Sonny Hill Insults Your Intelligence From Beyond The Grave

Back in the heat of July, Blake asked, “Who’s Your Most Hated Minor Celebrity Car Dealer?”. In the comments, I mentioned former Kansas City area car dealer Sonny Hill. Alff lamented that he was never able to suffer through view a Sonny Hill TV ad. Going through some old videotape recently, I found a typical thirty-second Sonny Hill spot that aired in 1988. So, now Alff and all the other Hoons out there can share my pain the experience.
Notice that the country-hokum pitchman never says his name is Sonny Hill. He instead says “I’m Sonny Hill Motors.” That’s because he was a paid actor; there never was any Sonny Hill. The owner’s nickname was “Sonny” but his legal name was was Donald Haugland, and he looked and talked nothing like the man in the commercials. But we all know people feel most comfortable buying cars from businesses seemingly staffed by moronic yokels, right?
Perhaps the facade was intended to infer that the incredibly ignorant “Sonny” might be easily out-negotiated by comparatively more savvy cosmopolites. In any case, the country-bumpkin schtick eventually wore out its welcome, and the Sonny Hill TV persona was quietly shelved sometime in the early ’90s. The quality of TV viewing in the Kansas City area skyrocketed overnight.
Sonny Hill Motors, Inc. went under in October, 1998. Mr. Haugland filed for personal bankruptcy shortly thereafter.
If for some reason you can’t see the video above, you can click here to view a Windows Media file hosted at

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31 responses to “Sonny Hill Insults Your Intelligence From Beyond The Grave”

  1. harumph Avatar

    Cal Wothrington

    1. dustin_driver Avatar

      [youtube QOsLdT4slsk youtube]

  2. Alff Avatar

    He makes Hap Hazzard look urbane and sophisticated.

  3. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    Detroit-area readers may remember these commercial tag lines which for unexplicable reasons are imbeded into my memory:
    "Here Dog, c'mere Dog. Me and Dog want you to go to Telegraph Road……. right now….. get a good deal…. see Alan Ford in Bloomfield, Ray Whitfield Ford in Taylor."
    "Get on the right track, to 9 Mile and Mack, 'cause Roy O'Brian's… got the best deal in town"
    OK, memories, done, sorry, continue.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      Here in Kansas City, Dick Smith Ford used that same advertising jingle.
      "Here Dog, C'mon Dog, Me and Dog want you to go to Dick Smith Ford Town In Raytown! Get a good deal! …Get a dog-GONE good deal!"
      There was also Blue Springs Ford (located in the KC suburb of the same name): "Blue Springs, Blue Springs! You got a better deal when you've got blue springs!" (The visual was a cowgirl looking under her car to discover that her rear coil springs are painted blue.)

      1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

        Too funny! I would never have thought that so cheesy a jingle was used in more then one location!
        I hope they were painted "Ford" Blue
        <img src="; width="200">

        1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
          Peter Tanshanomi

          Come to think of it, it might have been Blue Springs Datsun.

    2. zsm Avatar

      For me… worked to view the video.
      Here in Chicago the Celozzi-Ettleson "Where you always save more money" commercials were a staple.
      <img src="; width="260">
      The other one was Victory Auto Wreckers. They have been running that commercial since the '80s. I saw it maybe two years back on channel 50. I swear though that they used to say something to the effect of paying cash for any car, but that was not in the recent version I saw. There must be a story behind that change.
      <img src="; width="224">

      1. zsm Avatar

        That rat and I are having a disagreement, I'm not rewriting that a third time.
        <img src="; width="480">
        Also some pizza place did a spoof on that here, something like: where you always get more peperoni.

        1. From_a_Buick_6 Avatar

          [youtube LAwOnhzhFIM&feature=related youtube]
          Man, I forgot all about this ad. Priceless.
          Growing up in suburban Chicago during the '80s and '90s, stuff like "710 East Green in Bensenville," "Call 588-2300, Empire!" and "Where you always save more money" is permanently ingrained in my mind.

          1. zsm Avatar

            Oh man I completely forgot the Empire guy was on there as well, thanks! You know that Svenghouli is back on too here? It's Koz again, not the original guy, but still that's pretty rad too. I always loved the segments where he would read reader mail or show the photos stuck to the fridge. That was quality entertainment right there. Berrrrrrrwyyyyyyyn!

      2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        When my old car died, I called the local salvage yard. Their response on the phone was "A '94 Escort Wagon? Nah. Won't take it, even if you hauled it here."
        …So much for the old days of "cash for any car."

        1. Alff Avatar

          I had a hell of a time finding a salvage yard to take the remains of the Alfa parts car, even cut up and clean. On the upside, I now know that 750 lbs of steel is worth about $26.

  4. Patrick Avatar

    We had a few here in North Texas as you might guess. One was a jingle that was so insidious as to be the universal association everyone has with an entire exit. Little kids singing "South-Town Ford, South on 35 Alsbury Exit, Fooooort Worth!"
    Then, right next door was Lyn Smith Auto Sales. The ad for that was a big fat guy sitting on the hearth of a suburban tract home saying, "DON"T YOU GO TO THAT LITTLE ROOM till I tell you about Lyn Smith Auto Sales, blah blah…. Now you can go to that little room!"
    Cant find a youtube video on that one.

  5. Corvette_Poncho Avatar

    Metro Milwaukee area…Ernie Von Schledorn. Famous taglines is: Who do you know wants to buy a car! Dude is like 100% german right from the old country and pushing 85 years old. He actually chased me down on his lot just two months ago and threw his tagline at me when he finally had me cornered

  6. LTDScott Avatar


    1. Alff Avatar

      You mean it isn't, "Bro-gam"?

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        It is properly pronounced as one syllable: "broam," just like the word "roam" but with the "br–" consonant blend at the beginning.

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          Yup, which is why "broughammed" (to have travelled by brougham) is a strong candidate for the longest single-syllable word in English.

      2. Syrax Avatar

        Clarkson can teach you how to pronounce (Redacted).

  7. optflv Avatar

    I think I can actually trump that. Any Central Florida folks remember these idiots?
    They actually ran 30 or 60 minute infomercials. It was like a really crappy version of Hee Haw that tangentially was related to used cars.

    1. LTDScott Avatar

      That is horrible.

  8. tiberiusẅisë Avatar

    Neale Kuperman is NY Metro's best (worst?)
    [youtube cknaNcbjhow youtube]

  9. Maxichamp Avatar

    1. Is that a real accent?
    2. Does anyone remember Pete Ellis? Pete Ellis Dodge, Long Beach Freeway, Firestone Exit, Southgate.

  10. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    Reminds me of Ray Adams…

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      I actually find Ray Adams somewhat entertaining.

      1. Alff Avatar

        Me, too. Ray Adams is on one side of the fine line between entertaining kitsch and idiocy. This guy is on the other.

        1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
          Peter Tanshanomi

          You always get the feeling that Ray is in on the joke, poking fun at his silly self along with us.

  11. escapecar Avatar

    Ray Adams ads haven't been the same since he dumped Colonel Billy.
    If you want to go for even older-school cheezy KC dealer ads, there was John Chezik Buick in the 70s, home of the desk-smashing good deals. Yes, the ads showed a heavy weight crushing a desk.
    (And it was Blue Springs Datsun.)

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      I didn't realize that Colonel Billy ever did anything with Ray Adams. I only remember him from Boots Williams ads (and ads for The Buffet At Lakewood.)
      At that SWINGIN' Red Bridge Exit!
      Unfortunately, the Red Bridge exit doesn't swing any longer. Bet your boots!

  12. Troy_Doering Avatar

    That is part of the bamboozle of selling cars.

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