Super Seniors: Sharon and Raymond Nutting

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 6:17 PM EST
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RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) - On the surface, it looks like just another day at the office for Raymond Nutting. He’s been selling used cars in Rutland for decades.

Reporter Joe Carroll: What’s the secret?

Raymond Nutting: Just being fair with people.

If you’re worried about high-pressure tactics, park yourself here.

Joe Carroll: Do you have any idea how many cars you’ve sold through the years?

Raymond Nutting: Thousands, thousands and thousands.

The business has been around for 61 years, started with his high school sweetheart, Sharon.

“He was a born salesman,” she said.

But there was more that caught her eye.

Sharon Nutting: His personality and his blue eyes.

Raymond Nutting: Ah! Blue eyes!

Sharon Nutting: His eyes were so blue!

They married.

“We were just kids,” Sharon said. “We were 18 years old.”

It’s fair to say the budding operation was truly “homegrown.”

“That’s when we had them on the front lawn of our apartment,” Sharon said.

But sales revved up and the couple relocated to a bigger space. Those early days had some extreme deals.

Raymond Nutting: I remember that. It was $29.

Joe Carroll: A $29 car?

Raymond Nutting: We used to sell quite a few $29 cars.

Since the beginning, Sharon has done the books and helped Raymond with the purchase of cars.

A tradition-- you get a little bling with your buy.

“When you buy a car... the lady gets a piece of jewelry,” Raymond said. “At the Moose Club, they used to have a claw machine and I used to get all those out of the claw machine... I was an expert... They finally took it out. they weren’t making any money with me.”

Joe Carroll: So, you said it was $4,995 and it’s now $2,995. That’s true?

Raymond Nutting: Yup, it’s on sale. Yeah, ‘cause it’s the last two cars I have.

That’s because in a few days, the Nuttings are hitting the brakes on the business.

Raymond Nutting: We just talked it over and said it’s time to let the boys take it over.

Sharon Nutting: Yes.

The boys are their two sons who already sell cars next door. They will continue that operation and expand to their parents’ space.

“They’re buying this and they’ll have the whole corner,” Raymond said.

Just a couple miles away, their competition is sad to see them close. Dan Kearney says Raymond encouraged him to start his own used car business.

Joe Carroll: What did you learn from him?

Dan Kearney: Hard work. Hard work and determination... My goal was to put the Nuttings out of business but we failed miserably for the last 50 years!

Both of the Nuttings, who are in their early 80s, say it’s time.

“You can’t please everybody, but we did well the way we did it,” Raymond said.

And those last two cars for sale?

“Oh, they’ll sell,” Raymond said confidently.

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