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 February/March contest is the Jeep Wrangler. The winner is Tim Canipe, manager at Flowers Auto Parts in Conover, North Carolina. Now, let’s get to know the “Guess the Car” champion.
CM: How long have you been working in the auto parts business?
TC: Since 1987.
CM: What do you like most about your job?
TC: Being able to help people. I really enjoy that.
CM: What’s the strangest question a customer has asked you?
TC: When I first started – this was probably close to 30 years ago – an old fella came in, he was rolling himself in a wheelchair. He asked if we had any white port; he was looking for wine. I thought he was kidding. But the manager who had been there for years told me the man was one of the locals who came in from time to time because he got us confused with the liquor store.
Over the years, I’ve had all kinds of people asking me for weird parts. Lately, I guess people aren’t working but they’ve got money, so they’ve been pulling their old cars out of the barns and out of the woods and stuff, and they get upset because you don’t have a wheel cylinder for a 1960 F-350.
CM: What’s the coolest car you’ve ever owned or worked on?
TC: I’ve always owned regular cars – pickup trucks and cars. I’ve never been into hot rods or anything like that. But back in the early ‘90s, I spent about four or five months helping a man with a late-model stock car that ran at Hickory Motor Speedway. That was the coolest thing. I think every young man needs a race car in his life at some point.
CM: Do you have any interesting hobbies? What do you do for fun?
TC: My wife and I have dogs: two Boston terriers and a pit bull. Since we’re empty nesters now, the dogs are kind of like our kids.
CM: What’s your dream car?
TC: I’m an ‘80s kid. I’d love to have a 1987 Buick Grand National.