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?
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 $38,000 (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 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! Even though he passed in 2014, he remains my inspiration to this day.
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. I then spent the next 2.5 years at Digital Air Strike, a social media marketing company, where I helped build upon the great business they developed.
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.
You can see those fun, cheap vehicles I’ve bought and sold HERE.
What can you expect?
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.
More importantly, I hope to introduce teens and young adults to the car hobby and a possible career in the automotive field.
Expect to read information and observations from my own experiences as well as others within the automotive community. Even more fun, 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!
This Post Has 27 Comments
All the years I’ve known you and this is the first time I ever heard about your UP connection to automobiles.
Ha! I was sure you knew that. My Dad was born in Ahmeek, raised in Houghton.
Thanks for the add. Looking forward to future editions.
You are welcome, and thanks for joining me! Please feel free to contribute some of your great stories…guest columnists are always welcome!
I love this project for you
Thanks, Jackie! Great to hear from you!
Looking forward to more good stuff :).
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Bill – I found your site via LinkedIn. Great work. Glad you’re doing well!
Hi Jeff…great to hear from you!
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Sadly, I have no experience with thst topic. Now if you want to know how to paint a car, I’m your guy!
Bill, the blog is so cool and real life so glad you told me about it! I feel the connection to cars that you have is similar to mine, but your passion for cars far exceeds mine. I do have fond memories of most of the cars that I have owned, of course some not so fond too. If cars could talk, oh the stories they would have! Looking forward to more writing from you!
Thanks, Frank. I think we need to explore YOUR story about what some of your cars might say!
Maybe it’s better they don’t talk! Not sure I want those stories out there:) I’ll post some of my memories of the z on your 40 year reunion article
Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?
I mean, what you say is valuable and all. Nevertheless think
about if you added some great photos or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!
Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this website could definitely be one of the best in its field.
You may want to take a look at more than just this one post. I think you will see some “pop.”
Hello there! This is my first comment here so
I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say
I really enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you suggest any other
blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects?
Thanks for your time!
Thank you for visiting this site, and hope you can continue to enjoy my articles.
I can not think of another automotive blog that is similar to this one. Just keep coming back here for your automotive stories.
Thanks for the marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you’re a great author.I will
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I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great posts, have
a nice evening!
Comments are closed.