Community: National Motorcycle Ride Day

National Motorcycle Ride Day rolls around every year on the second Saturday in October. To celebrate, we asked motorcycle enthusiasts to share photos of their favorite bike rides or routes. We selected four winners to receive a $25 gift card for their photo:

Ross H. – Wizard Island at Crater Lake

10-10-2016-3-11-47-pm

John S. – Devil’s Tower, Wyoming

57f952b8ef95a63193a6c9e9

Dave M. – Pig Trail, Arkansas

57f79afaef95a62cc5b74521

Rich N. – Mount Rushmore

57f67f65ef95a65e96a8f856

See below for more photos of riders and their beloved bikes:

Car Shocks: How They’ve Gotten Better Over the Years

“Float like a Cadillac, sting like a bimmer.” That may not have been the original phrase, coined by Muhammad Ali, but automotive enthusiasts like the pun. Cadillacs are luxurious to ride in, and BMWs inspire confidence when the roads get twisty. All thanks to the modern suspension system.

Cars have come a long way over the past century or so, especially when it comes to how they handle. Let’s take a look at just how far.

car shocks

Source: theoldmotor.com

Early Shock Absorbers

Have you ever heard the phrase “This thing rides like a buckboard?” Similar to many of today’s pickup trucks, early suspension setups utilized leaf springs, several layers of steel sheets that are shackled together to create a spring. Leaf springs are still used in a lot of off-road or heavy-duty applications because of their rugged nature and ability to suspend heavy loads. A smooth ride? It’s not their strong suit.

The first shock absorbers were much different than what you’ll find on your car today. While today’s units are tubular in design and house a piston that moves through hydraulic fluid, the first shock absorbers were merely a lever with rubber pads between the frame and the leaf spring. The first cars to employ this setup were said to provide a “magnificent” ride — try one today and your kidneys would likely disagree.

Today’s Shock Absorbers

Depending on what kind of car you drive, you’ve either got shock absorbers or struts. Struts are basically the same thing as shocks but are part of a different setup and are generally used on front-wheel-drive cars. The MacPherson Strut, named after the General Motors engineer who invented them, are housed inside a coil spring and attached to the upper control arm of a front-wheel-drive car. In the rear, they’re also inside a coil spring and are bolted to the strut tower housing. Coil springs have been around since before 1800 and didn’t require lubrication like leaf springs did (to avoid getting squeaky), but they weren’t combined with a shock absorber inside the spring until MacPherson gave it a try.

The basic principle of the shock absorber has remained the same for decades. Monroe, a major manufacturer of shock absorbers, produced the first OE shocks in the 1930s. Today’s most advanced shocks utilize the same theory but use modern technology to enhance their versatility.

Typically, the piston within the shock housing or tube has small holes or passages in it that the oil is forced through as the piston moves through the tube. This dampens the up-and-down motion of the tires as you go over the road. The primary goal of the shock is to prevent your tire from leaving the ground. If it doesn’t do that, the ride gets really rough and the car becomes hard to control. Many of today’s shocks use multiple valves, electronics, or even magnetism to adjust how they behave over certain terrain or driver preferences. Does your car have sport mode? Pressing that button on a car that has adjustable suspension changes the way the valves in the shock respond, increasing the firmness of the ride and improving your cornering ability and control.

Some of the first cars to use electronics in how their suspension responded had sensors in the front bumper that would send a signal to adjust the ride from firm, medium, or soft, depending on road conditions. Today’s most recent innovation in shock technology can be found in the new 2017 Ford Flex. Similar to the early method, the Flex has sensors in the front area of the car that can react to poor road conditions like the dreaded pothole. The sensor will actually send a signal to the computer and lift the strut just enough to lift the tire off the ground, essentially passing over the pothole without spilling your morning coffee.

Whether you want to “float like a Cadillac” or “sting like a Bimmer,” many of today’s cars can serve up both with the push of a button, unless your shocks have gone bad. Most shock absorber manufacturers recommend replacing them at 50,000-mile intervals.

 

Have you had experience with some of the older shocks? Tell us about it in the comments!

Tuxlee Shares His Oil Change Tips

oil change tips

Hey, Tuxlee here. I’ve traveled to tons of Advance stores and automotive events, and one thing people always ask me about is changing their own oil. (My parents say I’ve done so many oil changes since I was a puppy that it turned my fur jet black—it’s a small badge of honor to me actually). I also hang out with some pretty knowledgeable people, and I’ve picked up a few tips over the years that will make your next DIY oil change a breeze, whether it’s your first time or if you’re on your 70th bottle.

My first tip is to buy a good pair of latex or nitrile gloves to keep your paws hands nice and clean. With the oil type, you have a few options on whether to go conventional, synthetic blend, or full synthetic (there’s also high mileage varations). I suggest you first stick with your car’s recommended oil viscosity—this is usually printed on your engine’s oil cap, or if not then in your owner’s manual—and then go from there. Conventional oil gets the job done, but synthetic oil lasts longer and performs better under heat and cold. I like both types, so you can read more about it here to see what works better for you.

Oil Change Tools and Supplies

Alright, you have your oil. You’ll need a few other supplies, all of which are sold at your local Advance store. P.S. You can get awesome deals on oil filters when you buy one of our oil change specials!

While you’re in the store, grab a free reminder decal to record the date and mileage of your next expected oil change. Or write it down in your car maintenance journal like I do.

•Oil filter
(Regular filters go with conventional oil, heavier duty filters pair better with synthetic oil)

•Oil filter wrench
(Some can get by using their hands or an old belt, but this is good to have)

•Oil drain plug gasket or crush washer
(Keeps leaky drips away)

•Oil drain pan
(So your oil doesn’t end up all over the driveway)

•Wrench for drain plug
(Look in your owner’s manual to find the size you need)

•Funnel
(For a smooth, no-mess pour. Trust me you’re going to need this)

•Rags
(To wipe off old oil and keep things neat)

•Safety glasses
(I don’t like barking out orders, but safety first!)

•Gloves
(Unless you want to look like a black Yorkipoo)

Oil Change Steps

Now you’re ready to give your car some tender love and oil!

1. Securely raise your vehicle on ramps or jack-stands (use a jack lift for the latter). Makes sure to put blocks behind your tires. If you can safely get under your vehicle without needing to raise it, then go for it.

oil change tips2. Warm up the engine for a couple minutes to get the oil warm (but not too long or the oil will be hot). Raise your hood and open the oil cap on top of your engine to let the old oil drain faster.

3. Get under the car and position your drain pan under the oil plug (account for the initial stream of oil shooting out further than directly under the plug).

4. Using your wrench, loosen the plug a few turns. Then finish loosening the plug with your hand, quickly pulling it away when the oil is starting to drain out. Be careful of hot motor oil (gloves help in this case).

5. Wipe the drain plug while the oil drains and inspect it for bent or broken threads. Replace the sealing washer if cracked or worn, or use a new metal crush washer if needed.

6. After the oil has drained (give it 10-30 minutes for a good drain if you have the time), wipe away oil residue from the oil pan and put the drain plug back in. Tighten it firmly, but don’t overdo it. Your owner’s manual will have the exact torque required.

Do me (and other animals) a favor, clean up oil leaks and don’t dispose of oil in your yard, streams, or waste-water drains. Your favorite Advance store will safely dispose of your used oil for free! Available at most of our 3,500 stores (unless prohibited by law).

7. Reposition your drain pan by the oil filter and remove it using your oil filter wrench (or hand if it will budge). Some wrenches work from the end, while others wrap around the filter.

8. If your filter still won’t budge, puncture it with a screwdriver at its lowest point to drain, then use the same screwdriver to spin off the filter. A little more oil will come out when you spin off the filter, so have your rags handy.

9. Apply a film of clean oil to the top of the new filter gasket. Then spin the filter on using only your hand. Go ¾ of a turn after you feel the gasket make contact with the engine after spinning it on.

oil change tips10. Double check the filter and drain plug for tightness, then fill your engine with the recommended viscosity and amount of motor oil. (Again, your owner’s manual will provide this).

11. Determine your oil level using the dipstick, then check for any leaks. Start the engine and check for leaks again. Bring used motor oils to Advance for proper disposal or recycling.

Well, that’s a wrap. You can now safely do your own oil change or you learned some tips. Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?!

Find satisfaction in knowing you’re taking good care of your car. Your car will be sure to return the favor! For more oil change tips and a helpful video, click here

Pennzoil Goes Off-Roading in Baja for Latest JOYRIDE Film

In the latest installment of their JOYRIDE film series, Pennzoil ventures to Baja California to test out the performance of their synthetic oil in the desert environment. With a focus on off-roading, the Baja edition features professional driver Rhys Millen behind the wheel of a souped-up Jeep Wrangler Rubicon as he takes on sand, dunes and rough terrain in temperatures exceeding 130° F.

The cinematic clip shows the Jeep and Millen tackling rocks and steep hills as engine oil temps creep past 200° F. The Jeep’s unyielding performance demonstrates the PurePlus™ Technology’s unsurpassed wear protection and excellent performance in extreme temperatures. Check out the full video below to see Rhys Millen and the Wrangler Rubicon in action.

Watch a behind-the-scenes clip to see what it took to film the video plus gain more insight into the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

The Tantalizing New Shelby Mustang Terlingua

Shelby Mustang Terlingua

What does Terlingua mean?
It’s pretty much common knowledge that Carroll Shelby was a fun-loving son-of-a-gun. Back in the 1960s, when he fielded a racing team with his buddies Bill Neale and Jerry Titus, Shelby and his Mustang mates would unwind at a large ranch in Terlingua, Texas. Hunting, riding dirt bikes and general hell-raising were the “R and R” activities of choice for these merrymaking men.

Jackrabbits were a common sight around the 200,000-acre ranch and gave rise to a mascot designed by Bill Neale for the racing team. And so the Jackrabbit logo, seemingly in a “Stop right there—you really don’t think you can beat us, do you?” pose, was born.

What’s a Shelby Mustang Terlingua?
In short, the Terlingua is the most track-focused Shelby Mustang you can get, that also pays tribute to that great 1960s racing team which won the 1967 Trans-Am championship. Sporting the iconic Jackrabbit on its fenders, the modern Terlingua is dressed in the black and yellow color scheme that the team primarily used back in the days when Sergeant Pepper and Pet Sounds were climbing the Billboard charts.

Shelby Mustang Terlingua Racing Team

Nostalgia aside, this ‘stang is chock-full of the latest race goodies. There are carbon fiber components aplenty, such as the hood, front splitter, rocker panels, rear spoiler, and rear diffuser.

Under that vented hood sits a supercharged, 5.0-liter V8, shared with the Shelby Super Snake Mustang, which sends “over 750 horsepower” to the pavement via either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Suspension tweaks include adjustable Eibach coil-overs, camber/caster plates, and lightweight 20-inch Weld wheels. Stopping power is adequately fortified with 6-piston front/4-piston rear Brembo brakes.

Shelby Mustang Terlingua
Interior highlights include added gauges for boost and oil pressure, unique headrests, and a plaque signed by Shelby, Neile, and Titus. Racing seats are optional.

Under that vented hood sits a supercharged, 5.0-liter V8, shared with the Shelby Super Snake Mustang, which sends “over 750 horsepower” to the pavement.

Track time
We put the Terlingua through its paces at Spring Mountain Ranch race track, which is about 60 miles west of Las Vegas. For comparison purposes (and to show off the rest of their fun-loving Mustang lineup), the Shelby folks also had a couple of Super Snake Mustangs on hand, on which the Terlingua is based, as well as a Shelby GT Mustang EcoBoost. Keep in mind these are all ultra-high performance versions of Ford’s already capable Mustang, with plenty of power underfoot and sharpened-up handling to go with it. And yet the Terlingua quickly showed itself to be the top track jock of the group.

Once we were comfortable with the circuit, the pace quickened, and we found that the Terlingua was very well-planted and confident when being caned around the track. The well-weighted, communicative steering and buttoned-down suspension allowed us to consistently pick off apexes with surgical precision. Even when running through a slight rise and dip in the track while approaching one of the first turns, this Shelby didn’t wiggle or waver off line.

Blasting out of the corners and down the straights in this well-behaved beast was effortless, thanks to the linear delivery of the tidal-wave of thrust on tap. Those brawny Brembos chipped in as well, allowing us to brake late and hard, time and again with no fade, as we dove aggressively into the turns.

Shelby Mustang Terlingua
Want one?
With a production run of just 75 total cars, of which 50 are slated for the U.S., the Shelby Terlingua Mustang will be a rare sight indeed. Pricing starts at $65,999, but that’s on top of the cost of a new 2015/2016 Mustang GT, meaning you’re at about $100 grand minimum.

For those lucky few who pony up (sorry) for a Mustang that can go head to head on a road course with European thoroughbreds that are three times the price, we salute you. The rest of us will be watching videos of your epic track days on YouTube.

Car + Culture: Going Off-Road in Albuquerque

Sometimes the best roads are just outside your doorstep. For off-roaders, the outdoors is an adventure zone, a place to test their vehicle’s chops and explore places few people get to see. For a select few, 4x4ing is more than that—it’s about community.

In our first Car + Culture video, we follow Jennifer as she and her club, the New Mexico 4Wheelers, work together to take on some of New Mexico’s tough terrain.

Jennifer took the time to talk with us about her experience growing up as an off-roader and some tips for those just getting started.

Advance: How long have you been off-roading?

Jennifer: My grandfather first got me interested with an off-road go-kart, and then I got into any type of car or truck when I was very young. I have been out in the forest and backcountry since I was a teen, with motorcycles and ATV’s and then 4-wheel-drive trucks. I got more involved when I got a Hummer and joined a club. 

What’s your favorite part of off-roading?

My favorite thing is getting to places that most people will not ever see or visit. It’s about enjoying and seeing so many interesting things and learning about the history of our country, and then continuing to learn more technical driving skills. 

You talk about respecting the land, how do you live that in your off-roading?

I respect our world by always setting a good example with picking up trash, cans, and tires to recycle every time I am out. I also help block illegal bypasses that get created so others don’t continue to use them when they should not. I participate with other clubs with clean-up projects and encourage others to join in. Of course, I always follow the Tread Lightly Principles.

Can you tell us about your club?

New Mexico 4-Wheelers has been around since 1958. It was originally know as the New Mexico Jeep Herders, but they changed and logo changed 20+ years ago. The group was started by some Jeep people who lived in the area back in 1958. I joined the club in March 2012 just two days after moving to Albuquerque, and I’ve been the program chair, trip chair, and currently president of the club as of August 2016.

We have 96 member families, or 165 people. But this doesn’t include the many children (or dogs!) who participate with us.

Looks like you have a great community. Can you tell us about it?

We are all out there to have a good time and with the variety of 4×4’s different skill and comfort levels it allows for everyone to be safe and still have fun. Our group welcomes new people and we try to coach them if needed.  

Got any good stories about having to fix your car out on the trail?

The worst breakdown I had was a very large slash in my tire, it was the inside tire on a shelf road with very steep grades on both sides with little room to walk around to pull the tire and put the spare on. There was plenty of help and someone around to get a photo immediately!

What’s your favorite route in Albuquerque?

It’s just north of Albuquerque, the Jemez Mountains, I like to go on any of the trails after leaving Jemez Pueblo and following the mountain road through Gilman, NM and the old railroad tunnels there. At that point you are in the forest with a variety of routes to take up and around the mountains.

Any tips for people who want to get into off-roading?

We have many people that come out after purchasing a new 4×4 and they start asking about tires, lift kits, gearing, all the recovery gear, and camping gear. There are lots of places and catalogs to buy accessories and there are lots of varieties of trails so we encourage people to try them before spending lots of additional money on their rigs. They may be happy with just some better off road tires, or they may enjoy rock crawling and want to go to very large tires.

My best tip would be find someone who will take you out for a ride and/or let you drive their 4×4 and see what types of trails you like. Find a club, because everyone will be willing to share what they have done or are in process of doing to their rigs.

How do people find out more about your club?

Visit our website at www.nm4w.org

 

Thanks for sharing, Jennifer!

 

Top 5 Collector Cars at the Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance

Every year, the Boca Raton Resort and Club plays host to the Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance. This exclusive event highlights and displays an incredible array of antique automobiles and motorcycles, many of which can usually only be found in small private collections or tucked away in garages for safekeeping.

Some models—such as the 1965 Chevrolet Corvette on display by owner Carlo Leonardo of Boca Raton—have been discovered under tarps and other forgotten locations. Leonardo’s Corvette lay hidden for 30 years before making an appearance. Others have been in the family since the day they were first purchased.

While we wouldn’t have turned down a ride in any of these rare and beautiful vehicles, these were hands-down our favorites.

Winner of Essence of Design, Rolling Sculpture, and Timeless Elegance

1938 Talbot T23 TearDrop Coupe

1938 Talbot T23 TearDrop Coupe: Owned by Paul Bloch of Miami Beach, FL
Image via Flickr by German Medeot

The T23 is considered by automotive experts to be the ultimate demonstration of French automotive design during the 1930s. Designed by Figoni et Falaschi, only five of these incredibly beautiful and aerodynamic automobiles were ever built. Each is powered by a 4.0-liter (3,996 ccs) 115 brake horsepower six-cylinder engine that features twin carburetors and hemispherical combustion chambers. One of these cars sold at auction for Sotheby’s in 2012 for over $2.6 million.

Winner of Foreign Sports Open Through 1959 Excellence in Class

1958 Porsche Speedster

1958 Porsche Speedster: Owned by Thomas Zarella of Gloucester, MA Image via Flickr by Griot’s Garage

The Porsche 356 was the first production automobile built by this legendary German automaker, and it was produced from 1948 to 1965. The Speedster version was introduced late in 1954 and was a more minimalist, lower-cost version of the 356 that sported a lower windshield and racing-style bucket seats. Produced until 1958, these formerly “entry-level” 356s have since become the darling of 356 enthusiasts who prize the car for its sleeker look and racing-oriented personality.

American Classic Open 1925-1934 Excellence in Class

1930 Duesenberg Model J

1930 Duesenberg Model J: Owned by Stephen Plaster of Lebanon, MO
Image via Flickr by Ryan and Amy

This design was the first to roll off the production lines at Duesenberg after the company was purchased out of bankruptcy court. Errett Loban Cord, the buyer of the company, set out to save the brand and restore it to its former glory. To purchase one of these cars meant spending at least $8,500 for the chassis alone (over $90,000 in today’s money), and then thousands more for the body and interior, which were installed by a third party.

The Model J featured a straight-eight engine with twin cams and four valves per cylinder. This engine produced an amazing 265 horsepower, an ouput unheard of for any car in its time.

Winner of American Muscle Open 1960-1975 Best in Class

1969 Dodge Coronet R/T Convertible

1969 Dodge Coronet R/T Convertible: Owned by Scott Garber of Weston, FL
Image via Flickr by Greg Gjerdigen

The 1969 Dodge Coronet R/T was a mid-size powerhouse made between 1967 and 1970. While the less-expensive Super Bee version came with a 383 c.i. V8 under the hood, the R/T model came standard with a massive 440 c.i. Magnum V8 engine. The 440 Magnum was rated at an impressive 375 hp and came attached to a three-speed TorqueFlite automatic or a four-speed manual gearbox. Even more power was available via the 440 “Six Pack” (featured triple two-barrel carburetion) and 426 Hemi engine options, which made 390- and 425-horsepower, respectively.

Winner of American Muscle Closed 1960-1975 Best in Class

1967 Chevrolet L88 Corvette

A pair of very rare Corvettes: a yellow 1969 ZL1 and a white 1967 L88. The L88 is owned by Dr. Richard Workman of Windermere, FL Image via Flickr by mashleymorgan

The 1967 L88 Corvette is one of the most desirable Corvettes ever made, as only 20 of these track-ready cars were ever manufactured. The concept behind the L88 was to produce a car that could provide unrivaled performance on the racetrack. The L88 came with a 427 c.i. V8 engine that GM intentionally under rated at 430 hp; dyno testing actually showed them to be capable of producing 560 hp with the stock 4-barrel 850 cfm carburetor. From the factory, the L88 came with 12.5:1 compression and a hi-lift camshaft, along with aluminum heads and a Muncie M22 “rock crusher” manual gearbox.

The 1967 L88 Corvette is one of the most desirable Corvettes ever made.

The Legacy Continues

The Concours d’Elegance consistently receives hundreds of qualified entries from across the nation, year after year. All event proceeds are donated to the Boys and Girls Club of America, and are used to help children living in Broward County. According to event organizers, this event was able to raise more than $8.5 million for this cause in the first nine years.

Interested in attending next year’s event? The 2017 Concours d’Elegance will take place over February 10-12. Check here for the save the date and here for the automobile entry criteria.

ED NOTE: For those of you who can’t get enough of collector and antique cars, check out the Barrett Jackson auction.

Advance Dads: Steve Reeves Tells Us About His Stepfather

Most of us look to our dads or father figures for guidance throughout life. If you were lucky, your dad made sure you were handy with a wrench and socket set too. Many of our Team Members were raised by car guys who taught their kids to do regular vehicle maintenance while they were learning their times tables.

To celebrate Father’s Day this year, we’re taking a look at what our fathers or father figures taught us about cars. Visit our Facebook page for more Team Member profiles.

This is Steven Reeves. He’s a Parts Pro at our store in Emporia, Virginia. Steve took a moment to tell us about his stepfather.

What kinds of vehicles did you work on with your stepfather?

We worked on all makes and models. A ’73 Vega, ’88 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS, ’85 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, and ’87 Chevy Camaro RS.

'84 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

’84 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

Can you share a life lesson he taught you?

I learned many things from my stepfather over the years, but I think one of the most important things I learned was that if you take care of your customers the right way every time, they will continue to take care of you through comeback work, referrals, and just plain old word-of-mouth advertising.

What did he teach you about cars?

Steven's stepfather, Donnie, in the '70s

Steven’s stepfather, Donnie, in the ’70s

My stepfather taught me a lot about cars. Over the years ever since I was a little boy, he always had me around the shop. He was an Auto Body Repair Specialist and was well known and highly regarded as one of the best from our area. He taught me all the ins and outs of auto body repair from pulling and filling dents, sanding, priming, fiberglass work, glass work, welding and painting. He taught me there were always two ways to fix a car: the cheap way and the right way. He always frowned upon the cheap way. Growing up I didn’t always realize what I was being taught. It wasn’t until later in life that I figured out that he was teaching me a whole lot more besides cars. He was teaching me responsibility, care, and desire. I always enjoyed working with him and learning new things.

He taught me there were always two ways to fix a car: the cheap way and the right way.

If you have kids, did you/will you teach them about cars?

I have four children: 2 daughters of my own and 2 stepsons. Their ages range from 10-17. I always try and teach them something about the cars we have, even if it’s just how to change the oil, check the tire pressure or how to add antifreeze. I think it’s important to try to instill some automotive skills in your children so that they understand the importance of taking care of a car.

Anything else you want to tell us about your stepfather?

Steven’s stepfather, Donnie, in the mid-’90s

My stepfather was a better man than I ever realized. Only after he passed away in 2012 did I realize how good of a man and father he was. I took many things for granted when growing up. But after I was grown and matured I realized what he really stood for and that was Integrity and Family. I truly miss him more now than I ever thought possible and not a day goes by that I don’t think about him or wish I could give him a call to ask him something.

Advance Dads: Tamekia Richardson’s Dad Had Some Tricks Up His Sleeve

Most of us look to our dads or father figures for guidance throughout life. If you were lucky, your dad made sure you were handy with a wrench and socket set too. Many of our Team Members were raised by car guys who taught their kids to do regular vehicle maintenance while they were learning their times tables.

To celebrate Father’s Day this year, we’re taking a look at what our fathers or father figures taught us about cars. Visit our Facebook page for more Team Member profiles.
Tamekia_Richardson3This is Tamekia Richardson. She’s General Manager at our store in Shreveport, Louisiana. Here’s her story about how her dad, Robert London, taught her about cars.

What vehicles did you work on with your dad?

1980 Cutlass, ’69 Nova, ’79 ford, ’88 Camaro, tractors, and 1960-present day Chevys.

What did he teach you about cars?

My dad was always working on somebody’s car. We lived in the country, and I was the middle child. My older sister and my younger brother were the tool holders, and we were the ones to collect all the screws, nuts, and bolts. We got to help pull the engines out with a chain horse over a tree limb. Those were the best days.

Tamekia Richardson with her dad, Robert London

He always told us if you are going to drive a car you need to know how to fix it. People will charge you a lot to fix a small problem, so he taught us about the upkeep. We spent most summer days outside in the yard working on cars with him. He had a race car that we broke down and put back together at least 30 times.

My sister went on to work at General Motors and has been there for 25 years. I am here at Advance—just made 5 years. My brother and dad still work on tractors and cars.

He always told us if you are going to drive a car you need to know how to fix it. People will charge you a lot fix a small problem, so he taught us about the upkeep.

Can you share a life lesson he taught you?

I got my first car in 1990. It was a 1980 Cutlass Supreme, and my dad would let me drive to school on one condition. See, we lived in the country and walked about a half mile to the bus stop every morning. When I got the car he said, you can drive it if you can fix it. So every morning my dad would get up before us and go out and unhook something like spark plug wires or take the battery cable end off. Needless to say that if I did not get it fixed, I had to run and catch the bus.

The ultimate one was when he took off the distributor cap and put a piece of cardboard in between so it would not fire. I looked all over until I noticed fingerprints on the cap. I pulled it up and there was the cardboard. I got the car started. After that he said, I think you will be okay driving. He never did that again until my younger brother started driving.

Tamekia Richardson with her dad, Robert London

Did you teach your kids about cars?

Yes. I have four kids, and my sons, ages 20 and 24, can break down and rebuild an engine. However, my 11-year-old son is a car fanatic. He loves to build model cars and designs cars on his laptop with the paint program using only his fingertips. He and my husband go to all the car shows: classic cars, race cars, and all cars. My husband also works on cars and I love the fact that I sometimes know more than him thanks to my dad, the greatest dad ever, Mr. Robert London.

Tamekia_Richardson5

Robert London

Anything else you want to tell us about your dad?

We lost our mom in 1998 at 41 years of age, and it was just our dad and us after that. He is one great person. We go to church together every Sunday, and he comes over and loves to take over when my husband is working on something. He has a heart of gold and is teaching the same automotive class to my kids and their friends today in 2016.