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Meet the September ‘Guess the Car’ Winner: Branden Bettger

The correct answer for the September contest is the GMC Canyon.

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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.

The correct answer for the September contest is the GMC Canyon.

The winner for September is Branden Bettger, a parts specialist at NAPA Auto Parts in Port Angeles, Washington.

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

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

BB: I’ve been working in the auto parts business for about two and a half years now. I recently received my ASE certification as a parts specialist.

CM: What were you doing before that?

BB: I was selling fruits and vegetables and health food in Ireland. And I was a student in Ireland for five years.

CM: What do you like most about your job?

BB: What I like most about it is the people I work with. We have a great team of guys here and it makes coming to work fun and enjoyable. I also love the research aspect of it too. That’s a lot of fun. Everyday is like doing multiple puzzles.

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

BB: Probably one of the strangest – or one of the more difficult ones – actually came from someone who knew a lot about [cars], but it was something that was just very unusual and hard to find. Somebody asked me to find front and rear shocks for a 1975 Jensen-Healey. And we don’t have a listing in our system for anything regarding shocks on those. Even if you go online, there are only a couple kits available, and they’re modified Bilstein suspension systems. That’s all that was out there, and those were weeks out, and he needed them in a couple days.

So he brought in the old ones, and I was able to match them up by size and pressure, and found that the shocks that fit best were front shocks from a 1960s Corvette, and the rear shocks from a mid-90s Geo Tracker. That’s just very unusual. And he put them on and said they were excellent and the performance was way better than it had ever been, and he said he would highly recommend them to anybody else.

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

BB: The coolest car I’ve ever owned and also worked on was my first car actually, because I was a car nut from birth – Road and Track magazine was my bedtime story. My first car was a 1972 BMW 2002. It was a Roundie, with the sunroof, and it was British racing green. I loved that car and I did a bit of work to it.

CM: What kind of modifications did you make to it?

BB: I put on a Weber carburetor and an intake from a ti from a different model, and I put in Recaro seats from a 320is. And an aftermarket sound system as well. I was a teenager.

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

BB: I’m a guitarist, a recording artist and I perform live often.

CM: Do you play solo or in bands?

BB: I do solo stuff and I also play in a couple bands. A lot of times I fill in for solo musicians who need an electric guitarist.

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CM: What’s your dream car?

BB: There’s the unattainable dream car and then there’s the potentially attainable. The unattainable would be something like a 1995 McLaren F1 LM. Then there’s possibly attainable, which would be something like a 2003 Porsche 911 Turbo, a car that I had posters of in my bedroom when I was a teenager.

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