The Sparkplug Smuggling Story
A true story told by a friend
Written 01/2010 rewritten 02/34/2016 unedited
Back in 1975 I was in the automotive parts business, and I had a business relationship with a Mexican fellow in Los Angeles named David.
David had a business and lived permanently in Los Angeles, due to his family connections and the fact that he was Mexican and spoke fluent Spanish, it was only natural that he had a lot of customers in Mexico.
I also had another business friend named Jerry who was from Chicago, and one day as Jerry and I were discussing business, I mentioned to him that my friend David did a lot of business in Mexico. When Jerry heard that, he had heard a lot of business could be done there, but he had never been to Mexico.
I suggested that the next time I spoke with David, I would find out when he was going to Mexico and perhaps Jerry could go with him.
When I called David, he said that he was going into Mexico the following weekend and he would be happy to take Jerry with him to show him the country. So I called Jerry, and he made arrangements to meet with David in Los Angeles.
About two weeks passed and I received a call from Jerry who was back home in Chicago and he told me the following story.
Jerry said he arrived in Los Angeles and David picked him up at the airport, and they both went to David’s home. Jerry saw that David was driving a late model car but he noticed an old 1941 Chevrolet sedan parked in David’s driveway.
In the morning David asked Jerry to give him a hand loading up the old 1941 Chevrolet. David opened the trunk and they filled it up with lots of boxes of Champion sparkplugs that David had piled in the hallway of his house.
Jerry said they must have put 500 boxes of sparkplugs in the back of the car because when they were done the rear bumper of the old Chevy was only a few inches off the ground. The Chevy’s trunk was shut and David threw his and Jerrys bags in the back seat of the car.
David kissed his wife, she said she would meet with David and Jerry up in two days, and then David and Jerry were off to Mexico.
Jerry said he was concerned that with so much weight in the car they would blow out a tire, but David didn’t appear too concerned, as he said it was going to be a short trip.
As they approached the Mexican border, David slowed the car down and a Mexican Customs Inspector leaned into the driver’s side window.
As David and the Customs Inspector chatted, Jerry saw David fold up two dollars U.S. and slip it inside the palm of the Inspectors white glove. A moment later the Inspector stepped back and motioned David to drive on. David said to Jerry, “Welcome to Mexico.”Jerry said, “David did I just see that you just smuggled all the sparkplugs into Mexico for only two dollars”. David smiled, and he said, “One dollar was for smuggling in the sparkplugs the other dollar was for smuggling in the car”.