Every month, 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 July contest is the Honda HR-V.
The winner for July is Vinny Erickson, a counterman at Fisher Auto Parts in Rochester, New Hampshire.
Now, let’s get to know July’s “Guess the Car” champion.
CM: How long have you been working in the auto parts business?
VE: It’s probably been close to 30 years now. I’ve been here for about five years.
CM: What do you like most about your job?
VE: Working with people. I love helping people out. People come in, they feel lost. I like to try and steer them in the right direction.
CM: What’s the strangest question a customer has asked you?
VE: A customer called up, told me she had a Ford and asked me if I could tell her what model she had. She gave me the VIN, but she couldn’t come up with the name of the car. I didn’t want to tell her, “Go out and just look around the car.” I was surprised she came up with the VIN. But I was able to look it up, and after that it became a Taurus.
CM: What’s the coolest car you’ve ever owned or worked on?
VE: The coolest car I’ve ever owned would probably be my ‘78 Cutlass Supreme. I’ve owned seven Olds Cutlasses in my life: three ‘78s, three ‘79s and an ‘82. And one of my ‘78s was all done up really nice. That was my favorite that I’ve ever owned.
CM: Did you make any modifications to it?
VE: Just your basic chrome air cleaner and chrome valve covers and the Edelbrock carburetor and all that. Minor upgrades. I didn’t do any cam work or crank work on it. But it was nice. I had air shocks in the back, so I boosted it up in the back, and it had the fat tires on it. It had a 350 Olds engine in it. It went right along.
CM: Do you have any interesting hobbies? What do you do for fun?
VE: I do work on motorcycles extensively, carburetion. I seem to have all sorts of friends who have vintage motorcycles and they need carb work done. And I’m the go-to guy.
CM: So you repair motorcycle carburetors?
VE: I clean them. I rebuild them. I synchronize them. I rejet them. I make sure that they all work perfectly so they’re running again. I’m pretty good with electrical work on motorcycles too. I’ve never cracked open an engine of the bike or done any internal engine work, but I can do just about anything else. If somebody brings me a bike and says, “Hey, it was running when it was parked, and it’s been parked for 10 years,” I’ll get it running, no problem.
CM: Do you ride?
VE: I just sold my Honda VTX 1800. I’m looking to pick up another bike, but I want to get a vintage bike again. Because before that I sold my ‘78 Suzuki GS 1000 and I’ve missed that ever since. I’d rather have an older GS-model Suzuki than anything new that’s out there, or even a Honda CB 900 or CB 1000. Those are great.
CM: What’s your dream car?
VE: That’s easy: a 1967 Pontiac GTO with the four-barrel high-output 400 engine.
I’ve had die-casts, Matchbox cars, posters, pictures, keychains, you name it – I just don’t have the car. One of these days, maybe. I’d settle for a ‘67 LeMans and clone it out if I can’t afford the real deal.