Counterman’s “Guess the Car” contest challenges our readers to solve an automotive riddle, for a chance to win $100. And each month, we receive hundreds of responses from aftermarket professionals trying to guess the model of the vehicle depicted.
The correct answer for the August/September contest is the Ford Mustang. The winner is Charles Dumont, a counter professional with NAPA Auto Parts in Shelton, Washington. Now, let’s get to know the “Guess the Car” champion.
CM: How long have you been working in the auto parts business?
CD: Thirteen years.
CM: What were you doing before that?
CD: I was a technician for about 40 years.
CM: What do you like most about your job?
CD: What I like most is turning customers into clients. The difference is a customer is somebody who, for whatever reason, will come in once in a while, or once, and buy something. But a client is somebody who you have a long-term relationship with, and they turn to you for more than auto parts. They turn to you for advice and guidance. And that is what I like to develop.
CM: What’s the strangest question a customer has asked you?
CD: I get strange questions all the time. When you get those questions, it’s important to take the time to understand and ask questions and find out what they’re really after. I enjoy that.
CM: What’s the coolest car you’ve ever owned or worked on?
CD: My favorite that I wish I still had was my ’66 Impala Super Sport. That car was just perfect when I got it. I saw an ad in one of the little local newspapers that said, “Chevrolet for sale, $500.” And I had the $500, so I went over and purchased it from a family. And they said, “We’re sorry we had to charge $500, but we just put a new engine in it.” And that car had full factory race options. It was beautiful. It was a great deal. Now it would be worth quite a bit of money.
CM: Do you still own it?
CD: Oh no. That’s when I was a teenager and I had no idea about collecting and valuing cars. I sold it to somebody else.
CM: Do you have any interesting hobbies? What do you do for fun?
CD: I have my own private shop up on my property and I work on neighbors’ and family’s cars there. It keeps my skills fresh and it’s not demanding. I do as much or as little as I want. So automotive repair is still my hobby.
CM: What is your dream car?
CD: My dream car right now is a self-driving Tesla.