A few Marketplace columns back we mentioned that Big O Tires Inc.'s former shareholder nemesis, Kenneth W. Pavia Sr., now holds a 6-percent stake-about 175,000 shares-in a similarly styled firm, Cincinnati-based Baldwin Piano and Organ Co. It was probably only a matter of time, we mused, before Mr. Pavia and his Bolero Investment Group L.P. would do to-make that for-Baldwin what he did for Big O. Well, we feel a bit like Kreskin. Or that old Johnny Carson routine where he made a prediction based on the contents of a sealed envelope held to his forehead.
Mr. Pavia let us know that he has called on Baldwin's board ``to hire a nationally recognized investment banker to explore a possible sale, merger or business combination involving the company as alternatives in enhancing the company's value.'' If his proposal is rejected, he has requested it be included in the proxy materials for Baldwin's 1997 annual meeting of shareholders.
That's pretty much how he initiated two years of turbulence at Big O before its recent purchase by TBC Corp.
Maybe we should start our own ``psychic hotline.'' Move over, Dionne Warwick.
To promote its new ``color-shifting'' Mystic paint finish, BASF is running a ``Horse of a Different Color'' sweepstakes, with the grand prize a new Ford Mustang ``Mystic Edition Saleen Speedster.''
Way down near the bottom of the contest rules is this paragraph: ``In the event that the selected entrant is a resident of Canada, he/she will be required to correctly answer a mathematical skill testing question to be administered by telephone at a prearranged time in order to claim his/her prize, as prescribed by Canadian law.''
Are they kidding? How come Americans escape the mathematical conundrum?
OK, Canadians: What's the square root of pi times 1,362 to the 15th power? Quick-the clock's running.
Speaking of contests, the Texas Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association has one to find its ``top recruiter'' for 1996-97. And the grand prize is really, really big.
According to the Texas Tire Trax newsletter, the winner has a choice of the following exotic weekend destinations for two*: Trinidad; San Juan; Italy; Carthage; Palestine; Athens; or Paris.
Did you catch that tiny asterisk after ``two''? That means all those places are ``top Texas destinations.'' Texans sure have a big sense of humor, don't they?
Firestone recently discovered it had developed a durable, long-mileage tire nearly 50 years ago.
Back in 1947, J.T. Mitchell in Georgetown, Ky., bought a Model A John Deere tractor, using it for general farming purposes, including plowing, cultivating, harvesting and even pulling a thresher. He sold the tractor in 1990 to his neighbor, William Mohrmann, who farms corn, soybeans and tobacco on 90 acres.
While restoring the tractor, still in running condition after all these years, Mr. Mohrmann noticed it had an original Firestone 12-6-38 size ``Ground Grip'' rear tire, which had never been flat or replaced in nearly half a century!
Talk about tread life.
We got a chuckle out of a news item in Motor Service magazine that New Pig Corp. and Safety-Kleen Corp. have joined forces to debut ``Piggy-backed Absorbent and Disposal Service.'' It's ``designed to provide customers with a convenient one-call, one-price absorbent delivery and disposal service package.''
Wouldn't Kleen Pig be a better name?
A Sept. 16 Marketplace noted a group was trying to get the Houston Oilers football team renamed the ``Tennessee Truckers'' if and when they move to Nashville. They've even proposed a new logo-a flaming tire. The proponents claim the ``Volunteer State'' is the ``trucking capital of the world.''
Funny, a recent promo piece on Akron for Northern Ohio Live magazine christened the former ``rubber capital of the world'' the ``trucking capital'' because it has 162 or so trucking firms located in and around the Akron area. Who's right?
Here's a headline we've yet to see in The Globe, that tabloid known for running purported ``photos'' of famous people with space creatures: ``President Clinton meets with Martian tire dealers.'' That might give him a boost with the alien vote, though we're not sure what Bob Dole's stance is on alien immigration. He did say he liked the movie ``Independence Day.''
In a speech in Detroit, Ford Motor Co. Chairman Alex Trotman said 75 percent of the average car or truck is recycled.
The vehicles take such high-tech end-forms as the ice scraper he showed off, which used to roam the streets as a Ford Fiesta bumper. ``We've even made bird houses out of Broncos,'' he boasted.
Heck, we once made a bird-and mouse-house out of a rusted-out '79 Chevy Blazer. Of course, it was parked in our driveway for a couple of years until we finally knuckled under to a certain unreasonable wifely ultimatum.
Edited by Sigmund J. Mikolajczyk