When retired Ford dealer Joe Cleary read the Nov. 8, 2004, issue of Automotive News, he spotted an old friend: the 1946 Lincoln Continental shown in a front-page photo with movie star Clark Gable. Cleary, whose son now runs Townsend Ford in Townsend, Mass., says he owned the very same Continental during the 1970s. Since spotting the picture, he is trying to track down the car. Cleary didn't know what he had at the time. He bought the convertible from a customer, but he never was able to restore it fully. He sold the car to Ohio collector Eugene Huber, who later researched the car and wrote to Cleary of its Hollywood heritage in movies such as The Hucksters. Huber even sent the dealer a copy of the photo of Gable and the car. In a 1982 letter, Huber valued the car at $50,000 to $100,000 if returned to show condition. "I know I didn't sell it for that," Cleary says. "All I know is, at that point, I thought I was as rich as hell."
TRIBUTE TO A FALLEN IDOL -- Bert Boeckmann's Galpin Motors Inc., a North Hills, Calif., dealership known for performance and specialty vehicles, has created 20 customized 2005 Lincoln Navigators as a tribute to Adan Sanchez, a teen idol killed in a car crash in Mexico last March. Those outside Southern California or Mexico may be unfamiliar with Sanchez's music. But when Sanchez died at age 19, he had recorded nine albums featuring his interpretation of Norteno, a traditional music style of northern Mexico, and built quite a fan base. More than 15,000 people attended his memorial service. Galpin is selling the Navigators, which have 22-inch wheels outfitted with ostrich skin inserts that match the ostrich skin leather inserts on the door panels, for $68,000, according to the Associated Press. Galpin says a portion of each sale will go to Childhelp USA, which works to prevent child abuse and neglect.
STANDING O -- You could have forgiven General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner for looking overwhelmed. During a recent dedication ceremony at GM's world headquarters in Detroit, he was one of a few speakers on hand to dedicate a waterfront revitalization project. After Wagoner was introduced, the crowd of about 500 stood and applauded for nearly 60 seconds. When everyone else finally sat down, Wagoner deadpanned: "With the way sales have been going lately, I don't get many standing ovations. We had to spend a bit to get that one." GM is donating $25 million to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.