One of my interests is cars. I’ve always been kind of a “car guy”. Probably my earliest experience I can remember is going along with mom & dad as an 8-year old way back in 1974 to the car dealer when they bought a big new car – which was not a frequent occurrence. Then, at 13 I got a tour of Ford’s giant Dearborn Michigan plant where they were in the process of assembling brand-new 1979 Mustangs. That was quite an experience because Ford basically built everything at that site, including the steel stampings. Raw steel came in one end and a finished car came out the other. Today that is rare – most cars’ components are delivered to the assembly plant from all over the world.
Sometime around the age of 16 I began attending Detroit’s famous Auto Show each January, which is one of the biggest in the world. That’s how I began to learn about the auto industry and what the trends were. Over the last 20 years I’ve become quite knowledgeable about the technology of today’s cars, how they’re built, and the way they work. I have done some repairs myself, including replacing the radiator on the Citation. One fun memory was as a teenager, performing a tune up on the Oldsmobile. I changed the spark plugs and the points & rotor inside the distributor. In those days you could actually adjust the ignition timing with the engine running and hear it become more smooth as you got the correct adjustment. One of my high school classes taught us how to take apart a Rochester 4-barrel carburetor which was standard on many larger GM cars. It’s an intricate piece of older technology requiring many small adjustments. Today there are no adjustments and technicians only need to read the diagnostic code from the electronic control module to know which circuit to trace or which bad part to replace.
Some of my favorite cars include the Camaro/Firebird, GM’s fullsize convertibles, the big Buicks from the 50s, Buick’s ’88 Regal Grand National, Mercedes roadsters, and Lexus sedans. Someday I’d like to buy and restore an older car.
I have never had to drive a car with a manual transmission. The cars we drove in high school Drivers’ Ed in 1981 were GM’s new “X” series – including the Buick Skylark and Chevy Citation. I didn’t know it at the time, but 4 years later I would drive one of those as my own until 1993. The first car that I bought completely with my own money was the Sunbird, then the Monte Carlo for a short time followed by the Camaro, two Mustangs and an SUV.
Click the links in My Garage on the left to learn more about the cars I have driven.
In addition to my own cars, I’m going to provide reviews of other new and late model cars that I have the opportunity to drive. Click the links below to read these reviews.