The Fish Lady and Clyde

What do you get when you combine a Toyota truck and a fish-delivery route?
One-million miles on one engine
 

July 29, 2014
1 Million Proud -- Richardson credits Uebelhor Toyota for getting Clyde to his major mileage milestone. Photos by Paul S. Howell

 
In 1995 Nancy Richardson bought a new truck.
 
“I wasn’t real picky,” Richardson says. “I really wanted a base model truck, no extras on it. And I wanted a 5-speed. And I wanted either red or white.”
 
Richardson settled on a Garnet Pearl T100 from Uebelhor and Sons Toyota in Jasper, Ind. And, considering Clyde—what, you don’t name your car?—hit 1 million miles in April, it’s safe to say she’s satisfied with her purchase.
 
In 19 years, Clyde has been so dependable, he has only two major repairs to his name. At 300,000 miles, his transmission was rebuilt. Last year, his gas tank was replaced.
 
“We haven’t touched the engine,” says Tony Uebelhor, dealer principal at Uebelhor and Sons.
 
Customer for Life
 
They call Richardson the Fish Lady. “They” being chefs of the upscale restaurants she delivers fish to in Indiana and Kentucky three times each week. That’s why Richardson bought Clyde in the first place: to be
The Fish Lady Delivers -- Bill Hughes, chef and owner of Bill's Restaurant in Owensboro, Ky., inspects the fresh fish Richrdson delivers in her 1995 T100.
the lifeblood of her delivery business. Clearly, dependability was key. Luckily she was already impressed with Toyota’s durability.
 
Richardson was replacing a 1985 Toyota van, but her passion for Toyota dates back to her beloved 1976 Celica. She has driven a Camry and her personal car is a 2000 Corolla originally owned by her daughter. She even owned a Corona wagon for 10 years.
 
After Clyde’s performance, Richardson is certain she’ll drive Toyotas for the rest of her life.
 
“After having this vehicle, there’s no doubt I would get another Toyota,” she says. “I’ve driven Toyota’s for how many years? I wouldn’t think about buying anything else.”
 
Three days a week Richardson drives Clyde from her home in Jasper to Louisville, Ky, to pick up fish to deliver around the Evansville area in northern Kentucky and southern Indiana. Roundtrip. 

Clyde averages more than 1,000 miles per week on deliveries alone, so it’s easy to see how the odometer hit 1 million in just 19 years.
 
And still Clyde—short for Clydesdale because, well, the truck is a workhorse—just keeps galloping down Interstate 64.
 
“The engine sounds as good as it did the day I got it,” Richardson says. “Tony Uebelhor is probably regretting selling me that truck.”
 
A Dealer’s Pride
 
Quite the contrary. Uebelhor and his staff are beaming with pride over Clyde. Richardson brings him inregularly for maintenance, and she is enamored with the skills of mechanic Pat Denk and Service
Check-up -- Uebelhor Toyota mechanic Pat Denk (pictured) and Service Manager Grant Winchell have played a key role in keeping Clyde healthy and happy.
Manager Grant Winchell.
 
“Grant over there, he has the touch,” she says. “He just looks at something and fixes it.”
 
“Our technicians know Clyde front to back because they spent so many years with him,” Uebelhor says. “It is a pride thing for us. It proves the Toyota durability story, and it proves that maintenance pays off.”

Richardson has been dedicated to hitting the million-mile mark since Clyde turned 700,000. But now that it’s happened, she may think about switching to something a little newer.
 
“I haven’t decided whether to get a new car yet,” she says.
 
Then she thinks again. “I’m the kind of person who gets attached to my vehicles. I would miss him.”
 
By Dan Nied
 

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