17 Car Facts To Impress Your Friends

17 Car Facts To Impress Your Friends With


We bet there’s something here you never knew before.

We love car facts. Those pieces of knowledge that give extra insight into the story of the car and the industries that surround it, or the sociology of the car and its roll in society. Just a few facts about Henry Ford, the inventor of mass production, gives us an insight into just how flawed he was as a human being but the fact he brought production of the Model T down initially from 12 hours to just two hours and 30 minutes in such a short time shows his drive and intelligence. The fact that 75% of Rolls-Royce cars ever built are still on the road reinforces that we already know the brand’s cars are both valuable and well engineered. Or that they aren’t actually driven very much by their owners.

The bottom line is facts may not tell a whole story, but they are fun and can offer little nuggets of insight.

Carl Benz Didn’t Invent The Car

What he did was effectively file the birth certificate of the car in the form of a patent. The car was an amalgamation of many inventions that finally combined with the first self-propelled vehicle being built by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot in 1769, which was powered by steam, and the world’s first internal combustion engine which was most likely built by Nicephore Niepce in 1807. Benz’s patent for the “vehicle powered by a gas engine” was filed in January of 1886. It was more of inevitability than an invention though.

Cars Spend 95% Of Their Life Parked

Much as we love and rely on cars, and surprisingly given the amount of traffic there is on the road, we don’t actually drive our cars that much. The whole notion of modern ride-sharing and mobility, therefore, wouldn’t actually cut down traffic, just the amount of parked cars. Mathematically, we wouldn’t actually end up with less cars driving if sharing became the norm as predicted. Cars would simply have a harder life and their lifespans would be decreased as they made all the journeys, and the journeys between the journeys, to pick people up.

American Commuters Spend 38 Hours A Year Sitting In Traffic

In big cities such as LA and New York, that average number goes up to 60 hours. It’s not that there are too many cars on the road; after all, we just learned that 95% of a cars lifetime is spent parked. It’s more that there are too many cars concentrated in small areas. For big cities, the problem isn’t people buying cars. It’s the lack of effective mass transportation that leaves them no better alternative.

The Inventor Of Cruise Control Was Blind

Ralph Teetor was a prolific inventor despite being blind from the age of 5. His first job after graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania was on steam turbine rotors used in Navy torpedo-boat destroyers. Later, he became president of a large automotive parts manufacturer and his inspiration for cruise control came later when traveling with his lawyer. The speeding up and slowing down as they talked annoyed him into inventing a speed control device.

Volvo Invented The 3-Point Seatbelt

That’s actually very well known, but what gets forgotten is that the company didn’t patent the invention. Instead they left the door open so other manufacturers could use it. It’s estimated that 3-point seat belts save one life every 6 seconds, so that was one hell of a thing for a corporation to do and a demonstration of what capitalism is capable of when it’s embraced properly and a company isn’t solely built to feed the bottom line. However, Volvo isn’t done trying to save us from ourselves and may be over-reaching now.

The Wheel Was Invented Around 3500 BCE

We have a rough date, and the location has been narrowed down to in Mesopotamia, but nobody really knows the story how the wheel was invented. They weren’t used for transportation, but instead for creating pottery. It took another 300 years before a candle lit itself in someone’s head to use them to make chariots. Amazingly, candles, flutes, and alcoholic drinks were all invented before the wheel.

Charles Goodyear Was Not The Founder Of Goodyear Tires

The Goodyear tire company was actually named in his honor as he was the man who developed vulcanization, which is the process used to strengthen rubber. If you already knew that, what you may not know is that Goodyear chased a solution to the lack of durability in rubber for much of his life, but didn’t find it until he mixed sulfur and gum and accidentally dropped it directly onto a hot stove.

There are claims on the internet he did this while in prison, and although Goodyear found himself in debtors prison frequently, people don’t appear to question why he would have access to gum, sulfur, and a hot stove while encaged.

Car Recycling Is 16th Largest Industry In The United States

When people talk about how environmentally unsound cars are, it’s worth bearing in mind that around 12 million cars are recycled in the United States. That ends up saving around 85 million barrels of oil from getting used in making new or replacement car parts. Batteries from electric vehicles are a tougher issue to deal with though.

Average Cost Per Year To Own A Vehicle In America Is $8,469

According to an AAA study, and based on 15,000 miles driven per year, the yearly cost of ownership for a pickup truck purchased new is $10,054 and a small sedan is $6,354. While electric vehicles are being lauded for their lack of moving parts increasing reliability, AAA evaluated them to cost $8,439 per year. The evaluation takes into account sales price, depreciation, maintenance, repair, and fuel costs.

A Single Car Is Made Up Of Around 30,000 Parts

That isn’t necessarily surprising. What is surprising is when you think about that and just how reliable cars actually are now. When you factor in the major parts which are the engine and transmission, lubrication system, braking system, suspension system, chassis and frame, wiring and sensor system, and the wheels and tires it’s quite the wonder. It wasn’t even that long ago that 70,000 miles on an odometer was considered high mileage. In 1995 the life expectancy of an average car was 8.4 years. Now it’s more than 11 years.

The Average Car Contains Around 55 lbs Of Copper Wiring

Our cars now truly depend on electric systems and computer coding. Some luxury cars use as much as 1,500 copper wires and that totals about a mile in length; even the most basic cars now contains around half a mile of wiring. For some perspective, in the late 1940s, a car would only have around 50 separate wires totaling around 150 feet. Electric cars can have as much as 150 lbs of copper due to the rotors in the motors.

America’s 55 mph Speed Limit Isn’t For Safety

Although America now has higher limits in place, the 55 mph limit you still see on many roads is down to the 1974 Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act that was itself a response to the supply disruptions and price spikes in 1973. After it was repealed, automobile fatalities actually decreased. That was put down to automobile safety improvements. Now, we have maximum speeds that vary state to state and max out between 65 mph and, in Texas, 85 mph.

The Autobahn Does Have Speed Limits

While some people hold the German federal highway up as an example of speed limits being unnecessary, there are speed limits on the autobahn. The stretches without limits are decreasing year by year, despite advocating for speed limits being about as popular as advocating for drowning kittens to German car enthusiasts.

The First Car Accident Happened In 1891

You really don’t have to be going fast to have an accident. John William Lambert built the first single-cylinder gasoline powered vehicle and then crashed it. It was capable of a top speed of just 5 mph, and his buggy hit a tree root that sent the vehicle into a hitching post.

The Odds Of Dying In A Car Accident Is 1 In 5,000

The chances of dying in a plane crash are incredibly small, however, the time the average person spends on a plane is small and they are guided by professional pilots. However, the majority of people jump in a car every day and move around in close proximity to other people driving cars, almost none of whom you would consider professional.

The Car Radio Was Nearly Banned

There are evergreen reasons people want to regulate or ban things whether it’s to do with cars or not. In this case, when the car radio was first invented some states wanted to ban them on the basis it could distract drivers and cause accidents. Now, nearly 100 years later, the problem isn’t the radio built into the car. It’s the telephones people carry around with them.

Most People Will Be In A Car Crash Once Every 18 Years

According to the insurance industry, which worked out the average person will have four car accidents in their lifetime. Once every 18 years is complete nonsense though because the world simply doesn’t work like that. What isn’t nonsense is that the chances of being in an accident increase if you drive regularly at night, in rush hour, or multitask when driving. So, if you know someone that lives somewhere where it gets dark at rush hour and checks Facebook on the way home, then they’re why everyone else’s insurance premiums are so high.


Perks at Lexus of Watertown

Lexus logo

We’re a proud recipient of the prestigious Elite of Lexus award, which means we’ve been honored by Lexus for providing customers with the highest level of service.

Take a look at the luxurious ammenities offered:

~ Complimentary car washes for life with any vehicle purchase!

~  Free Car pickup for service.

~ Over 100 Lexus loaners

~ Sports Café

~ News Café

~ Nail Salon – Free Manicure – When in for service


~ The Lexus Shoppe (Featuring my paintings)

What Car Does Barbara Drive?

     UX 250 Hybrid Fsport

My car front

In-Line 4 ENGINE




National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
“5-Star Overall Safety Rating”*

my car back

I love the quiet and smooth ride of a Lexus! The turning radius on the UX is fabulous! I also feel very safe driving the UX. The remote start is tremendous!


When you put the vehicle in reverse, the view from the backup camera is shown on the multimedia display in full color with dynamic gridlines to assist you with parking and other maneuvers.


Making a statement before you even arrive, available full-LED headlamps feature a three-projector design. The headlamps feature LED side turn signals, as well as an Adaptive Front Lighting System that uses steering and speed sensors to direct the angle of low-beam illumination as the vehicle enters a curve.


The front-passenger seat is designed to detect whether the seat is occupied by an adult or a child, or is vacant. In case the system detects a child or empty passenger seat, the system prevents the passenger’s front, side and knee airbags from being deployed. The front passenger’s airbag features two chambers, creating an indentation in the center impact area that helps to provide occupant protection in a severe frontal collision.


To help you change lanes with confidence, the Blind Spot Monitor is designed to detect and warn you of vehicles approaching or positioned in the adjacent lanes. And for added peace of mind, the Rear Cross-Traffic Alert can help you when backing out of a parking space by notifying you of vehicles approaching from either side.


Intuitive Parking Assist utilizes inconspicuous sensors integrated into the front and rear bumpers that are designed to detect surrounding objects. Using audible tones and an indicator on the multimedia display, the system can notify you of a detected object’s location and proximity, helping with routine tasks like parallel parking. Additionally, auto-braking technology helps protect you while parking by stopping the vehicle to avoid a potential collision.

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Nicer to Car Salespeople

In Auto Sales Posted 

Car salespeople get a bad rap. The only profession who is treated as badly as automotive salespeople is congress, but they actually deserve it. Too many people assume that all automotive salespeople are like the sleazy ones you see in movies: fast-talking hustlers trying to talk you out of your money.

But this assumption is unfair. In reality, the majority of salespeople are hardworking professionals trying to provide for their families, and should be treated better than they are. But in case you need a better reason to be nicer to car salespeople, here are five:

1. They are your friends, family, and neighbors

The number of car salespeople in the country is estimated to be over half a million, which doesn’t include the sales managers, and sales support teams involved in the process.

This isn’t some small niche profession. Car salespeople live and work alongside everyone else, and there’s a great chance that you have one as a neighbor, friend or relative. Treat them accordingly.

2. They’re very stressed out

Sales is a stressful profession, and car sales is one of the more stressful sales jobs out there. Long hours, a high volume of customers, intense competition among dealerships, and pressure to earn a living make car salespeople a stressed out bunch. Being nice to an overworked salesperson will probably make their day.

3. You’ll get a better deal

You catch a lot more flies with honey than you do with vinegar, but lots of people seem to forget that when shopping for a vehicle. Treating someone politely and with respect can go far when you’re trying to get a better deal, and it will absolutely serve you better than being rude or hard-nosed. Humans are naturally inclined to help those who are nice to us, so don’t forget that when working with an automotive sales professional.

4. If you don’t buy, they’re working for free

Unlike other professions, salespeople oftentimes only get paid if they close a deal. So that salesperson who is spending time answering your questions and potentially dealing with abuse is probably doing it for free. That’s not to say you should feel obligated to buy anything, just that you should treat auto salespeople with respect since their time is costing them money.

5. Their goal is to make you happy

There has been a marked shift in automotive sales in the last decade or so. High-pressure sales tactics have been replaced by a more consultative sales model, and since pricing has been made comparable across dealers due to the internet, salespeople understand that they need to earn your business through superior customer service. This means that the salesperson sitting across from you understands that their goal is to make you happy, so let them.

In Auto Sales Posted 

Makes sense to me!

Female vs. Male Car Sales Consultant

True story. In fact, it just happened. Today, October 7, 2016!!

A male customer, somewhat elderly, walks into the dealership and asks the receptionist for someone to help him pair his new phone to his Volvo XC70. As I walk up to the desk, the receptionist tells the customer that, “Barbara can help you.” “No, she won’t be able to do it.”  I ask the customer if I can try to help. As he looks around to see there is no one else in the showroom, he says, “Ok, but it’s a guy thing.”

We walk to the car, and 1,2,3, his new phone is connected. “That’s amazing, I’m impressed that you could do that.” Instead of making any kind of comment about female vs. male car sales consultants, I just say thank you. Again, he repeats, I’m impressed.”

Enough said!!!




Snippets taken from a recent interview I did with bestride.com.

See the entire article here:


Take a look at Barbara Goodman’s background: She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a Bachelor of Science, and attended Cambridge College where she earned a Masters in Counseling and Psychology. She worked for Marriott as a director of catering, and for the Brain Tumor Society as an events coordinator.

It’s an unlikely resume for a car salesperson, but since 2013, that’s how Barbara Goodman has been making her living, with Volvo of Wellesley. “I never thought I would be selling cars,” she says. “To me, the profession dominated by men was not always trustworthy. I believed salesmen would take advantage of people, especially women.”

Barbara is a rare commodity, though. She’s in an industry that is completely dominated by men, at every level.

For Barbara Goodman, selling cars is a matter of understanding who the customer is and treating them with the respect that they deserve, regardless of their gender. “The first question should never be, ‘What color do you want?’” she says. “Never ask a woman when her husband will be coming in.” Yes, partners in relationships — both male and female — discuss expensive purchases with each other, she says. “However, it is unlikely a salesperson would ask a man when his wife will be in to finish the deal.”

“Do as much research as possible before going to the dealership,” says Barbara Goodman. “There is a lot of information online today that anyone can look up what people are paying for cars today. Consumers can research what kind of car and packages they want.’

She cautions to use that power in a positive way, though. “Consumers who are pleasant and polite could get a better deal than a consumer who is demanding, [argumentative] and rude. The latter is what some people perceive they have to be to deal with car salespeople.” She has more information for consumers on her blog.

Car Buyers Can Get More with Honey than Vinegar

You know the old saying, “you get more with honey than vinegar?” I don’t know if the general public believes this or practices this statement. However, after selling cars for three years, I want you to know that statement is definitely true!

There are some people that feel the harder they beat up a car Salesperson, or sales Manager, the better deal they’ll get. I hate to admit this but, I was one of those people. I apologize to the car salesmen I was hard on.

As a Car Sales Consultant, I see how customers who are friendly, pleasant and polite could be the recipients of getting a little bit more than the people that are demanding.

Car Sales Consultant Update

Well, I’ve been selling cars over one and a half years, and I am still here!!

I can honestly say I feel very comfortable selling. I know the product, but even more importantly, I really get the sales process. It’s always fun leading the board (selling the most in the dealership for the month).  I have lead the board a couple of times.

I did finish second in the dealership for 2014!!    b=cb

Of course, it’s also fun! It has to be or it’s not for me.

It’s winter and so far the snow has been negligible. Which is a good thing because the inventory is much greater this year. (More cars to clean and move and move and clean) At least it’s good exercise!

My glass is always …full. (Usually)   Is you glass half full or half empty?

glass half full

I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store!!!

Car Shopping is Fun

It happened, a customer actually said it to me first, “Car shopping is fun!”

As of today, March 31, no sale. This customer is not in a rush and I am a patient Car Sales Consultant. However, after test driving a huge variety of cars, Volvo is still on the short list!!

Part of the fun for this gentleman is figuring the terms, fees and figures on an excel worksheet.
Not a common occurrence, but if that’s the fun part for him, so be it! Fun is fun.

I am confident a sale is imminent. Stay tuned.