Meet the April 'Guess the Car' Champion: Mark Brunell

Meet the April ‘Guess the Car’ Champion: Mark Brunell

The correct answer for the April contest is the Mitsubishi Eclipse.

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 April contest is the Mitsubishi Eclipse. The winner for April is Mark Brunell, parts sales manager at AutoZone in Alpena, Michigan.

Now, let’s get to know the April “Guess the Car” champion.

CM: How long have you been working in the auto parts business?

MB: I’ve been working in the auto parts business for two and a half going on three years.

CM: What were you doing before that?

MB: I was going to college for auto body and auto repair. I have switched majors to go into business because I want to run a parts store.

CM: What do you like most about your job?

MB: I like that I can not only provide the correct part but also that I can help the customer learn how to do the job properly and give them the parts needed to do it. I like to educate them. That way they truly understand what they’re doing.

CM: Are you a car person?

MB: I work on my own stuff mainly. I went to school for my knowledge and so that it would help me run my own parts store one day. But I’ve always been around cars since I was a kid.

CM: What’s the strangest question a customer has asked you?

MB: My favorite thing that people ask me is when dads send their teenage daughters in to get basic fluids for their car because they’re teaching them how to keep up on the fluids and basic maintenance, and they’ll send them in asking for blinker fluid.

CM: How do you handle those situations?

MB: I laugh a little bit, but then I educate them that there is no such thing as blinker fluid and that they probably have a bulb out.

CM: What’s the coolest car you’ve ever owned or worked on?

MB: The coolest car I ever worked on was an ‘85 Chevy Camaro Z28. It was all blacked out, had a simple 305 Crossfire [fuel-injection system] in there, nothing too fancy. It actually came to me while I was in college. It had a bunch of electrical issues. It wouldn’t fire right. That car taught me electrical skills and vacuum skills, because the hood louvers weren’t working. It taught me how to tune a throttle body. It was my introduction into the past of how mechanics used to work on these cars, before we had all these scanners and computers.

CM: Do you have any interesting hobbies? What do you do for fun?

MB: I am an outdoorsman. I like to hunt and fish. I like being out in the woods. I wrench on stuff in my spare time, of course, but I just like to get out and enjoy nature.

CM: What’s your dream car?

MB: My dream car is a ‘72 Plymouth GTX. I’ll drop a 426 Hemi under the hood. I love that car and I love that body.

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