Tuesday, February 7, 2012

That Forest City Auto Parts Guy

While working on my post last week that mentioned Forest City Auto Parts, I saw a neat photo online of one of the former stores in Cleveland. In the photo, the building still had the well-remembered, long-necked mascot painted on the side that "freaked out" fellow blogger Lisa when she was a kid.

I know what she means. Although I'm usually a big fan of cartoon mascots, I never cared much for that guy. He kind of reminded me of a mutant version of the father in the Dennis the Menace comic strip.

I'd love to know the story behind his design. Was he a caricature of someone? I originally thought he was a piece of clip art, but there are subtle differences between the two versions of him in the ads I posted last week – which makes me think that an artist rendered him and then fine-tuned him a bit.

Anyway, those photos of the former Forest City Auto Parts store got me to wondering if it was still there. I had to find out. (Gee, don't I love to waste time?)

Looking online, it was fairly easy to figure out that the particular photogenic store was at 2001 Clarke Ave. So during lunch on Monday, I took a short drive down W. 25th Street in Cleveland to Clark to see if it was still there.

Alas, the outside of the whole brick building had been painted over, including Mr. Longneck.

However, thanks to Google's mapping feature, for now you can still 'drive by' the building as it looked before it was painted over. (Click on each for a closer look.)



Today, the store is part of the Federated Auto Parts chain.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've always been fascinated with the Forest City Auto Parts guy. They unfortunately painted over the FCAP sign that was once on Culver Avenue in Rochester, NY. Thanks for posting this!

Anonymous said...

As a former Manager of FCAP in toledo area, I know exactly how the long neck fellow you refer to came to be...His name is Max, and the idea was pitched to the 2 original brothers that owned the company-Stan & Arn-from a yellow page add with the caption "stop looking we have what you need" and the rest is pretty much history the add was very successful, just like the chain of auto parts store where.

Anonymous said...

As a former manager of FCAP on Culver road in Rochester, NY. I also know the story behind "MAX". anonymous is correct about Stan and Arn....and the yellow pages ad.

Dan said...

He is about to be more famous than ever. Thanks to his new job as Head Coach of the Chicago Bears, Marc Trestman(sp? De Coach). Jan 2013.

Anyone recall Bob Dobb, fictional character mascot of on-campus bar at U of AZ in 1970-80s? Look very similar to FCAP guy.

FCAP tried to open a store in a commercial building in my Beverly Hills neighborhood on the SW side of Chicago in early 1990s. It is still empty but has changed hands 3 times for big bucks with no user yet to occupy it.

Matt said...

I heard once that 'Max' was the logo of some other company of some electrical nature (power company?) and was sold to FCAP.

Anonymous said...

From my days at FCAP in Rochester and Buffalo, Max was also known as Piston Head. The head was supposed to be a piston and the neck a connecting rod.

Anonymous said...

I worked at FCAP in the mid 90's and the story was that Max was stretching his neck to search for the best deal...

Unknown said...

His name was max for maximum value. Forest city paul was the best. Parma heights and Lorain store.

john davis said...

got to "sell" them parts worked at Cheektowaga ny store 81-84

keith hammock said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
keith hammock said...

What was his name?