The man who put a Pinto on a pole

Sandra ClarkObits, Union

People of a certain age will remember the little red-orange Ford Pinto on top of a metal pole on Maynardville Highway just before the town. It was the sign for Jim Sexton Motors, installed in 1983 because Sexton said the quote for a sign was “too high.” He reckoned it was around $4,800.

Mr. Sexton passed away Monday, Dec. 12, 2022, at age 84. The family received friends on Thursday, Dec. 15, at Trinity Funeral Home Chapel. Family and friends will meet today (12/16) at 1 p.m. for a graveside service at Lynnhurst Cemetery in Fountain City.

Mr. Sexton was a 25-year cancer survivor and was married to his high school sweetheart, Judy Sexton, for 64 years. He was a member of the Smoky Mountain Model-A Club and said he chose a Pinto for his sign because he’s “a Ford man.”

He took his sign down a couple of years ago, ahead of road work on Hwy. 33. Folks were disappointed when the sign came down because it was such an easy directional landmark. But Sexton said he didn’t want to hold up needed road work. Read his full obituary here.

Kirstie Crawford of WATE-TV interviewed Jim and has a great story here.

View all obituaries

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