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The "PLAYBOY" of Buffalo | Business

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The "PLAYBOY" of Buffalo

    The Playboy story began in Buffalo after WWII when Lou Horwitz, who had been in the automobile business since 1935, opened a used car lot on the corner of Deleware and Hertel. Horowitz sent cars to Norm Richardson Collision Shop at 988 Ellicott St. for repair. While at Richardson's shop Horowitz learned that Richardson and Charlie Thomas were working on a three wheel car.  Thomas had built a car in the 1930's with the help of Richardson. Lou Horwitz had long believed there was a need for a second or companion car in the American automobile field. Therefore, he joined forces with Thomas and Richardson to form the Playboy Motorcar Corporation with Horwitz as president, Thomas as vice president and Richardson as treasurer.

   Lou Horwitz put up $50,000 to build the prototype Playboy. Thomas designed the car and the three men built it in secret over seven months at Richardson shop. On February 18, 1947, the playboy was displayed at the Buffalo Hotel Statler. The Prototype Playboy was a soft-top convertible with a special twelve-head Continental twenty-horsepower engine mounted in the rear.  The car featured four wheel independent suspension and an automatic transmission.

Demand Ran High

   During the Playboy's week long display at the Statler, the car generated a great deal of publicity.  The three principals of the Playboy Motor Car Corporation decided to build the cars while demand was high....

 This story continues at The Buffalo History Gazette


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