June 2014 Northern California People & Places

The 12th annual Peggy Sue’s All-American Cruise will take place June 12-15, in Santa Rosa at A Place to Play Park. Registration is open through June 8 for cars, motorcycles, and vintage trailers.  Friday’s lineup includes the 10th Annual Chili/Pasta cook-off along with a pin-up girl contest. On Saturday, visitors will have a chance to meet Mr. Norm, builder of the famous Mopar “Mr. Norm’s Charger,” and Jim Wangers, the “Godfather of the Pontiac GTO.” Sunday’s events include a pancake breakfast and Raider Mike's hot dog-eating contest. The family-themed weekend also features live entertainment by The Hot Rods, the Poyntlyss Sisters Band, and Wonder Bread 5. Visit the www.peggysuescruise.com for a full schedule and registration.

Two Northern California residents are among 22 recipients of the 2014 World Class Technician Award conferred by the Auto Care Association and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The annual awards recognize technicians who have obtained ASE certification in 22 specialty areas during the previous year. The Northern California recipients are Mark W. Couvrette of Sacramento and Michael Whalen of Dixon. “Recipients of the World Class Technician Award are truly the best of the best, and the Auto Care Association is proud to recognize these professionals with ASE,” Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association, said. Tim Zilke, president and CEO of ASE, said the award “is one of the most significant achievement awards available to our ASE-certified professionals.”  

The reopening of 4 Wheel Parts’ San Jose location was marked by a celebration on May 3. “We’ve expanded the showroom, added more than $100,000 in inventory, and completely upgraded the look and feel of our stores,” Sam Cervantes, store operations manager for Transamerican Auto Parts, said. The upgraded displays are categorized by product type rather than brand, and include interactive displays. “The new format of our stores greatly enhances the shopping experience,” Cervantes said.

The ASCCA Summer Conference will be June 27-29, at the Irvine Marriott Hotel. Presenters will include Dave Schedin of CompuTrek, Doug Mueller of TecHelp, Mark Warren of WORLDPAC, Maylan Newton of ESI, Jorge Menchu of AESwave and others. The event will include a raffle for a MaxiSYS diagnostic system from AESwave. Information and registration are available at www.ascca.com

The ASC Educational Foundation has awarded 11 scholarships for 2014 totaling $14,800. The program is open to high school seniors who plan to enroll in postsecondary technical/academic training or college undergraduates in the automotive service field. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $2,000 and can be applied toward tuition, tools, and books. Northern California recipients are Stephanie Yim, Chabot College, Hayward;  Emily Lowdermilk, Grace Hair, James Rodriguez, and Luis Gutierrez, De Anza College, Cupertino; and Joel Kumparak, Wilcox High School, Santa Clara.

Smith Auto held customer-appreciation events April 24, in Visalia and April 25, in Fresno. Manufacturer reps were on hand from NGK, WIX, USA Industries, KYB, Bosch, and CARDONE. More than 100 installers and customers from the surrounding area had a chance to see the latest products, meet factory representatives, and enjoy a barbeque lunch, Smith Auto Co-owner Troy Cochran said.

The Santa Clara Chapter of the California Autobody Association (CAA) will hold its 31st annual Golf Tournament Wednesday, June 25, at the Cinnabar Hills Golf Club. Event sponsors include Magnussen’s Toyota, Unique Towing, and Martin Auto Color. Competitive events will include Hole in One, Longest Drive, and Closest to the Pin, and there will be a raffle featuring more than $3,000 in prizes.

Caliber Collision Centers continues its expansion in California with the opening of a new location in Seaside. “The opening of a new location in the Monterey Bay area pushes our total number of California locations to 79,” Steve Grimshaw, Caliber Collision Centers’ CEO, said.  Caliber Collision now has 165 locations spread across Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, he said.

Kukui has announced a partnership with ProfitBoost, a producer of automotive repair shop management software. Kukui has integrated its marketing-management platform with ProfitBoost’s point-of-sale system, allowing clients to track the complete customer lifecycle from the first inquiry, Kukui President and CEO Todd Westerlund said. ProfitBoost’s Web-based software, PIFPro, is designed by shop owners for shop owners and handles a wide range of tasks, from allowing customers to make online appointments to enabling credit card payments. PIFPro can also connect multiple locations sharing data on customers, vehicles, parts, jobs and inventory, Westerlund said.

For the second consecutive year, NASCAR fans can get on board the NASCAR Express Train to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series event at Sonoma Raceway Sunday, June 22. The train will depart from Sacramento, with stops in Davis and Suisun City, dropping passengers just steps from the raceway’s main entrance, Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway president and general manager, said. Last year’s NASCAR Express sold out five days before race weekend. This year, capacity has been increased from 500 to 700, thanks to a partnership between Sonoma Raceways and Key Holidays. “The NASCAR Express is a great way to beat the traffic and see some of Northern California’s most beautiful countryside. Families and groups love it,” Page said. “Riders told us it turned last year’s race experience into a full day’s adventure and they can’t wait to board the train again.”

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.