Growing up in Long Beach, CA means living with several local city staples: The Long Beach Grand Prix, the Queen Mary, and Cal Worthington’s Ford dealership. For as long as I can remember any time I would be sitting and watching TV after school or with my mom I would see at least one commercial for Cal’s dealership and I would immediately light up. Anyone who lives in Southern California knows what I am talking about: the guitar strummed melody of “if you’re happy and you know it” would come on and out would come Cal “and his dog spot” which was usually some kind of crazy animal like a tiger or elephant.
As Cal would try to keep “spot” from eating or trampling him he would always find a way to try to convince viewers to “go see Cal”.
Sadly we can no longer go see Cal because Mr. Worthington has gone off to that big dealership in the sky. Just this past Sunday when Cal was watching football on TV with his family he passed away. He was 92 years old.
Before Cal became famous for his commercials and his dealership he served in the military for the Army Air Corps. He was a B-17 pilot with the 390th bomber group and flew 29 missions over Germany in World War II. He received the Air Medal five times as well as the Distinguished Flying Cross. During his service he even helped train some of the first American astronauts!
He was a funny, friendly guy who loved what he did. So long, Cal! You will be missed! If you want to see some the commercials that made him a legend in car sales then scroll down for a short compilation.