For many of us, our first lessons about tires and auto maintenance come from one dependable, knowledgeable source: our dads. In honor of Father’s Day, we asked our fellow VIP employees to share some of their very own dad-approved nuggets of automobile wisdom.
John, President and CEO
The first time I was exposed to vehicles was when I was 10 years old. My best friend “Frankie” and I were always playing sports (breaking windows playing baseball in the street). My father tried to find a way to keep us busy (and away from our neighbors windows) so he started to bring trucks home each night to our driveway and Frankie and I would clean and detail these vehicles. My dad’s trucks from Quirk Tire were used on construction sites and were very dirty and each one needed a complete washing, waxing and interior cleaning. Well this took the two of us several days on each truck and my dad’s employees loved it as they each got a really clean truck back after the “Johnny & Frankie” detail team went to town! It was here where my dad also taught us how to check the air pressure on the truck tires along with checking the oil and other fluids. My dad had a daily pre-drive check sheet that Frankie and I used as part of our detailing duties. Our detailing efforts lasted for an entire summer and it was hard work but we had fun learning how the different cleaning products worked and how compounding & waxing (and lots of elbow grease) could get even the nastiest stain off a truck’s finish.
Paul, Market Manager
My Big brother Dan was my automotive mentor growing up.
When I was young my Dad had many cool classic cars, but for those of you that have owned a classic, you know that there are many times those cars need repair. Well, as much as my Dad loved those cars, his skill-set was in the woodworking business and he worked many hours, so he had very little time for anything else. With that said, any time he needed a repair he would need to rely on a local mechanic and would often have some pretty stiff bills.
This is where my story begins, Dan was 2 years older than I, and we grew up very close. At an early age, probably 7 or 8, we started collecting model cars and buying every Hot Rod Magazine as it came out, and that led to tinkering with cars in the garage. This became an obsession and most waking hours would consist of working on anything with an engine, as well as eventually fixing and restoring my Dad’s classics.
We both went to school for automotive and worked in a shop for a few years and then ended up going in different directions. My brother became an over-the-road trucker. I pursued a career in retail, eventually leading me back into the automotive field. My brother has since passed away, but I will always cherish the memories we shared, as well as the knowledge I gained from him working in the garage.
That’s what led me here to VIP; the love of being able to share my knowledge and educate customers on how to care for their vehicles and get the most enjoyment and longevity out of them so they can spend time with their own passion.
Tim, Chief Operating Officer
Even though I don’t really work on my own car anymore, I learned to LOVE cars from my dad. He was a MOPAR guy growing up, and the first car I can remember my dad driving was a yellow 1967 Dodge Coronet. Man, did that car sound cool! Especially for a while when he drove it without a muffler!
I’m the oldest of 4 kids, so of course a family of six in the 1970’s needed a station wagon. Ours was a white 1976 Plymouth Gran Fury wagon. Long road trips from our home in Oklahoma to visit family in Missouri were our vacations every year.
My dad taught me the basics of taking care of my own cars. I learned how to change my oil, replace a flat tire with the spare, replace the filters, and add fluids. He even showed me how to grease-pack wheel bearings. Anytime one of us kids showed him a car that we had bought, he would ALWAYS want to check out under the hood first, even thought what we wanted to show off was the interior and the new technology.
My dad also taught me how to drive a manual transmission (stick-shift) car. I drove a 5-speed 1978 Datsun B210 GX throughout high school, and the first car I bought for myself after graduating college was a 5-speed 1992 Dodge Shadow. My newest car is a 6-speed Volkswagen CC Sport…some things stick with you forever. Thanks, Dad!
Greg, Market Manager
When I was a young kid my brother and I were dad’s little Saturday helpers. It was way back then that I was taught the importance of car maintenance. Every Saturday like clockwork we would get up and would have breakfast- maybe watch some Super Friends cartoon and then it was off to the races to get to the hardware store and of course the Auto Parts store. Even if the cars were not due for oil changes we would always find some sort of preventative maintenance service to do. I started to notice this trend was effecting my fishing time with friends so I made my dad a schedule for all of the cars on the calendar hanging on the fridge. I would ride my bike on Fridays after school to the parts store to collect everything I would need for the following Saturday morning. Before my dad knew what was going on I was driving the cars on the ramps in the driveway and would change the fluids and check the underbody of all our vehicles. I was doing this by the age of 12. Once I got my license, he started showing me brakes and suspension and my love of Automotive grew from there. Unfortunately, that created more lost fishing time but it has been a Godsend ever since. I always knew I would be an automotive geek in some way shape or form. I just didn’t know it would flow into a rewarding career. I owe it to my father who paved the way for my car knowledge and instilled a strong work ethic. I owe my dad a lot but this is one of the top things he taught me and I will be forever grateful for that.
What did your dad (or grandpa, mom, next-door neighbor, etc.) teach you about tires and cars? Feel free to comment and share.