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About Alexandra Martin-Banzer

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.

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About Alexandra Martin-Banzer

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.

Best Places to Drive Dune Buggy
Posted by Alexandra Martin-Banzer
April 25, 2015 at 11:24 am

Time to take playing in the sand dunes to the next level! Driving Dune Buggies allow for gear heads to get lost in a new environment with an off-roading vehicle. The beauty of this sport is that it is easy to either take along a passenger or go with your whole family in a multiple-seat dune buggy. A lot of locations also offer dune buggy tours, where they have a professional driver to give you and your gang the dune buggy ride of your life. Most guarantee that you will never look at sand again as being boring.

We have compiled a list of places to drive dune buggies that will keep you from saying, “Well, I’ve been wanting to try riding in the sand, but we don’t have the equipment.” All of the venues listed below offer rentals, tours and allow you to bring your own buggy too.

And if you’re in the mood to make your old VW-Based Car into a Baja Bug, the Motor Bookstore has the how-to book available here.  Here is another great book that describes dune buggy restoration located here:

Know of a great place to go drive a Dune Buggy?  Let us know in the comments so we can add it to the list!

        Dunebuggy Tours and Rentals, Palm Springs
        Sun Buggy Fun Rentals, Pismo Beach

        Baja Buggyz | The Place Kids Drive, Jacksonville
        Revolution Off Road, Orlando

        Bare Foot Buggy, Oahu
        Aloha Buggies,Oahu

        MAC Wood’s Dune Rides, Mears
        Wild Bill’s ATV Rentals, Mears

        Sun Buggy Fun Rentals, Las Vegas
        Vegas Toys 4 Rent, Las Vegas

        Sandland Adventures, Florence
        Spinreel Dune Buggy and ATV Rental, North Bend

Posted by Alexandra Martin-Banzer
October 29, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Have you ever searched for off-roading parks with cabins right on location?  If so, you know how tough it can be to find the perfect place that isn’t a far drive… We hope you find our list of off-roading parks with cabins useful for you, your family and friends.

Family at Morrow County Parks OHV
Above: Bartsch Family at Heppner OHV Park / Morrow County Parks in Oregon

When someone asks you how your off-roading weekend was, which one of these scenarios sounds like a better time?

  1. I woke up early, loaded up my dirt bikes and quads, drove for about two hours, unloaded the bikes, and rode trails till the sun went down, then loaded the bikes up and drove home.
  2. I woke up early, had some coffee, then walked a few feet to my dirt bike and kicked started it and then spent all day riding great trails. Repeated it on Sunday morning. No we didn’t camp; we stayed in cabins on location. It was a hassle-free weekend.


Most people would agree that the second option sounds like a great way to spend the weekend. Every minute you have to spend loading up your off-roading vehicles and setting up a camp is less time you have to get your tires muddy. Staying on location at an OHV/off-roading park with a cabin is a great benefit for all riders because the more seat time you have, the more comfortable you become pushing and learning the limits of your riding ability. A lot of sites offer primitive camping; however, this option doesn’t always appeal to everyone and, once again, setting up camp takes away from your riding time. Riding your off-road vehicle at a park that has onsite cabins is a great benefit for all riders. It’s hassle-free and allows for you to wake up and go. Another benefit to these cabins is that most locations offer other outdoor activities, allowing for plenty of options when a break from riding is needed.

Cabins at Windrock Park, OHVs
Above: Cabins at Windrock Park, OHV Trail Riding and Camping

UTVs Trail Riding at Windrock Parks
Above: UTVs Trail Riding at Windrock Parks

We have put together a list of off-roading parks that have cabins on location and would make for a great getaway weekend with the family. Do you have any favorite off-roading parks with cabins on location? Let us know in the comments so we can keep this list growing.

Morrow County Parks

Lexington, Oregon

Stoney Lonesome OHV Park

Cullman County, Alabama

WindRock Park

Oliver Springs, Tennessee

Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area

Gilmer, Texas

Ride Royal Blue

Pioneer, Tennessee

Wolfpen ATV Campground & Cabins

Mena, Arkansas

Hatfield McCoy Trails

Williamson, West Virginia

Muddy Joe’s Off-Road RV Park

Kiln, Mississippi

River Run ATV Park

Jacksonville, Texas

Jericho Mountain State Park

Berlin, New Hampshire

Posted by Alexandra Martin-Banzer
August 25, 2014 at 9:34 pm

You love to test your skills on a local motocross track near your home, or at least not too far. However, where is the nearest motocross park to learn and enhance your skill level?  Is the specific motocross track designed for your skill level?  We have attempted to answer those questions for you in our list of the best motocross tracks for all levels of learning.

Rider at Seminole Motocross Park
Above: Rider at Seminole Motocross Park

Mud, rain, two-strokes, and adrenaline, motocross brings a unique type of racing competitiveness that has been deemed an extreme sport for very good reasons. Racers are competing on off-road circuits that contain various difficult elements such as hill climbs and table tops. These motocross tracks are designed to test the riders, allowing for the very best to pull the win. When attending an event, it almost feels like the riders have been training their whole life for these off-road circuits. And most of them have been. So how does a rider inch their way into the motocross world comfortably?

We researched the best motocross tracks and parks in the US with the notion that every engine lover deserves the opportunity to practice motocross without the pressure of being watched by professionals. Most parks state on their websites that any skill level can ride their circuits, however we picked the best motocross parks that focused on different levels of learning. This list is only the start though! Post in the comments motocross parks that you know about that are great for each level of learning.

Beginner Tracks
        Morelands Motocross Park

        Trophy Club Park

Beginner to Moderate Tracks
        Jewell Motocross Track

        Cub Run MX Playground

Moderate to Advanced Tracks
        Thunder Valley MX

        Thundercross MX Park

    South Carolina
        TNT Motorsports Park

Advanced Tracks
        Honey Lake MX

        Emma Long Motocross Park

Motocross Ice Racing in Quebec, Canada

Motocross Ice Racing in Quebec, Canada. Are you sure? Cool…

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
August 10, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Are you looking for legal places to drive your Off Highway Vehicle (OHV)? In this article, The Motor Bookstore takes a stab at providing a list of the best OHV parks by City and State to legally drive your Jeep or other 4×4 vehicle.

Best OHV Parks - 2008 Jeep Wrangler

No matter the season, your Jeep is constantly waiting to be taken off-road. That is the beauty of owning one.  An apocalypse happens during your daily commute to work? Your Jeep has you covered. Earthquake causes your driveway to become covered in boulders and rocks? Your 4×4 will crawl right over them, giving you plenty of time to drop the kids off at school. Owning an OHV approved car that can handle almost any terrain you take it on is a great feeling. Though it is not such a great feeling when you accidentally trespass on private property when you attempt to do some quick off-roading in your apocalypse car. To avoid getting in the bad kind of trouble with your Jeep, we recommend getting in the good kind of trouble that consists of figuring out how to maneuver your car down an advanced trail that is located at one of the best OHV parks in the country.

We did our research on the best OHV parks that consist of all types of terrain and will be a good time for all skill levels. We started with locating OHV parks near the 10 biggest cities in the US that are 4×4 and Jeep friendly, but this list is far from complete and we want to keep it growing with your help. Do you have a recommendation? Let us know in the comments!

Chicago, Illinois
   Luster’s Longhorn Mud Ranch
   238 Miles from Chicago

Dallas, Texas
   Northwest Park
   69.4 Miles from Dallas

Houston, Texas
   Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area
   234 Miles outside of Houston

Los Angeles, California
   Lake Arrowhead
   80 Miles From LA

New York, New York
   Lewis County
   297 Miles from New York

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
   Rausch Creek Off-Road Park
   83 Miles from Philadelphia

Phoenix, Arizona
   Black Hills Box Canyon
   60.3 Miles from Phoenix

San Antonio, Texas
   Cline Ranch
   37.7 Miles from San Antonio

San Diego, California
   Hungry Valley
   181 Miles from San Diego

San Jose, California
   Hollister Hills
   58.6 from San Jose

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 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.