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USED-CAR PROMOTION STIRS STAMPEDE AT DEALERSHIP

Hoping to scare up publicity, a car dealership offered to sell used cars as cheap as $5 and wound up with a stampede of thousands of shoppers Saturday.

There were fistfights, a few injuries and police were called when the promotion got out of hand.

"We were a little overwhelmed," said Matt Sakolove, a representative of the advertising firm that staged the event. Clarke Ford said 2,000 to 3,000 people showed up.

Organizers expected that cold weather would hold down the crowd, Sakolove said.

Instead, it was unseasonably warm. People started lining up Friday night for a chance at 250 cars, marked down to $5, $15, $50, $500 or $5,000.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, the would-be buyers were released to rush to the wheel of their chosen vehicle.

"You don't get to see that many people running every day," Sakolove said. "It was exhilarating."

None of the injuries was serious, police said.

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