Remembering Car Salesman Cal Worthington

Cal Worthington built an empire of West Coast car dealerships. He became a TV fixture thanks to his iconic ads, which began running in the 1970s. Worthington died Sunday at the age of 92.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And for today's Last Word In Business, let's take a moment to remember one of the nation's most colorful car salesmen. Cal Worthington built an empire from West Coast car dealerships, and became a TV fixture thanks to his ads, which began running in the 1970s.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV AD)

(MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: Here's Cal Worthington and his dog, Spot.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: If you need a better car, go see Cal. For the best deal by far, go see Cal...

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Worthington always appeared in a Western suit and a white cowboy hat. But instead of a dog, the commercials featured some exotic animal, like a tiger or an elephant playing the dog, Spot. And then there was the jingle we're hearing now.

MONTAGNE: Cal Worthington died Sunday, at the age of 92. That people recall him now is the best possible tribute to the work of a commercial pitchman; people remembered his brief ads long after they went off the screen.

And that's the business news from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV AD)

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) For the lowest money down, go ...

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