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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Posted by Alexandra Martin-Banzer
July 27, 2014 at 8:26 am

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars rating 4 out of 5 stars

Who is Steve Magnante?  Why should someone trust his book, 1001 Muscle Car Facts?  Turns out, Steve is a complete gear head who is obsessed with the Detroit performance scene. He worked at Hot Rod Magazine as a Technical Editor, and then moved on to working for Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction. He is also a spokesperson for Dodge and the Dodge Scat Pack. Given his first love was a stack of faded “vintage” car magazines discovered in 1974, along with his impressive work experience, Mr. Magnante indeed has the knowledge and experience to author, Steve Magnate’s 1001 Muscle Car Facts.

Steve Magnante's 1001 Muscle Car Facts Book Cover
Above: 1001 Muscle Car Facts by Steve Magnante

This incredibly thick muscle car trivia book is divided into four parts: General Motors, Ford and Mercury, Chrysler, and then American Motors and Studebaker. Each chapter is broken into five parts like, Legend and Lore, Body and Interior, or Engine and Driveline. Each topic is helpful if you want to learn new muscle car trivia or test yourself on a subject you believe you’re a master at.  The length of each fact varies from a few sentences to three paragraphs. Short or long, the facts read easily and you’ll find yourself several pages deep before you even realize it.

Magnante found a way to provide muscle car trivia for a wide range of consumers. There is engine jargon for the gear heads, history for the know-it-all car buffs, and dispelling of rumors for the curious ones. Even though there are only a few pictures throughout the book, don’t get the idea that this is another boring encyclopedia. The author was able to incorporate a little humor and sass into his writing, which is the exact opposite of your Grandpa’s encyclopedia collection.

Did you know that Bill Mitchell, GM’s design vice president, came up with the blue-to-white color fade of the XP-755 Corvette Mako Shark I concept car on an actual Mako shark he caught and had stuffed? Or that his idea caused enough frustration in the art department that the design team broke in to his office and repainted the shark so Mitchell would finally approve the coloring?  Talk about a fun piece of muscle car trivia to throw around at your next Corvette and Coffee meet up. Or if you wanted to literally demonstrate your new car knowledge, fact 56 gives you a tip on how to tell a Chevy 409 block apart from a 348 block. Magnante helps his readers become the most interesting people to kick tires with.

Whether you purchase this book for the garage workbench, the coffee table, under the Christmas tree or as a birthday gift, 1001 Muscle Car Facts will be a book you can reach for, crack open, and instantly devour. You can buy this great book here at The Motor Bookstore: (Steve Magnante’s 1001 Muscle Car Facts ).

Alexandra Martin-Banzer is a content writer at and a freelance writer. Known as a car girl, she is a true automotive enthusiast of both classics and new.

Posted by Alexandra Martin-Banzer
July 12, 2014 at 1:12 pm

From the 318i to the M3, the E36 BMW is loved by many enthusiasts. It’s a style that has transcended the generations. With most of the cars from that era coming up on being 20 or more years old, it is make it or break it time for the engine and drivetrain. These German cars will keep on going well past 200,000 miles, but not without essential maintenance along the way. Here are five tips that will help you reduce repair costs and deepen your love for your BMW without shortening your pockets.

1990-2000 BMW 3 Series (E36) Cars: 5 Tips to Deeply Reduce Repair Costs

1) Regular Maintenance

While consistently checking your oil, changing out the fluids, and other types of general maintenance may seem obvious, owners forget how essential these little tasks are. Your E36 engine is an orchestra, performing a grand piece whenever it turns over. If all the fluids and filters aren’t attended to properly, something bad is sure to happen. The outcome of this – costly and inconvenient breakdowns.

2) DIY

German cars have the reputation for costing an arm and a leg for repairs. Instead of taking your car to a mechanic, work on it yourself and drastically reduce repair costs. A good place to start when looking for DIY repair manuals is The Motor Bookstore.  Working on your pride and joy at first may seem frightening, however the chances of you causing permanent damage are very low. There are two promised outcomes when doing your own maintenance on your BMW: more money in your bank account and the feeling of accomplishment after taking a few steps back.

3) Outsourcing Parts Purchases

A sure way to rack up your repair costs is to go straight to a BMW dealer for parts. The beauty of the web is that purchasing your own parts has become cheaper and safer. With a little Internet sleuthing, you will be able to find a website with good reviews in no time that will help you reduce repair costs. A majority of BMW forums recommend They offer discount rates and are known for their customer service.

4) Knowing Before Going

If that clunking isn’t going away and you want to bring in a professional, read up on your E36. A proactive BMW owner who has knowledge about the steps, challenges and details of a specific repair will be able to potentially reduce repair costs by reducing the risk of a mechanic taking advantage of them.

5) Immerse Yourself

The cherry on top of reducing your repair costs is to join the world of BMW completely. This means becoming a member of your local BMW club or joining a popular forum such as and Becoming a part of the culture allows you to talk with other enthusiast about tricks and tips to save money on repairs.

BMW love is a unique love. As owners, and I am one as well, we talk constantly about the reliability of the cars thanks to their German background. This relationship is tested though every time we hear an odd noise or notice that the performance is off. These signs can mean expensive repairs are upon you. The quick easy tips we discussed above allow for Bimmer owners to continue motoring on, and doing the things necessary to avoid high repair costs.


Alexandra Martin-Banzer is a content writer at and a freelance writer. Known as a car girl, she is a true automotive enthusiast of both classics and new.

Posted by Mike Hornok
July 4, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Many people think they must turn to a car dealer for car detailing to get the immaculate cleaning they want for their vehicle. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. With the right guidance and instructions, you can complete many of the same tasks on your own at home. All you need is some time and patience.
Car Detailing: How-To Save Money by doing it yourself

Wash in the Right Order

Washing your car in the right order will give you the meticulous shine you are looking for. Start with the wheels so you don’t splash water onto your already washed car body. Move on to the painted portions of the car, followed by the interior. Finally, wash the glass.

Use the Proper Drying Material

Some people use old cotton rags to dry their car, but this is a major mistake. Instead, choose waffle weave microfiber, which is the preferred fabric of the professionals. This material is gentler on your car’s finish and won’t create unseen scratches that affect the shine of the paint job.

Try Compressed Air

You may not have even considered it, but compressed air can be a great tool to use in car detailing. Blow the air into any tight spaces you can’t reach with a towel, such as behind the mirrors, in your taillights and behind any emblems on your car. This removes any water that may be trapped behind these features.

Vacuum Well

Cleaning out the interior of your car requires a good vacuum to remove dirt, crumbs and any other debris that may have built up in your car. Make sure to use all your attachments to eliminate the dust from your air vents and any other smaller crevices in your car.

Try a Light-Mist Wax

Instead of using a heavy wax, it is best to use a light-mist wax that sprays on. Apply it to a wet surface and dry with a microfiber cloth. This cloth will remove any dirt left behind in the washing process and will spread the protective coating on the painted surface.

Car detailing doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. With these tips and strategies, you can perform the same service at home for much less. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy an impeccably detailed car whenever you want.

If you are interested in car detailing books, click here: The Motor Bookstore.

Haynes Techbook: Automotivie Detailing Manual

Have any detailing tips you use to keep your car in top-notch condition? Please feel free to share them with us in the comments.