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Joe Higgins

The Dodge commercials whose success is hung squarely on reality and propelled Higgins into the public eye as an auto safety lecturer. He advises the "young-uns" to fasten safety belts. He tells "hand holders" to keep both hands on the wheel, girls not to use the rear view mirror to check makeup; driving mothers not to look at dress-store windows; and fathers to watch the car ahead and not the miniskirt on the sidewalks . "If you don't," he says seriously, "You gonna be in a heap o' trouble." To date Higgins has made only three Dodge Commercials. In the first he reprimanded the young man for driving a race car within the city limits. In the second he made the mistake of stopping the traffic Judge's niece, but saved face by advising her, "Ya all drive careful, ya' hear?" The third commercial finds him storming a dealership because he believes there is something phony about his wife receiving an automatic transmission free. When he finds this is part of a sales promotion, he quickly clears the embarrassing situation with a bit of advice to the dealer, "Yo gonna' go broke, boy." Higgins has been made an honorary sheriff in every city in which he has appeared for Dodge. Governor Rockefeller of New York, he proudly points out, sent Vincent Tofney, New York State Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, to Rochester to present him with a citation on behalf of his work for highway safety. And in Texas, the Sheriff Association gave him his sheriff's hat. Joe Higgins might sell only safety, but he certainly makes America's television audience pleasantly aware products of Dodge's
April 1970 Motor Trend

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