Teresa Aquila is a local mechanic who’s been teaching seminars on the basics of automotive care since the early ’80s. Her next seminar will be held at the National Automobile Museum on June 17, followed by a car show featuring rides that belong to several dozen area women. The show is scheduled for June 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the museum’s parking lot.
Tell me a bit about the seminar.
Well, the seminar is based on the things that you need to know when taking your car into a shop. Doing preventative maintenance can save you a lot of money in the long run. I actually had a male friend—his mom and dad called me and said that their son’s car stopped running on the highway, and they’d put a new motor in it about three months prior. They wanted to have it towed [to my house]. So they brought it here, and the first thing I checked was the dipstick. There was no oil in the engine. Out of seven quarts, I put in five and half quarts in there. So, the engine will shut down, but by then—only a quart and half in the engine—you’ve already destroyed the engine. The whole bottom end’s knocking now. … This just happened. This is what I’m trying to teach. In the seminar, we’re focusing on women, but if men want to come to the class—not a problem there. …
So it’s not full yet?
No, it’s not full yet. … I don’t want more than 15 or 20, only because what we learn in the classroom, we’re going to actually go out to the parking lot and do those things to the car. … I’m going to bring my engine analyzer and show them how to check their check engine light. Even if it’s not on, we can still go through some processes. … There’s cheap pieces of equipment, analyzers you can buy that plug in and give you the code, but people need to understand that when you get the code, it’s only an area that’s being affected. So there’s other things that vein into that that actually could create that failure. Just because it says, and we’ll use this for an example, just because it says an EGR [exhaust gas recirculation] valve or an O2 sensor is out of range, doesn’t mean that component has failed, so you have to do more tests to determine what the problem is.
You’re going to cover a lot of this in, what is it, just a couple hours, right?
It’s just a couple hours, but we’re going to go over it and explain it so that they have an understanding of what the process is. Now, if they want to learn more, and if they want to learn one-on-one, I’ll offer that to them. And we can do individual classes, and they can learn how to work on their own car. Not that they want to be mechanics, but the simple basics is what will save you a lot of money and some grief and time off the roadway.
How basic will it start? Are you going to show them how to check their oil first, or are we assuming they already know that much?
No. I’m not assuming anything, because I learned years ago that the word assume—if you break it down—it means “ass out of you and me.” … We don’t go there. So I take questions, and I’ll explain, “Some of you may know this, but I want to cover it real quick.” …
And the car show?
Well, this is the second one. I actually did one last year. … I wanted to do a car show just for women. … We have trophies for each class. … They’re kind of cute. And then we’re having raffle prizes. … Some businesses have been sponsoring giveaways. We have live entertainment. … I have an inflatable car I designed. My logo and brand’s name is Windy Wiper. I made her into an inflatable. … She’s a pink car. She’s got a big bow, earrings on her outside mirrors. She’s very feminine. She’ll be there to take pictures. The kids love her. … Adults love her too. They love to take pictures with her.
Did the car show fill up?
No. We’re at about 25 or 28. We’re going to 50. … I was at a car show over the weekend, met a bunch of women, and they’re going to sign up. I’m hoping for 30 or 35. I’d like to see 50. … The first year we hardly advertised at all and had 15. So this year, we’re pushing for more.
The Car Show was a great success with approximately 30 Ladies entering their rides. Not only did the women enjoy the event,
but the men also had an awesome time. The Women With Wheels Car Show will be back again on June 27, 2017. Hope to see you there.
Self-Driving vehicles just received a Big Jump; to Big Rigs. Technology has taken a leap into the transportation industry – Uber has purchased the company OTTO for some $680 million dollars. Today’s crash-avoidance systems are the mile markers to tomorrow’s autonomous vehicles.
One of the company’s big rig trucks at Otto, led by 15 former Google engineers, in San Francisco.
What does this mean for transportation and the industry? If we take a look back in the automotive past, we find many features from the horse and buggy days to the present self-driving vehicles that have advanced to improve safety and comfort. Changes of this magnitude, the self-driving car, will take years to become the norm, but it is coming. Uber has already started implementing self-driving, driverless vehicles in their fleet on the streets of Chicago. This will mean fewer employees and better company profits.
All of the major Automotive Manufacturers are reaching out to technology companies to help them get the jump on this future market. General Motors has teamed up with Lift, Ford has teamed up with Google, and now Uber has purchased OTTO, in order to take crash avoidance to the next level. As for Tesla, they are developing their own autonomous vehicles.
There are so many things to consider when thinking that cars will soon be driverless and many people will be without jobs. What does that mean for our future? Are Robots next to replace employees on assembly lines? It’s something to think about. Is this the technology revolution where jobs will be scarce? I guess only time will tell, but if that is the case, how are people going to earn a living to afford these self-driving vehicles, or will we soon be dependent on companies who own large fleets of self-driving vehicles to take us where we want to go? Maybe they will teach the vehicles how to self install snow chains? Now, I am game for that one.
Are the insurance companies behind this huge push for self-driving technology in order to save on the bottom line? Or is this just technology soaring way too fast? Automation has been on the uprise for generations and will continue way into the future, especially with drivers so distracted these days by other forms of technology. Reducing crashes and saving lives is really the bottom line.
As for the ‘Big Rigs’ currently, the self driving trucks are only designed to be utilized on highways and not surface streets. Truck drivers will still need to be present to navigate once the truck leaves the interstate and travels to its destination. Drivers will still be needed.
Personally, I am still not convinced that self-driving technology will not have its downfalls with failure of electronic components, and job loss. Look at all the recalls we’ve had in the past several years; all of the failed or inferior components being installed on vehicles. I remember my mom telling us as children that she once used to read about space ships and landing on the moon when she was younger. During her time as a child it was far fetched. Well, we all know that became reality in our life time, so I guess you could say, this in not far fetched anymore. Visions do become reality. Just look around you. Happy Motoring
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.
There’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.
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!”
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 House, 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.
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 you 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.
AIRBAG THEFT AND FRAUD:
DEFLATING A GROWING CRIME TREND
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.
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.
IF YOU SUSPECT INSURANCE FRAUD OR THEFT, SPEAK UP! CALL THE NICB
TOLL-FREE HOTLINE…1.800.TEL.NICB (1.800.835.6422). YOUR CALL IS FREE.
YOUR CALL CAN BE ANONYMOUS. YOU COULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR A REWARD.