1988 was Mark Avis’ third year as a junior salesman, selling cars at Robert Lane Honda. It was a good year, and he was quickly making a name for himself.
There wasn’t anything remarkable or unusual during his sale of a new Honda Prelude to a young lady named Dottee, but Mark never forgot a customer. He made sure to always stop and chat with Dottee when she came back to the Brighton dealership for maintenance. You never know where the next sale might come from.
Awarded Wheels Car of the Year in 1987, Dottee’s third generation Honda Prelude rolled out of the factory in glistening Polar White. Pushed along by a zippy 104kW two-litre motor the sporty Honda was, and is, driven by Dottee every day.
31 years after it left the showroom, the Prelude’s odometer has ticked over 500,000 kilometres. 12 and a half laps of the Earth’s circumference. Every six months Dottee’s custom number plates announce her arrival at the dealership’s service department, where the car is maintained by Honda-trained mechanics with Honda genuine parts.
The Polar White still glistens and the original motor still zips. It’s not in concourse condition, but it’s not far off. Working as an actor when she isn’t busy, Dottee sees to it the car doesn’t get many days off.
Mark says he has been asking Dottee to try out a new Honda for years.
“I’d love to sell her a new car… She always tells me there is nothing wrong with the one she’s got! I can’t argue with that!”
She couldn’t be happier.
“I don’t know why people buy new cars,” said Dottee. “They should just take care of the ones they have.”
“I’ve always taken care of my car and it has always taken care of me. I can’t imagine driving anything else.”
When Dottee brought her car in for a service last week, Mark spotted her on her way out, and asked if he could grab a quick photo. He is still working at the same dealership. These days, it’s called Astoria Honda Brighton. 34 years later he still gets a buzz out of being on the showroom floor and selling a new car. Now the dealership’s co-owner and General Manager, it is sometimes difficult to find the time.
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