Cape man nabs one of 101 Neiman Marcus Cadillacs

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

There are only 101 of them in the entire world and the relatively few that there are sold out in a scant 14 minutes. It's been highly sought after and it's a car that will remain sophisticated and stylish for years.

And as of Monday, Kenneth Ochs of Cape Girardeau has one.

So you can excuse him for making a joke at the expense of a world-famous car collector who has a fleet of luxury and antique cars, but would be hard pressed to get his hands on a car like Ochs'.

"Jay Leno, eat your heart out," Ochs said Monday afternoon after he picked up his new $85,000 ride that he bought at Crown Cadillac.

Ochs, who already owns four Cadillacs, was one of 99 people who have picked up such cars recently after he was lucky enough to get a PIN number that authorized him to buy one through a Neiman Marcus promotion.

The cars were featured last year in the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog. Customers were given a date, a time and an 800 number and told that 99 such cars would be sold and two would be auctioned off for charities.

The new luxury roadster holiday catalog was mailed to millions of customers last September and the Cadillac went on sale Oct. 15, 2002, at about 11 a.m. locally.

"I checked my clocks at the office to make sure they were in synch," said Ochs, 56, owner of Midwest Food and Poultry in Cape Girardeau. "Then, a minute or two before, I called and I was told the line was not open yet. I tried three or four more times and then someone answered."

Ochs was put on hold and then later was told he was eligible for a PIN. His was number 97 of 99.

'A wild shot'

"I thought it was a wild shot," he said. "But I thought I'd call and I'm lucky I did."

While there are other 2004 Cadillac XLRs on the market, the Neiman Marcus Cadillacs feature an exclusive ultra violet exterior hue, exclusive two-tone shale and ebony interior, as well as head-up displays (which shows the speedometer on the windshield) and adaptive cruise control, which means that the car can detect cars that are close and turn off cruise control until the Cadillac reaches a safe distance behind.

Ochs picked his car up with the Cadillac Crown owner Gary and Jane Stanley on hand. J. Michael Quinton, a General Motors sales manager from Dallas, also flew up to watch Ochs pick up his car.

"This is the only one that was bought in the district," Quinton said.

The district includes the states of Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

"You won't be seeing many of these around," Quinton said.

The new Cadillac is said to be able to reach speeds of more than 140 mph, but Ochs said he won't be driving it that fast.

"I don't think I want to try that," he said. "I'd look foolish doing that and getting a ticket at my age."

Ochs said his initial plans were to take a cruise with his wife, Gail. Then, he's going to get a cover for it.

The Stanleys jokingly said they'd mention the car to Jay Leno, who was going to be the entertainment at an upcoming Nissan function they'd be attending in Las Vegas.

"Tell him if he wants to stop by Cape Girardeau, I'll let him drive it," Ochs said.

335-6611, extension 137

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: