Q and A With Paul and Jennifer

Q. What was your first car?

P: ‘71 Blazer- I mostly drove it around my parent’s property, but I did drive it a few times with my learner’s permit.
J: When I was 14, I bought a ’75 Datsun pickup truck from my neighbor (non-running) and a crated rebuilt motor. I ended up selling that before I ever did anything with it. The first vehicle I ever actually drove was my parents ’76 Ford Supercab truck “Blue.” The first vehicle I ever purchased myself AND actually drove was an ’89 Firebird Trans Am.

Q. What is your favorite car that you own?

P: Probably my Camaro, even though it’s been neglected. We have history.
J: Definitely my ’95 Dodge Ram 3500 Dually I bought when I was 19. It’s been such a solid truck, I may have asked to be buried in it.

Q. Who is your hero in the car world?

P: Lonnie McCown, our car builder extraordinaire friend in Twisp, WA.
J: My husband of course!

Q. What’s the most extreme thing you’ve ever done in a car?

P: I’ve done a lot of offroad stuff that can get a little dicey at times. There was also jumping my ’75 Coupe De Ville at 95 mph.
J: I had some serious issue with staying within the speed limit when I was younger and had some close calls due to my stupidity, lack of fear, and lead foot. I also jumped my Trans Am all four tires off the ground. That was rad. I should do that again.

Q: How old were you when you learned to drive a manual? And in what car?

P: My first truck I had when I was 15 was a manual, but I drove manual transmission tractors before that, probably starting at around 12.
J: I may or may not have driven a couple boy’s cars when I was 14. (Which is why my kids will never be unsupervised. Ever.) But the unnamed boys helped a lot and it didn’t really stick. Then I didn’t officially learn until my dad tried to teach me in his Explorer- he was a tad uptight and we didn’t ever leave the parking lot. My mom traded cars with my Aunt when my Aunt broke her wrist and needed an automatic to drive. Mom was super chill and just let me drive everywhere for a couple days till I had it nailed. I think I had my learners permit then.

Q. Which of your cars is your favorite car to drive and why?

P: That’s a tough one because I appreciate different things about different vehicles. I like the Unicorn because it is a good old solid truck and it reminds me of my childhood. I like the Corona because it is unique and turbos are fun.
J: I really like driving my Dodge truck, preferably hauling my 4 horse trailer full of horses over the mountain for some riding in the Methow valley. But my ’06 Trailblazer SS is superfast at almost 500 hp and has ruined me for all other cars with its power. Besides that, the SS seats and interior is super nice. And I love cruising in a big 60’s land yacht.

Q. Name 3 cars you would like to own someday.

P: 2010 Camaro SS 6 speed manual in aqua blue metallic. 2014 Dodge Mega cab long bed. Squarebody suburban.
J: A New Challenger Hellcat, an old Challenger, a 32 Ford coupe, a Nova with ridiculous huge meats (I can’t count)

Q. Name 3 car activities that are on your bucket list.

P: Hotrod’s Drag Week, Wheeling all the major trails in Northern CA, going 200 mph in something that’s not a European supercar.
J: Hotrod Power Tour, Route 66, LeMons Rally, Drag racing my Trailblazer SS, drive around the country with a huge car trailer, stopping along the way to buy project cars. (I can’t count again)

Q. If you had to evacuate and could only take two cars with you, which of your cars would you take?

P: Unicorn and the Camaro
J: My Dodge pulling my horse trailer and oh man that’s a hard decision. Good thing Paul is taking the Unicorn and the Camaro, I guess I would take the Bonneville, I’m pretty in love with that car right now. Or maybe the 58 Caddy. Good thing we aren’t in area where evacuation is imminent. I’d probably be one of those people they write newspaper stories about, “Woman perished hugging her cars.”

Q. How many vehicles have you owned in your lifetime?

P: 57 and 5 motorcycles
J: 35, but 31 one of those are also included in Paul’s list as vehicles we bought together

Q. What’s the most fun car related activity you’ve ever done?

P: Ultimate Adventure was really fun.
J: We may or may not have rallied a rental car through the Nevada desert once. It may or may not have been awesome. Pulling a semi out of the mud with an ’01 Dodge 2500 was pretty fun. The first couple times Paul spun a 180 e-brake turn in his Camaro was pretty fun. Any time I can get a straight stretch of uninhabited open road where I can open it up makes my day. Multi-state road trips feed my soul. I think I would make a great nomad.

Q. If you could meet one famous car person, who would it be?

P: Jay Leno
J: Mario Andretti, as my nickname among family and friends used to be Jennifer Andretti due to my expedient driving style.

Q. What is the perfect road trip car?

P: Probably a 60’s land yacht
J: What he said

Q: What is the perfect road trip?

P: A good cruiser, my best friend/wife, going places I’ve never gone before.
J: I will say Route 66 because I want to do it, not because I have and know it is.

Q. Have you ever jumped a car?

P: Yeah, like every day.
J: Yes, my ’89 Trans Am. It was rad.

Q. What’s the fastest you’ve ever been in a car?

P: Probably 130
J: I think about 115, maybe 120

Q. Please outline your traffic violation history.

P: Speeding, illegal bumper height, insufficient tire coverage- and repeat several times.
J: A few speeding tickets, but nothing for almost 10 years (that’s what having kids in the car with you all the time will do for you!)

Q: What’s your claim to fame when it comes to cars or driving?

P: I don’t claim to be famous.
J: I can tow a big trailer like nobody’s business. And back it anywhere it needs to go.

Q. What’s the cheapest car you ever bought that you were still able to drive home?

P: One of the cheapest cars I ever bought and drove home was a ’70 Cadillac Coupe deVille, the same one that I jumped at 95 mph, I paid $200 for it.
J: When I was about 6 months pregnant with our daughter T, I bought an 84 Camaro for $100. Fired it up and drove it home in the snow.

Q. Funny car story?

P: When Jennifer and I took our 36 International Hotrod to Billetproof in 2015, it had a pretty good death wobble in the front end and an open driveline, which happened to have a strand of barbedwire wrapped around it. (Our driveline guys wanted to contribute to the “ratrod” look ). It was so hot that day, so on the way back to our rental cabin, we stopped for icecream and a gallon jug of water. Jennifer sat the water jug on top of the frame for the driveline, since her hands were full trying to keep other small items from falling through the mostly open floor pan. As we wove through town, we hit a bump on the corner just right and the death wobble immediately sent the front tires into a frenzy of crazed back and forth movements. As we lurched along, the jug of water got sucked into the driveline tunnel and the barbed wire tore up the jug, creating a massive sprinkler of water shooting in all directions INSIDE the truck. We were laughing so hard we could barely get pulled over to get organized. At least we were cooler after all of that!
J: Paul’s story is probably the funniest. However, when I was 19, I lived on a farm and the property owner was baling some big round bales of hay. I decided I should steal a few bales. These bales weigh about 700 lbs each. I used my Dodge to roll the hay bales across the field and into the barn.

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