As you may have gathered from the “About Me” section of this site, I have had an interest in cars and spent my entire professional life in the automotive industry. The fact is, my passion for vehicles runs deep. How deep? It started at the age of three playing with Matchbox cars and Tonka trucks and runs through a 34 career in automotive.
I’m not sure if this was a natural attraction or a matter of genetics (my grandfather was a mechanic and owner of a service station in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan until he passed in the mid 1950s, and my Dad was an engineer for General Motors).
Either way, this passion has defined my personal and professional life and powers my days as I enter that phase of life after corporate work. It is from this passion that I run this website: I want to help you with the care and nurturing of your automotive interests.
Is this just another new car buying website?
Short answer–no. While I still love nearly everything about buying and owning a new car, there are a number of drawbacks. Big depreciation in the vehicle’s value within the first two years of ownership, higher insurance cost are just a couple. I love the challenge of finding cars (side note: I will use the term “cars” to cover both cars and trucks in my articles) that are affordable and have potential for greatness.
In another article, I will talk about the new car market and the fact that the average cost of a new car is more than $36,000 (wow!). Most of my focus will be on those AFFORDABLE “diamonds in the rough” that cost no more than $10,000. In actuality, I like to keep that cost to less than $6,000, so that I have some wiggle room to do repairs and/or modify my car to my liking. Are we only talking about cheap economy cars? NOPE! There are some interesting classic cars and four wheel drive trucks that easily fit into this price category.
Bottom line: I feel the perception that a good car must cost $25,000+ is stopping a lot of people from getting good (and fun) transportation. I will bust through that myth and help guide you to having the right car for you without breaking the bank. You aren’t alone in this endeavor…I am here to nurture and care for you in this quest.
A little personal history
I was born in 1961 in Detroit, Michigan, where I have resided for most of my life (I spent about 15 years out of state while working for General Motors in places like Atlanta, GA, West Palm Beach, FL and Nashville, TN).
As mentioned earlier, my Dad was my inspiration and mentor. He was an engineer at GM–working mostly in the Chevrolet Truck group at the GM Proving Ground in Milford, MI. Dad was a development engineer, which means he took the vehicles as set up by the design engineers and perfected them for production. Dad was a terrific engineer (and an awesome teacher/mentor) who lived to make these trucks great. Because of him, I love reworking things on my cars and finding ways to improve them myself. Dad used to laugh because I spent more time reading shop manuals than comic books as a kid!
After graduating from college, I was lucky to land a job at GM (Chevrolet Motor Division) in late 1984 in the Customer Assistance group, where we took calls and responded to letters from very unhappy customers. This was actually a great job as I learned a lot about problem solving on both a personal and vehicle level. From there, I held a variety of service and sales positions (including a 10 year stint at Saturn–a very cool subsidiary of GM) until my retirement in late 2016. All along the way, I interacted with a lot of great customers and dealers which was so very rewarding.
My Vehicle History
Over the course of 40+ years of driving, I bought and sold a lot of vehicles. Most were “daily drivers” for both me and my wife, Mary. I think there were nearly 30 or so that fall into the daily driver category.
For most of my time at GM, I had a company car (nice perk!). That means most of those 30 vehicles were driven by Mary. She will tell you I pushed them on her, which is mostly true. If she had her way, she would keep and drive the same vehicle for 10 years! Who does that? At GM, I averaged three new vehicles each year just from that benefit. I got to drive a wide variety of vehicles–from a 1987 Chevrolet Nova to a Hummer H2. It is safe to say my passion for cars was fueled throughout the years as a result.
I really enjoy finding and fixing affordable older vehicles–both daily drivers and classic/vintage vehicles. There is debate on what age a vehicle is considered a classic, vintage or antique. Usually, the classic car moniker applies to vehicles over 20 years old.
Antique cars are over 45 years old, and vintage cars are built between 1919 and 1930. But as with many subjects in the motoring world, not everyone can agree on a single definition. State DMVs, insurance companies, and classic car clubs classify each one differently. And some classifications overlap between classics and antiques.
For the purposes of this site, I will use the term “classic” universally going forward. To help keep this story brief, I will share more details about the classic vehicles I bought/fixed/sold in another blog.
What’s in it for YOU?
You may be wondering if the purpose of this website is to just wax nostalgic about my past vehicle experiences (maybe just a tad!). I’m going to get past that pretty quickly and put the focus on that which matters…how can all of this help YOU?
A good number of my friends seek me out for car advice. That includes help understanding the finer points of leasing, what kind of vehicle to buy, thoughts on repairs (both from a DIY perspective and whether their repair shop was being honest) and actually working with them on a vehicle repair! I really enjoy being part of those conversations, so want to get more involved in a bigger way–sharing my tips on vehicle purchases (new and used), repairs you can tackle at home, vehicle customization tips and fun stories about the automotive hobby.
I am a list guy, so most of my articles will be brief and orderly (not like this one!). I will share information and observations from my own experiences as well as others within the automotive community. More importantly, I welcome thoughts and questions from you at any point. I appreciate and enjoy the interactions (and banter) these discussions can take on.
Thank you for joining me on this journey!