father realized that he could obtain another revenue stream if he
offered auto financing to his better customers. They could pay
the interest on their car loans to him, instead of paying it to GMAC
or the local bank.
brother-in-law, publishing executive Ralph Buckingham
(far right), provided some of the capital for this venture.
however, the business would have to be incorporated. The state
required proof that the corporation had a physical presence,
including a building displaying the new corporate name Vernon
M. Thomas Chevrolet Inc. So in the winter of 1961-62, we
taped an Inc to our existing signage and mailed a
Polaroid picture like this to the bureaucrats.
Tillman of Broadway, Ohio, bought all the dump trucks for his
business from Thomas Chevrolet. He was our best single customer.
publicity photo below was probably taken in the spring of 1963.
The next year, after a fire destroyed the dealership building shown
above, Tillman and Walt Hamilton furnished trucks at no charge to
haul away the rubble.