Pinnacle Auto Appraisers' Blog

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Dealer anniversaries - Automotive News

50 with Ford

Scott Tester, third from left, dealer principal of Don Tester Ford-Lincoln in Norwalk, Ohio; Mary Tester, co-dealer principal; and Pete Lepley, right, general manager, receive a 50-year award for Ford and Lincoln from Alan Scher, Ford Motor Co. regional manager.

50 with Chevrolet

Lawrence Dimmitt III, center, dealer principal of Dimmitt Chevrolet in Clearwater, Fla., and Elizabeth Dimmitt, managing partner, receive a 50-year award from Steve Davis, General Motors zone manager.

30 with Mercedes

Brian Velyvis, left, vice president of operations for Mercedes-Benz of Santa Rosa in California, receives a 30-year award from Patrick Tam, Mercedes-Benz USA aftersales operation manager.

25 with Buick

Francis Strezeski, right, dealer principal of Troy-Alan Buick in Kittanning, Pa., and Christine Sepich, executive manager, received a 25-year award from General Motors.

25 with Ford

Todd Rossi, general manager of AutoNation Ford Orange Park in Jacksonville, Fla., receives a 25-year award from Danielle O’Reilly, Ford Motor Co. customer experience specialist.

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Cars We Remember: The saga of young Joe - News Item

This 2022 holiday season, we again present our yearly column on the dangers of drinking and driving. Being that we are still enduring a difficult year because of the economy, inflation and continued COVID 19 concerns and flu variants, some of the stats are disturbing as a bit more driving is now taking place.

New for this column is a tip about collector cars and tires. Specifically, many collector muscle cars sit in garages with tires that are 10 to 25 years old. If you plan to give your muscle car a quick quarter-mile test, remember that tires wear out too, and it’s not always easy to see from tread wear. Tires can weaken from the inside, too. Look for bubbles and tire rot every time you give your classic a ride. Keep this in mind and give your muscle car some fresh rubber if you intend to spend a few nights at the area drag strips.

As for how things are going on our nation’s highways, accidents involving alcohol and marijuana increased by some 25-percent estimated. Alarming are the DUI fatalities, whereas even with full-year 2022 stats not yet available, it looks like driver fatalities are still very troublesome. Thanks to The Zebra, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), here are more troubling stats on drinking and driving.

About one-third of car crash fatalities in the U.S. involve drunk drivers. According to the NHTSA, each day about 28 people in America die in drunk-driving car crashes.

Over a 10-year period, more than 10,000 people die each year in drunk driving car accidents, says NHTSA. On a good note, two years ago drunk driving deaths in the United States reached its lowest level (10,142) since 1982, which is the year the NHTSA began collecting data on drunk driving fatalities.

Also according to NHTSA, drunk drivers face jail time when they’re caught, and the financial impact can be overwhelming. On average, a DUI can set you back $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, car towing, and more. And, drinking and driving can result in losing your driver’s license.

The yearly cost of alcohol-related car crashes is more than $44 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Alcohol-impaired drivers got behind the wheel of a car about 147 million times back in 2018, according to the CDC.

Just four years ago, 32% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes while driving at night were drunk, according to data from NHTSA. Further, almost twice as many alcohol-related and fatal car crashes occur during the weekend.

Based on averages, there are four male, alcohol-impaired drivers for every one female alcohol-impaired driver out on the road, says NHTSA.

Three years ago, there were 50,930 drivers involved in fatal car crashes, and an estimated 19% of the drivers were alcohol-impaired, according to NHTSA

As for age group demographics and probabilities, The Zebra is the nation’s leading car insurance comparison company that conducted a recent DUI survey (see It found that 35.8-percent of Generation Y, (millennials) aged 25 to 39 are most likely to drink and drive. Next in line is Generation Z, aged 16 to 24 at 31.0-percent, followed by Generation X, aged 40 to 54, at 19.0-percent. Bringing up the rear are the Baby Boomers, aged 55 to 75, who come in at 14.1-percent.

Interesting is that near 40-percent of The Zebra respondents felt that the Baby Boomers would be the highest percentage of drink and drive offenders, yet they turned out to be the lowest DUI delinquent age group.

So as we continue through these troubled holiday weeks, we always present our “Saga of young Joe,” he the fun loving 26-year-old who is full of life, has lots of friends and is a good person. He loves to drive his 1970 Buick GSX, with its big 455-V8 under the hood. Because Joe lives in a warm climate state, taking his beauty out during the Christmas holiday is routine.

Joe could be your son, sibling, parent, friend, co-worker or husband. He’s having a great time at a family dinner and quickly volunteers to make a run to the supermarket for needed refreshment refills. Even though he’s had a beer too many, he feels OK to drive his beautiful GSX and is quickly on his way. It’s only 8 p.m. and thank goodness he’s alone.

Joe is oblivious that on this night he’ll become one of the 30,000-plus estimated drivers that will die in car accidents in 2021. He’s unaware he’s going 65-mph and approaching a curve that should be taken at 35-mph.

His reactions, meanwhile, have been diminished by his alcohol consumption and to make things worse, his cell phone starts ringing. Now Joe is really distracted and he’s going too fast to make the curve. He also forgot to buckle his seatbelt when he left his mom’s house and before Joe even knows it his GSX is off the road and headed directly toward a large tree.

There is no correcting. Joe’s GSX hits the tree head-on with a resounding crunch.

At 1/10th of a second, the car’s front bumper and grillwork collapse.

At 2/10ths of a second, the hood crumbles, rises, and smashes into the windshield. The grillwork now disintegrates.

At 3/10ths of a second, Joe is sprung upright from his seat. His legs are immediately broken, and his knees crash against the dashboard. The steering wheel bends under his grip.

At 4/10ths of a second, the front of the GSX is totally destroyed and is now completely still. However, the rear end of the car is still traveling at 55-mph, and the 600-pound V8 engine and accessories are crunched further into the tree.

At 5/10ths of a second, the impact rips Joe’s sneakers clean off his feet. The GSX’s chassis bends in the middle, and Joe’s head is slammed into the windshield. The car’s rear-end begins its downward fall as the spinning wheels churn into the ground.

At 6/10ths of a second, the entire body of the GSX is twisted out of shape while the front bucket seat continues to ram forward.

At 7/10ths of a second, Joe’s chest is pinned against the steering wheel shaft while his internal organs crash against his rib cage.

At 8/10ths of a second, Joe is dead.

He’s just become another fatal accident statistic.

The lesson to learn from Joe’s tragic ending? More than 25-percent of all traffic-related deaths are the direct result of alcohol impairment. Further some 800 people per day are injured in drunk driving crashes. (NHTSA)

In summary, if you plan to drive after having even a few beers or hard liquor drinks, be fully aware of the consequences. And, as many of my readers know, older muscle cars are not known for doing well in any type of impact. They just don’t offer the high-end safety that today is commonplace in our modern vehicles.

Next week, we’ll look at some more frightening driving stats, this time cell phone and texting while driving. Further, it’s not just the young drivers as both young and old who are so addicted they’ve become dangers on the highway.

Until then, be safe everyone and please don’t drink and drive.

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Memorial Drive gets cars back Dec. 10 and 17 - Cambridge Day

The state has agreed with City Manager Yi-An Huang’s request to cancel “Riverbend Park” on Saturday and Dec. 17, as people using the space for recreation had dropped off while holiday traffic had picked up.

A portion of Memorial Drive near Harvard Square will still close to cars Sunday and Dec. 18 to allow pedestrians, cyclists and others to enjoy the riverfront roadway without cars.

After Dec. 18, Riverbend Park will be closed until the spring. DCR and the city said they will announce the schedule for 2023 in the coming months.

The car-free area created by cutting off vehicle traffic has been known as Riverbend Park for almost 40 years, starting in 1985, when the Legislature passed a law requiring the state Department of Conservation and Recreation to close Memorial Drive between Gerry’s Landing Road and Western Avenue from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every Sunday from the end of April until mid-November. In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic closed indoor recreation opportunities, the Cambridge City Council asked DCR to close the area on Saturdays as well.

Information is here.

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Police: Teens fire shots at homeowner after vandalizing cars in northeast Columbus - 10TV

The Columbus Division of Police spoke with a homeowner who reported seeing a group of teens breaking into cars.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A group of teens fired shots at a woman who was chasing them after police said the teens were caught vandalizing cars in northeast Columbus on Friday.

Officers were called to the 4400 block of Oaks Shadow Drive in the Preserve neighborhood around 7:33 p.m.

A sergeant on the scene spoke with a homeowner who reported seeing a group of teens breaking into cars. As he went to confront them, he noticed they were armed and returned to his residence.

Police said the homeowner's wife got into her vehicle and chased them for about one block. The teens fired three shots and struck the woman's car. No one was injured. Police found three shell casings in the area.

Detectives stayed on the scene and spoke with potential witnesses. There's no word on if any suspects have been arrested.

Police are asking residents in the neighborhood to send video to them if they have any.

Local News: Recent Coverage ⬇️ 

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Scott Conklin, ‘Face’ of Conklin Cars, dies at 62 - KWCH

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A man recognized by many for his appearances in commercials for the family business died Thursday, Dec. 8 at the age of 62. Scott Conklin became the “face” of Conklin Cars in 2005, taking over advertising after his father’s death.

The obituary for Conklin said he died at Hospice House in Hutchinson, surrounded by his family. Conklin served a leadership role for Conklin Cars for about 40 years, becoming a partner after graduating from the University of Kansas in 1982.

Conklin’s obituary said he was preceded in death by his father, Stuart “Joe” Conklin Jr. Survivors include his wife, Kathryn “Kathy” Conklin, four children, eight grandchildren, his mother, two brothers, one sister, “numerous nieces and nephews, and “countless friends.”

Funeral services for Conklin are set for 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 15 at Grace Bible Church, in Hutchinson. The obituary for Conklin said his funeral service will be livestreamed.

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