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About the Car Guy

Most people know me as just “Zack”.  I’m a DJ.  What?  A DJ?  It’s true… in my business we joke about “Stupid DJ” as some people refer to us.  It’s really OK… kinda funny, really.  Much like Happy Gilmour and the line “UH-OH Happy learned how to putt!”… Uh-oh, this DJ loves cars… and has studied them for decades.

But please understand what I’ve studied… not engines, not suspensions… but practicality.  It’s like I’m a translator, but for cars.  We constantly see data on cars.  Horse Power, Towing Capacity, EPA Fuel Economy, and all kinds if inside terms and comparisons that really suck.  Ya, sorry, they suck.  Here’s my goal, allow you to make the sales guy you’re talking to feel stupid.  Sorry sales guys!  But, any manager in a dealership is telling their sales team to relate to their customer.  But, most sales guys regress to the data… the stats.  In fact, here is a great example of connecting to the customer.  Anthony Fowler, one of the managers of Calgary Honda proved to me why he’s one of the best managers within the Dilawri Group of Auto Dealerships.  We talked about the Honda Ridgeline, and he owns one.  I’m a guy… I’m a sucker for fun guy-time.  First thing he showed me on that truck?  Not the engine, not the stereo… but a compartment under the box that has a drain that Anthony has learned you can fill with ice and tailgate with.  It’s true.  And it matters.

Here is my promise to you.  I’ll give you a perspective.  While my perspective might be slightly different from yours, I hope you’re able to take from it one little nugget into car buying.  I hope that by discussing my perspective I’ll give you the motivation to find your perspective.  Because too often in car buying, we buy for the WRONG reasons.  Buy for you.  And get it RIGHT!

My Perspective:

Home – I’m a husband and father of 2 kids that are 1 year apart in age (I know, it seemed like a good idea at the time).  So, we run to hockey on weekends, practice and work on weekdays.  But here’s the catch, I live in a small rural town called Carstairs, about 65km north of Calgary AB.  So I drive, a LOT.  While I write this, here is an example of 1 weekend of travel.  Work Friday day, hockey for the boy Friday night in Calgary.   The setup a DJ gig for a figure skating fundraiser in Crossfield AB.  Hockey Saturday AM in Chestermere AB, the a meeting with a client of mine in Olds Saturday afternoon.  Hockey again Saturday night in Carstairs before attending a Gymnastics fundraiser Saturday Night.  Sunday AM back to hockey in Cochrane AB, and an afternoon of accounting for my business Executive Media Inc Sunday afternoon.  Did I mention I drive a LOT?  Oh boy…

Work – I’m a Radio DJ by trade, and host the afternoon show on Calgary Radio Station KooL 101.5.  It’s approxmately 65km from my house to the radio studio in downtown Calgary each day, and return in the evening.  Plenty of highway driving, and the start-stop of city driving is unfortunately in my life as well.  Being a DJ, I travel for gigs, each month in Banff at Aurora Nightclub for a monthly residency at least, and often to gigs around Canada too.

Life – We travel, and love Hawaii.  In the summer, we camp.  I tow a Rockwood 8317 RKSS 34′ bumper pull trailer (8000lbs loaded) all summer long.  I need entertainment for kids in my car.  I need to fit booster seats.  In the Winter, I need to fit hockey gear.  This is real car buying testing.  And, I drive at least 130km/day at LEAST going to work.

My Cars – I drive a 2002 Mercedes-Benz C320 currently.  My wife drives (except when we tow in the summer, then I drive it) a 2007 Toyota Tundra Crew Max Truck.  Am I in the market for a new truck?  No.  Love my Tundra.  I’m a convertible fan, and recently sold my love, a 1968 all original VW Beetle Cabrio.  Only because, in this town with a 110km/hr highway to travel on, that Beetle isn’t the most fun to drive that fast on the Freeway with.  Cruising on farm roads with it?  Amazing.  Am I looking for a new convertible?  Definitely.

CAR UPDATES (cars that I’ve had and sold for various reasons)
2000 VW Beetle Diesel – STATUS – SOLD AS PARTS
CAUSE – Sheared Engine Mount blew the engine at 285,000K  I was always shocked Green Peace hadsn’t harpooned my stinky diesel Beetle yet to be honest.  It stinks.  But, it gets 1100km on a tank.  For me, it worked… even with hail damage.  Until the engine popped.  Biggest warning about this car – Electrical System.  Airbags and dash lights failed many times, ignition and computer failed and replaced.

2007 Jeep Wrangler – STATUS – SOLD
REASON – I loved my Wrangler.  I sold it due to fuel economy and life.  I drive about 130 KM’s per day.  It was TOO hard on gas.  Live the soft top life, and even the bumpy ride it had.  With a son that plays hockey… hockey bag didn’t fit.  Jeep had to go.  Sorry Jeep!  I’ll miss you.

My Faves – I only have a few favorite cars.  And I’m very particular about my years.  Early 80’s Porsche 911 holds  a special place in my heart.  Same with 1970-73 911, when Porsche badging was chrome on the bonnet, and wasn’t red.  ’59 356 is dreamy.  2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage, 6 speed only.  2002 BMW Z3.  2004-06 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Inline V6 4.0L is also special.  These are special cars… and part of the dream.  Ah well….

Now that you understand my perspective, let’s find the right car for you.  Money is simple, we have money to spend on the car we love.  The reality is that we can’t afford to get it wrong.

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