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Tail Lights: 6 April 2016

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Opinions expressed by Bill Crittenden are not official policies or positions of The Crittenden Automotive Library. You can read more about the Library's goals, mission, policies, and operations on the About Us page.

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Automotive History from a Different Perspective

Volume 5, Issue 2
A Company Car

Bill Crittenden
6 April 2016

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL
We've got some big news this month: The Crittenden Automotive Library is very close to having its own "company car!"

We started having a lot of annoying little troubles with my wife's 2010 Mazda CX-7 iSport and we ended up at a Ford dealership looking at a C-Max. We probably couldn't have afforded the new one, but it just so happened that they had a used one on the lot, fully loaded, and white. This is the exact car we wanted, except a few years old and my wife wanted the electric blue one.

Some years ago, I tried to turn my 2003 Pontiac Vibe AWD into a rolling advertisement of sorts for when I'm off to the bookstore or cruise night or car show. I painted the five-spoke wheels green to match the logo, and was set to get vinyl lettering to make it look like a sponsored rally car. Then funds ran out, the hood latch broke, and the exhaust was damaged. Now it's not exactly something I want to put the Library's name on at the moment.

The "rally car" idea was really just because we had the always-dirty AWD Pontiac and those graphics would have "fit" with it. But I've also always wanted a white car with wheels I could paint green and put a logo on the door in the style of a real, professional "company car." So the white wasn't my wife's first color choice, but it was mine.

The car itself was definitely our first choice. I've been raving about it on my private Facebook page, and I'll put together something about it for the Library soon.

I couldn't love the car more. If I can spare a paragraph here, I'll just say that all the hybrid power displays in the instrument cluster and the big touchscreen nav system delights my inner nerd in a way that only a Star Trek convention could before. It's heavy, so it can't be chucked around corners, but on the highway that weight makes it feel planted and stable. It's been giving us over 42 miles per gallon. It's the perfect car for long trips to far away bookstores.

My plans for the car are to eventually pay it off and buy an electric blue one for Heidi so then I can take the white one to a professional to have the wheels painted dark green.

Until then "Bernie," as we've named him, will stay unmarked but I'll have his interior lights turned to green when I'm taking him out on book sale trips.


The Supporters section of the About Us page has been set up. Help us afford the time and resources to make the Library even bigger and better! Send at least $5 through PayPal or GoFundMe and get your name on our supporters' list. We'll even link it to your site or blog for permanent cheap advertising.

PayPal address: admin@CarsAndRacingStuff.com
GoFundMe link: https://www.gofundme.com/df3mos

Major Additions

As mentioned last issue, the first part of 2016 involves posting a lot of new articles, and that's what's been going on, with over 1,225 new articles since February 6th.

The Porsche 911 and Corvette sections have been fully brought into the new style, and the Reference Desk has had a lot of new additions.

I've been working a lot of overtime and working on the Mazda and building an in-home classroom for Eli, so sadly that's about all for the last 2 months. However, this summer should be just awesome.

First up is a set of photos my wife took a few week's ago at the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana. Then it's almost time for cruise night and car show season, and I've been getting 42.3 miles per gallon in the C-Max!


The most interesting additions to the Library for this issue are some fairly common books but they're being added for a really cool reason.

Library Intern Eli Walczak has joined Boy Scout Troop 159 here in Woodstock, and I've picked up three merit badge guide books and volunteered to be a Merit Badge Counselor for them. They are Automotive Maintenance, Traffic Safety, and Truck Transportation.

There have been a couple of trips to the bookstore, and I've picked up a lot of new stuff, and it's stacked at the entrance to my office waiting to be entered into the inventory and Reference Desk page. Here's a small selection:

BSA Merit Badge: Automotive Technology
BSA Merit Badge: Traffic Safety
BSA Merit Badge: Truck Transportation
Autocourse/CART Official Champ Car Yearbook 2000-2001
Bill France: The Man Who Made NASCAR by H.A. Branham
NASCAR Winston Cup 2001 Yearbook

Current Library Statistics (since Feb. 6)

Articles: 31,144 (+1,233)
Images: 34,100+ estimated
Publications: 711,271 pages in 8,636 documents (+3,988 pages, +463 documents)
Video: 1 week, 12:25:57 (+23:04)
Audio: 2 weeks, 5 days, 9:43:23 (-1:00)
Event Photography: 181 sets (same)

February 2016: 14,317 page views from 7,532 total users for month, daily average of 493.6 views from 259.7 new users.
March 2016: 15,314 page views from 7,969 total users for month, daily average of 494 views from 257 new users.

Page views and user information provided by Google Analytics.

Current Social Media Statistics (since Feb. 6)

Facebook: 419 Likes (+10)
Instagram: 474 Followers (+36)
Pinterest: 11 Followers (+5)
Tumblr: 148 Followers (+5)
Twitter: 1,216 Followers (+141)

About The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library @ CarsAndRacingStuff.com, based in Woodstock, Illinois, is an online collection of information relating to not only cars, trucks, and motorcycles, but also the roads they drive on, the races they compete in, cultural works based on them, government regulation of them, and the people who design, build, and drive them.  We are dedicated to the preservation and free distribution of information relating to all types of cars and road-going vehicles for those seeking the greater understanding of these very important elements of modern society, how automobiles have affected how people live around the world, or for the general study of automotive history and anthropology.  In addition to the historical knowledge, we preserve current events for future generations.

The Library currently consists of over 711,000 pages of books, periodicals, and documents, over 34,100 individual articles, more than 7 days of video and 19 days of audio, more than 34,000 photographs & other images, and a Reference Desk with more than 225 book volumes and thousands of advertising brochures & documents kept available for the information they contain but can't be copied into the online Library for sharing due to copyright.

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