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Old 03-28-2009, 08:29 PM   #1
Sillyoldman
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Does anyone remember DICK BALCH CHEVROLET?

My '71 C20 came brand new from Dick Balch Chevrolet in Federal Way Washington. It went to Montana for some years then back to west Seattle, then to south Seattle. I'm sure most locals growing up in the 70's remember him. He was a hippie car lot owner. His commercials often had him walking through the lot with a sledge hammer. He' stop at a vehicle and state the price was too high. He'd follow up by slamming the vehicle with the hammer and advertise a lower price. Later Cal Worthington opened shop at that location. I have searched like crazy, but can't find anything of value on the internet. I'm surprised youtube does not have one of his commercials on it. Maybe I've spelled the name wrong? Anyone with info?
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'71 Custom Deluxe C-20 402.
'67 Buick Special 455.
'49 Plymouth Special Deluxe.
"I love that old car smell"

Some people are like Slinkies... not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:34 PM   #2
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Re: Does anyone remember DICK BALCH CHEVROLET?

Nope, not mis-spelled.
I see he was chosen as one of the 150 most influential folks in the region (way back when...) by the Seattle Times. His ads rocked...it would be a lot of fun finding one of them.

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Old 03-29-2009, 10:06 AM   #3
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Re: Does anyone remember DICK BALCH CHEVROLET?

i don't remember any seattle are dealer's.as we didn't get seattle tv as a kid.the signal didn't quite reach longview.not well anyway.i can name all the portland area dealers from back in the day.longview has always been more associated with portland.we get weather forcast info on their channels.seattle t.v news doesn't realize there is any state below chehalis.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:55 AM   #4
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Re: Does anyone remember DICK BALCH CHEVROLET?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ETsC10 View Post
Nope, not mis-spelled.
I see he was chosen as one of the 150 most influential folks in the region (way back when...) by the Seattle Times. His ads rocked...it would be a lot of fun finding one of them.
I saw that too. It's kind of surprising there's nothing else on the internet about him. I have to say that when I sanded the truck down I found a fist sized patch of bondo on top of the front fender. Kind of made me wonder if the hammer dropped on my truck.
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'71 Custom Deluxe C-20 402.
'67 Buick Special 455.
'49 Plymouth Special Deluxe.
"I love that old car smell"

Some people are like Slinkies... not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:52 PM   #5
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Re: Does anyone remember DICK BALCH CHEVROLET?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sillyoldman View Post
My '71 C20 came brand new from Dick Balch Chevrolet in Federal Way Washington. It went to Montana for some years then back to west Seattle, then to south Seattle. I'm sure most locals growing up in the 70's remember him. He was a hippie car lot owner. His commercials often had him walking through the lot with a sledge hammer. He' stop at a vehicle and state the price was too high. He'd follow up by slamming the vehicle with the hammer and advertise a lower price. Later Cal Worthington opened shop at that location. I have searched like crazy, but can't find anything of value on the internet. I'm surprised youtube does not have one of his commercials on it. Maybe I've spelled the name wrong? Anyone with info?
That is hilarious! We got a dude here in LA that calls himself "Crazy Gideon" that sells TV's, appliances, etc. He is a Russian immigrant that screams in the commercials..."I stack zem deep, and sell zem cheap..Ahhrrrrrrr!!!!" He smashes televisions like Gallagher smashes watermelons. I die laughing every time I see his commercials on local cable TV.

Last edited by leddzepp; 03-29-2009 at 01:13 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:59 PM   #6
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Re: Does anyone remember DICK BALCH CHEVROLET?

I think we all had them we had Crazy Eddie screaming on TV His prices were INSANE!!

If you guys come across the commercials be sure to share em.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:29 PM   #7
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Re: Does anyone remember DICK BALCH CHEVROLET?

Art Grindell Dodge was our local wacko in the 60-70. I motto was screamed as he jumped up and down on the hood or trunk. "I WANT TO SELL YOU A CAAAAR!!"
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:47 PM   #8
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Re: Does anyone remember DICK BALCH CHEVROLET?

I found this if anyone is interested....

IN the painful recession that has gripped the Seattle area's aerospace-sensitive economy since 1969, many merchants have managed to survive only by using a hard-sell technique.

The hardest of all belongs to a luxuriantly mustachioed suburban dealer of Chevrolets and Fiats named Dick Balch. He moves his wares with the help of a 12-lb. sledgehammer. In ten-second TV spots, Balch has used the hammer to bash in the windshields, headlights and fenders of some 200 of his shiny new cars. His cockeyed routine often includes a devil's costume, a maniacal post-impact laugh and the question, "If you can't trust your car dealer, who can you trust?" This bang-up if nonsensical commercial has drawn attention as well as plenty of customers and has made Balch a local celebrity. Psychologists may ponder the reason: perhaps people admire his gall, or perhaps they harbor fantasies themselves of working off frustrations by bashing in a car.

Balch's agency was riding in the red before the commercials started two years ago; it showed a profit of $22,000 the first month they were broadcast, and sales have been climbing steadily. In this year's first half, Balch sold 1,596 cars, grossing $4,500,000. The victims of his on-camera carnage are fixed at local body shops. When repaired, these autos can be sold as new goods, just like new cars that have been damaged in shipment. Repairs so far have cost Balch $60,000, but in some cases he is able to get higher prices for the hammered cars. "After all, you've got to pay more for a car that has been in show biz," says Balch with a devilish wink. He claims that many customers ask specifically for the repaired cars, and a few have even insisted on buying his props, dents and all.
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'71 Custom Deluxe C-20 402.
'67 Buick Special 455.
'49 Plymouth Special Deluxe.
"I love that old car smell"

Some people are like Slinkies... not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:44 AM   #9
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Re: Does anyone remember DICK BALCH CHEVROLET?

Funny you bring this up . He use to run "Hammer wholesale" what was behind
(now part of) the place where I work. He is still in business right down the street by the Valley 6 drive in theatre.
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:46 AM   #10
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Re: Does anyone remember DICK BALCH CHEVROLET?

Just knowing I remember these ads makes me feel so old.. I am going back to bed..
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:13 PM   #11
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Re: Does anyone remember DICK BALCH CHEVROLET?

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Originally Posted by NONHOG View Post
Funny you bring this up . He use to run "Hammer wholesale" what was behind
(now part of) the place where I work. He is still in business right down the street by the Valley 6 drive in theatre.

I didn't know if he was even alive anymore. Do you know what business he's in now (type/name)? Valley 6 is about five minutes from home. Maybe I'll swing by there with the truck sometime to express my displeasure with the truck he sold
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'71 Custom Deluxe C-20 402.
'67 Buick Special 455.
'49 Plymouth Special Deluxe.
"I love that old car smell"

Some people are like Slinkies... not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:13 PM   #12
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Re: Does anyone remember DICK BALCH CHEVROLET?

I'm pretty sure it still has "Hammer" in the name . Small used car lot, eastside of Auburn way near the corner of 277th
That'd be cool if he posed for a picture with your truck and a sledge .
Just watch him real close
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:50 PM   #13
Sillyoldman
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Re: Does anyone remember DICK BALCH CHEVROLET?

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Originally Posted by NONHOG View Post
I'm pretty sure it still has "Hammer" in the name . Small used car lot, eastside of Auburn way near the corner of 277th
That'd be cool if he posed for a picture with your truck and a sledge .
Just watch him real close
NONHOG, That picture is now my goal! I have to go for it!
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'71 Custom Deluxe C-20 402.
'67 Buick Special 455.
'49 Plymouth Special Deluxe.
"I love that old car smell"

Some people are like Slinkies... not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:33 PM   #14
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Re: Does anyone remember DICK BALCH CHEVROLET?

If I remember correctly he fell victim to drugs and died of heart failer in the 80's,
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:26 AM   #15
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Re: Does anyone remember DICK BALCH CHEVROLET?

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If I remember correctly he fell victim to drugs and died of heart failer in the 80's,
Your right about the drug use and maybe the heart attack but not the death.
I recall hearing that before also.
One of my co-workers ran into him within the last week or so. You would never know it was him . Must be less wild hair
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:14 PM   #16
Sillyoldman
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Re: Does anyone remember DICK BALCH CHEVROLET?

Maybe he faked his death and shacked up with Elvis for a while. I'm sure I heard that he'd passed on sometime before. I wonder if the lack of info on him is intentional? Of course Hammer Wholesale is somewhat leading.
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'71 Custom Deluxe C-20 402.
'67 Buick Special 455.
'49 Plymouth Special Deluxe.
"I love that old car smell"

Some people are like Slinkies... not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.
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