How Craig Breedlove got Shell to sponsor him...

Hot Rod Magazine:
 You’ve had a long relationship with Shell Oil. How did that begin?

Craig Breedlove:
 When I was building the car at my dad’s house, I got to a point where I was more broke than when I started and was really down to brass tacks.

 When I was in a car club in Culver City, there was a Shell station at the corner of Venice and Sepulveda owned by Andy Anderson. We all used to hang out there and work for him sometimes, and he was kind of a mentor to us.

The Shell district office was right next door to the station, and when I was completely against the wall with the car, I asked Andy who was in charge of that office. It was a real tough guy named Bill Lawler, an ex Marine.

"I’m here to talk to you about the Spirit of America, which I think will be great for our country and also for Shell Oil Company, and I’d like to have a little of your time to present it to you.’ He gave me 10 minutes.

 I set the model down in front of the desk and set up the flip chart. He saw this big mahogany box but didn’t know what was in it, so after he saw the flip chart presentation he said, ‘Alright goddammit, what’s in the box?’ I handed him the model and said, ‘This is the Spirit of America.’

He got real excited and jumped up and showed everyone the model, telling all the Shell people about it. He asked me, ‘You really think you’re going to break the record don’t you?’ I said, ‘Mr. Lawler, I don’t think I’m going to break the record, I know I’m going to break it,’ and he pounded the table and said ‘That’s what I like to hear! I’m going to do anything in my power to see that Shell Oil backs you.” And that was the start.

We got turned down three times by the director of marketing in New York until one trip he was in Los Angeles for something, and they got him cornered in a bar and fed him martinis until he approved the project.

from the November 2014 issue of Hot Rod and their website
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How Craig Breedlove got Shell to sponsor him...
How Craig Breedlove got Shell to sponsor him...
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