Frank Ancona has been selling cars in the Kansas City area for over fifty years; his Honda lot on I-35 in Johnson County always catches my eye when I’m on the way to KC. His advertising tagline — “Please be kind to Frank Ancona” — may be one of the best-known slogans in the entire automotive business. (Heck, I know it, and I’m 350 miles away.) You go to the dealership’s Web site right now, though, and you’ll get a popup that explains this:
[Llast weekend, a body discovered on the banks of Missouri’s Big River — about a five-hour drive to the east — gave the dealership the kind of attention that no business wants. The corpse, which had a bullet hole in its head, also had a name: Frank Ancona.
No, the founder of Frank Ancona Honda is still alive and well at 85. But much to his dismay, the Frank Ancona discovered by the Big River was none other than the 51-year-old imperial wizard of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
There have been phone calls to the dealership. Many of them, in fact.
When Automotive News first broke the story, the dealership had already posted a disclaimer on its website. “Frank Ancona Honda is not in any relation to the KKK leader that was recently found dead,” read any car shopper browsing for deals on a Odyssey or Accord.
It was about two and a half years ago that the dealer became aware of the dipshit:
The owner of Frank Ancona Honda in Olathe is being mistaken for a Ku Klux Klan imperial wizard with the same name, and the confusion is costing the dealership money.
Frank Ancona also is the name of the KKK leader for the Traditional American Knights KKK chapter in Park Hills, Mo.
“February is usually one of the worst months in the automobile business as it is,” Wharton said. “It just never does do very well in comparison to the other months. So could it have some impact? Yes. But can I pinpoint that it’s negatively affected business? No, not really.”
“I’ll use this reference,” he said. “I’m sure there’s several James Smiths in prison around the country, and I’m sure there’s a whole bunch of James Smiths running around, law-abiding citizens, paying their taxes and taking care of their families and being good members of the community.
A lot of them, in fact, are members of the Jim Smith Society.