Patriotic Cars


alexandria-3773138_1920Op-Ed by Staff

When it comes to giving cars a paint job, you can do worse than choosing the stars and stripes design, it has been used on giant diesel trucks, on VW buses, even on the iconic pickup. Some designs use a static style flag; others choose a dynamic design which looks as if the flag is waving in the breeze.

It is not necessary to stick a stars and stripes design all over a car, sometimes only the hood is painted, sometimes only the roof. It all depends on individual tastes. It’s certainly possible to go too far.

If you don’t want to actually paint the flag on your car you could use a vinyl wrap. Wraps work like a sticker and cover a car in a way that’s durable and cost-effective. NASCAR uses wraps to decorate their cars since they often change sponsors and often take damage.

Should you not wish to paint or wrap your car you can invest in a window screen with the American flag on it, or a stars and stripes style license plate holder. It is a very lucrative market and many car accessories sellers can assist you.



The famous red racing Corvette shows how you can have a design which hints on the stars and stripes without going overboard. Instead of having a flag there are banners which resemble a stripe on the hood as well as one which forms a cross shape on the roof. These banners have stars on them. Most of the rest of the car is red, as stated above.

As well as stars and stripes some cars have bald eagles or even a Civil War battle. It comes down to people’s imagination. A symbol of the USA which often appears on car designs, Captain America is believed by many people to date from the 2011 movie. But in the comic world, he goes all the way back to 1941. The actual symbol doesn’t seem to matter as much as the patriotism evoked.

There is a bit of money to be had from painting your vehicle and displaying the results in events on days such as Independence Day and Veteran’s Day. It might even be a viable business, though you undoubtedly have a great deal of competition out there.

What about the backlash though? Yes, there is a backlash. Some online journalists complain about the number of patriotic vehicles out there. After all, having the stars-and-stripes on your truck proves nothing. Is it better to say, join the military, or run for office? Where some of us appreciate these cars for their aesthetic sense, critics see them as “rather gaudy.” Each to their own.

To many people, the most innately patriotic vehicle is the Jeep, though opinion is divided. Next in line is probably Cadillac.

action-asphalt-blur-315938.jpgYou don’t have to be a dealership owner to know that every car business based in this country wants to be associated with patriotism. The automotive industry is deeply connected to our country. Prior to the space race, cars were the driving technology of the future and the daily bread of the youngest and most innovative new country in the world. Even the aviation industry never toppled cars in the hearts of most Americans.

Why it’s as American as Apple Pie and Baseball!



What’s News: R.I.P Mr. Iacoca


Lee Iacocca, who created the iconic Ford Mustang and later in his career rescued Chrysler from bankruptcy, has died, his foundation and Ford Motor Company confirmed on Tuesday. He was 94. Iacocca’s daughter told The Washington Post the cause of death was complications from Parkinson’s disease.

Original story

In his 32-year career at Ford and then Chrysler, Iacocca helped launch some of Detroit’s best-selling and most significant vehicles, including the minivan, the Chrysler K-cars and the Ford Escort. He also spoke out against what he considered unfair trade practices by Japanese automakers.

Iacocca authored or co-authored several books, including Iacocca: An Autobiography (with William Novak), and Where Have All the Leaders Gone? Portfolio Magazine named Iacocca the 18th-greatest American CEO of all time.

Best of the Web: Great Race (Part 4)


“Wow, what a crazy adventure. Nine days and approximately 2,300 miles later, we’re in Tacoma, Washington for one of the most awesome Great Race finishes in quite some time. The LeMay – America’s Car Museum offered the perfect venue for our event, and the local car community came out in full force to support the event. The racers had a very challenging final stage of the Great Race, with a multitude of speed changes and maneuvers, leading to the culmination of the 2019 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty…. the crowd would welcome each car across the finish line and then reconvene for the announcement of the winners.

190630_GR_0251We went class by class, and the crowd went wild when announcer Jason White would reveal the class winners. X Cup kicked off the show, as Scott Culp and the Murfreesboro, Tennessee team took top honors in their 1953 Pontiac Chieftain. Then it was the Sportsman team of Neil Myercough and Shanna Chatraw taking fifth place overall and winning their division. The Expert class was highly contested, as always, and it was Olivia and Genna Gentry getting the job done in their new 1932 Ford five-window coupe rally car.

190630_GR_0819Finally, we announced the winner of the Grand Champion, which was the team of Howard and Doug Sharp from Fairport, New York. Their 1916 Hudson was bullet proof all week long, and the Sharps were diligent with their strategy of repeatability…do the same thing every day and never look back. Take a look at some of our photos from the finish line festivities, as well as photos from this morning’s route, our adventure at the drag strip and our Awards Banquet.”

Original Story

Final Scores

If you’d like to enter next years race CLICK HERE!

Great Classic Car Race (Part 3)


For those who missed a post from us yesterday, we didn’t post because we were out covering the Great Race! Instead we’re posting today!


Welcome to our coverage of the Great Race…

We had a fantastic day at the Vancouver, Washington stop on the Great Race. If you’re in Astoria, Oregon right now stop looking at the computer and get yourself down to the Maritime Museum and check it out live for yourself.

By lunch today the cars should be stopping to eat on Commerce Avenue, Longview, WA. Then tonight’s layover will be in Spanaway, WA. at the LeMay Family Collection about 5:15 PM.

The Final Finish Line is LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, WA. @ 1:30 PM Sunday.

190628_GR_0082For more details on the rest of the race stops click this link.

If you want more details on all the cars in the race, click this link.

Here’s some photos from the event here in Vancouver, Washington where we watch the lead cars come in so far. But first lets give a big thanks to Ron Wade of the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum (WAAAM) for being a great host. We not only saw some great cars, but we had great conversations with owners, listened to live music, and ate great food from local food trucks. The Coffee Via food truck is one of the great food trucks available here on a regular basis, and we’re excited to come back do a deeper dive on the museum and the food trucks.

190628_GR_0204The Friday began in Warm Springs, OR near Bend when the route took the racers to Hood River, OR for lunch. After a bite, racers were treated to the scenic highway 30 through “The Columbia River Gorge” and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

As racers reached the finish line at WAAAM in Vancouver, each car, driver, and navigator was announced and trivia was told. The day was hot and the crowd was excited. Excitement and congeniality blended to bring an atmosphere unique to car culture.




Please enjoy tons more photos on the Kicker Facebook Page.

Great Classic Car Race (Part 2)


The Columbian Newspaper here in Vancouver, WA is covering the great race we mentioned on Monday. You know we’ll be there this Friday. It’s going to be fun, I hope some of you come down and join us. (If you don’t live local, just google your local car shows and check one out.)

Activities start at 10 am technically, when the Museum opens, but don’t expect to see any cars at the finish line until about 5 PM. In the mean time there is a cruise-in at 2 PM and eventually live music by King Brothers.

The finish line for the overnight layover will be  WAAAM West Cars by Ron Wade at 1015 N.E. 78th St., Vancouver, WA. 

The Great Race began 36 years ago and is a Time/Speed/Distance Rally. It began in Riverside, CA. this year and will end in Tacoma, WA. Each stop is free.

For an Update on Day Four Progress here’s a link.


Joke Car Terms


by A. R. Bunch

The other day, in the local big box hardware store, I overheard a young man in a yellow construction vest ask an employee where he could find a “mile of shoreline.” The grey-haired employee smiled broadly and said, “go down to isle 10 and ask Ted, he’ll fix you up.”

“Great,” exclaimed the young man. “’cause then I also need to find a two-by-four bender.”

The employee rested his chin in his hand, covering his grin, and his eyes gleamed with the effort of holding back laughter.

“Go ahead and ask Ted for that as well. He’ll know right what to do.”

As soon as the young man left, both the employee and I laughed. Of course, I felt sorry for the young guy, but it’s a right of passage. We’ve all paid our dues, as “old hat” employees prank you into saying or doing something absurd because we don’t know the ropes yet.

For me, it was taking apart an old (and much hated) cash register so I could retrieve a part I’d never heard of, that needed to be recycled separately. The rest of the machine could be thrown away, or so I was told. When my manager eventually hunted me up to see why I’d left my post for so long I was up to my elbow in a machine the size of an office copier that could have just been drug out back for maintenance to haul away.

To save you similar embarrassment, here are a few common car industry pranks.

Items to never ask for at your local auto part store:

  • Headlight fluid
  • Windshield lubricant
  • Bumper tape or anti-scratch tape
  • Headrest accelerant
  • Spark plug magnifier
  • Trailer hitch swivel
  • Microwave compression unit
  • Screen filter for the cabin floor drain
  • Waterproof roof-valve assembly package


And for the record, your seat cushion doesn’t expire so don’t look for the date.

  • There is no hand crank back up for a modern electric starter.
  • There is no exhaust malfunction on your electric car.
  • There is no button on your dashboard to automatically jack up your car.

If your mechanic says you have a loose nut behind the wheel, he or she is saying that the grinding noise you hear can’t be heard by any trained professional.

However, there are some things you’ll be tempted to think are BS which actually are true.

  • Internal combustion engines do technically have a tiny amount of fire under the hood.
  • Cars can and do burn a percentage of alcohol (up to and including 100% on rare occasion).
  • There are actually two colors of deasil which results from a dye added to deasil sold for farm equipment (indicating that no road tax was charged on that fuel).
  • Bio-deasil is used oil that’s been altered primarily by filtering it.
  • The rubber on your tires does have an expiration date on it and does go bad sitting on the shelf even if it’s never put on a car.
  • Many car scratches can be buffed out with wax
  • Undercoating can come in handy but only in places that rely on salt to prevent road ice
  • Hitler did not invent the VW bug, but most Germane and Japanese did make warplanes or tanks, as did most allied car companies. At one point GM was the largest defense contractor in the world.
  • Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile, he adopted a process of manufacture that reduced the cost and therefore the price.
  • There is a separate air filter for your cabin and your engine.
  • There is such a thing as a branded title (meaning the car has been totaled once.)
  • New cars do lose most of there value when driven off the dealer lot.

Well, hopefully, you’re now equipped with the basics so you won’t look ridiculous around people who do know cars. If you know one we missed please let us know in the comments. We promise we’ll keep you anonymous.

“Classic Car” New Great Race (part 1)

Welcome to the first installment of our coverage of the Great Race.

According to the race organizers official blog:

Teams and cars from Japan, England, Australia, Canada and every corner of the United States will converge in Riverside in mid-June with vintage automobiles dating back as far as 1916.”

This will be the first year that the race will start and finish on the west coast. It began today in Riverside, CA and ends Saturday June 30 in Tacoma, WA.

Here’s a link to the full route.

Link to route
The 9-day, 2,300-mile adventure will bring 120 of the world’s finest antique automobiles to 18 cities in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. More than $150,000 will be awarded to top finishers in multiple divisions.

The event was started in 1983 by Tom McRae and it takes its name from the 1965 movie, The Great Race, which starred Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood and Peter Falk. The movie is a comedy based on the real life 1908 automobile race from New York to Paris. In 2004, Tony Curtis was the guest of the Great Race and rode in his car from the movie, the Leslie Special.

Cars built in 1974 and earlier are eligible, with most entries having been manufactured before World War II. In the 2017 Great Race a 1932 Ford won the event from Florida to northern Michigan. The 2019 winners will again receive $50,000 of the $150,000 total purse.

Over the decades, the Great Race has stopped in hundreds of cities big and small, from tiny Austin, Nevada to New York City.

Every stop along the race is free to the public and you can be sure when it rolls through Vancouver, WA. This Friday the kicker blog will be there to cover the event.


Jaguar Mark V 1948-1951


Photo by Mike Bird from Pexels

This model was produced and launched in London. The production period for this model mirrored the Jaguar XK 120 model, and the competition which the two models created was good for business. The sales of the Mark V topped the charts but the power produced by the engine was outrageous, above the 80KW mark.

The specifications of the model

The model had a unique, two-door convertible, body type. The 1951 model was rear wheel drive with a 4-speed manual gearbox. The engine displacement for this model was 3486cc and an output power of 90KW. The engine of the car produced a torque of 245Nm.

The performance of the car

According to factory tests, the Jaguar Mark V had a speed of 153km/h. The car could accelerate from 0 to 95km/h in about 15 seconds which was very high considering the development period. On average, the Jaguar Mark V would drink17 liters of fuel in every 100km of travel. The fuel economy wasn’t actually that bad for the time. Fuel economy aside, this model had a lot of features to admire. Primarily, the rugged simplicity–it was much easier to handle than competing models. While convertibles were much desired and priced with that in mind, but even comparing apples to apples with other convertibles of the time the Mark V was expensive.

There were several different models and capacities produced depending of the market demands, and production rates varied widely, although they were always high. The production figures for the different models were varied with the highest being the 3½ liters RHD saloon model which had a total of 5930 units. The 2½ liters of the same model followed in the production quantity with 1481 cars.

Do you check your car?


Auto ChecksIn checking your car I’m not referring to whether it is locked and the windows are down, I mean all sorts of checks

Right Insurer Checks

You can look up a vehicle’s history on several sites on the internet, using either the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) or the US license plate and the state. After you have found your car’s history (which may involve a small fee depending on who you chose) you can generally choose which plan you wish to subscribe to.

There is a choice between an easy scan and in-depth analysis, including finding out if the car has been involved in an accident, been reported lost or stolen and so on.

These types of organization use government offices and law enforcement agencies (not just state police but also national police etc.) as well as service and repair garage registries. Many of the American check websites will also work for Canadian cars.

Pre-purchase Checks

When buying a car you want to run the same checks as above plus check the price against the average for that specific vehicle in your state. Websites like will compare your car against the same make, model, year that have sold in your area recently.

You can also obtain reviews of what it feels like to drive that car, though nothing replaces a personal test drive. After all, you need to think about leg room, head room, visibility, and comfort. Only checking it yourself will determine if the vehicle is right for you. (If you have a child make sure that “back seat” actually fits your child’s car seat.)

It seems ludicrous to look at new cars in the dark but if you work during the day you may have been left with little choice. The only solution to this would be to bring a flashlight with you and make your inspection as thorough as it can be. Bringing someone else with you who can also check (or getting them to see the car in the daytime, though not necessarily buying the car for you) may also be recommended, though it could be a way to fall out with friends, LOL.

What’s easier and better than doing all this yourself? Buying a pre-purchase inspection from an independent source like our sponsor, They will use a trained mechanic to inspect the car mechanically, test drive it, and run the history for you, then provide a report that interprets all this and establishes an evidence-based value using Kelly Blue Book. Without that can you really know that you’re paying the right price or buying a safe vehicle?

Glove Box Checks

Items you should keep in your glove box (or somewhere easy to find in your car) include; proof of insurance and your vehicle registration. It’s also a good idea to keep emergency medication such as a backup inhaler or EpiPen. Bandaids, sunglasses or sunscreen, tire pressure gauge, a bandanna, small emergency kit, small grooming kit, gum or mints, and if you’re really in our tribe…ninja throwing stars!

Pre-trip Checks

Another reason to check your car is when you are going on a long journey in which case phrases like “anti-freeze and coolants,” “dipstick and locking wheel nut” are referred to, which may be difficult for the driver who isn’t that aware of equipment or technology to know what items are being talked about.beautiful-1845572_1920

Here’s a link to pre-trip check page on our site, but read on below for some basics:

Coolant is designed to keep your car from over-heating while anti-freeze stops the window washing fluid and other liquids from freezing in cold weather.

No, a locking wheel nut isn’t a slam against your ability to drive (that’s a loose nut behind the wheel), it’s actually on the tire, more specifically it is used to lock and unlock the hubs.

A dip stick (also not an insult) is used to check oil quality in the vehicle and is one of the many things that need to be examined before going on long journeys, as indeed are having coolant (depending on the temperature) and having a locking wheel nut.

Though being paranoid is not a good as a lifestyle, making sure that you are covered and you aren’t being ripped off is a good thing. Really, is making every precaution against breaking down paranoid or just best practice? Even if you resist being overly regimented in life this is one of those areas where a little extra effort can save you from saying, “If only…”


Taking Time Over Cars


It seems we spend most of our lives in cars but is that factually true? According to Donald Shoupe, a car’s “natural” state is being parked, it’s like that 95% of the time, which accounts for 165 hours in a week. Though just because it’s parked doesn’t mean you’re not in it!


When we are in the car we’re generally taking a journey of less than a mile, this accounts for 28% of trips. We take 18 of these trips per week.

We say, “time is money” in this case it is true because using the car can be the most efficient way from getting from A to B. Then again the real reason we’re taking a car might be some other factors such as rain, shopping or other luggage which makes taking mass transit less convenient.

Time is Certainly Money on the Dealer’s Lots.

What people don’t know is that the more expensive the car the more likely that it will be stuck on your lot for longer. Other factors such as being a sedan also mean it’s slower to sell. If the goal is just inventory turnover it is better to stock reasonably priced cars and hatchbacks. In reality, most dealers go for a range of cars.

Time is Tricky in the Rental Business

end-of-the-world-560859_1920For the car rental market, it is important that a car is returned on time. Unfortunately, due to the pressures of work or family, this might not be all that convenient, so drivers may decide to pay more (or just forget to return the car at the appointed time).

What consumers don’t tend to know is that a rental company doesn’t necessarily want you to return to the car early as they may not have anywhere to store it.

On the Road

delorean-38103_1280Many people don’t like those who take their time driving, calling them Sunday Driver…or worse. Taking your time after the light turns green, for example, could well cause an accident. It is probably not as dangerous as most of us shout at the moment, but slow drivers do cause accidents. The actual association might be that slow drivers are driving slow for another reason entirely, like being tired, and it’s the sluggish reaction time, not the sluggish speed that creates an accident. Although most accidents are about a “perfect storm” of circumstances – the weather, the time of day, the amount of coffee drunk and so on, not your lack of fast-twitch reaction.

The other problem about slow drivers is that, particularly on single lane roads, they create a bottleneck which slows down the flow of traffic.

Time in Car Advertising

road-1030789_1920Following some drivers on the road might feel like following a funeral procession! No wonder car advertisements always show the vehicle on empty roads, but seldom going fast. The goal is to show a car-free commute. Sure it’s strange to hear the voice-over talk about how fast the car accelerates from zero to sixty while watching a car mosey down a country lane at maybe 30 MPH.

Perhaps for the first time ever, let’s conclude that we should be more like a commercial. Enjoy your time on the road, drive well and not too slowly. And make sure that you take advantage of the bargains on the car lot, it kind of makes sense that you do.