Cars of Christmas Movies Past

Toy truck carrying a Christmas tree
“Some men are Baptist, others Catholic. My father was an Oldsmobile man.”
— from A Christmas Story

It’s that time of year again, when everyone goes on epic gift-shopping sprees, wraps presents, puts up holiday decorations, sends out Christmas cards, and generally gives themselves over to an abundance of seasonal cheer. AND…we watch, for the upteenth time, our favorite holiday movies.

Aside from enjoying the heartwarming messages and implausible plots of such films, half the fun is noticing some of the interesting filmic elements we may have missed the first (or second, or third, or hundredth) time watching them. For aficionados of car culture, that fun takes the form of spotting the cars that make cameo appearances in many of these flicks.

Hollywood certainly does love its cars. Herewith are a few of our favorite holiday films (with selected scene clips) in which automobiles play memorable supporting roles.

In Case of Collision… [Infographic]

Fender Bender

You may be surprised, if not shocked. You may even be sore or slightly injured. And you most certainly will be frazzled. In short, after an automobile collision, thinking straight is the last thing on your mind. Which is the reason for today’s blog. We’re here to help.

No one ever expects to be involved in a car crash. But however good a driver you think you are, that is no guarantee that someday it won’t happen to you. The imporant thing, then, is to be prepared for that eventuality. Always keep a first-aid kit in your vehicle, along with a cell phone, pen and paper, and a disposable camera (not to mention your driver’s license, car registration, and insurance card). Beyond that, there are a number of important steps you should take (and, in some cases, by law must take) after your vehicle has been involved in a collision.

Hidden Figures: The Uncounted Cost
of Car Damage You DON’T See

Damaged red car

“A small hole not mended in time
will become a big hole much harder to mend.”
— Chinese Proverb

It’s an annoying scenario, and one that is all-too-familiar to many of us. You exit a store laden with groceries, only to discover that someone in the parking lot has bumped into your car with theirs, putting a long, ugly scuff mark into that once flawless finish, or perhaps shattering a headlight. To add insult to injury, they didn’t even do you the courtesy of slipping a piece of paper with their contact information behind the windshield wiper.

Or you are parked at a stoplight, patiently waiting for it to turn green, when a young, careless driver, with one eye focused on an incoming text message instead of the road in front of them, gently rams into you from behind.

Or a slick highway catches you unaware, and you go into a hair-raising spin. You manage to regain control, but not before grazing a tree with the car, causing some minor damage to the passenger-side door.

What to do?

The ABCs of Auto Body Shop Cleanrooms

Aluminum Auto Body
Aluminum Auto Body
(Source)

“Precaution is better than cure.”
— Sir Edward Coke (1552–1634)

When deciding on an auto body shop to service your damaged automobile, two of the most important factors to take into consideration are:

  • Quality of workmanship
  • Workplace safety

While these twin factors may seem quite different and apart, in reality they go hand in hand; and the thing that unites them is a sense of clean, uncluttered orderliness within the shop. Nowadays, one of the surest signs of such orderliness is the presence of a cleanroom on the shop’s premises. Here’s why.

Why I-CAR Gold Class Certification Matters—to You

Old Service Station

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
— Lao Tzu

Nostalgia is a funny thing. The distant, sepia-toned past, viewed through the lens filter of sentimental longing, resembles nothing so much as a kind of paradise lost, where life seemed somehow easier, simpler, more beautiful, less tragic—and much less expensive. If you remove the filter, however, and gaze at that past with detached objectivity, it quickly becomes apparent that the “good ol’ days” are almost never quite as good as they’re cracked up to be. The American automobile is a case in point.

If you think about it, U.S. cars made between the turn of the last century right up until the 1960s were really little more than horse buggies with internal combustion engines and an outer skin of painted steel, and maybe a little wood thrown in for old time’s sake. Sure, vintage cars are fun to look at; but does anyone really want to go back to a time when sporty tailfins meant “style” and a speedometer, tachometer, and analog clock in the dashboard were considered the cutting edge of creature comforts?