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 December/January contest is the Ford Focus. The winner is Michael Edwards, a former counterman (now semi-retired) at Bumper to Bumper in Bloomington, Illinois.
Now, let’s get to know the “Guess the Car” champion.
CM: How long have you been working in the auto parts business?
ME: I was in the business for almost 16 years. Before that, I was a mechanic for over 30 years.
CM: What did you like most about your job?
ME: I think what I liked best about it was working with a bunch of good people, and helping people find what they needed to get their job done. I took pride in that – taking time to figure out what they need and locating it to get it to them.
CM: What’s the strangest question a customer has asked you?
ME: There are so many of them that it’s hard to narrow it down.
I remember years ago a guy came in to buy Freon and I asked if he needed a charging kit. He said he didn’t have one but he didn’t want one. I said, “Well, how are you gonna put it into the system?” He said, “Pour it in, I guess.”
… We finally convinced him that he needed some kind of gauge set or some kind of charging adapter. I think he ended up taking it to a shop.
CM: What’s the coolest car you’ve ever owned or worked on?
ME: Well, my favorite, when I was young and crazy, was a ’65 Pontiac LeMans. It was just a step below a GTO; it didn’t have all the GTO trim, but it ran like one. I got myself into a lot of trouble with that car.
CM: Do you have any interesting hobbies? What do you do for fun?
ME: I used to try and play golf. I bowled for many years, but I haven’t done that in a long time. I do a lot of reading and TV, that’s about it.
CM: What’s your dream car?
ME: I’d have to say the car I’ve been fascinated with since I was a kid is a Studebaker Avanti. I was in grade school when that car came out. I just fell in love with it immediately. I don’t think I’ve ever even had a chance to drive one. They’re kind of weird-looking cars now, but they were so far ahead of their time.