Category Archives: Car Fun

a smiling man standing next to a car

What Should I Name My Car? List of the Best Car Names

Why do we feel the need to name our cars? Is it because they have distinct human visages?

With headlights that leer and a grill that seems ready to snap or laugh, it’s hard not to see faces and personalities in cars and automobiles. In fact, the personality expressed in a vehicle’s “face” is often a huge reason why we choose to purchase one car over another.

Car designers know this too, which is why you see meaner, more aggressive faces in trucks and sports cars, and milder, more friendly faces in SUVs and family vehicles. Anyone who has seen the Cars movies knows that not only do the faces match the cars’ personalities (think of Lighting McQueen and Mater), but their names do as well.

What should I name my car - Lighting McQueen, Mater, Cars

Source: Roderick Eime (Flickr)

Cars really do resemble people. Our brains cannot help but anthropomorphize them. It’s a psychological phenomenon called pareidolia. So why shouldn’t they be given names?

Besides, it’s your chance to go crazy with names that you might not otherwise use for your children or pets.

So, What Should I Name My Car?

“Box with Wheels” and “Mr. Car” won’t work. Sure, you can call it that, but you’re probably looking for something a bit more creative. Since naming your car is a big decision that you’ll live with for a long time, don’t rush it.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when naming your car:

1. Consider the Car’s Personality (Make and Model)

What does your car look like? This is the biggest factor to take into consideration. Does it look like a boy or a girl? Old or young?

Is it a sports car, a large car, a classic car, or a new car? Think of any distinctive character traits that it has. Does it make a lot of noise or barely none at all? Is it large or small? No matter what make or model you have, you can find something that will help you in the naming process. In fact, that’s how the Volkswagen “Beetle” got its name. The car was originally just called Volkswagen, but the obvious resemblance to a beetle or bug gave it its lasting nickname.

If you are a person who likes rhymes and puns, you can use the make/model as inspiration for a fun and quirky name for your car:

  • Rhonda the Honda
  • Jack the Cadillac

But be weary of names that get old quick. Try to stick with ones that aren’t so obvious:

  • Vlad (Chevy Impala)
  • Lux (Fiat)
  • Stacy (Chevy Malibu)
  • Frank (Hyundai Sonata)

2. Consider Your Personality

You don’t want to name your car Lighting, Dash, or Speedy if you are the kind of person who likes to take it slow. If you are shy, think of a more laidback name. If you are an extrovert, a quirkier name will be more suitable.

Are you a history buff or a big fan of a certain sports team, movie director, or author? Get creative! Just make sure the name matches your personality as well.

3. The License Plate

The letters in your license plate might give you a good idea for a name. For instance, if your license plate has the letters SDE, you might want to call it Sadie. MDN could be Madonna. You get the idea. It’s also a great mnemonic for remembering your license plate.

4. Consider the Color of the Car

The color of your car can put you in the right direction.


  • Black Beauty
  • Black Cat
  • Black Stallion
  • Black Widow
  • Blackhawk
  • Blade
  • Crow
  • Dahlia
  • Dark Knight
  • Delirium
  • Delirium
  • Dementor
  • Doom
  • Drusilla
  • Grimm
  • Jet
  • Lilith
  • Mamba
  • Midnight
  • Moan
  • Night
  • Nightrunner
  • Nitro, Zorro
  • Nyx
  • Sirius
  • Tarantula
  • Wednesday
  • Wolf


  • Casper
  • Diamond
  • Falkor
  • Fang
  • Frost
  • Ghost
  • Jon Snow
  • Marshmallow
  • Moby
  • Noise
  • Powder
  • Princess
  • Snow White
  • White Rabbit


  • Alchemy
  • Amber
  • Bert
  • Big Bird
  • Blondie
  • Bumble Bee
  • Champagne
  • Cleo
  • Cyrus Gold
  • Dawn
  • Divine
  • Ducky
  • Finch
  • Fleur
  • Gatsby
  • Gold Bug
  • Goldfinger
  • Goldilocks
  • Grimm
  • Honey
  • Knox
  • Lemon
  • Luigi
  • Midas
  • Ponyboy
  • Rumpelstiltskin
  • Scorpion
  • Sol
  • Sunshine
  • Tweety
  • Wiz
  • Wolverine
  • Yellowjacket


  • Annie
  • Ariel
  • Blood
  • Carrot Top
  • Cheeto
  • Christine
  • Chuckie Finster
  • Chucky
  • Clifford
  • Crimson
  • Crush
  • Diablo
  • Elmo
  • Fern
  • Fireball
  • Ginger
  • Holloway
  • Kenny Mc”Car”mick
  • Ladybug
  • Lola
  • Molly
  • Mushu
  • Nemo
  • Nightcrawler
  • Orange Crush
  • Pebbles
  • Pony
  • Raggedy
  • Red Claw
  • Robin
  • Ron Burgundy
  • Rose
  • Ruby
  • Scarlet
  • Shaggy
  • Star Fox
  • Starsky
  • Tang
  • Tiger
  • Weasley
  • Willow
  • Yosemite Sam


  • Baby
  • Baloo
  • Betty
  • Blue Beetle
  • Blue Devil
  • Blue Velvet
  • Bluebird
  • Boy
  • Celeste
  • Crush
  • Dolphin
  • Dory
  • Gonzo
  • Grover
  • Heaven
  • Ice
  • Ice Cube
  • Jasmine
  • Freeze
  • Johnson
  • Mystique
  • Poseidon
  • Sam Eagle
  • Saphira
  • Sky
  • Smoke
  • Smurf/Smurfette
  • Sonic
  • Streak
  • Thunder


  • Alien
  • Booger
  • Clover
  • Dragon
  • Dragonfly
  • Elliot
  • Flash
  • Frogger
  • Gable
  • Gawain
  • Godzilla
  • Green Arrow
  • Gumby
  • Hulk
  • Kermit
  • Mike Wazowski
  • Toad
  • Poison Ivy
  • Poison Ivy
  • Puff
  • Ribbet
  • Scales
  • George
  • Yoshi 


  • Amethyst
  • Barney
  • Cheshire
  • Crimson
  • Dark Wing
  • Dino
  • Dizzy Devil
  • Gengar
  • Harold
  • Haunter
  • Hawkeye
  • Maleficent
  • Nebula
  • Pandora
  • Rain
  • Saturn
    • Stella
    • The Joker
    • Tinky Winky
    • Twilight
    • Twilight Sparkle
    • Ursula
    • Weezing
    • Willy Wonka


  • Bullet
  • Dorian
  • Grayson
  • Iron Man
  • Magneto
  • Mercury
  • Onyx
  • Oracle
  • Quicksilver
  • Raiden
  • Scythe
  • Silver Dagger
    • Silver Fox
    • Silver Surfer
    • Cloud
    • Storm
    • Titanium
    • Tron

5. Consider Celebrity Babies’ Names

When you are a famous celebrity, it’s hard to name your kid Martha or Mike. Take inspiration from some of the most creative baby names:

  • Apple
  • Axl
  • Blue
  • Cash
  • Cosimo
  • Dream
  • Gunner
  • Jada
  • Jagger
  • Jax
  • Jett
  • Lolita
    • Miley
    • Mowgli
    • Seven
    • Taj
    • Zeppelin

6. Consider Fictional Character Names

These movie, book, video game, and myth-inspired names can also work for children and pets.

Game of Thrones:

  • Arya
  • Cersei
  • Drogo
  • Gilly
  • Hodor
  • Khal
  • Khaleesi
  • Osha
  • Sansa
  • Shireen
    • Sparrow
    • Stannis
    • Tyrion
    • Tywin
    • Varys

Harry Potter:

  • Albus
  • Amos
  • Bellatrix
  • Charity
  • Cho
  • Draco
  • Fleur
  • Ludo
  • Luna
  • Millicent
    • Minerva
    • Phineas
    • Remus
    • Severus
    • Sirius

Superheroes and Villains:

  • Astro
  • Bane
  • Black Widow
  • Deadshot
  • Manhattan
  • Dredd
  • Galactus
  • Gambit
  • Harlow
  • Judge
  • Kahlo
  • Katana
  • Lex Luthor
  • Loki
  • Maxx
  • Mingus
  • Mystique
  • Nightwing
  • Onyx
  • Oracle
    • Ozymandias
    • Rocket
    • Rorschach
    • Spectre
    • Steel
    • Storm
    • Thor
    • Warlock
    • Wildcat
    • Wolverine

The Sandman Series:

  • Alianora
  • Azazel
  • Barnabas
  • Basanos
  • Constantine
  • Corinthian
  • Death
  • Delirium
  • Desire
  • Despair
  • Destiny
  • Destruction
  • Dream (Morpheus)
  • Duma
  • Foxglove
  • Goldie
    • Lucien
    • Mazikeen
    • Nuala
    • Odin
    • Remiel
    • Thessaly
    • Titania

Greek and Roman Names:

  • Aphrodite (Venus)
  • Ares (Mars)
  • Artemis (Diana)
  • Athena (Minerva)
  • Dionysus (Bacchus)
  • Hades (Pluto)
  • Hera (Juno)
  • Hermes (Mercury)
    • Hestia (Vesta)
    • Poseidon (Neptune)
    • Zeus (Jupiter)


  • Balthasar
  • Cassius
  • Oberon
  • Patience
  • Perdita
  • Portia
    • Silvius
    • Tarquin
    • Tylbalt (Tyl”bolt”) 

Additional Names Inspired by Movies, TV Shows, and Video Games:

  • Akasha
  • Amidala
  • Astaroth
  • Azrael
  • Bloodrayne
  • Cloud
  • Cortana
  • Domino
  • Elektra
  • Jinx
  • Kage
  • Kain
  • Lara
  • Link
  • Lux
  • Maximus
    • Neo
    • Niobe
    • Pluto
    • Raiden
    • Rygar
    • Samus
    • Trinity
    • Xena

You can also look at various card games for inspiration, such as Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Magic: The Gathering.

7. Consider Names Inspired by Athletes and Sports

If you have a favorite sport or athlete, this may be the perfect time to show your allegiance:

  • Agassi
  • Ali
  • Blitz
  • Bolt
  • Brady
  • Cal
  • Colt
  • Darko
  • Dexter
  • Dodger
  • Early
  • Ewing
  • Falcon
  • Fisk
  • Hunter
  • Kareem
  • Kobe
  • Magic
    • Manu
    • MJ
    • Peyton
    • Priest
    • Spike
    • Tiger
    • Tyson
    • Venus
    • Yogi

Naming your car should be an enjoyable experience. You’ll look back fondly on the day when it clicked and you found the perfect name for your new baby.

You Might Also Enjoy:

Auto Simple wants to help you find the perfect vehicle, give it a name, and bring it to its new home.

With locations in Cleveland, Chattanooga, Dayton, and a new store in Dalton, GA, we make it easy to drive away in your dream car.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 472-2000

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-2277

Follow us for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+.

instrument cluster of a car

Extend Vehicle Lifespans and Detect Odometer Fraud | National Odometer Day

May 12th is National Odometer Day. While you may not be familiar with National Odometer Day, you probably know that the odometer in your car measures the distance traveled by the vehicle.

But did you know that the invention of the odometer predates motor vehicles by over 2000 years? First described by Vetruvius in 27 BCE, it is widely accepted that odometers were first used by the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Some say that the odometer was invented by Archimedes during the first Punic War (Scientific American).

While no one can say for sure who invented the device, there has always been a great desire for such a device. Odometers were and remain a great way to measure distances between two places. They literally paved the way for modern road building and travel.

How Does an Odometer Work?

An odometer (aka a roadometer) works by counting the number of wheel rotations and then multiplying it by the circumference of the tire, which is the diameter of the tire times pi (3.14…). Leonardo Da Vinci’s odometer (seen above) works by collecting small stones into a dedicated holder, which can then be counted to accurately measure the distance traversed by the wheel. Click here for more information on how odometers work.

Keep in mind that heavily worn tires and under-inflated tires can cause errors in odometer readings.

Why Are Odometers Useful?

Odometer readings are important because they give you a general sense of the value of the car. This simple number indicates:

  • When it’s time for an oil change (about every 3,000 miles, but double-check your owner’s manual)
  • When expected repairs and maintenance are due (check owner’s manual for maintenance schedule)
  • How well the vehicle was taken care of
  • If any vehicles warranties are still in effect
  • The life expectancy of the vehicle
  • The value of the car (when it’s time to sell or trade up)

How to Keep Your Odometer Going

If you want to rack up 300,000 miles or more and extend the lifespan of your vehicle, here are a few tips:

  1. Buy the right vehicle

Some common 300,000+ cars include Toyotas, Fords, and Hondas. According to Consumer Reports, these sedans, SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks are most likely to get to 300,000 miles and beyond:

  1. Never ignore strange sounds, smells, or vibrations 

If you notice anything strange or wrong with the vehicle, take it in for a professional inspection. Similarly, never ignore your dashboard warning lights.

  1. Change the oil every 3,000-3,500 miles 

Regular oil changes are probably the best way to extend the lifespan of your vehicle. While 3,000 miles (around 3 months) is a safe bet, check your owner’s manual for the proper oil change schedule.

  1. Avoid lots of starts and stops

If you mostly drive on the highway, you have a better chance of passing the 200,000-mile mark. If you can’t avoid a lot of local start-and-stop trips, try to coast as much as possible. Sudden starts and stops will diminish your vehicle’s lifespan. Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Try to drive on the highway at least once a month.

  1. Don’t turn your heating or cooling on right away

Allow the vehicle to warm up for a minute or two before turning on the heating or air conditioning. This helps everything get lubricated first, reducing the load on your engine.

  1. Don’t make these manual transmission mistakes 

Use your brakes rather than the gears to slow the vehicle down. Shoot for 2,000-3,000 revolutions per minute (RPM) to avoid stressing the engine.

Don’t depress the clutch pedal more than necessary. While it may seem cool and comfortable, don’t rest your hand on the gear shifter.

  1. Fill your tank up with the correct gas

 Check your owner’s manual to know the proper octane level for your vehicle. Filling up with the wrong octane level can diminish your vehicle’s lifespan.

For additional ways to extend the lifespan of your vehicle, avoid these common bad driving habits.

How to Detect Odometer Fraud

Unfortunately, odometer fraud is a common problem in the car buying and selling process. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 450,000 vehicles are sold each year with false odometer readings! That’s is one reason why it’s so important to purchase a vehicle from a trusted source (learn about the risks involved when buying from a private seller).

Before changes in how odometers were made, they could be easily tampered with. Sometimes, the cable could be reversed so that the numbers ran backwards instead of forwards. While odometers in newer vehicles have many safeguards in place to prevent this kind of tampering, older vehicles are still susceptible to odometer fraud.

 Luckily, consumers have a few options to detect odometer fraud: 

  1. Check CarFax Vehicle History Report 

The CarFax reports will give you mileage records, inconsistencies, and other odometer problems. Compare the mileage on the odometer with the reported mileage on the vehicle maintenance and inspection reports. Since inspections normally record the mileage number any inconsistencies are a clear red flag. Make sure the odometer reading is higher than the latest record.

If the seller does not provide a Vehicle History Report, order your own using the car’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).

  1. The numbers are not lined up straight, contain gaps, or jiggle

Sometimes, if the odometer has been rolled back, the numbers will not line up straight. Unaltered odometer numbers are perfectly aligned. Look carefully at the 10,000 place number. This digit is the one most commonly tampered with. If the numbers jiggle when you hit the dash, contain gaps, or are misaligned, there’s a high chance they have been tampered with. Walk away from the purchase.

  1. Estimate the odometer reading by calculating the age of the car

The average car puts on about 12,000 miles per year. If the car is 7 years old, it should have around 84,000 miles on it. If not, there is cause for concern. Investigate the causes for lower than average mileage, such as if the car is a backup or the owner has a reason to rarely use it.

  1. Look for inconsistent wear and tear

Look for inconsistent wear and tear in the interior of the vehicle. Pay special attention to the gas, brake, and clutch pedals. Make sure they are consistent with the odometer reading. Examine other high-touch areas, such as the steering wheel, seats, and arm rests. If you are unsure, take the car to a mechanic for an inspection (you should conduct your own vehicle inspection regardless).

  1. Check the tires

If there is less than 20,000 miles on the car, it should still have the original tires. Inspect the wear of the tires by asking a mechanic to check the depth of the tread. If there is 20,000-25,000 miles on the car, the tread should be deeper than 2/32 of an inch. If the vehicle has new tires or the tire tread is significantly deeper than 2/32 inch, then there is cause for concern. You can also measure tire tread depth yourself with the penny test.

Finally, take the vehicle to a mechanic and ask them to specifically look for signs of odometer fraud. This includes inspecting the vehicle for replacement parts. If the odometer has a low reading, there shouldn’t be many replacement parts. They will be familiar with other fraud detections as well.

Learn more about odometer fraud by visiting

Happy National Odometer Day!

Auto Simple wants to make sure you drive away in a vehicle you love and can pay for.

With locations in Cleveland, Chattanooga, Dayton, and a new store in Dalton, GA, we make it quick and convenient to drive away in your dream car.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 472-2000

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-2277

Follow us for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+.

image of a woman feeling car sick

What Causes Car Sickness? Can It Be Prevented?

Do you have to squint and focus on a fixed point to avoid feeling carsick? If you’ve ever felt sick to your stomach from a bumpy ride, you’re not alone. Nearly everyone has experienced some version of motion sickness before. Rough seas nearly guarantee it.

While the symptoms will eventually stop, they can make traveling extremely uncomfortable, for both you and the people around you. If you’re planning your next vacation, you may want to know what causes this distressing disorder and what you can do to prevent it.

First, let’s find out what motion sickness actually is and what causes it.

What is motion sickness?

Motion sickness, also called airsickness, seasickness, and carsickness, can occur in a variety of different situations. It is caused by a conflict of different messages that the brain receives. It has a lot to do with how your inner ear perceives balance and motion.

Everyone has both an inner ear and an outer ear. The inner ear helps us with sound detection and balance while the outer ear is mostly responsible for hearing.

The cochlea helps convert sound pressures from the outer ear to electrochemical impulses that get passed on to the brain.

The vestibular system provides us with the sense of balance and space orientation necessary for coordinating movements (including position and acceleration) from second to second.

While you may already know that your inner ear is responsible for balance, you may not be aware that there are two different types of equilibrium:

Static Equilibrium is when the body is not moving. Receptors in the vestibular system send reports to the brain on the position of the head with respect to gravity when the body is not moving.

Dynamic Equilibrium is when the body is moving. Receptors pick up angular or rotary movements of the head and then send messages to your brain when there are any sudden movements. If you are moving at a constant rate, receptors will stop sending movement impulses to the brain. Impulses will start up again when you change speed or direction.

So, what does all of this have to do with feeling carsick?

If you are on a boat, car, or train, your eyes look around and experience mostly a static world. Your eyes notice that your body is just sitting there, not moving, and part of your vestibular system is corroborating the visual information. You also have pressure and sensory receptors on nerve endings that can contribute to the mixed messaging, called your proprioceptors.

Basically, your brain gets confused because it is receiving mixed signals from your visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive systems about your body and its position in space. Homeostasis gets upset and your body reacts as it would to toxins.

While your eyes are telling your brain that there is static equilibrium, the equilibrium receptors in the semicircular canals in your ear are crying out—MOVEMENT!

Both parts of your equilibrium system are sending contradictory messages to your brain. The brain, as the ultimate decision-maker, decides it’s going to do something—vomit.

Now that you know how the ears and eyes contribute to motion sickness, you can see why ear infections can produce nausea and dizziness. The ear infection messes up the equilibrium receptors and signals going to the brain.

You may also experience a similar motion sickness with flight simulators, video games, movies, microscopes, and even computers and smart phones. Sometimes, the term cybersickness is given to motion sickness associated with digital media.

Why does the driver rarely get carsick?

While the theoretical explanations are not entirely clear, there is a clear link between control of movement and the experience of motion sickness. The more control you have over the movement, the less motion sickness you feel.

How to Prevent Motion Sickness

Although there are many different remedies available, none are proven effective for everyone. It’s a matter of trial and error.

If you frequently experience motion sickness, try some of these common remedies to feel more comfortable.

  • If you are prone to motion sickness, limit your food intake before the trip. Don’t eat any spicy or greasy foods. If it’s a short trip, don’t eat anything except perhaps a small snack, such as crackers.
  • Stop the motion if you can and wait it out.
  • Remove one of the equilibrium signals going to your brain—close your eyes.
  • Focus on the horizon, giving your brain a static point of reference.
  • Don’t read or use phones and electronics. Limit your sensory input.
  • Distract yourself by singing songs, listening to music, and playing car games.
  • Sometimes air ventilation helps. Try opening up a window and getting rid of any strong odors. Again, limit as many sensory inputs as you can.
  • Some people recommend consuming some ginger (about 2 grams half an hour before travel) to help with motion sickness. While we don’t know if it helps any, it certainly can’t hurt.
  • If all else fails, use medication; but make sure to read to instructions and consult a doctor for any over-the-counter prescriptions. Take the medication before your trip. Antihistamine solutions include dimenhydrinate (Dramamine, TripTone), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), meclizine (Bonine), promethazine (Phenergan), chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), and others. Be forewarned that many of these medications cause drowsiness and other side effects. Follow instructions carefully.

Usually, motion sickness subsides after around age 12. If you are driving with someone who is feeling carsick, pull the car over as soon as you can and have them walk around or lie down with their eyes closed.

Learn more tips and tricks before heading out on your next long car trip:

Auto Simple wants you to find a vehicle you love at a price you can afford. We carry a large selection of hand-picked, Certified Pre-Owned vehicles, all with a 6 month/6,000-mile Powertrain Warranty.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call: 

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 472-2000

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-2277

Follow us on social media for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining vehicles: FacebookTwitterYoutube, and Google+.

a couple reading a map in a car

Top 5 Road Trips in America | Plan a USA Road Trip!

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”

– John Muir, The Yosemite (1912)

Get your motor runnin’ and head out on the highway. Adventure awaits on these uniquely American road trips.

From purple mountain majesties to alabaster cities, America has some of the best landscapes and roadways in the world. The vast, sprawling scenery has inspired many great works of art, philosophy, science, and of course, epic road trips.

If you’re yearning for a new, beautiful, and intrinsically patriotic experience, channel your inner Jack London/Kerouac and start planning your next great American Road Trip. To help, here’s our list of the best road trips and destinations in America. Get lost!

A couple tips before we begin:

  • Leave yourself plenty of time for spontaneous trips and longer-than-expected stays
  • Stock your vehicle with the essentials (and non-essentials)
  • Check/change your fluids and tires, and get your vehicle ready for the trip.
  • Obtain paper maps (maps and guides can be found at your local AAA)
  • Speaking of AAA, consider purchasing roadside assistance
  • Play fun car games
  • Make sure you have a suitable vehicle
  • Drive on America’s National Scenic Byways if you can
  • Plan your route (log in to Google and click “Create Map” in “Maps”)
  • Bring binoculars

The best time for a road trip is between spring and fall. You may want to wait until October for annual fall foliage displays. Double check peak fall color times to make sure. And always check road and weather conditions.

  1. Great Smoky Mountain Road Trip

  • Start: Chattanooga, TN
  • Visit:
    • Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, TN
    • Raccoon Mountain Caverns in Chattanooga, TN
    • Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, TN
    • Chattahoocee National Forest
    • Nantahala National Forest
    • Mountain Farm Museum and Qualla Arts and Crafts in Cherokee, NC
    • Cataloochee Valley (Hannah Cabin) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    • Boogerman Trail loop
    • Big Witch Overlook off the Blue Ridge Parkway
    • Devil’s Courthouse overlook trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway
    • North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, NC
    • Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC
    • Jack of the Wood, a Celtic-style bar in Asheville, NC

End: Asheville, NC

As Tennessee natives ourselves, it’s hard not to be inspired by the wild beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. One of the most popular national parks in the country, the Great Smoky Mountains attracts millions of visitors every year. And rightly so. Don’t be afraid to wander.

If you live near Chattanooga, Cleveland, or Dayton, as we do, you’ll want to pass through the Chattahoochee and Nantahala National Forests and enter the Great Smoky Mountains from the Cherokee, NC entrance. If you’re on the eastern side of the park, start in Asheville, NC.

It’s not a very long road trip, more of a weekend trip, but if you are taking a road trip anywhere in Tennessee, be sure to include the Smokies on your list. Most visitors enter through the Gatlinburg–Pigeon Forge into the park, but a better entrance might be the quieter North Carolina entrance through Maggie Valley and into Cherokee.

The views and wildlife are stunning. You may even be lucky enough to witness the famous blue haze associated with the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. Make the trip in May or June and the skyline often has a deep pink and/or red glow.

As you wind your way through the scenery, it will seem to change by the minute—rolling valleys, spring wildflowers, soft fog, dense forests, steep mountains, and occasional log cabins and grist mills. Don’t be afraid to pull over along lookout points, such as Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the park, and the popular Chimney Tops picnic area. Just watch out for the black bears!

After a few days in nature, we recommend taking the gorgeous Blue Ride Parkway (an amazing road trip on its own) from Cherokee to Asheville (or vice versa if you are entering from that side).

Watch this video to learn more about Clingmans Dome and the Great Smoky Mountains:

  1. The Blues Highway Road Trip 

  • Start: Memphis, TN
  • Visit:
    • Graceland and B.B. King’s Blues Club in Memphis, TN
    • Blues and Legends Hall of Fame in Tunica, MS
    • The Hollywood Café and/or Blue & White Restaurant in Tunica, MS
    • Devil’s Crossroads in Clarksdale, MS
    • Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, MS
    • Hopson Plantation, Cat Head, and Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, MS
    • White Front Café in Rosedale, MS
  • End: New Orleans, LA

Take a ride on the Blues Highway (US 61), Bob Dylan’s famous Highway 61 that runs from Wyoming, Minnesota to New Orleans, Louisiana, to experience a unique musical journey. We begin our trip in Memphis. From there, you’ll travel to the same towns and juke joints as Bessie Smith, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Elvis, and other legends once did.

Following the course of the Mississippi River all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, there’s plenty to hear, see, and taste on this road trip. Start in Memphis and hit up one of the hundreds of amazing Memphis-style barbecue joints. Some local favorites are Tops Bar-B-Q, Corky’s Ribs & BBQ, and Leonard’s Pit Barbecue. Stay the night at the historic Peabody Hotel (or just visit for a drink). And don’t forget about Graceland!

After a day or two in Memphis, head to the Blues and Legends Hall of Fame in Tunica, Just 40 minutes away, our next stop is Clarksdale, the birthplace of Muddy Waters and deathplace of Bessie Smith. Visit the intersection of Highway 61 and Highway 49, which is said the be “The Crossroads” where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil for his musical talent. For a great live music experience, make sure to check out who’s playing at Cat Head and Ground Zero Blues Club. Nearby is the Delta Blues Museum.

After Clarksdale, you can choose a variety of different options. We recommend getting on the quieter Highway 1 (part of The Great River Road National Scenic Byway—a great road trip by itself), which runs along the Mississippi River’s “Great Wall.” There are lots of beautiful stops along the way, including the Trotter Landing ghost town. Stop for hot tamales at White Front Café in Rosedale.

As your trip approaches the end, don’t miss all the sites and entertainment in Vicksburg. The Vicksburg National Military Park and the Old Courthouse Museum are top attractions, but you’ll definitely want to stop to visit Margaret’s Grocery. It’s no longer a country market, but rather a sort of “voodoo” Christian cathedral, one of the most unique places of worship in the country.

End the trip in New Orleans and enjoy great live blues and everything the city has to offer. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

  1. The Ozarks Road Trip

  • Start: Fort Smith, Arkansas
  • Visit:
    • Devil’s Den State Park in West Fork, AR
    • Roaring River State Park in Cassville, MO
    • Mark Twain National Forest in Rolla, MO
    • Silver Dollar City in Branson, AR
    • Mystic Caverns in Harrison, AR
    • Buffalo National River near Harrison, AR
    • Cosmic Cavern in Barryville, AR
    • Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs, AR
    • Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, AR
    • Onyx Cave Park in Eureka Springs, AR
    • Great Passion Play (May through October) in Eureka Springs, AR
    • Ozark Cafe in Jaspers, AR
    • The Inn at Mountain View Bed and Breakfast
  • End: Rogers, AR

Start your trip in northwest Arkansas at the Fort Smith National Historic Site and visit the museum. Then follow a loop, up toward Eureka Springs, into Missouri, and then back down into Arkansas to Mountain View, Jasper, and on to Rogers, AR.

Take the Scenic Byway 7, a 300-mile-long north/south state highway for beautiful views of lakes, rivers, and mountains. Check out the other National Scenic Byways in Arkansas.

Whatever you’re looking for in a road trip—roadside attractions, outdoor adventure, a happy family—you’ll find in the Ozarks, which means “toward Arkansas.” The most mountainous region between the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains, it’s known for scenic drives bathed in moonlight and is surrounded by deciduous trees and some of the nation’s most beautiful waterways.

Sometimes referred to as the Ozark Mountains or Ozark Mountain Country, it basically covers the entire northwestern and north central region of Arkansas and much of the southern half of Missouri.

Wind down the roadway during the fall foliage season and you’ll be witness to the spectacular display of shifting saffron and various shades of red, purple, black, pink, magenta, yellow, orange, and brown. Driving through the beauty of the Ozarks, replete with songbirds and deer, is a distinctly American experience not to be missed.

  1. The Borderlands, TX

  • Start: Fort Stockton
  • Visit:
    • Carlsbad Caverns
    • Davis Mountain
    • Museum of Big Bend in Alpine
    • Hotel Paisano in Marfa
    • Chinati Foundation in Marfa
    • The Food Shark in Marfa
    • Ghost town of Shafter
    • River Road
  • End: Big Bend National Park

You may recognize this area when you come to it. The landscape has been used as the backdrop for some big Hollywood movies like No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood.

With spectacular canyons, mountain, and rivers, the Big Bend region seems to come from a different planet. The borderland is characterized by huge space-bending skies, rugged mountains, grassland, and large swaths of desert. It is often compared to African landscapes due to its terrain and wildlife.

The borderland trip starts in Fort Stockton, an old oil town, and progresses to Alpine, a gateway to Big Bend National Park, and through to the artsy and spiritual town of Marfa. From there ride through Paisano Pass and to the ghost town of Shafter. After that, cruise down the beautiful River Road (FM-170) to Study Butte. The overlooking views are some of the best this country has to offer.

The Big Bend region contains over one million acres of public land, including Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park. End the trip in Big Bend National Park. If you are just driving through, be sure to take Basin Road into the Chisos mountain range. Replenish yourself at Gage Hotel in the tiny town of Marathon, one of the filming locations for Wim Wenders’ movie Paris, Texas.

  1. Highway 89 National Park Road Trip

  • Start: Tumacacori National Historical Park, AZ
  • Visit:
    • Saguaro National Park, AZ
    • Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
    • Zion National Park, UT
    • Kolob Canyon Road, UT
    • Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
    • Capital Reef National Park, UT
    • Arches National Park, UT
    • Canyonlands National Park, UT
    • Yellowstone National Park, WY, MO, ID
  • End: Yellowstone National Park, MO

U.S. Highway 89 passes through 5 states and 7 national parks, clearly making it the longest of all the road trips on the list. If you’re not in a rush, the entire trip is definitely worth. Don’t worry though, you can choose to do one state or a small portion.

If you do choose one state, however, make it Utah. The surreal, Martian landscape of canyons, hoodoos, alcoves, and arches make it unlike anywhere else on Earth. If you make it one park, go with Yellowstone National Park.

U.S. 89 starts in Flagstaff, Arizona and proceeds north, passing near the Grand Canyon National Park, the second of the seven national parks along the way. Once you hit Utah, be sure to spend some time in the Zion National Park and the Bryce Canyon National Park.

The highway proceeds into Idaho around Bear Lake. In Wyoming and Montana, you have Yellowstone National Park, which should be on everybody’s bucket list.

Click here for a collection of posts to help you plan your Highway 89 road trip.

The Best Road Trip (According to Science)

If you are looking for the most efficient route for visiting all of the nation’s best landmarks, some scientists (Randy Olson and Tracy Staedter) have generated the “perfect” map that does just that. It hits all 48 states in the contiguous U.S. and all the major U.S. landmarks, ideal for traveling by car.

How to Survive a Road Trip

America is a force of nature. You have to be prepared for nearly anything when you go on any of these road trips, especially if you have children. Precipitation, cold temperatures, and thick clouds are common at the top of mountains while dry weather and hot temperatures will meet you at some of the country’s lowest points. Dress in layers and make sure you have plenty of water and essential safety items in your car.

Most of all, have fun!

Don’t hesitate to ask our team members for their road trip tips! We love driving our cars as much as we do selling them.

If you want the perfect road trip vehicle, stop by one of our locations for a reliable Certified Pre-Owned car, truck, or SUV. We’ll set you up with the car of your dreams at a price you can afford.

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 472-2000

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-2277

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3 old men on cycle riding away on a beautiful road

How to Share the Road with Cyclists | Tips for Drivers

If you’re a driver, you know that strange mixture of guilt and frustration that comes with sharing the road with cyclists. You don’t want to appear environmentally unfriendly, but you also don’t want to be late for work and the cyclist up ahead seems to be hogging the road.

The tension between drivers and cyclists is undeniable. A quick Internet search will reveal heated arguments between drivers and cyclists on the proper way to use the road. It seems as if our personalities drastically change depending on if we are behind wheels or handlebars.

In fact, the first recorded automobile accident was recorded in New York when a car hit a bicycle. Since then, the number of motorists and cyclists has drastically increased, leading to a rise in automobile-bicycle collisions.

According to the Washington Post, “the number of people commuting by bike is estimated to have increased by 43 percent since 2000.”

If you live in a city, the number of cyclists on the road seems to be increasing exponentially. Although bike lanes help with the problem, they must be supplemented with some rules for both drivers and cyclists. Traffic rules for both drivers and cyclists improve safety for everyone.

Whether you hate them or love them, cyclists have certain rights to the road. Also, keep in mind that if they weren’t riding a bicycle, they would probably be in a car contributing to the traffic and congestion around you.

How Drivers Should Share the Road with Cyclists

These driving tips are based off of Tennessee law, although most states have similar traffic laws relating to bicycles:

  • In Tennessee and most other states, a bicycle has the legal status of a “vehicle.” They have the same legal right to be on the road as vehicle drivers.
  • Cyclists are supposed to ride on the right side of the road and obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • All drivers should pay extra attention to cyclists, operating the vehicle at safe speeds, keeping careful lookout, maintaining full control and attention, and leaving plenty of room when passing. Unsafe passing of a cyclists is considered a violation of due care; and if the violation results in an injury, it’s a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250. If the violation results in a death, it is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine and a year of jail time.
  • A 3-foot clearance between vehicles and bicycles is the law in Tennessee, however, more than 3 feet is necessary if the speed limit is above 40 mph.
  • Even if there is a cyclists misbehaving and breaking the law, never verbally threaten or throw things at them. You could face a fine for assault. If you are trying to hit or run a cyclist off the road, that is considered aggravated assault (the vehicle is your weapon).
  • Bike lanes are for cyclists. Don’t double park in a bike lane, even if you are just dropping someone off. This causes cyclists to have to swerve into the driver’s lane, which can be extremely dangerous.
  • When making turns, look for both pedestrians and cyclists. If you are making a right turn, look in your rear view and side view mirrors to check for cyclists. If you are turning right and they are going straight, they have the right of way.
  • If you are coming up behind a cyclist, you can toot your horn to let them know you’re coming, but don’t lean on the horn.
  • Don’t assume that the cyclist is being a jerk if they are in the middle of the lane. A common occurrence for cyclists is what some people call being “doored.” That’s when a parked car’s door opens and the cyclist collides with it. Since there is a risk of being “doored,” many cyclists will allow a couple feet clearance between themselves and the parked cars on the right. Keep this in mind when you are opening up your door. It’s a good habit to check your side view mirror before swinging the door into traffic.
  • In addition to the risk of being “doored,” cyclists face other risks if they squeeze too far to the right. Roadside hazards, such as glass, grates, and debris near the gutter may necessitate the cyclist to ride further to the left. Even if there is a shoulder, bicyclists are not required to use it. There is often glass and other debris on the shoulder, making it a difficult place to ride.
  • While bike lanes are getting more and more common, most roads won’t have them. A wide shoulder can act as a bike lane, but sometimes the roads are very narrow. If the cyclist has no choice but to ride in the driver’s lane, then they have the right of way. The law allows them to take up the entire lane. If you cannot pass them safely within the lane, you must wait behind the cyclist until there is a safe opportunity to pass. Pass them only when it’s completely safe to do so (pass on the left). Keep in mind that cyclists sometimes swerve to avoid things in the road, just like cars sometimes do.
  • When passing a cyclist, the law requires that you leave a safe distance of no less than 3 feet and maintain that clearance until you have safely overtaken the bicyclist.
  • Cyclists are supposed to stay to the right. Drivers should

For more information on sharing the road with cyclists, see The Tennessee Handbook for Motorists & Bicyclists [pdf].

There are many benefits of cycling, but sometimes it’s just not practical. If you find yourself in need of a vehicle, contact Auto Simple.

We offer a wide variety of quality, certified pre-owned vehicles. Hop in, take it to the road, and share it safely with cyclists.

Have any driving or cycling tips you’d like to add? Let us know!

All of our Hand-Picked, Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles come with a 6 month/6,000-mile Powertrain Warranty.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 472-2000

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-2277

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a woman reading a book at a library

Top 11 Books on Automobiles | Maintenance, Repair, Fiction & Nonfiction

In honor of Read Across America Day (March 2nd) and National Reading Month (March), we’re going over the best books about cars, trucks, and automobiles.

While there are many great online resources such as YouTube videos and message boards for learning car maintenance and repair (see our blog for instance), sometimes you end up on a wild goose chase following the wrong advice. But that doesn’t mean you should give up! Regular maintenance and repair will keep your vehicle efficient and reliable for a very long time.

Top 7 NONFICTION Books on Automobile Maintenance & Repair

Instead of scouring the internet, you can save a lot of time and frustration by purchasing a couple reference books for maintenance and repairs that range from simple to complex. If you read the following nonfiction books on auto maintenance and repair, you’ll be able to:

  • Change your oil
  • Check all fluids
  • Change tires
  • Basically anything!

Keep your vehicle running in top shape with these books and manuals:

  1. Vehicle Owner’s Manual

You should already have this one. The owner’s manual that came with the car will give most of the basic information you need for operating and maintaining your automobile.

This piece of reference material is essential. It will tell you exactly how to operate all of your car’s components, what your vehicle dashboard warning lights mean, what the proper tire PSI is, and other important information specific to your make and model.

If you have a question about your vehicle, consult the owner’s manual first (there’s an index in the back). If you can’t find what you’re looking for, the following books on the list will be able to fill in the gaps.

  1. Chilton Total Car Care Manual

For general repair procedures, get a Chilton’s repair manual for your vehicle. With just a few simple tools and a repair manual, you can complete most vehicle maintenance and repairs yourself.

These manuals provide easy-to-understand information about the inner workings of your vehicle. Even if you don’t plan on doing any serious repairs yourself, the manual will enable you to speak confidently with your mechanic.

Be aware the Chilton’s manuals tend to be a little more technical than Haynes manuals (the next book on the list). You should be able to do most car/truck maintenance and repair using only the Chilton’s manual, however, you may find gaps in information here and there. It’s best to compare the Chilton’s procedures with your owner’s manual and a Haynes manual.

  1. Haynes Car Repair & Servicing Manual

If you are serious about DIY auto work, you should supplement the Chilton manual with a Haynes manual. These 2 manuals will provide near comprehensive coverage for all your auto repair and maintenance work.

It’s a good idea to use both books to look up unfamiliar procedures. That way, you can choose the simpler method and get a better idea of what you are doing.

  1. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Service Manual

While Chilton and Haynes manuals should be more than enough for the average do-it-yourselfer, if you want the exact reprints of service manuals from the manufacturer, consider purchasing the OEM factory repair manual for your vehicle. Normally used by mechanics and technicians, these automotive manuals are the most thorough, but are generally harder to understand than either the Chilton or Haynes manuals. If you have all 3 manuals, you’ll have all the specific information you need to understand your vehicle’s many systems and components.

  1. Auto Repair for Dummies by Deanna Sclar

If you are familiar with the For Dummies, you’ll know that they are filled with non-intimidating pictures and guides on a variety of topics. So it’s no surprise the Auto Repair for Dummies by Deanna Sclar is simple, direct, and easy to understand.

The book contains useful information for the layman, including year-round maintenance schedules, general tune-ups, suggested tools, and other very practical information. If you just want to know the basics of car maintenance, reduce maintenance and repair costs, and increase your confidence when speaking with a mechanic, this is a great book.

Be aware, however, that the book won’t have a lot of information specific to your vehicle. For specific information on your vehicle, get the Chilton, Haynes, or OEM manuals.

  1. How Cars Work by Tom Newton

Get How Cars Work if you really want to understand how your car works. It goes slowly through each of the components in your vehicle, gradually building a comprehensive understanding of how each component and system functions.

Although much of the book is focused on how car engines work, it also provides thorough explanations for other systems as well, such as steering, brake, and heating/cooling systems. If you really want to understand what goes on under the hood, this book is for you.

The best thing about this book is that any beginner can understand it. It can even make a great gift for a mechanically-inclined child interested in how things work.

Finish the entire book and you’ll be able to converse smoothly and confidently with any mechanic or automotive enthusiast.

  1. Ask Click and Clack: Answers from Car Talk by Tom and Ray Magliozzi

I’m sure you are already familiar with the hilarious hosts of NPR’s Car Talk, but if not, you’re missing out. In addition to the great information on the Car Talk website and radio show, there are also several books by the Tappet brothers, a.k.a. Click and Clack.

Ask Click and Clack collects the best questions and answers from their radio show, combined with additional advice and wisecracks. If you are looking for light reading filled with helpful and amusing information, this is a great book for both the experienced mechanic and the complete beginner.

Honorable Mention: How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive by John Muir

If How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step by Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot by John Muir (not the nature-writer) wasn’t specific to old Volkswagens, it would have made our list. While certainly for beginners (mostly text with some illustrations), it is a very well written book that combines practical information with an entertaining style. If you own an air-cooled VW (beetle, gia, bus, etc…), this book has everything you need for troubleshooting and repairing your bug.

Advanced Automotive Engineering

If you are interested in automotive engineering and becoming a skilled mechanic, first decide which area you are interested and then go to SAE International for technical engineering information. You’ll also want to see what resources are available at your local mechanical engineering schools and join a team for hands-on experience.

Auto Log Book

If you want to keep track of mileage, maintenance, repairs, and other automotive work, we highly recommend keeping an auto log book. Whether you are trying to keep clear records for tax purposes or otherwise, an auto log book will make it easy to record your vehicle history.

There are also plenty of great nonfiction books about the history of cars and the people who drive them. Against All Odds: The Story of the Toyota Motor Corporation and the Family That Created It is a fascinating story about the history of Toyota. It should be required reading for any manufacturing entrepreneurs. Behind the Wheel: The Great Automobile Aficionados by Robert Putal is another great book for automotive enthusiasts, which includes profiles of 80 famous car aficionados.

Top 4 FICTION Books on Motor Vehicles  

Humans and wheels—they’re a match made in heaven. Old or young, these books are sure to please any automotive enthusiast and their need for speed. You don’t even have to be interested in motor vehicles to enjoy these books, but don’t be surprised if they get you hooked.

  1. The Truck Book by Harry McNaught

This bestselling book for children is full of beautiful and colorful illustrations of over 50 trucks, including buses, RVs, and fire engines.

  1. Christine by Stephen King 

Fasten your seatbelts, folks. The master of horror wants to take you on a chilling ride with a killer car. If you enjoyed the movie, you’ll LOVE the book! 

  1. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

The Mouse and the Motorcycle is the classic story of a young boy, a mouse, and a motorcycle. There are two great sequels as well, Runaway Ralph and Ralph S. Mouse. Children aged 5-9 will probably get the most enjoyment out of this motor vehicle tale.

  1. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

Don’t be fooled by the title. According to the author, “It should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It’s not very factual on motorcycles, either” (Wikipedia). It does, however, use motorcycle maintenance as a life analogy we can all relate to in some way or another.

After reading these books and guides for car enthusiasts, come into Auto Simple and check out our collection of used cars. We do free oil changes every 90 days for the life of your loan and have highly-trained technicians onsite. Additionally, if you decide to trade-in or sell your vehicle after being inspired by these great literary works, we do that too! 

Best Online Resources for Auto Repair and Maintenance 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 472-2000

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-2277

Follow us for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+.

front quarter view of a Cadillac

All the Presidents’ Cars | Famous Cars U.S. Presidents Drove

In honor of Presidents’ Day and the vehicles that served them, we’re going over some famous personal cars that U.S. presidents have driven. Many of these vehicles continue to be as historically relevant as the presidents themselves.

If we held elections based on the kinds of cars our candidates drove, we’d probably have a much different history. Love them or hate them, a U.S. president has personally driven all of the unique cars on this list.

Although George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and every U.S. president up to Taft didn’t own a car, after the discovery and proliferation of the motor car, every single president after that not only owned one that reflected their personality, they also had their own White House vehicle.

What Car Does the President Drive?

Actually, the President isn’t allowed to drive except when on a private closed track that the Secret Service has deemed safe and secure. It’s simply too risky.

The U.S. presidential state car, sometime nicknamed “The Beast,” “Cadillac One,” or “First Car,” is a bulletproof car equipped with many offensive, defensive, and life-saving features. FDR was the first president to have a bulletproof vehicle, and we certainly can’t imagine any modern president not doing so. The President also uses Ground Force One, a collection of black armored buses, as well as fortified yachts and aircraft for transportation.

From 1939 to 1972, the official President’s car was a Lincoln, then a Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham used by Ronald Reagan, followed by a line of Cadillacs that continue to this day.

Click here for a list of official state vehicles of the President of the United States.

William Taft – Baker Electric Runabout

The first administration to embrace cars for the White House, Congress purchased multiple automobiles for the new fleet and replaced the horse stable for a car garage. One of the more interesting cars in the fleet was an all-electric Baker Electric car. The other cars were a White Steamer and two Pierce-Arrows.

Woodrow Wilson – Pierce-Arrow

Woodrow Wilson didn’t own a automobile before taking office, but once in the White House, he fell in love with the Pierce-Arrow limousine he used as President. After leaving Washington, his friends bought him his very own Pierce-Arrow. 

Herbert Hoover – Cadillac V-16 Fleetwood

By choosing one of the most stylish and well-known cars in American history, Hoover’s Cadillac V-16 gave this president an added cool factor. Designed by Harley Earl, the same guy who came up with the Corvette, this classic Cadillac turns heads in in any era. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt – Packard 12

FDR is a beloved American president with one of the most beautiful cars on the list. The Packard 12 may have been his taste, but it wasn’t the most practical vehicle for safety. History has it that in order to protect the president, FDR had to stop using the Packard 12 in favor of an armored vehicle. While this special bulletproof car was being built, the president actually took Al Capone’s shot-resistant Cadillac for a few spins.

Harry S. Truman – Ford Super Deluxe

There are several Fords on the list, making the iconic brand a presidential favorite. Truman’s Ford Super Deluxe Tudor Sedan has historical significance beyond just belonging to an American president. The car Truman owned was literally the very first car to roll off the Ford assembly line post-WWII. This signaled a new time in American industry and a symbolic rejuvenation for a war-tired nation.

Dwight D. Eisenhower – Chrysler Imperial

Eisenhower was a car guy, not as much as LBJ, but definitely a fan of now-vintage vehicles. His favorite was the ‘56 Chrysler Imperial, a stunningly slick convertible with high-tech appeal. This car boasted the first all-transistor radio, meaning that Eisenhower enjoyed great tunes as well as a great ride. 

John F. Kennedy – 1961 Ford Thunderbird


JFK was very proud of his 1961 Ford Thunderbird convertible. Packing a V8 engine and rocking the redesigned “Bullet Bird” look, the T-bird was the luxury vehicle of its day. The car received a huge boost in sales after 50 of the ’61 Thunderbirds were driven in John F. Kennedy’s inaugural parade. Maybe JFK’s T-bird love helped influence his decision to name Ford executive Robert McNamara as Secretary of Defense; it certainly didn’t hurt.

Lyndon B. Johnson – Amphicar, Lincoln Continental Convertible


Lyndon B. Johnson may be the only U.S. President who can be considered a true automotive enthusiast. He enjoyed driving visitors around his Stonewall, Texas ranch in his prized Lincoln Continental Convertible. The ranch, now the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, displays many of his personal cars, including his famous blue Amphicar—“ the only civilian amphibious passenger automobile ever to be mass produced” (National Park Service).

LBJ would enjoy playing practical jokes on his unsuspecting passengers in the Amphicar, pretending the brakes were shot and heading straight for the water. According to Joseph A. Califano Jr., one of the President’s aides:

The President, with Vicky McCammon in the seat alongside him and me in the back,was now driving around in a small blue car with the top down. We reached a steep incline at the edge of the lake and the car started rolling rapidly toward the water. The President shouted, “The brakes don’t work! The brakes won’t hold! We’re going in! We’re going under!” The car splashed into the water. I started to get out. Just then the car leveled and I realized we were in a Amphicar. The President laughed. As we putted along the lake then (and throughout the evening), he teased me. “Vicky, did you see what Joe did? He didn’t give a damn about his President. He just wanted to save his own skin and get out of the car.” Then he’d roar. (Source: National Park Service)

In addition to surprising folks with his Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car, he also found pleasure in ringing the fire bell in his 1915 Fire Truck and making children laugh with his little green wagon hitched up by two donkeys. If this list were a contest, Lyndon B. Johnson would win hands down.

Richard M. Nixon – Oldsmobile

People question whether or not Nixon actually liked the 1950 Oldsmobile 98 or was just using it as a political stunt (a way to connect with common folk), as the Oldsmobile was then a staple on the American highway.

In his “Checkers Speech” at the 1952 Republican Convention, Nixon said:

“I own a 1950 Oldsmobile car. We have our furniture. We have no stocks and bonds of any type. We have no interest, direct or indirect, in any business. Now that is what we have. What do we owe?”

Whether or night he was using the Oldsmobile to make a political point, the streets would be much more stylish if this were still a common car today.

Ronald Reagan – Subaru BRAT, U.S. Army Jeep

Reagan’s “old friend”, a red U.S. Army Willys CJ-6, was a patriotic Christmas gift from Nancy Reagan in 1963. If you want to see this car today, it’s actually still around. In fact, it’s still at home on the same California ranch once owned by Reagan. Images of him in his red Jeep are some of the most memorable images of his presidency. Later, Nancy Reagan surprised him with another Jeep, this time a light-blue ’83 CJ-8 Scrambler.

Reagan also owns a red Subaru BRAT in order to get around his huge ranch property. Although sold several times, it has ultimately been restored to a beautiful condition and kept on Reagan’s ranch, where it belongs. 

You can visit all three vehicles at the ranch except when they might be on display elsewhere. It would be a privilege to see Reagan’s retreat where he would use these vehicles to clear brush and work the land. Jeeps still represent this freedom.

Bill Clinton – 1967 Mustang Convertible

Clinton has always been considered suave, and his taste in classic cars only boosts this image. Clinton didn’t just drive a Mustang convertible; he drove a vintage one. At one point the car even had an Arkansas license plate that said BILL CLINTON. This car was beloved by Bill, and he publicly mentioned how much he missed driving it once he moved to the White House. 

Barack Obama – Ford Escape Hybrid

The Ford Escape Hybrid is a fitting vehicle for this environmentally conscious president. People mention his many “dad-jokes” over the years, and this is definitely a family-man car. Similar to Nixon’s pick, this Hybrid could have been part of a political message about going green. We all know the Obamas weren’t able to drive themselves around for 8 years, so now that they’re living as civilians, we’ll let you know if the Ford Escape Hybrid makes an appearance.

Donald J. Trump – 

Although we may not yet know which of these cars is his go-to, our newest president does have a small and luxurious collection, including a ‘50’s Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud (known today as a quintessential vintage wedding car) and a blue ’97 Lamborghini Diablo (custom made for Trump). Others include:

  • 2003 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
  • Rolls Royce Phantom
  • 1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT
  • 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Indianapolis 500 Pace Car

The wheels of the White House give us a glimpse into the sensibility and style of America’s most powerful men. From classic to convenient, every car tells a story. Just like the men who drove them, these cars will go down in history.

Inspired to pick up a Ford like many of our famous Presidents? What about a Chrysler? Auto Simple is here to help you find your ideal car, and with our stellar customer service, you’ll be given the presidential treatment.

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Happy Presidents’ Day!

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