Wednesday 20th of November 2019

Meet Ms. Kelley Blue Book

There’s this woman I visit every once in awhile who– unlike most of the women I’ve dated– knows the value of a dollar: Ms. Kelley Blue Book. She can give me information and pricing information on pretty much any vehicle, new or used, so that I don’t end up paying too much when I buy a car and let’s me know how much I should charge for my primer-painted Pinto. Ms. Kelley Blue Book can help you out too.

The History

The Kelley Blue Book Company started out as a Los Angeles car dealership, the Kelley Kar Company, in 1918. It was founded by an Arkansan businessman, Les Kelley, with a meager three Model T Fords and a single employee– his younger brother. As his company grew, Les distributed lists of the cars he wanted and the prices he was willing to pay for each. These lists must have been pretty convincing because they became the standard for L.A. banks and car dealerships.

1926 came along and Les published his first official Kelley Blue Book, which listed the values of various used cars. It was popular only in Southern California up until the ’40s when it went nationwide; waves of incoming servicemen and high demand after the four years of rationing resulting from World War II caused a significant spike in the need for cars. The price of used cars exploded because manufacturing businesses hadn’t made the shift from wartime production, and Les made a name for himself. His company continued to expand over the years and new car values were finally added to his blue book prices in 1996.

The Legacy Continues

Les died in 1990 and was superseded by an all-knowing female cyborg, Ms. Kelley Blue Book, capable of determining the value of new and used cars, motorcycles, mobile homes, snowmobiles, personal watercrafts, and recreational vehicles to ten decimal points– kind of like an effeminate RoboCop, but more informative than violent. The resource linked up with the Internet in 1995, and her website is one of the most visited in the automobile industry. If you’re in the market for a vehicle or are planning on selling yours, check with the book’s prices first.

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