In our humble opinion, Mark Christopher Auto Center has the best customers on the planet. And while we have had a lot of great ones over the years, we have a special place in our hearts for our repeat customers. It means that we did our jobs so well, that someone trusted us enough to come back and see us again. Much of our business comes from people who buy 2, 3 or even more vehicles from us. Well, we would like to take this opportunity to give special recognition to 2 of our most loyal customers; Rich and Virginia Riley. They have purchased or leased 17 cars from Mark Christopher over the years!
To say that Virginia is a bit uhhh….fanatical, would be an understatement. She likes what she likes.
And since the early 80s she has leased 7 Corvettes from Mark Christopher. All 7 have been red.
And as you can see from the photograph, Virginia has another passion; Disney- Mickey Mouse specifically. I asked Rich if he was into Disney, and he laughed and said, “Oh, I have enough interest to stay married. Every Christmas, and her birthday, it’s a challenge to try and find something she doesn’t already have. And it’s not easy…”
Rich and Virginia have lived in the same house for 32 years and that has given Virginia the opportunity to outfit it properly. Not only does she own an astonishing amount of figurines, but they have all Disney silverware, salt shakers, tablecloths, and trivets as well. When you enter certain rooms, you will get Disney music by simply switching on a light, and if that is not enough Disney music, you can hear it from any one of over 100 music boxes. They even had their front door replaced with a huge stained glass likeness of the Kingdom’s Main Mouse himself!
Rich and Virginia both worked for the Ontario-Montclair School district, with Rich serving as an assistant principal and Virginia as an administrative assistant. They met one summer in 1980 at the school district administration building and have been inseparable ever since. Originally, Rich had a passing interest in cars, and as you can imagine, Virginia was passionate about them. Corvettes mostly, of course. Shortly after they were married, they joined a local Corvette car club, and started frequenting car shows, and that’s where they met Mark Leggio, from Mark Christopher, and a beautiful relationship started.
Rich says, “Yeah, we went in there and leased a car from them, and they treated us so well, we have been working with them ever since. They are close to where we live, but the main thing for us is the customer service.” Rich and Virginia have been well taken care of by several members of the Mark Christopher team throughout the years, including; Mike Bash-who has been with Mark Christopher for all 23 years, and most recently, Greg Hess, and Nevin Cordero.
In addition to Virginia’s Corvettes, Rich has gotten a couple of Oldsmobiles, but has since settled on Cadillacs, with those making up his last 5 leases.
Virginia and Rich are both retired. When they are not together, Rich likes to play golf, and Virginia teaches body conditioning, and is a member of Soroptimist of Monclair/Inland Valley. Soroptimist is Greek and translates to “Best for Women,” and the club works to improve the lives of women and girls, who are often less fortunate, or in difficult situations.
When they are together, which is a lot, they like to drive to Santa Barbara, Palm Springs and of course Disneyland. While the Corvette is cool, the Caddy works a little better for long road trips. Being Annual Premium Pass holders for 30 years, they get to the Magic Kingdom about 25 times a year, and as you can imagine, they like to go fast. Space Mountain, and the Matterhorn, are two of their favorites. Of course, they also like the “Cars” ride quite a bit.
So we asked Rich the question: Do you ever get to drive the Corvette?
He just laughed and said, “The only time I get to drive her car is down to get gas and back.
Virginia refuses to drive the Cadillac, so it seems like a fair trade.”
When we asked Virginia, what she loves most about her car, she said simply,
“It’s a Corvette.”
Mark Christopher Chevrolet