How Niagara Falls’ Derek Sanderson crashed and rose again On a rainy afternoon in Philadelphia, a young man walked into a Rolls-Royce dealership, curious because he’d never been close to such a pricey and prestigious car. He wore blue jeans and a matching jean jacket over an old sweater, with cowboy boots. His long brown hair settled on his shoulders, matching his moustache perfectly — a standard look for a 26-year-old professional hockey player from Niagara Falls in 1972. Especially for one nicknamed “The Turk.” The Rolls-Royce dealer, wearing a three-piece suit, sniffed at his presence, folded up the newspaper he was reading and got up from his desk. He grudgingly acceded to The Turk’s request to unlock the front door of a burgundy sedan so he could size up the front seat. “Sir, this is a long-wheelbase Silver Shadow limousine,” the dealer snorted. “Perhaps, if you purchased it, you’d be sitting in the back.” The snooty treatment embarrassed Derek Sanderson, who had grown up poor. It made him mad, vindictive and then foolish. Sanderson went to the bank to get a cashier’s cheque for $78,000 (that’s more than $400,000 in today’s dollars when adjusted for inflation). He returned to the dealership, made sure the salesman didn’t earn a commission and drove the Rolls-Royce right off the lot.