Carol allegedly was the name of one of the wives of the owners and was used for good luck. The proprietors were Ray Raines, Stan Winick and Fred Lichner.
Business was good, and the group later opened up a new Ford dealership at 97-71 Queens Blvd., taking over the site held since 1939 by Patterson-Schmidt Lincoln-Mercury. Carol’s service department was located on Austin Street off 63rd Drive. The dealer’s No. 1 salesman was an Irishman with seven children named James “Huck” O’Rourke Jr. With the sheer gift of his powerful personality, he could sell a car to anybody.
Singer Eydie Gorme came down from the Bronx to buy her first Ford Thunderbird here from O’Rourke.
But in 1962 Carol’s landlord, The LeFrak Organization, demolished the entire block between the boulevard, 64th Road, 65th Avenue and 98th Street to erect an office building, eradicating the familiar Ford landmark.
O’Rourke headed east, teaming up with Raines to open a Cadillac dealership in Smithtown, LI. Upon Raines’ death, Huck took in a new partner, Steven King, and started the King O’Rourke Cadillac dynasty in Smithtown and — much closer to Queens — Lynbrook, LI. O’ Rourke died in 2008, and Lynbrook is closed, but the King O’Rourke dealership in Smithtown still puts folks behind the wheel to this day.