During the 1940s and 1950s, my hometown, La Feria, Texas, had just one new-car dealer, Lafond Motors. Lafond sold one single make: Hudson. So most La Feria families owned Hudsons, mine included. You’d drive along Main Street, and it looked like a two-block-long Hudson parking lot.
My dad must have been Lafond’s favorite customer, because he bought a new Hudson every three years – the usual interval back then – and he never haggled. Whatever Lloyd Lafond said the car cost, my dad paid. And Lloyd also set the trade-in allowance.