Robby Melton and his Cadillac, circa 1978
I’ve always been a sucker for luxury cars and that has shaped our business. It all started when we were in our teens, accompanying our dad as he went to the railhead in OKC to pick up new Pontiacs. While dad did the paperwork, my brother and I were free to wander among all those hundreds of new cars of every brand. My first memory is a brand-new 1962 Coupe Deville. That was a time when Cadillac was king. There were no Lexus, Mercedes or BMW. That Cadillac was worth its gigantic $5,200 sticker price just to sit and drink in the smells. There was no plastic or vinyl. Only leather, walnut, chrome and glass.
While in college, I worked a year for a Cadillac dealership in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and I was hooked. That 1970 Fleetwood Brougham, almost 20 foot long, and still all leather and wood, still no plastic, could be had for a mere $9,900. I was 20 years old at the time. Always a goal setter, I aimed to have my own new Fleetwood Cadillac by the time I was 30.
Well, I got to be 30, and my problem then was that I was a Pontiac dealer. There was no Cadillac dealer in Claremore and would never be.
Finally I came up with a plan. WE WOULD LEASE CADILLACS! I found us a distributor, bought a row of new Cadillacs, and formed the Melton Leasing Co. Inc.
As it turned out , leasing Cadillacs in Claremore never turned out to be a money-maker, but I was 30 and I had my new Fleetwood (Seville).