 350,000 miles plus or minus, but never 400k.
The skinflints loved those used taxis, actually got a fair amount of mileage out of them, but these were do-it-yourself guys who could fix or at least toggle the cars up enough.
Anybody who would buy a used taxi that had been in service in New York City is crazy. Scam or no scam, those cars are beaten to the ground. I’ll bet the a junkyard would tell you, “We’ll buy it if you can drive it to us.” Nice comments, gents! Good laughs.
Interesting that you could get 1966 and 1967 Fords and Mopars (but the ’67 cars were on a ‘first come, first served basis during the last quarter of the model year) and if you wanted a Chevy, the newest one you could get was a 1965.
“I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.”
-Prudent advice from Groucho Marx
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