Don Smith AMC (Fo Forty) 440 Fourth Ave

Don Smith AMC (Fo Forty) 440 Fourth Ave

Posted in the Huntington Forum

The History Kid

United States

#1 Mar 2, 2013
I was in Huntington today and went to the old address to the former dealer to pay respects and take a few pics. The building is long gone as is any trace now. Several years ago you could still see the tile showroom floor. Now it looks to have been paved over to extend the lot of the business next door.
I met Don in the early 1980's and he was an exciting guy. Always had a story. He would do anything to sell a car. The building from what I know was built as an auto dealership. It was a four story building that had an elevator that would hold a car. Small by todays standard. There were no stairs! It was a Studebaker and Pierce Arrow dealer in the 1920's. Willys and Jeep were also sold. In fact Jeep was still being sold when the dealership closed. For a short time Packard was sold due to the merger of Studebaker and Packard. Studebaker would have exited in 1966. In the 60's Fiat,Renault,Peugeot and Sunbeam were added. Don told me once he was turned down by Porsche to sell their cars. I have the letter to prove it! In 1967 it became a Rambler dealership. In 1970 Rambler was now American Motors. In 1982 Renault was part of AMC. The dealership closed shortly after Chrysler Corp bought AMC in 1987. Don then started a rent to own business. He passed away a short time after. The roof was in bad shape in the mid 1980's. It took a beating when Geer Brothers bodyshop burned in the late 80's. 440 4th had plenty of water damage but no fire damage. With the lack of repair the roof gave way and crumbled to the ground. The rest of the building was torn down in 1994. All that remained was the black and white tile squares from the showroom floor. Now all gone. Would anyone have anything to share about Don and his famous AMC dealership?
Dealership

Chesapeake, OH

#2 Mar 2, 2013
I thought his dealership was at 441 4th?
Across from Fo-Forty!!
1 post removed
The History Kid

United States

#4 Mar 3, 2013
RE: Dealership AMC/Jeep was at 440 Fourth. Been there many times. His carlot though was on both sides of Fourth Street. In that general area he had plenty of real estate.
RE: 339 and one half. Urban Legend
lcmusic2740

Peoria, IL

#5 Aug 21, 2014
Man, do I remember those commercials on the week-ends, late night. He became an icon of the late night, cheap commercial. I bet he sold a lot of cars. I sure miss those days in WV.
not dead

Huntington, WV

#6 Aug 21, 2014
is it true he had his weiner cut off??
TWEE

United States

#7 Aug 21, 2014
not dead wrote:
is it true he had his weiner cut off??
Yep. Half Dick Don Smith was his nickname. Wife cut it off when she caught him cheating. ER staff told it.....can't trust anybody.
motorhead

Huntington, WV

#8 Aug 22, 2014
I was thinking there was a motorcycle shop in 440 around 1967 where i bought a BMW motorcycle and they sold bridgestone motorcycles also.
Trevon

Barboursville, WV

#9 Aug 22, 2014
Good read, very cool. My only complaint, you kind of jumped into everything without first explaining what it is you're writing about. I had never heard of the place but it is an interesting story! I would look forward to reading another similar piece about Huntington history
Pungent stench

Huntington, WV

#10 Aug 22, 2014
My Dad bought a new 1972 AMC Matador at that place. Biggest POS car ever!. lol. Total rust-bucket. My girlfriend at the time bought a 1982 Renault down there . Not a bad car. He advertised a Florida vacation when you bought a car like that. We had to call him on it, as he was not going to honor it. Sweet memories. Don Smith. Haven't thought about that cat in years. He would screw you if he could. No kisses either. LOL.
Dukane

Huntington, WV

#11 Aug 24, 2014
My dad said he was standing with a group of men on a boat dock on the river when Don was about to dock his boat one of the men said "here comes dickless Don" and Don proceeded to dock his boat and when he got it tied off he came over to where the men were standing and pulled it out and said "does that look like I don't have one." My dad said he was pretty well hung.
guest

Providence, UT

#12 Aug 24, 2014
Dukane wrote:
My dad said he was standing with a group of men on a boat dock on the river when Don was about to dock his boat one of the men said "here comes dickless Don" and Don proceeded to dock his boat and when he got it tied off he came over to where the men were standing and pulled it out and said "does that look like I don't have one." My dad said he was pretty well hung.
It was probably one of those fake ones. I seen them at a porn video store once and truthfully, why would you buy one unless you want to show it off like a new car,)
Dukane

Huntington, WV

#13 Aug 24, 2014
guest wrote:
<quoted text>
It was probably one of those fake ones. I seen them at a porn video store once and truthfully, why would you buy one unless you want to show it off like a new car,)
I guess if someone called you dickless and you weren't maybe you might want to show one off.
The History Kid

United States

#14 Aug 25, 2014
Motorhead, You are correct! Don told me his wife ran the Bridgestone Motorcycle dealership. Don't think it lasted very long. I remember finding only a few items that related to it. One being the sign. I had actually forgot about that.

Trevon, Thanks. I never gave it much thought when I wrote it. I thought everyone would remember. Didn't realize just how long ago Don had the dealership.

Pungent stench, The blame on the 1972 Matador may very well be that your dad balked at the purchase of the optional undercoating. I happen to have a 1975 Matador that the original owner spent a little extra on (and took care of it BTW) and it is still in amazing condition. Unprotected vehicles from the 1970's ALL rusted. NO brand was better then the other at that point.

TWEE and everyone else that has turned this forum into trash. I had been close to Don prior to his death and had alot of respect for him. He was the original most interesting man. He was a very sharp businessman. I didn't write this tribute to Don and his family to have a bunch of idiots post urban legend and hearsay. I say if you have proof of it then bring it on otherwise keep it to yourself.

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