Cal Worthington, Beloved Car Salesman, Dies at 92

Cal Worthington, the Oklahoma native whose old-time carnival flair built one of the most successful car dealerships west of the Mississippi, has died. He was 92.

filephoto Cal Worthington

Cal Worthington is shown recording a car commercial. (credit: LA Times)

Worthington died Sunday while watching football at his home on the Big W Ranch near Orland, Calif., said Brady McLeod of the Miles Law Firm in Sacramento, which represented Worthington.

Described as a cross between Dale Carnegie and Slim Pickens, Worthington was best known for his wacky television pitches that had him wrestling with a tiger, flying upside down on an airplane wing or riding a killer whale. His sales antics with his “Dog Spot” drove a career that took him from a three-car lot on a patch of Texas dirt to a multi-make dealership empire that grossed billions of dollars and stretched from Southern California to Alaska.

In 1950, Worthington bought a car dealership in Huntington Park and in the years that followed began to use his down-home theatrical style to drum up more business.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

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