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Auto dealers offered bargains galore in '75

| Thursday, July 24, 2008

Last week's recollections about the "high" prices of gasoline in this Mid-Mon Valley alluded to consumers thinking twice about buying new cars in July 1975.

But those who may have been giving serious thoughts to purchasing a vehicle (new or used) certainly had an abundance of choices as area auto dealers touted myriad bargains.

Advertisements in The Valley Independent called attention to these specials 33 years ago:

- Monongahela Ford - New Mustang II, $3,356, only $86.54 per month.

- Jack Roley Pontiac, Belle Vernon - 1973 Plymouth Gold Duster, $2,495.

- Lazzari's, Monongahela - 1973 Plymouth Cricket, $2,195.

- Frank's Chryslter-Plymouth, Monessen - 1964 Ford Galaxie, two-door, $195.

- John L. Gibson Chevrolet-Oldsmobile, Monessen - 1973 Ford Gran Torino, $2,695.

- Constantin Lincoln-Mercury, Monongahela - 40 new cars in stock, all at discount prices.

- Vaughn Chevrolet, Monongahela - Clearance sale on all used cars and trucks.

- Al Barry Dodge, Charleroi - Darts, $2,964; Monacos, $3,713, and Coronets, $3,071. An added incentive was the opportunity to register to win a new Wheel House Driving Mower.

- Rotolo's, Charleroi - A 1971 Chevrolet Impala Custom and a 1971 Oldsmobile Delta 88 were the big attractions.

Meanwhile, H&B Chevrolet-Cadillac in Charleroi made the biggest splash with a "We're giving away the boss' money" sale featuring "big deals on new 1975 models you can't pass up." Faced with the challene to move 27 new cars by the end of the week were the energetic sales team of Paul Geddeon, Joe Pikor, Red Mosser, Bob Dean and Jerry Claybaugh.

Other auto dealers in the area calling attention to their bargains with more subdued ads were Davies & Tregembo Ford in Charleroi, which enticed potential customers with a basic "Try Us" ad; Longenecker Enterprises Dodge, Volvo and Subaru on Route 51 south of Interstate 70, which said simply, "Make us an offer;" Bendick-Lancaster Buick-Open in Charleroi, and B&M International, Belle Vernon-Monessen Road.

While auto dealers were showcased in advertisements, there was no shortage of news in the newspaper 33 years ago this week.

To wit:

- "Big Foot," the huge, hairy creature allegedly running loose in western Pennsylvania, reportedly was spotted in Fallowfield Township. Belle Vernon Police Chief Joseph Kalamas told The Valley Independent a motorist spotted "Big Foot" at 12:20 a.m. while driving (the motorist, not "Big Foot") on Interstate 70, near the Pine Cove Swim Club interchange. The unidentified man initially contacted state police and then Kalamas, who went to the area to investigate. "I didn't see 'Big Foot' but the brush in the area was tamped down and I didn't go into the woods for fear of disrupting the area," Kalamas told the newspaper. The motorist told Kalamas he saw a creature about nine-feet tall with a dirty white round face that was covered with hair. The man said the creature turned and ran into the woods.

- The team of Pat McCue, Edward M. Paluso, Mike Giba and Brian Carlock won the fifth annual C.L. Melenyzer Day golf tournament championship at Monongahela Valley Country Club. They finished tied for first place and then clinched the title in a nine-hole playoff with the team of John Pollock, Jim Cerutti, John Malik and Dr. Harold Underwood. MVCC president Russ Melenyzer presented trophies to the winners.

- Speers Borough's first official police cruiser was introduced and designated as Car. No. 6 in the Charleroi Area Police Network. The new cruiser, carrying the Speers Boro Police logo, featured the latest emergency radio equipment and was to be on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Featured in a photo on Page 1 of the newspaper calling attention to the new vehicle were mayors Jess Fox of Speers and Fred McLuckie of Charleroi and police chiefs Donald J. Kalamas of Speers and Larry Celaschi of Charleroi. Fox heralded the new program as "the first 24-hour police protection for Speers in the history of the borough."

- Diane Boal of Monongahela, a 24-year-old graduate student at West Virginia University, was crowned as the first Miss Mon Valley before a crowd estimated at 1,000 at Donora High School auditorium. First runnerup was Merrie Noel Carson, 19, of New Eagle and second runnerup was Sally Woodward, 18, of Carroll Township. They led a field of 43 women from more than two dozen communities in the Mon Valley and were chosen as finalists with Jeannette Mucci of Donora and Susan Levato of Washington. Semifinalists were Miss Boal, Miss Carson, Miss Woodward, Miss Mucci, Miss Lovato, Pattie Fitch, Lu Ann Cola, Susan Mayernik, Lorraine Lincoski, Cindy Sparacino, Rita DeMarco and Paula Kraft. The pageant was sponsored by Chambers of Commerce in the Mon Valley. Chuck Muia of Donora was the pageant chairman and William DuVall was promotion director.

- Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. announced realignment of its top management, with Dennis J. Carney, vice president of operations, set to become executive vice president on August 1. Robert E. Lauterbach, chairman and president of the steelmaker's Board of Directors, also announced that Andrew C. Scott would become an executive vice president. Albert Lami continued as executive vice president with expanded responsibilities and also was named to the Board of Directors. Carney was elected to the Board earlier in the month.

- Open Pantry Food Mart on Route 88 (Next To Winky's) in Speers touted such summer food specials as Grade A large white eggs at 60 cents a dozen, cooked salami at $1.49 a pound, Borden's ice cream at 99 cents for a half-gallon package, a 64-ounce bottle of 'Big Boss' Pepsi for 79 cents, and Popsicles at 69 cents for a 12-pack box. Open Pantry reminded customers it was "Open When You Need Us ... 8 a.m. to midnight ... every day of the year including holidays."

Sports action was as hot as the weather in July 1975 and we will touch on some of those highlights next week.

If you have memories to share or a story idea, contact Ron Paglia at ronpaglia@verizon.net or c/o The Valley Independent, Eastgate 19, Monessen, PA 15062.

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