The Auto Shop | Contact Us
Set an Appointment | blog

Unusual Driving Laws

January 10th, 2010

The Weird And Wacky Of Road Laws

By: Craig Howie – AOL Autos


Some antiquated state driving laws are flat-out crazy. Got a housecoat? If you’re a woman, it’s illegal to wear one while driving in California. But what about modern rules of the road that seem very unusual and can still result in a hefty fine?


We’ve collated some of the more irregular and disputed road laws from around the nation and have included, at the end, some of the more bizarre contributions that have kept our roads the safest in the world. Ahem.


Driving too Slowly

In some states, including California, a dawdling motorist can be cited for driving too slowly. Police Officer Pete Kim of the California Highway Patrol says that while it’s not common, you could get a ticket if, “you’re blocking traffic or creating a road hazard on the freeway.” He mentions a couple reasons why someone would drive that slowly. The car could be suffering engine trouble or the driver could be impaired, for example. Both will likely attract the attention of a police officer.


Drivers on city or rural roads are not exempt, says Police Officer Kim. He adds, “Just about anywhere, if you’re in the middle of an intersection or on a regular two-lane street and the speed limit is 45 [mph] and you’re doing 10 [mph] for no good reason, you can be cited for impeding traffic.”


Slow driving laws are enforced in most states, including Florida, Nevada, Alaska and Hawaii, where tourists can be most at risk from the police scanner. You should also beware of rubbernecking accidents or police lights, which, while non-ticketable in most cases, doesn’t particularly help traffic cops do their jobs.


Red-Light Running

Garland, Texas motorist Noel Hillis was ticketed by cameras earlier this month for running a red light. He told local station CBS11 that he crossed the stop line as the light was turning red, but that at his hearing the police officer gave him a different characterization of the stop line. The police officer says the stop line is a lateral line parallel to the curb of the cross street or, “ten feet farther out than where it actually starts.” Texas law states that the violation line is at the stop line before the crosswalk.


The editor of road campaign site, a businessman and activist who requested anonymity, tells AOL Autos, “The law, as I understand it, is that you’re okay to proceed across the line if you can get any bit of your car ahead of the line. Typically the limit line is the first line you come to if there’s a crosswalk — which are sometimes surprisingly wide — so the crosswalk can end up being 10 to 15 feet from the curbs of the crossing street. Somebody looked at the pictures and realized that cities were using an imaginary line, sometimes that of the curb, that you have to get part of your car over to not get a ticket, an extra 12-foot zone.”


The governor of Texas has said he will sign a bill later this year to clear up confusion after scores of motorists’ complaints concerning crossing of violation lines, which is usually a civil offense.


Animals and Cars

London couple Yisroel Singer, 26, and his wife Goldie, 25, say they were the victims of a “cultural misunderstanding” after they were arrested and held in New York several years ago. They had left their six-month-old daughter in the car while they went to Green Acres mall. They said nobody in Britain would condemn their actions, but under U.S. law, they faced a sentence of one year for child endangerment if they were found guilty. The case was eventually dropped.


Now it’s illegal in many states to leave an animal alone in a car, and with good reason. The Animal Law Coalition points out that, even with the vehicle’s windows left slightly open, an outside temperature of 85 degrees can cause a temperature of 102 degrees inside a vehicle within 10 minutes, and 120 degrees within half of an hour. As dogs breathe differently from humans, their central nervous systems can be overwhelmed in less than 15 minutes from excessive heat.


California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger last year signed into law Bill SB1806, which bans owners from leaving animals unattended in a motor vehicle “under conditions that endanger the health or well being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.” First-time violators are fined $100, with a second offense garnering a possible six-month jail term.


Also remember, smoking with children of car-seat age in the car will draw you heat in Texas, Vermont, Washington, Arkansas and Louisiana among others. As of yet, there is no law about smoking with pets in the car.


Carpool Violations

Several states face the thorny issue of their carpool lanes moving too slowly. Some carpoolers have accused single-occupant hybrid drivers of soft-pedaling to save gas. But from California to the D.C. Beltway, it seems the sheer volume of cars using the carpool lanes has slowed the lanes enough to almost destroy the incentive of car-pooling or owning a hybrid car.


California is considering allowing motorists to exit and enter the carpool lane at will, when previously crossing the double yellow was an offense. The state transportation agency has warned against increasing the occupancy of carpool cars from two to three in Los Angeles, like it is in San Francisco.


Beware that buying an easily recognizable hybrid such as a Prius now does not mean automatic rights to use the carpool lane, at least in the Golden State. This is something police officers are well aware of given the recent shortage of available hybrid permits. The black market for scarce carpool lane exemptions has put up to a $5,000 premium on sales of used Prius that carry the exemption sticker.


The Ridiculous

An assortment of seemingly crazy state driving laws exists and can be found easily across the internet. Most of these examples are sourced from newspapers and come from the site, whose editors did not respond to a call for comment.

- In California, no vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour.
- In Florida, if an elephant, goat or alligator is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.
- In Montana, it is illegal to have a sheep in the cab of your truck without a chaperone.
- In Oregon, a door on a car may not be left open longer than necessary.
- In Tennessee, it is illegal shoot any game other than whales from a moving automobile.

- Good luck finding a whale in Tennessee!

Maintaining a Positive Attitude at Work

January 6th, 2010

If you want to become or remain a positive force in the workplace, you need a strategy. Follow the suggestions below to get yourself on the way:

  • Ask three people you consider positive forces how they maintain their attitudes
  • Survey your use of language, and change it when necessary. This includes inner talk and outer talk. Change your negative words and thoughts into positive ones.
  • Surround yourself with as many positive people as possible.
  • Appreciate yourself. Accept yourself for who you are, not who you ought to be.
  • Don’t worry about something that has already happened. If there is a lesson to be learned, learn it and move on.
  • Accept that you are going to make mistakes.
  • For one entire day, commit yourself to using all of your energy to be positive.
  • Realize that how you feel about something is your choice.
  • Take charge of your life, and give yourself credit when you do.

 Adapted from The 6 Success Strategies for Winning at Life, Love & Business by Wolf J. Rinke 


What’s Next in Line for Us? September 2009

November 4th, 2009

 What is next in line for us…

The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775 - they’ve had 234 years to get it right; it is broke, and even though heavily subsidized, it can’t compete with private sector FedEx and UPS services.

Social Security was established in 1935 - they’ve had 74 years to get it right; it is broke.

Fannie Mae was established in 1938 - they’ve had 71 years to get it right; it is broke. Freddie Mac was established in 1970 - they’ve had 39 years to get it right; it is broke. Together Fannie and Freddie have now led the entire world into the worst economic collapse in 80 years.

The War on Poverty was started in 1964 - they’ve had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our hard earned money is confiscated each year and transferred to “the poor”; it hasn’t worked.

Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965 - they’ve had 44 years to get it right; they are both broke; and now our government dares to mention them as models for all US health care.

AMTRAK was established in 1970 - they’ve had 39 years to get it right; last year they bailed it out as it continues to run at a loss!

This year, a trillion dollars was committed in the massive political payoff called the Stimulus Bill of 2009; it shows NO sign of working; it’s been used to increase the size of governments across America, and raise government salaries while the rest of us suffer from economic hardships. It has yet to create a single new private sector job.

Our national debt projections (approaching $10 trillion) have increased 400% in the last six months.

“Cash for Clunkers” was established in 2009 and went broke in 2009 - - after 80% of the cars purchased turned ouut to be produced by foreign companies, and dealers nationwide are buried under bureaucratic paperwork demanded by a government that is not yet paying them what was promised.

So with a perfect 100% failure rate and a record that proves that each and every “service” shoved down our throats by an over-reaching government turns into disaster, how could any informed American trust our government to run or even set policies for America’s health care system - - 17% of our economy?

Maybe each of us has a personal responsibility to let others in on this brilliant record before 2010, and then help remove from office those who are voting to destroy capitalism and destroy our grandchildren’s future.

Auto Bailout Vs. the Alternative

April 6th, 2009

Kathleen Chester wrote:

Toronto – We can all debate the merits of a government bailout for the Big Three Automakers until we are blue in the face, but what we sometimes fail to see are the facts that surround that debate. Whether we like it or not, our opinions are largely based on water cooler banter and conflicting news reports from multiple news agencies pushing their agendas and leading us to ignore some of the deeper, true meanings behind the debate. I will ask you to push aside any bias you may have against American made new & used cars and take a look at those facts and try and come to a conclusion based reason and fact.

Fact: We are no longer driving our fathers used cars.

· The big three have made great strides towards producing cleaner, greener and more fuel efficient vehicles in the last 15 years and are continuing to invest in environmental technologies for our new and used cars.

· Used cars that are made in America and Canada, provide hundreds of thousands jobs in the auto trader market today.

Fact: The U.S. congress has the greatest deficit in history.

· They continue to hold the auto maker’s feet over the fire while they bailout companies such as AIG to the tune of 150 billion.

· These are the same companies that are responsible for the worldwide economic crisis and the automakers can’t get 25 billion “Loan”.

· The new and used cars from an auto trader are responsible for millions of dollars being pumped into our economy. Can AIG or any of the others say the same?

Fact: The job tree starts with manufacturing and the Auto Industry

· Every 1 job in the auto industry supports 7.5 more jobs in supporting industries

Fact: The auto industry should be found guilty.

· Guilty of paying decent wages and benefits to its members

· Guilty of employing millions of Canadians and Americans while other companies are outsourcing all their jobs overseas

· Guilty of pumping money into the economy

· Guilty of being the last great patriotic companies left in North America

CNN Headline News did a short news listing regarding Ford and GM’s contributions to the relief and recovery efforts in New York and Washington during the 9/11 crisis. The findings were as follows…..

1. Ford- $10 million to American Red Cross matching employee contributions of the same number plus 10 Excursions to NY Fire Dept. The company also offered ER response team services and office space to displaced government employees.

2. GM- $10 million to American Red Cross matching employee contributions of the same number and a fleet of vans, SUVs’, and trucks.

3. Daimler Chrysler- $10 million to support of the children and victims of the Sept. 11 attack.

4. Harley Davidson motorcycles- $1 million and 30 new motorcycles to the New York Police Dept.

5. Volkswagen- Employees and management created a Sept 11 Foundation, funded initial with $2 million, for the assistance of the children and victims of the WTC.

6. Hyundai- $300,000 to the American Red Cross.

7. Audi- Nothing.

8. BMW- Nothing.

9. Daewoo- Nothing.

10. Fiat- Nothing.

11. Honda- Nothing Despite boasting of second best sales month ever in August 2001.

12. Isuzu- Nothing.

13. Mitsubishi- Nothing.

14. Nissan- Nothing.

15. Porsche- Nothing Press release with condolences via the Porsche website.

16. Subaru- Nothing.

17. Suzuki- Nothing.

18. Toyota-Nothing despite claims of high sales in July and August 2001. Condolences posted on the website

So, next time you’re around the water cooler debating the merits of American and Canadian new and used cars to buy or the Big Three bailout program with your colleagues, please try and remember that home grown business has multiple benefits that aren’t always easy to see from the exterior. The Big Three auto makers are the backbone of our countries fiber and economy and assisting them during these turbulent times will have benefits that will last long after AIG has paid out all its executive bonuses.

Extended Warranties - Are they worth it?

February 14th, 2009

I will admit, every time that I am offered an extended warranty, I always wonder if I should buy it.

Well, it is only for a fleeting second that I wonder.

I do not ever recall having purchased an extended warranty for anything except for the one time that I returned my second water heater for my home within less than two years The warranty contract promised to pay for the labor to replace the water heater (should it go out again).

On the subject of extended warranties for your car, I have yet to find one that is as good as we hope for it to be.

Most warranty companies provide coverage for things that usually don’t break and provide no coverage for the things that do break. Or if they have coverage, there are exclusions and exceptions that allow the warranty company to deny coverage.

This past week we had a client’s vehicle in that had died while driving.

No big deal (so we thought), we sent a tow truck and got it in the shop. Our technician diagnosed the car and the client was called. Our client let us know that he had an extended warranty and asked if we would call them for him.

The warranty company asked us to get the repair and maintenance history.  They said that they should cover the repair as long as the timing belt did not break, causing the internal engine damage. They sent out an inspector who agreed that the timing belt was intact and wondered why he had been called out to look at the vehicle, especially since it was here at The Auto Shop. The warranty company knew us and our reputation. Usually inspectors don’t get sent here.

The warranty company stated the next day: that since there was no proof that the timing belt had been replaced at the manufacturers recommended interval of 80,000 miles and the vehicle now has 87,000 miles on the odometer, that the vehicle was not maintained according to the manufacturers recommendations. They had no responsibility for these repairs.

They denied the claim. And they denied it because of a lack of paperwork.

Please bring your car or truck in for an inspection along with your warranty contract so that we can make sure that this does not happen to you.



Plano Auto Service Provider Warns About GPS Units and Mobile Phones

January 17th, 2009

A couple of weeks ago a client came into the shop and told me that someone she knew had their car broken into while they were at a football game.Their car was parked in the stadium parking lot.

Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money and a GPS which had been prominently mounted on the windshield.

When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen.

The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house. They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house.

The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean out the house. It would appear that they had brought a truck to empty the house of its contents.

I never thought of this…….
This lady has now changed her habit of how she lists her names on her mobile phone after her handbag was stolen.

Her handbag contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet, keys (think about everything that women carry in their purses).

Twenty minutes later when she called her husband, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, he said ‘I got your text asking about our PIN number and I’ve replied a little while ago. How did you forget it?’

When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn. The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text ‘hubby’ in the contact list and got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.

Moral of the lesson:
Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your Contact list.
Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc….

And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM the request by calling not sending it via a text.

Also, when you’re being text by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you don’t reach them, be very careful about going places to meet ‘family and friends’ who text you.

At The Auto Shop, we are always working to help to keep you safe even if it has nothing to do with your car. :-) Safe motoring,


Is that Hybrid Worth It?

July 4th, 2008

Be sure to check your math before trading in your car for a hybrid                 


With gas prices inching past $4 per gallon, you’re probably cursing that thirsty SUV or turbocharged roadster in the driveway. But would purchasing a more fuel-efficient car actually be worth it? We’ve simplified things and done the math for you — but the answer is far from simple. In Pictures: Are Hybrids Worth It?Because hybrids cost more than gasoline-powered models, it’s not necessarily cost effective to buy one, even when taking into account the money you’ll save on gas. But, if fuel costs continue to rise, the gas savings will make up the price difference — right? And what about conventional gasoline-powered models … is it worth it to go for the smaller, fuel-efficient vehicle instead of the one you have your heart set on? Keep reading to find out.

Do Try This At Home
We’re using an easy formula so that you can plug in your own figures. First, take the number of miles you drive in a year (we’re using 15,000, which the EPA says is average) and divide it by the car’s combined fuel economy (available at to calculate the number of gallons you’ll use in a year. Then, multiply that number by the cost per gallon (we’re using $3.96, the national average at press time, according to AAA) to calculate how much you’ll spend on gas in a year. Do these first two steps for each of the two models you’re comparing. To find out how many years it will take for a hybrid to pay for itself, divide the extra money you would spend buying the hybrid by the extra money you would spend on gasoline for the non-hybrid — et voila!

To Have and to Hybrid
Based on today’s gas prices, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid makes the most financial sense if you’re deciding between a hybrid and its gasoline-only counterpart. The base model starts at only $1,750 more than the conventional Mariner and should pay for itself in gas savings in just a little over two years. The Saturn VUE Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid will each start earning their keep in about five years.Hybrid sedans have better gas mileage than hybrid SUVs, but the sedans cost a lot more than their gas-only counterparts. For example, the Honda Civic Hybrid’s 42.2 mpg average fuel mileage will save you $600 per year, but its base price is almost $7,600 more than the conventional Honda Civic. You would have to drive the Civic Hybrid for at least 12.5 years to start seeing a return on your investment.Of course, we can’t forget the most popular hybrid — the Toyota Prius. Compared to the Honda Accord, a midsize gasoline-only sedan that costs a bit less, the Prius should take less than a year to make up for the price difference and will save you an additional $1,000 in gas costs.According to our calculations, the worst hybrid values are the GMC Yukon Hybrid, Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, which will each take at least 16 years to earn back the extra dollars they cost. In fact, the Yukon and Tahoe Hybrids cost nearly $15,000 more than the conventional models. The Malibu Hybrid will only save about $168 per year on gas, an increase that won’t easily make up for the hybrid’s nearly $2,800 price jump.

Conventional Costs
A lot of consumers are looking at fuel-efficient gas-only cars to save on gas. While that’s a good strategy, it pays to be realistic about how much you’ll actually save. Sporty drivers may be thinking twice about buying that costly BMW 3-Series and considering the 32 mpg MINI Cooper instead. The MINI will save you 10 miles per gallon, which translates to about $786 per year or $15.13 per week. Just make sure that $15 a week will make up for the MINI’s much smaller interior and cargo area.

You may also be considering dropping a large SUV for a midsize model. Opting for the Honda Pilot instead of the Chevrolet Tahoe will save over $478 in fuel per year. Still, the annual gas savings comes out to just $9.20 per week, which may not be enough to justify trading down. Likewise, the all-new Smart Fortwo’s excellent 36 mpg average fuel economy saves $311 per year in gas compared to the Honda Fit. However, the yearly gas savings only translates to about $5.99 per week, which may not be worth the trade-off — especially when taking into account that the Smart requires premium fuel.

Even when you think two cars are similar, it can still pay — literally — to take a closer look. Choosing the Honda Civic over the Honda Accord will still get you seating for five and plenty of convenience features. But the Civic will only save $273 per year on gas — $5.25 per week — so ask yourself if it’s worth losing the Accord’s sportier performance and nicer interior.

The Big Question
So, is going green worth it? The answer, as you may have learned by now, is that it all depends on what car you’re buying. The key is to choose wisely, consider your options carefully, and always take time to do the math.

Hybrid Avg. MPG Price Diff. Ann. Gas Svgs. Years to Pay Off
Mercury Mariner 32.2 $1,750 $772 2.3
Ford Escape 32.2 $2,740 $560 4.9
Saturn VUE 28.15 $2,920 $572 5.1
Lexus RX 400h 25.65 $3,880 $618 6.3
Nissan Altima 34.1 $6,840 $892 7.7
Toyota Highlander 26.1 $6,033 $594 10.2
Toyota Camry 33.45 $6,630 $554 12
Honda Civic 42.25 $7,590 $601 12.6
Saturn Aura 27.6 $2,395 $168 14.2
GMC Yukon 21.45 $14,700 $886 16.6
Chevrolet Malibu 27.6 $2,795 $168 16.6
Chevrolet Tahoe 21.45 $14,960 $886 16.9

Lease or Buy?

July 3rd, 2008


Car leasing is a lot like renting an apartment; you pay a monthly fee to use it but don’t own it — and aren’t making payments toward ownership. The leased vehicle remains the property of the lessor — the company that issued the lease.

As with an apartment rental contract, car leasing will have a fixed period — typically two or three years. You’re obliged to make monthly payments for the length of the contract. While you can get out of the lease before then if you want to, there will typically be extra costs — for example, an “early termination charge” — typically spelled out in the car leasing contract you sign. And as is often the case with renting an apartment, you’ll likely have to put down some cash as “security deposit” at the lease inception. This money will be used to pay for any damages to the vehicle — such as door dings, stains on the seats, any needed service work, etc. — when you return it at the end of the car leasing term.A big advantage of car leasing is flexibility. You aren’t making a long-term commitment. Typically, car leasing is for a relatively short period, 2-3 years being the norm. The average new car loan, on the other hand, is five years. When the lease period is up, you can simply bring the car back and walk away. Or you can buy it if you like by paying off the remaining balance — called the “residual value” — which you’ll negotiate in advance at the time of lease inception.Or go shopping for a new car — or no car at all.

You have many choices.

Also, since you are only renting the car, your total cash outlay should be less. You won’t have to make as large a down payment (a security deposit and the first month’s payment are the typical initial out-of-pocket fees associate with car leasing) as you would if you were buying. And monthly lease payments are almost always less than payments would be if you bought the car. That means you’ll have more money left over to spend on other things.Or, if you prefer, you can “afford” to drive a more expensive car when you lease, since the monthly payments will be comparatively lower. This is one of the biggest single attractions of car leasing for many people. A car (or truck) that might cost you $500-$600 per month to buy might cost $100 per month less with car leasing.Another nice thing about car leasing is that you’re always driving a new or nearly new vehicle. And of course you don’t have to worry about the potentially expensive repair and/or maintenance problems that inevitably crop up as a car ages — and gets out of warranty. The leased car will typically be under factory warranty for the duration of the lease — and car leasing contracts often have add-on provisos that cover routine maintenance, such as oil changes, etc.

Car leasing may also have tax advantages for you — but this is something you’ll have to ask your accountant about. In the past, most people who did car leasing were those who used their vehicle for business, such as realtors — and who therefore could claim deductions for car leasing not available to those who purchased them outright.

Car leasing had the additional attraction of freeing up assets for investments and so on that would otherwise be locked into a depreciating asset — the person’s car or truck.There are downsides to car leasing, of course. Since you’re only making what amount to rental payments each month, you won’t have anything tangible to show for your money at the end of the lease. If you spend, say, $12,000 on car leasing payments (about $450 per month) over two years, that money is gone forever.A person who buys his vehicle, on the other hand, has the comfort of knowing that one day, it will be “paid for” and — assuming it is still in good shape at that point — will provide “free transportation” until it breaks down or the owner decides to get rid of it.

In addition, a person who owns his car has equity (cash value) in the car or truck. Even though it will continue to depreciate with each passing year, so long as it’s still serviceable transportation, it will always be worth something. That value can be used as a trade-in; or the vehicle can be sold privately to help raise money to pay for a new one — or for some other need.

The person who opts for car leasing must start from scratch every time.There’s also the mileage issue. If you decide on car leasing, your contract will typically stipulate the maximum number of miles you’re allowed before the end of the lease. If you exceed that figure, it can get expensive. Per-mile charges over the stated maximum listed in the car leasing contract are often exorbitant — so if you drive more than the allowed miles in the contract annually, leasing could turn out to be more expensive then you thought.The person who owns his car, meanwhile, can drive it as much as he wants, and do pretty much whatever he feels like with it, too. He can swap out the stereo, add different wheels and tires, change the exhaust system — whatever. Do this with a leased car and you’ll have to pay whatever if takes to put the car back the way it was. If you own your vehicle, the inevitable door dings and dents — as well as coffee stains on the seat — can also be shrugged off.

People who lease their vehicles, on the other hand, can expect to be charged for every nick, tear or spill at the end of the lease. The cost of these repairs will be deducted from the security deposit.

Car leasing is also more complex than buying so always closely read — and be sure you understand — every proviso of the lease contract before you sign. If you’re unclear about anything, get expert advice — or walk away.

Chevrolet’s Special ‘427 Limited Edition Z06′ Salutes Classic 427 Corvettes

February 16th, 2008


DETROIT – Chevrolet announced the 2008 Corvette 427 Limited Edition Z06, a limited-production model that pays homage to the big-block Stingray models of the mid-1960s. The 427 designation refers to the cubic-inch displacement for the highest-performance engines offered between 1966 and ‘69 – and is also the cubic-inch equivalent of the Z06’s 7.0L LS7 small-block V-8.

The 427 Limited Edition Z06 features a Crystal Red Tintcoat exterior, the first Z06 ever offered with a red metallic tintcoat paint. It also features graphics on the hood and fascia that evoke the style of the famed “stinger” hood design and graphics that were offered with 1967 models equipped with the 427 engine. Also unique to this model are “427″ hood badges. Each example is numbered and signed by Wil Cooksey, the Corvette assembly plant manager who is retiring after 15 years on the job, and comes with a certificate of authenticity.

“The heritage of the 427 designation with the Corvette is legendary,” said Harlan Charles, Corvette product manager. “Recognizing the tie-in of the original 427 engine and the LS7’s 427-inch displacement has been on the Corvette team’s mind since the Z06 was introduced, and we’re thrilled to express it in this special model.”

Available under order code Z44, this special Z06 enters production this spring. Only 427 will be offered in the United States and Canada, with 78 more exported outside North America. That’s a total of 505 production vehicles – the same number of horsepower produced by the LS7 engine.

The special-edition Corvette carries a MSRP of $84,195 and includes the 3LZ premium equipment package with a custom, leather-wrapped interior. A navigation system is the only option ($1,750). As with other Corvette models, customer delivery is available at the Corvette Museum, in Bowling Green, Ky.

A breakdown of the 427 Limited Edition Z06’s unique content includes:

* Crystal Red Tintcoat exterior paint with stinger-style graphics and 427 hood badges
* Exclusive, new chrome wheels
* Body-color rear spoiler and door handles
* Exclusive dark titanium custom leather-wrapped interior
* Special Crystal Red interior trim plate graphic pattern
* Console armrest signed and numbered by Wil Cooksey
* “427″-embroidered seats and floor mats
* “Z06″ sill plates

The 427 Limited Edition Z06 joins the Indy 500 Pace Car replica – available in coupe and convertible configurations – as the second limited-production Corvette model introduced for 2008, giving enthusiasts and collectors a wealth of choices. In January, Chevrolet also announced the 2009 Corvette ZR1, which enters production later this summer.

“There’s never been a better time to be a Corvette enthusiast,” said Charles. “The performance and refinement are exemplary and special editions, like the 427 model, enrich the heritage of America’s sports car.”

Corvette Z06 details

The Corvette Z06 that is the foundation for the 427 Limited Edition offers carefully executed levels of capability and technology, making it one of the best performance values on the market.

The Z06’s LS7 7.0L engine reintroduced the 427-cubic-inch engine to the Corvette lineup. It uses racing-derived lightweight technology, including titanium connecting rods and intake valves, to help boost horsepower and rpm capability – it is rated at 505 horsepower (377 kW).* The only transmission offered with the Z06 is a six-speed manual.

In the car’s 3,162-pound (1,437 kg) package, the LS7 engine helps deliver 0-60 mph performance of 3.7 seconds in first gear, quarter-mile times of 11.7 seconds at 125 mph and a top speed of 198 mph (as recorded on Germany’s Autobahn) – the Z06 also circuited Germany’s famed N ü rburgring racetrack in a time of 7:43.

The Z06 has a unique aluminum body structure for optimum stiffness and light weight for the fixed-roof body style. Perimeter rails are one-piece hydroformed aluminum members featuring cast suspension nodes, which replace many welded steel components on other Corvette models. Advanced structural composites featuring carbon fiber are bonded to the aluminum structure. Wider front wheelhouses, for example, are carbon composites and the passenger compartment floors combine carbon-fiber skins with an ultra-lightweight balsa wood core.

A firm, race-proven suspension works harmoniously with large 18 x 9.5-inch cast-spun aluminum wheels and 275/35ZR18 tires in the front, and 19 x 12-inch cast-spun aluminum wheels with 325/30ZR19 tires in the rear to achieve lateral acceleration of more than 1 g. Complementing the suspension system and large rolling stock is an equally capable four-wheel disc brake system, consisting of 14-inch (355 mm) vented and cross-drilled front rotors and 13.4-inch (340 mm) vented and cross-drilled rear rotors.


The front rotors are acted upon by large, red-painted six-piston calipers that use six individual brake pads. Individual brake pads are used because they deliver more equalized wear compared to what would otherwise be a pair of very long single-piece pads. For the rear brakes, four-piston calipers with four individual brake pads are used. A Delphi four-channel ABS system is standard, as is a very competent active handling system – complete with a Competitive Driving mode.

History of the Corvette and the 427 engine

The Chevrolet Mark IV V-8 debuted in the Corvette in 1965 and was dubbed the big-block, because it was physically larger in all respects than Chevy’s other V-8 engine, which became known as the small-block. In ‘65, the big-block was offered in a 396-cubic-inch displacement, with a maximum rating of 425 gross horsepower (317 kW). In 1966, the big-block received larger cylinder bores and grew to its legendary 427-cubic-inch form. It came in two power levels: 390 hp (291 kW) and 425 hp.

By 1967, the Corvette’s 427 engine was a legend in its own time and was offered with a unique induction system that featured an inline trio of two-barrel carburetors. Known as the “L71″ (its order code), it was characterized by a large, chrome triangular air cleaner assembly. It was rated at 435 gross horsepower (324 kW). The ‘67 big-block Corvettes were easily distinguished from their small-block brethren by a raised “stinger” hood.

A handful of Corvettes with the “L88″-code 427 engine slipped out of the factory in 1967, each rated at 430 horsepower (321 kW), but the L88 would be more closely associated with the redesigned 1968 and ‘69 models. The L88 breathed through a single four-barrel carburetor rather than the L71’s three two-barrels. The triple-carburetor induction system was still available, however, as the Corvette was offered with both the L88 and L71 versions of the 427.

No less than six versions of the engine were offered in 1969, the final year for the 427. They included the L88, the L71 and a very rare ZL1 427 that was built with a lightweight aluminum cylinder block. Only two regular-production Corvettes were built with the ZL1 engine, putting them on the short list of the most collectible Corvettes in history.

The big-block increased in size to 454 cubic inches in 1970, and the original big-block engine family exited the Corvette lineup after the 1974 model year. The 2008 Corvette Z06’s LS7 engine offers big-block displacement and horsepower, but in a more efficient small-block architecture.

[Source: GM via Corvette Blogger]

“Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later!”

February 3rd, 2008

Yes, that’s right and yes, you may have heard it before. I’m old enough to remember hearing it on a commercial for car maintenance many years ago. For some reason a lot of people are forgetting about it or maybe the younger kids have just never heard the saying or don’t really understand what it means.

Today’s average car payment is over $600.00 per month and the average length of payments is 78 months (that’s 6 ½ years!). At the same time, the warranty runs out at 3 years or 36,000 miles. This means that you run out of warranty before you run out of payments. However, I think that most people want their car to last longer than the payments, and you can as long as you maintain your vehicles properly.

Well, here it is in a nutshell:

The ONLY way that your car will outlast the payments is to do regular maintenance. Period!

That means you need to find a good, qualified, full service, repair shop in your area. Basically everything that needs to be done to your vehicle should be done at one place if possible and this does not include specialty shops either. They specialize in just one or two things, and can’t do everything your car needs. Specialty shops are just not trained to give you all that your car requires.

I recommend going to the same repair shop for everything.

Think about it for just a second, isn’t it great going someplace where they know you? Isn’t the service always just a little bit better than if it’s your first time? I know that in my experience, I love being a “Regular.” When I go to a restaurant a few times and get to know the wait staff, the manager or even better, the owner, the service is always better. The food even seems to be better than the first few times.

We have a couple of local restaurants, (no, not chains) that we go to and are considered “Regulars.”

The owners will try to seat us themselves and if they’re busy when we come in, they always come over to our table to greet us. We don’t even look at the menu. Usually it’s a short greeting and they will ask us what we are in the mood for. Most of the time they whip up something that’s not even on the menu and it’s always incredible! Now what in the world does this have to do with your car?

Being a “Regular” in a repair shop works the same way. If you only come in once or twice you will get good service. Come in several times and you get better service.

If we know that you bring your car to us for everything you are one of the reasons that we get up in the morning.

When you have issues, they become our issues. Our best clients have my personal cell number. I don’t ever want them to worry about being stuck without wheels.

It’s simply human nature. We want to take care of the people that take care of us.

Take a look at our website for information about “Finding a Good Repair Shop”:

Now that you have found “your” repair shop, bring your car into that shop at least 3 to 4 times per year. Get the oil changed every 3,000 – 4,000 miles. While it’s in the shop, ask them to look at your car to see if anything else needs to be serviced. Usually this can be done while at the same time so you don’t have to bring it back, especially if you scheduled an appointment for the service and told them that you wanted them to take a look for required maintenance.

We keep all of the service history in our computer. We track everything so you don’t have to.

That’s important because, sometimes if you take your car into several different shops for maintenance you might get the idea that they are all trying to sell you stuff that you don’t need or even worse, stuff that you have already bought. It may be that they are only looking at the mileage recommended services and not actually going over your car.

Again, one of the advantages of being a “Regular” is that the shop knows your car and everything that they have done to keep it running for you. Some of the best news is there is actually huge savings to be gained by simply doing what it is considered regular maintenance to your car.

The numbers work out to this:

“Pay me now.” - With regular maintenance you can expect to spend between $0.08 to $0.12 for each mile that you drive your car on maintenance and repairs.

Or “Pay me later.” - Without regular maintenance you can expect to spend between $0.22 to $0.35 for each mile that you drive your car for repairs.

Please schedule your next auto service now, save some money, and find out why people call us

“The Shop You Trust.”

Have a safe drive home,


Recycling || Services || About || History || Tour || Press || Messages || Employment || Ethics
Ask-A-Tech || Recalls || Specials || Links || Timing Belt Replacement Info || Taking The Scare Out Of Auto Repair
Copyright © 1996-2006 by The Auto Shop. All rights reserved. Designed by Cashopoly