Zeidman never planned on a career in automotive retail. In 1953, he was laid off from his job as a material equipment analyzer on a submarine base. Taking his wife and son, the 24-year-old Zeidman moved from New Hampshire to California to find work.
In the Golden State, he landed a position as a machinist making gyros for airplanes — only to be laid off three months later.
"I needed a job real bad, so I looked in the paper, and there was an ad in there for a salesperson at Verdugo Motors," said Zeidman. He would go on to work there for 23 years, moving up to sales manager and, eventually, general sales manager.
Though he later moved from dealership to dealership, joining Burbank Dodge in Burbank in 1976 and Valley Dodge of Van Nuys a decade later, Zeidman stuck with Chrysler.
He has been selling at Valley Dodge, now known as Russell Westbrook Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram, for 32 years.
"It was good. To me, they had great products, especially in the earlier years. We had all those muscle cars, and I just like the product," said Zeidman. "I could get my salespeople at that time really worked up over it, so we had no problem selling them."
Zeidman especially loves the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, with its 840 hp, body design and brawny look. At home, though, he drives a 2017 Chrysler 300.
During his career, Zeidman has had a number of celebrity clients. He recalls selling a Dodge Grand Caravan to actress Elizabeth Taylor in the mid-1990s. She was purchasing it for her assistant. Zeidman delivered it right to her door.
Zeidman also sold a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to Tim Allen and a Viper to Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1990s — at a time when the sticker price for a Viper was around $58,000, Zeidman said.