Tips for Car Travel This Summer

With summer in full swing, those of us here at Classic Chevrolet are planning for family vacations, just like you may be. Some of you may be taking advantage of the fact that gas prices are on a downswing, and you will be driving, instead of flying, this year. While you may have carefully planned your itinerary in regards to where you will stay, what you will eat and what activities you will enjoy, don’t forget that you need to prepare your care for the trip too. Make sure you follow these tips to get the most from your Chevrolet, and make the trip as comfortable as possible for you and your family.

  • Before you head out on a long trip, take your car in to your Texas Chevy dealer and get an oil change and any tune-up work necessary. The last thing you want is to need car repairs on vacation and not have access to the benefits of the experts at Classic Chevrolet. You could wind up paying more, and the time you spend on these repairs takes away from your vacation experience.
  • Have your tires checked out. When the temperature changes you are likely to have a change in tire pressure. Also, having your tires regularly rotated will add to their life.
  • Make sure you have everything you need to deal with common car problems with you when you travel. A set of jumper cables, a spare tire, a jack and some simple tools can save you time and money if you face a small setback.
  • Keep an eye on your gas while traveling. Believe it or not, there are parts of the country where there are large stretches of road between gas stations. You don’t want to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere.
  • Don’t overextend yourself. If you don’t drive long distances often, you may plan for a longer trip than you can handle. Switch off with other family members, if possible, or stop for plenty of breaks. Your trip may take a bit longer, but thee is no reason to risk the safety of your family and your overall comfort.

What Cars Made The List Of The Top 10 Cars For Family Travel? Do You Drive One?

Summer and winter holiday’s are the perfect time for families to start traveling. Everyone loves a good road trip right? You also want to be comfortable. Especially if you have children. When my wife, kids and I are going on a road trip we pretty much pack up our entire house. With that said, I was glad that Consumer Reports made the Chevrolet Traverse one of the top 10 vehicles for family travel. Not only did the Traverse score well on the road test from Consumer Reports but it also has good seating and cargo arrangements. It’s more than comfortable to ride in, scored well in all crash tests, and has proven reliable in owner surveys.

Chevrolet Traverse LT ($39,920)
The quiet, steady-riding Traverse handles well and offers plenty of room for people and cargo. Among the larger of the “mid-sized” SUVs, the Traverse has a third-row seat that’s comfortable even for adults. Rear visibility could be better, and fuel economy of 16 mpg is mediocre at best. – Consumer Reports.

Have you made it out and test driven the new Traverse yet? If you’ve got a big family this may just be the car for you. Let your Texas Chevy Dealer take you for a test drive. I don’t think you will be disappointed by any means of the word.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Do You Have A Bucket List? 10 Must See Events Before You Die.

It is no secret that I am an automotive enthusiast. I have enjoyed seeing NASCAR races out at Texas Motor Speedway. I even enjoy the occasional car show. I love cars. That’s why when I saw this blog posted by Car and Driver titled the 10 events you must see before you die, I knew I had to read it. I was intrigued to find that many of the events that made their list I haven’t even heard of. I haven’t quite made a full bucket list yet but there are things I want to do and see before I die and after reading this I have added a few more to my growing list. I want to know if any of you have been to any of these events, how you felt about being there, what you think is left off, and what you would add to it. Let me know what you think!

From humble beginnings as a horseless carriage, the car has exploded into not just a necessity of life, but a necessity of leisure as well. For some people, cars are canvases for customization destined to become works of art—works of art, it’s worth noting, don’t have gigantic nonfunctional wings. Other people race them in every conceivable way: on-road, off-road, dirt-road; circles, serpentine circuits, straight lines; even straight into each other. Automotive passions have seeded the globe with must-see events; these are our top 10, listed in chronological order.

NHRA Winternationals
What: The greatest show in drag racing
When: February
Where: L.A. County Fairplex, Pomona, California
How Much: $25–$50
For More Info: www.NHRA.com

For megawatt power and tire-shredding performance, you owe it to yourself to experience a top-drawer drag-racing event. Few occurrences in modern sport can match the “holy shit!” factor of a Top Fuel dragster run. The earth trembles to the seismic pulse of nitromethane engines generating 8000-plus hp, and the cars reach trap speeds north of 300 mph in less than four seconds and just 1000 feet—the full quarter-mile is on hiatus while safety standards catch up to the cars’ jaw-dropping performance.

You’ll see this kind of action—plus the rest of drag racing’s top classes—at any NHRA National, but you’ll see more of it at the Winternationals. Staged annually at the Los Angeles County Fairplex, this four-day event is America’s quarter-mile Mecca. It’s the first event of the pro drag season, so all the cars are pristine, the teams even, and the competition fierce. It just doesn’t get any better. Comfort tip: bring earplugs. Top Fuel noise levels are like World War II compressed into one weekend.

Indianapolis 500
What: America’s premier open-wheel event
When: Memorial Day weekend
Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, Indiana
How Much: $40–$150
For More Info: www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/indy500

Going to the Indianapolis 500 is a religious pilgrimage to racing fans, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a giant temple of speed standing tall among flat farmland outside of Indianapolis. Heck, there’s even a giant pagoda in the middle. Just don’t call the track an oval. It is actually four slightly different quarter-mile corners connected by as much straightaway as would fit on the original speedway’s land space. The peril and heroics of running the 500-mile race have diminished slightly thanks to modern safety improvements, but the average qualifying speeds, over 225 mph, remain near historic highs, and spectacular finishes are the norm.

But the Indy 500 is much more than the actual race. It’s an entire weekend of pageantry and history. The track is 101 years old, and an on-site museum is filled with the cars of past 500 winners. If you can get a pass to the Gasoline Alley garage area, do it—you’ll be able to walk right up to the drivers and mechanics as they move their cars from the garage to the grid. Also, bring sunscreen, lest you end up looking like one of the lobster-skinned shirtless dudes that litter the infield after too much pre-race revelry.

Isle of Man TT
What: A motorcycle race on public roads
When: Late May through early June
Where: Isle of Man, Great Britain
How Much: Free general admission
For More Info: www.iomtt.com

This set of motorcycle races on the Isle of Man, situated in the Irish Sea off the west coast of Britain, is a throwback to the past, when racers on two wheels and four pitted their skills against the hazards of public roads rather than purpose-built tracks. The Tourist Trophy (TT) races take place on the 38-mile Mountain Course around and over the island, where the riders hit speeds of more than 180 mph and get more air than the average ski jumper. Their bravery—some would say foolhardiness—is unbelievable, as any mistake on the island can be fatal. There are no run-off areas, and a collision with a stone wall, house, or tree is the likely outcome of any mistake.

Automobile racing started on the Isle of Man in 1904, with the first bike TT in 1907. World championship events were held there until 1976, when it was deemed too dangerous for top-flight racing, but hordes of motorcyclists descend on the island every year for this unique spectacle. The Isle of Man is hardly a glitzy vacation destination, but access to the course is unmatched. Where else can you sit in a pub, sipping a pint of ale, while a racing motorcycle roars by in the street?

24 Hours of Le Mans
What: Motorsports’ greatest test of man and machine
When: June
Where: Circuit de la Sarthe, northeastern France
How Much: $98 and up
For More Info: www.lemans.org/en

Le Mans isn’t just one race. Sharing the 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe are cars ranging from the showroom-similar cars of the GT1 and GT2 sports-car classes to the state-of-the-art LMP1 and LMP2 prototype cars. Each car battles for class honors as well as overall position, and the different speeds and capabilities of the classes multiply the excitement exponentially. The omnipresent racing symphony ranges from the shriek of high-revving gasoline engines to the subdued grumble of the ruling turbo-diesel prototypes.

If the Indy 500 is the greatest spectacle in racing, the Le Mans 24-hour is the biggest party in motorsports—rock around the clock with an internal-combustion backbeat. No one goes just to watch cars zoom by for the entire 24 hours. They also go for the carnival rides (Ferris-wheel lights lend a circus aspect to the night sky), the food vendors, the boutiques, the sideshows, and partying. But no party surpasses the one on victory lane after a 24-hour triumph.

(The Unofficial) Woodward Dream Cruise
What: Detroit’s best, at its best
When: The third weekend in August
Where: Woodward Avenue, Oakland County, Michigan
How Much: Free
For More Info: www.WoodwardDreamCruise.com

If you’re a fan of pasty exposed granny-flesh, $4 bottles of water, and heat stroke, then by all means, attend the Woodward Dream Cruise. The promise of the Cruise is that you will see and hear the collected glory of Detroit’s muscle-car past thundering up and down this eight-lane boulevard four abreast. In reality, Woodward this weekend is so choked with traffic—human and otherwise—that the cars barely move.

To get the fully leaded effect, visit Woodward Avenue on a weeknight leading up to the big weekend and park yourself near the Shell station north of 13 Mile Road. Here you’ll find a front-row seat to an unofficial reenactment of the late-‘60s Woodward drags, that asphalt Colosseum where the Big Three’s gladiators would come before the stoplight emperor. Original Woodward legends like the Plymouth GTX “Silver Bullet,” their dashes papered with pink slips, stage here and detonate as they depart. You’ll also see warriors of more recent vintage—Murciélagos, Ford GTs, and even Enzos. So grab a Coke from the cooler inside the Shell, find a patch of grass at the curb, and feel the history vibrate through the soles of your shoes. And pay no heed to The Man’s schedule.

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
What: The finest in prewar exclusivity
When: Every third Sunday in August
Where: Pebble Beach golf course, Carmel, California
How Much: $150 in advance, $175 at the show, plus outrageous hotel and food costs jacked up roughly 6000 percent for this particular weekend. And it’s so worth it.
For More Info: www.PebbleBeachConcours.net

This is it—the Big Kahuna, the Chairman of the Board, the most important classic-car show in the world and the anchor to the most important classic-car weekend in the world. Last year’s show drew cars from 30 states and 19 foreign countries, many of them vehicles and collections that simply cannot be seen in any other public venue. This year, the show is 60 years old, so expect something even bigger. The accent is heavily on pre-World War II and early postwar classics, although in recent years, the show has expanded to include more bourgeois hot rods and motorcycles.

The concession prices are stratospheric, the crowd after 10:00 a.m. is epic, and the coastal weather is usually foggy and freezing or boiling hot, but rarely just right. Still, it’s magical, especially if you arrive at 5:00 a.m. in your best seersucker to watch the cars actually motor in, then leisurely stroll the fairway to get unobstructed views before the hordes arrive. It’s a whopper ticket price to watch rich people engage in vigorous ego massaging (just try to find one DIY owner out there), but the show proceeds are donated to worthy charities. Even if you can’t tell a Bugatti from a Bucciali from a bagel with lox, you’re certain to be captivated by the rarest and most fabulous examples of automotive artistry. 

To see the full list visit caranddriver.com

Well what do you guys think? What do you want to see before you die? 

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Eating In Your New Car Or Truck Could Cause You To Get Food Poisoning.

Eating in your car. I can’t say that I have never done that. I think at some point everyone eats in their car at least once. This is very true for commuters who travel long distances to work and home and almost have to eat in their cars. I came across this blog about how eating in your car could make you sick and of course I had to stop and read it. I am a firm believer that you should try to keep your new car or  truck clean at all times. Mostly because it just looks good….but now it’s also because it can keep you healthy. 

Check out the story from AutoBlog. After you are finished reading this and decide you need to have your car cleaned and detailed make sure you call your local Fort Worth Chevy dealer for help. We don’t want you getting sick either! 

Ever eat in your car? If so, we’re thinking there is a good chance there is currently at least one french fry stuck between the driver seat and the center arm rest. That’s pretty bad, but a study by researchers from British auto accessories retailer Halfords shows that there probably are a lot more disgusting things in your ride than some fried potatoes or a few chunks of shredded lettuce. Scientists swabbed the door handles, steering wheel, shift knob, radio and seats and found bacteria ranging from Staphylococcus to Bacillus Cereus. Those names just sound unhealthy, and in reality they are the germs that cause food poisoning, impetigo severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Those nasty germs enter your car through the soil you walk on, the pets you travel with, the passengers you transport and the very hands you use to eat all that food.

That’s really bad news if you eat in your car regularly, and the study by Halfords shows that 70 percent of people do just that. Further, half of those study admitted to leaving food behind in the car, giving those bacteria the sustenance they need to help ruin your week. And don’t think that since this is summertime that the sun will bake your interior to the point where the germs die off. Quite the contrary, the nasty little microbes multiply faster as your vehicle heats up, bolstering the little buggers for the impending fight against your immune system.

To protect yourself from these germs, the best defense is to keep your hands clean and leave the eating for a clean kitchen table. But if you must eat while driving, scientists feel that car owners should clean their vehicles as often as one would wipe down that kitchen table. We’re not the type to shy away from every germ nature has to offer, but something as serious-sounding as Staphylococcus makes us want to make with the disinfecting wipes in short order.

What do you guys think? Kind of makes you want to never eat in your car again right?

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Are The Seats In Your Car or Truck Killing Your Back?

I think we’ve all experienced back pain while driving at least a time or two. It’s usually always in the lower back… I wanted to find out what the connection was between driving and lower back pain. Research has come up with a few different things that can cause lower back pain. Vibration from the engine, sitting position and how long you are driving the car.

First things first is to make your seat more comfortable and here are some tips.

The Seat – You need to make sure that your bottom is sitting all the way in the back of the seat. When you slouch the lower back is not supported. Sitting up right with your bottom all the way to the back of the seat will help you sit more upright and minimize the stress on your spine.

The Backrest – You should place the seat at a 10-15 degree incline from the vertical position. If for some reason this feels unnatural to you then you need to make the seat more upright. It was unnatural for me so I had to play with it a few degrees. The main idea here is that if you are sitting at a bad angle it can strain your neck and your sitting bone.

The Headrest – This is good in helping your posture and it will help lower injuries in an accident. The bony bit at the back of your head (known as the ‘inion’) is a good guiding point, the headrest should be level with this. There should be about 1 inch between the back of your head and the headrest. This allows for the ligaments and the muscles of your neck to control the posture of your head better and giving better support in case of an accident.

Seat/Pedal distance – You want to make sure that you do not over stretch your legs and you also want to make sure you don’t have to twist your body in any way. If your knees are bent and you can’t move them very easily then you need to stretch out a bit. If you’re legs are completely straight when you push down the gas then you need to tighten up a bit. It is normal to have your knees bent at about a 45 degree angle.

The Arm position – Your arms should be as relaxed as possible, elbows bend around 20-30 degrees. You want to reduce any stress on your shoulders so you should adjust your steering wheel to a mid to lower position. And remember 10 and 2 on the steering wheel.

Take breaks – Just remember if you’re on a long trip to take a break. I once drove 14 hours without stopping unless it was a quick bathroom break then back to the car. My body was so stiff I was hurting the next day. It’s always better to travel with someone else but if you are alone stop at a rest stop every couple of hours and walk around a bit. It’ll help trust me.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Packing Your Car Or Truck Safely For That Road Trip

Are you moving? Going on a road trip? Helping your son or daughter move to college? Well it’s important that you know how to pack up your car or truck safely to avoid any issues along the way. I always feel bad for those guys driving down the highway at 10 mph moving stuff in the back of their trucks not realizing at any second something is going to fly out. Better to be safe than lose your TV or your luggage on the highway.

When my family and I are going on a trip these are the rules I always follow. They can help when moving as well.

(1) Before I even pack my bags I clean out the car. Take out all the junk, trash, etc and make sure that my spare tire is in good shape and has the correct amout of tire pressure.

(2) My lovely wife then makes a list for us. She makes sure we are packing everything we need and the list makes sure everything comes back home with us. Oh and make sure you don’t over pack cause the heavier your vehicle is the more gas it sucks up. So save money on gas and pack light.

(3) When packing up the car or truck I make sure the heaviest items are put as far forward in the cargo area as possible, and keep them on the floor. In all vehicles, and SUVs in particular, it is important to keep the heaviest items towards the center of the vehicle. This will help keep the vehicle steady and your center of gravity lower so your SUV doesn’t rollover or something similar.

(4) I pack my vehicle backwards. Whatever I will need first is the last thing I pack in the car and vice versa.

(5) Secure any loose items that could fly around during a sudden stop. Strap anything down that you think could be an issue. Make sure that you don’t pack things to high in the cargo area because visibility is important when you’re traveling. Especially if it’s an unfamiliar city you are traveling to.

(6) I keep maps, snacks, CD’s, paper towels and the like handy. I don’t want to have to pull over every time my wife or kids want a little snack.

Last but not least…..Be prepared for anything!! Safe travels to you and your family!

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Traveling With A Pet In Your New Car Or Truck

Going on a road trip and bringing the family pet along for the first time? I have some suggestions that will help make your vacation flow a lot smoother now that you have decided to bring your canine along. When traveling with a pet in your new car or truck you’ll want to remember these tips and hints.

For starters, about a month before the trip take him to the vet and make sure he is current on all of his shots and vaccines. Make sure that he has his rabies vaccine tag and make sure that he has a current ID tag on his collar with his name, your name and home and cell phone numbers. Having your cell phone number on his ID tag is wise because if for some reason your pet gets separated from you while you are out of town and he needs to get in touch with you, you will be on your cell, not at home. Just like us human folk, our four legged friends need to be considered when it comes to safety restraint. So think about getting a dog harness for riding in the car, if you don’t have one already. They are available at most pet stores or on-line.

Now it is a couple of days before you are leaving on your trip. You need to make sure that you have plenty of dog food and any medication that will last the duration of the trip. Also, if you want to be really prepared, you may want to bring bottled water as some animals get sick when drinking water they are not accustomed to. Also, don’t forget to pack lots of snacks, several favorite toys, food bowls, leashes, and plastic “potty” bags for cleaning up.

The day has come for your big departure – the family is on the road. Make sure to keep your new car or truck well ventilated and the temperature cool. We don’t want anyone getting overheated.

As you’re traveling, I would try to stop every 2-3 hours to let your pet out to walk around and relieve himself. I would also offer him some water at these times. Whatever you do, do not leave the little guy in your new car or truck by himself, even with the window cracked in the shade. This can be very dangerous, even fatal.

I hope these suggestions have helped and I hope you and your family, four legged members included, have a wonderful vacation –wherever you are headed!!!

Give me any unique ideas you do for your pet when you travel.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.