Vehicles

Recalling A December 1984 Limousine Invasion

Staff/News Reports
Posted on December 18, 2019
A typical Cadillac stretch limousine from the industry heydays of the 1980s. (LCT file photo)

A typical Cadillac stretch limousine from the industry heydays of the 1980s. (LCT file photo)

Check out this video report of why a surplus of stretch limousines lined the streets of Indianapolis in December 1984.

A TV reporter interviews an operator from that era while traveling the back of a stretch limousine.

Indy Channel report here

The operator featured in the report, Craig Del Fabro, who owned Indy Connection Limo Service, had a unique operation that centered on four primary events, including the The Indy 500, the Kentucky Derby, and the wedding and prom seasons, according to Richard Ramis, a Chicago-area dispatcher who was among the first writers for LCT Magazine in the 1980s.

Richard Ramis is a limousine industry history buff and former LCT Magazine writer with detailed insights. (LCT file photo)

Richard Ramis is a limousine industry history buff and former LCT Magazine writer with detailed insights. (LCT file photo)

"Although 20% of the year, it amounted to 80% of his revenue," Ramis said. "Craig developed what I still consider one of the most monumental moves in the industry."

Every year in mid-April, Del Fabro would buy about five to eight new vehicles and take delivery that month, Ramis recalled.

But he wouldn't turn in his trade-ins until the end of June, giving him the economy of scale to benefit the most from demand in busy periods, he said.

Fast Fact: December 1984 was also the month LCT held the first-ever limousine industry trade show in Atlantic City, N.J.

"It was pure genius," Ramis said. "A few years later Carey [International] went on a spending spree before the internet was invented and bought him out among others."

--- Martin Romjue, LCT editor

Related LCT article: Craig Del Fabro comments in Carey International Boasts Large Livery Fleet (1998)

 

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Related Topics: history of the limo industry, Indiana operators, Richard Ramis, stretch limousine

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