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Meet the July ‘Guess the Car’ Champion: Charles Peterson

The correct answer for the July contest is the Chevrolet Suburban. The winner for July is Charles Peterson, a counter person at Carquest at Country in Wahiawa, Hawaii.

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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.

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The correct answer for the July contest is the Chevrolet Suburban. The winner for July is Charles Peterson, a counter person at Carquest at Country in Wahiawa, Hawaii.

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

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

CP: My wife and I just moved here four months ago. I’m going on three months here at Carquest.

CM: Why did you move to Hawaii?

CP: My wife got a job here. She works with autistic children, and they have a really great clinic here. It was just a good opportunity for both of us, so we went for it – kind of ripped the roots out of the ground and packed up and moved to paradise.

CM: What do you like most about your job?

CP: I think the thing that stands out most about Hawaii is the people. They’re very friendly. It’s one of the friendliest places I’ve ever been. … And so what I like most about my job is that the people of Hawaii are just great to deal with. It makes my job a lot easier just because they are so friendly. We don’t get grouchy people in here wanting car parts.

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

CP: I was gone that day, but we had a lady come in and ask for blinker fluid. … I bought a bottle for the counterman who got that one. You can buy novelty bottles of blinker fluid [on Amazon], so I bought him one for the next time somebody comes in. It’s good for up to 5,000 blinks.

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

CP: I owned and operated a speedometer shop in Spokane, Washington, for 15 years. I worked on so many amazing cars there. I think the one that stands out was a ’69 Charger that a company in Idaho had restored. It was so perfect – every nut and bolt was authentic. It was just a beautiful car.

As far as my own cars, I’ve always been into the ’67 to ’72 Chevrolets – I’ve owned dozens of those. I had a ’72 K5 Blazer that was my baby for a long time.

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

CP: Up until the time we moved here, speedometers were my hobby and a big part of my life.

CM: How did you get into the speedometer business?

CP: My dad bought the shop right when I was graduating from high school. It was just a perfect opportunity for me. … I’ve been tinkering with speedometers for a long time. I love the old analog stuff; they just don’t make it like that anymore. It was an art unto itself. When I go to car shows, the first thing I look at is the dash.

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CM: What’s your dream car?

CP: My dream car would probably be another ‘72 K5 Blazer.

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