Racing Is A “DRAG”


Racing is a “drag,” that is, if you are a drag racer. Every year in during the first week in August, Reno, Nevada, comes to life with classic cars from all over the country. The event is Hot August Nights, which brings ten days of fun, music, car shows, drag racing, swap meets, car auctions, and so much more.

IMG_3068There’s a kickoff two day event which starts up in Virginia City, a town that dates back to the 1800’s, when mining was rich and prosperous. The town had a population during that time of some 30,000 people, but today, it is home to some 10,000 citizens. The Comstock, as it is called, still wears the look of yesteryear and gives you a sense of how it might have been back in the gold rush days.

If you are a classic car owner, you will be awed by the ambiance the town brings to a classic car show. But this is only the beginning. After these two days are over, you head down the hill to Reno, Nevada, where Hot August Nights really starts to rattle and roll. Cruises, entertainment, and of course, the Drag Racing, will all put a huge smile on your face.

I am working hard to encourage more women to join in the fun as classic car owners. I know they are out there. I held the second annual “Women with Wheels” car show Father’s Day weekend at the National Automobile Museum. Some 30 female classic car owners were in attendance and loved every minute. The men also had a great time and they all can’t wait for next year.Car show post

But the one event that I just love to hear the women talk about, is the drag racing held at the Nugget Casino. I recently connected with a female classic car owner, Sherry White, who owns a beautiful Ford Mustang, red with black stripes. She has taken Hot August Nights by storm. It also helps that her husband, Kerry, is as deeply into this event as she is.

So what makes one want to drag race their classic, especially a woman? I sat down with Sherry to find out just what makes her want to hit the asphalt, burn up some rubber, and race down a track to compete against another classic car owner. (The video below, the Red 1970 Mustang Mach I is Sherry White)

This year was actually Sherry’s first time drag racing. She told me that if we would have asked her 10 years ago about getting behind a wheel and hitting the drag strip, she would have said, “Not only no, but Hell No!”Sherry White

Well, 10 years does make a difference. It was Saturday morning, they had company in town for the event and when everyone was up and getting ready for the day’s events, Sherry’s husband asked her what they were going to do today, she replied, “I am going drag racing.” The look on everyone’s face was that of a deer in the headlights.

Sherry was ready to try something new. Her husband had taken her to a race in Las Vegas and while at the races, Sherry heard a different type of noise going on in the distance. She asked Kerry, what that was and he said, that is drag racing. Immediately, Sherry had to check it out, and, well, the rest is history. She knew this was something she needed to try, soon.

After her husband was sure Sherry was serious about drag racing, he knew there were a few things he needed to purchase for the Mustang prior to Sherry’s drag racing debut. They headed to Summit Racing and picked up a few things, installed them on the car and she was ready to roll.

There was a bit for Sherry to learn about drag racing before making her first pass, like, the light tree, what do all the lights mean? How to properly do a ‘burn out’ to prep your tires. Then at the end of the track, what do the different flags indicate?13100811_10207677548049350_7776753340622333469_n

Sherry said her first burn out wasn’t that great, but it was only her first time, with practice it could only get better. It was time to give it a try. Since Sherry’s husband Kerry was familiar with drags, he decided to be the first to race against his wife, just to make sure she was comfortable and to offer his devoted support. The first pass wasn’t all that great, and, yes, her husband beat her, but this was only the beginning for Sherry, there was no holding her back now. The adrenalin rush at the end seeing the flags set her hair on fire and wanting more.

Not only did Sherry drag race once, but can you believe, 8 total times and she won two of the eight races. In one of the videos shown in this article below, Sherry went up against a 1954 Chevy Convertible. The car was not remarkable, but the driver was. It was a woman, 16 years of age, from Las Vegas, Nevada. The car was previously owned by her father, and when she showed interest in the car, he restored it for her. Her hope was to drag race it at Hot August Nights – which she did. What a moment for both of the ladies!

As for Sherry, I asked her, what’s next? With a smile on her face she replied, “Bigger tires and more horsepower.” So I guess you know what she and her husband will be doing in the next few months.

Come on ladies, let’s make next year at Hot August Nights a drag to remember. Happy Motoring.

Register for Hot August Nights 2017

Hot August Night Drag Racing

A Woman and The Love for a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air.

When you read love stories it is usually between two people who have found their soul mate and they want to spend the rest of their lives together. But this story takes a different road – this story is about a woman and the love for a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air.

The story begins around the year 1980 when Zina Donoho-King started her life long journey of love and passion for this 1956 Chevrolet. But to help understand how all this transpired, we need to go back in time a few years. Zina’s father was a true Car Guy, with many classics, proudly showing them off to anyone who would admire them – but the one car affair that stole his heart was a 1963 Cadillac Convertible which took him 6 years to restore from the ground up.

Dad's car

Dad’s car

Since he spent more time in the garage than with his wife, the entire family knew that in order to be a part of not only the restoration, but his life, they all chipped in to help make his passion and dreams become reality. If the family wasn’t holding a flashlight, lending a hand when needed, or just being there to offer any assistance with various tools, they were there for moral support and to share this time in their lives as a family.

Zina King, spent many hours in the garage watching her father work on cars, but her passion did not surface at that time. It wasn’t until she was around seventeen years old, when she came home one day after school and noticed a car in their yard that had a for sale sign in it. Being curious as to whose car this might be, she asked her dad about the car and why it was there,

Zina walked over to the car, gave it a once over and once she placed her hand on the fender, it was at that very moment that she knew, this car and she were meant to be together. Zina knew she needed to do whatever it took to own this car. The special part about this car was that her aunt had painted a mural of the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the dash.

Aunt's painting

Her father informed Zina that the car belonged to her aunt and uncle; it had a fresh coat of paint on it because they were in the market to sell the car. Zina, being of driving age was somewhat in the market for a car, but never thought her first car would be a classic. So she asked her father what the asking price was, her dad then instructed her to call her uncle and work it out with him.

Zina made the call and her uncle stated that the price was $1,750 and if she wanted it, she could pay $400 a month until it was paid off. Not having a job, Zina set out to find employment so that she could take possession of this ’56 beauty.

She ended up going to school while holding down 3 jobs to make as much money as she could to pay off the car, which showed how determined Zina was. Trying to come up with $400 a month was no easy task, but she did her best to keep to the agreement. When the amount owed was down to the last $250, Zina was so tired from working so much that she wasn’t sure if she could finish earning the rest. Her father offered her some advice – to call her uncle and work it out with him. She had made it this far – too far to stop now.

Zina called her aunt and uncle to hopefully discuss a way to finish paying the balance due. Her aunt answered the phone and Zina began to explain payment options for the remaining balance. When her aunt discovered that her uncle was asking so much of their niece, things changed. Her aunt had a short talk with her uncle and he came on the phone to tell Zina, you can pick up the car and pay us the remainder whenever you can. Isn’t it funny how wives have a way of fixing things?

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1956 Chevrolet

Zina was so excited – her heart was pounding so hard you could almost hear it. She couldn’t wait to drive her car for the very first time, and once behind the wheel, Zina was like a little kid in a candy store, enjoying every minute.

Zina was lucky that during her younger years, watching her father work on his classics, she picked up a few things about working on cars, so she wasted no time in advancing that knowledge. Zina enrolled in Auto Shop at school and became quite knowledgeable in auto mechanics.

In the next few years, Zina’s love for the ’56 did not falter, but what did happen was she met her husband, married, and in 1986 was due to have her first child. Needing some cash they decided to sell the ’56. As heart breaking as it was, she knew it was the right thing to do at the time. Zina sold it to a gentleman from Nevada, who was in the process of moving to Oregon.


When she saw it again

As time passed, Zina never forgot the love she had for the ’56 she once owned and the strong desire to own another one grew more intense every day. So in 2008 Zina was on the hunt to find another ’56 just like the one she had owned as a teenager. She jumped onto Craigslist hoping to find one for sale. Much to her surprise, there was one for sale in Washoe Valley, almost the same area where she sold it originally back in 1986. As Zina viewed the photos of the car for sale, she noticed a slight glimpse of the dash. In her heart she knew that this car was her original car that she sold over 23 years earlier. Her heart pounding once again, she wondered, could this be, could this be my car?

Not wasting any time, Zina called the number and spoke to a very nice elderly man who informed her that the car was for sale and the asking price was $7,000. Zina felt she had to look at it immediately, because if it was her car, she could not let anyone else take it from her. She grabbed her keys and flew out of the house so fast that she was almost in tears. Zina called her husband to tell him the news and his advice to her was, don’t let them know how bad you want the car or the price might go up.

When Zina arrived at the seller’s home, the elderly man took her to the back property, and as she rounded the corner, her heart soared and she felt this was the car. But still not completely convinced, she opened up the driver’s door and took one glance at the dash, and yes, this was her aunt’s old car, because the mural was still there, a bit dirtier, but in good shape. Zina began to cry and the elderly gentleman said, “What, you don’t like the car?” It was at the very moment that Zina began to tell this nice man her story of the car.

Being a kind hearted person himself, he offered to give Zina the car, but she knew that would not be fair. He was not only selling the car, but the house as well, since he was getting up in years and needed to liquidate. After working things out with the elderly gentleman’s son, Zina paid the asking price and called a tow truck to get the classic home.

On the back of the tow truck, the car headed home to Carson City. Zina called her daughter to look out her employer’s window and check out the tow truck about to drive by. Her daughter gave a huge thumbs up with a big smile on her face and was so happy to know that her mother’s heart was whole again. As they drove into the driveway, Zina was at ease knowing that the classic love of her life was finally home. She vowed to never let her go again. The journey for this car after leaving Zina in 1986 was long, put it came full circle to make it home to the one who truly loved her.

Zina’s father passed away in 2011, but he knew that his love for classic cars will live on through his daughter. His memory will never fade as long as Zina owns this beauty. Her father put together photos of the car and took the song that Zina rewrote of ‘Where the Boys Are’ and named it ‘Where the Cars Are,’ showing the love she has for this ’56 Chevy. This car found a way to make it back home again where it truly belonged. A classic love affair reunited. Zina’s mother, after the death of her husband, lost everything in a massive fire in September of 2013, including the 1963 Cadillac he loved dearly. The only thing left was the ignition key. So Zina’s husband had a locket made. Engraved on it was ‘You and Me and Your ’56 Chevy,’ and attached to it was the surviving key to her father’s Cadillac, which she proudly wears. The following video was put together for her by her late father. The lyrics were re written and sung by Zina King. 

Zina shows off her love, and her husband completely supports her, knowing how very much this car means to her. So if you happen to see this car at car shows, be sure to say hello. It is not restored, but it is a gem.



Carlynn Eberhart, Follows Her Father’s Passion

Carlynn Eberhart, Follows Her Father’s Passion

As children we are most often influenced by our parents or those who raise us. The adults we become are based on what we learned as a child. In this case, the love her father had for repairing cars took the heart of Carlynn Eberhart at an early age.

Carlynn Ebrhart

Carlynn Eberhart

In her younger years, she remembers sitting in the garage with her father, watching his every move while he repaired the various cars they had over the years. As Carlynn grew up, it was very apparent that following in her father’s footsteps was at the top of her priority list. Going off to college and taking automotive classes, Carlynn mastered being a Transmission Specialist.

Her younger brother was also bitten by the bug and he too took automotive classes. It was during their school years that Carlynn began to work on her own vehicle, a first generation 1970 Chevrolet Camaro. She purchased the Camaro in 1981 and soon began rebuilding the engine and transmission, and installing a Holley Carburetor, headers, and also cleaning up the interior. The red paint is beautiful, and no matter where you stand to look at it, it shines back at you.

This was not to be a show car, but instead, an everyday “driver.” After college graduation, Carlynn found herself working in the transmission field and it would be there she would meet her husband. He too was a transmission technician, so I guess you could say their relationship shifted gears from co-workers, to dating, and eventually marriage.

I met Carlynn recently while attending and participating in the annual car show, Summer Salute, which benefits the local Reno area Veteran’s Guest Houseresized, and Honor Flight Nevada. She and her husband were admiring my 1927 Willys Knight when we started up a friendly conversation. That’s when her husband offered that Carlynn not only owns a classic car, she built it herself.

Since I am always on the hunt for Women with Wheels this sparked my interest and I wanted to dig deeper into her story. We sat and chatted about her childhood memories where she enjoyed watching her father turning wrenches and the love he had for it all.

Carllynn Eberhart1

1970 Camaro


Carlynn’s 1970 Camaro is a driver and a show car – the paint is beautiful and so is the interior. She points out flaws in the vehicle’s restoration, but as a car owner, you are so much more critical at these times than those who are looking it over. Yes, there have been a few onlookers who ask those questions – it doesn’t have the bigger motor, or it is only a two barrel, etc. But this is not their vehicle, it is Carlynn’s – it has more than just an owner, it has an owner with passion, love and the legacy of her childhood memories.

So, if yoIMG_2713[1]u check out someone’s classic car, just because it is not up to your standards, doesn’t mean there isn’t a love story behind it. You won’t know until you ask. Don’t be a critic, be an admirer. As for Carlynn Eberhart, she truly is a Women with Wheels. Carlynn Lives in Reno, Nevada.





The Facts

Insurance industry statistics show that approximately 50,000 airbags are stolen each year,
resulting in an annual loss of more than $50 million to vehicle owners and their insurers.

Airbags have quickly become a primary accessory on the black market for stolen vehicle parts. A
new airbag, which retails for approximately $1,000 from a car dealer, costs between $50 – $200
on the black market.

Because of their portability, airbags can be easily removed and installed as “new” by
unscrupulous collision repair shops. These dishonest operators will then charge the vehicle
owner or their insurer the full price for the replacement, thus committing insurance fraud.airbag1

Fraud and Theft Prevention Tips

The National Insurance Crime Bureau suggests the following prevention tips to help avoid airbag
fraud and theft.

– Use a reputable automobile collision repair shop that employs ASE-certified mechanics. If you do not already associate with a reputable shop, ask your friends, check Angie’s list or contact the Better Business Bureau in your area to locate one.
– Inspect the invoice to ensure the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer,
dealer or recycler.

– If possible, inspect the airbag prior to installation. If new, it should be packaged in a
sealed container from the manufacturer.
– The trim cover over the steering column should be the same color as the remaining trim
interior. If not, it is an indication that the original airbag has been replaced.

– When you turn on your vehicle’s ignition, a red SRS (Supplemental Restraint System)
indicator should light up and flash in the instrument panel display, indicating the airbag
system is activated.No SRS light indicates a problem with the airbag system that could
result in no airbag activation.



Things You Need To Know When Talking To A Mechanic Shop

Things you need to know when talking to the mechanic shop!

Knowledge is power. Do you feel as if sometimes you are being pressured into purchasing repairs for your vehicle when you seem to take it in for a simple oil change? Then you are fed a line for which you cannot completely understand? Well with a little bit of knowledge about your cars repairs, you could save yourself a lot of money.
How you ask? As a mechanic for some 40 years and Automotive Columnist for over 24 years, I have been preaching the Basics on automotive repair to many who have learned
No need to take college class on auto repair, you just need to learn some of the very basic of information and have them double check. Those coupon specials or gimmicks get you in the door only for the shop to find other things wrong with your vehicle, which is these types of shops, can pay for the giveaways.
What you need to know.
1. “Get that engine flushed right away or its toast.”

Beware if your mechanic’s idea of “scheduled maintenance” bears little resemblance to the recommendations in your owner’s manual. Some shops “build the ticket” (translation: pad the bill) by recommending extra and often unnecessary procedures, such as engine and transmission flushes, or by scheduling some tasks prematurely. These types of generic repairs can be premature and unnecessary.

2. “That rebuilt Alternator will cost you $499.99

Before you agree to any repairs, call around to see what the part will cost and also check other shops on what they will charge for the same repair. You might want to have a second opinion. You might remember a friend or family member had the same repair for less.

3. We thought the part replaced would fix it?

Oh-no, you are dealing with a shop who seem to be parts replacers and not very knowledgeable on diagnostics. Paying for their training can be extremely costly to the consumer. Make the mechanic justify the initial repair. Even if it was an honest misdiagnosis, the shop should refund the amount of the first repair or discount the next one. If the mechanic gets the diagnosis wrong again, stop replacing parts and replace the shop.

4. Your particular car needs a new starter every year.

Not so fast. This may be a tip-off that the shop did the work incorrectly or used poor-quality or makeshift parts instead of proper ones. Call some other shops to find out what they think or check the Web to see if there’s a discussion group devoted to your model and its problems. You might also want to take the car to another repair shop for a second opinion. If the original job was lacking, ask the shop that did the work to repeat the repair either without charge or at a substantial discount.

5. You must bring your car back to the dealer for all your repairs.
Not true. The Dealership Service Center is important when needing a replacement for a repair that is covered under warranty. As for all the other repairs, this can be done at your own discretion. Don’t be intimidated into thinking they are the only ones that can care for your cars needs. Find a reputable service shop that is trained in the type of repair your vehicle needs.

6. Finally, How to talk to your Mechanic.

Snapshot - 4Getting the right repairs at a fair price depends partly on communicating with your mechanic. Here’s what to say and to expect:
• Describe the problem fully. Provide as much information as possible. Write down the symptoms and when they occur. If possible, talk directly to the mechanic who will be working on your car.
• A mistake many car owners make. Don’t offer a diagnosis. Avoid saying what you think is causing the problem. You may be on the hook for any repairs the shop makes at your suggestion, even if they don’t solve the problem.
• Try validating the problem. Request a test drive. If the problem occurs only when the car is moving, ask the mechanic to accompany you on a test drive.
• Ask to see the failure. If you’re not comfortable with the diagnosis, ask the shop to show you. Worn brake pads or rusted exhaust pipes are easy to see. Don’t let the mechanic refuse your request by saying that his insurance company doesn’t allow customers into the work area. Insist on evidence anyway.

Teresa’s Garage Radio Show Tune In

Autos forTune in today to Teresa’s Garage Radio Show, with Host Teresa Aquila of Teresa’s Garage and Co-host Jeanette DesJardins of Car Chix. With Special Guests Dan McGee from, Tonya Pennington, Race Car Driver, who will be discussing her upcoming event, Autos4Autism and Reno Guns & Range offering self defense tips for women. You never know when you might be in a situation where you need to defend yourself, stranded, walking on a college campus, or jogging. Knowledge is power, don’t miss this one. You can also learn where classes are being held for additional training. Teresa and Craig Moss will be chatting about PIT PEEVES, Dan McGee will be updating you on local and national racing news. Callin to join the fun at  844-790-8255, The show airs at 2 Pm Pacific Standard Time or 4 PM Central Standard time. Teresa Aquila and Jeanette DesJardins have teamed up to bring you information on racing, female race car drivers and most of all, a fun time for all. Have a question give them a call during the show. Find Teresa’s Garage on facebook as well.