Wednesday, September 14, 2016

1969 Sohio Ad Featuring Forest City Auto Parts "Max"

I mentioned the other day how my original post on Ontario stores was one of my most visited ones over the years. Well, another topic that has proved extremely popular are my posts on the long-necked bespectacled mascot of the well-remembered Forest City Auto Parts chain of stores.

It seems a lot of people remember the guy, and are interested in the story behind him. Fortunately, several ex-Forest City Auto Parts employees took the time to post their reminisce about how he became the mascot and even what his name was: Max.

Which brings me to today's topic: a vintage ad that I found the other day featuring Max (seen at the top of this post). What's interesting is that the ad is for Super's Sohio on Oberlin Avenue in Lorain.

The ad ran in the 1969 edition of the Lorain phone book.

Max had appeared the year before in another Lorain phone book ad for Hageman Auto Parts (below).
It wasn't until a few years later that Max began to officially appear in phone book ads for the Lorain outlet of Forest City Auto Parts (which Hageman apparently became). By then, he had been redrawn and apparently registered as a trademark (judging by the ® by his bow tie).
Here he is in the 1974 phone book ad.
Google "Forest City Auto Parts" and you'll find long-gone photos of Max painted on the sides of the stores, as well as some vintage store printed materials. Here's one of Max that I found recently. It's slightly different from some of the others.
And here's one taken from a flyer, proving that his name is indeed Max.

By George, some enterprising novelty manufacturer should “stick their neck out” and market a retro-style bobblehead of Max – they'd clean up!


k devyne said...

Can't forget about Bob's doughnuts next door. Miss the old Lorain.

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