The 'Dealin' Man' returns to Mid-Michigan

February 18, 2011 1:18:39 PM PST
(02/18/11) -- A Flint auto icon from the 1980s says he's never really left the car business.In his heyday, Al Bennett owned nine car dealerships, including three in Michigan.

He's back in town today teaching sales consultants.

He was born in Mississippi and is the son of a minister. Bennett was once one of the most powerful car dealers in the state.

But he's probably best known for his commercials.

In the 80s, he was a larger-than-life television pitchman. Despite the passage of more than two decades, Bennett, who now lives in northern California, hasn't lost his zest for life.

"They always ask me what happened to Yvonne, what happened to her? I tell them she deceased many years ago," Bennett said.

These days he's a consultant who trains sales people all over the country. When he was in Flint, he sold Fords in a GM town.

Bennett says he has a simple philosophy. "Treat people with kindness, as thought they'd be dead at midnight."

He says he misses Flint, misses when he couldn't go anywhere without being recognized. And he hinted that he may make a return. "I miss home. Who knows? Someday I might be back as a dealer. I don't know."

Al wouldn't say how old he is, but there is a way to figure it out. He says he used to ice skate on the site of the current Flint City Hall.

That building went up in the 1950s

We'll let you do the math.

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