Jeep – The Name That Evokes Memories

Although Jeep is one of America’s biggest automotive brand names and home to its largest market there can be few people around the rest of world who don’t know the name which is associated with off-roading. In fact I could go as far as saying that Jeep is as synonymous as Hoover is to vacuuming or Xerox to photocopying if I may be so bold.

Jeep’s history goes back some sixty years which is longer than its only real contender the British Land Rover coming in a close second for longevity. Most people are aware of the fact that the Jeep was born out of the requirement by the American military to produce a “go anywhere” light-weight reconnaissance vehicle. The need to produce something quickly was great as the war in Europe was already under way. The role of the Jeep during the Second World War cannot be overstated and in fact General Dwight D.Eisenhower himself cited the Jeep as being one of the most important tools at the US army’s disposal and was a major contribution to the allied victory.

It is a fact of life that many every day things that we now take for granted were originally developed for military use including such things as satellite navigation without which where would we be? Who knows how to navigate with a map and compass these days!

My parents have recently moved to a smaller house and regrettably have realised that a lot of the junk that was residing in their loft actually belongs to me. Quite cleverly under the guise of a luncheon invitation I was invited around for one of my Mother’s delicious Sunday roast dinners only to be confronted with a large pile of my old belongings to sort through. Most of the stuff I had long since forgotten about and I was beginning to get bored looking at loads of naff 80’s and 90’s items (with the possible exception of a Baywatch calendar, well I was a big fan of the Hoff!) Suddenly though I found a box of toy cars from my childhood days. This was more like it, there was a treasure trove of model cars from the past including a De Tomaso Pantera and a Ferrari 512 BB. Then all of a sudden there it was! My old military Jeep, looking slightly battered with the spare wheel missing, for which I blame my sister in committing an act of retribution for me once beheading one of her Barbie dolls.

It was amazing though sitting there with all those childhood memories coming back to me as I looked at my old Jeep. I hadn’t seen it for nearly thirty years but as I held this old bit of greyish metal in my hand it was as if it was only yesterday I was winning the war in Europe (in the back garden of my parent’s house of course).

Many years later I had an experience with a Jeep that I would rather forget. I was camping with some friends and we were all slightly the worse for wear the next morning after a long night of making merry, when someone thought it would be highly amusing to start up their V8 Jeep right next to the tent where I was sleeping off a hangover. The result was somewhat deafening as the flimsy bit of canvas did little to insulate the roar of this thing which was effectively about an inch away from my head. I must admit I found it far from amusing and after this rude awakening emerged from my tent uttering a few choice words. It succeeded in making everyone else laugh and to this day “The Jeep Story” evokes thoughts of happy days.

Used Dodge – The Better Deal

Some people change vehicles almost like they change underwear. What does this mean? This means that you can benefit from some of the best cars, in great condition, but they are labeled as “used.” In truth, a vehicle can be labeled as used just as soon as you drive it off the lot because it immediately depletes in value. So if someone wants a new vehicle every year, think of all the used vehicles waiting to be bought for a price that is almost half what it was originally. You can find a Used Dodge, used Jeep, a used luxury or recreational vehicle for a great price at almost any local dealership.

Statistics show that a Used Dodge or any other used vehicle is probably the better deal any way you look at it. If you buy what is considered a good, used vehicle, not a lemon, then the most you have to worry about is normal wear and tear – the tires, the breaks, and the battery. These specifics are not covered under a new car’s warranty so you are not paying any more out of your pocket than you would have to with a brand new car. Buying used does not mean you have to buy something very old and outdated. It could be a car that is no more than a year or 2 old.

New or used, it’s new to you if you just bought it. The excitement is still there even if it’s not the very latest model. Acquiring any car in good shape that suits your needs and desires for less dollars than what it is brand new is a deal you do not want to pass up.

Take a local mechanic that you trust with you to check out the Used Dodge you have been considering. With honest advice, you should be able to avoid choosing a lemon and come to a firm decision on a new to you vehicle. Cars fit into the old saying too, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” One may be sitting in a used car lot, but it could be your treasure.

Retail Marketing Thinks Inside the Box

Many, many years ago I started in Automotive Sales working for a small two store but well established Jobber. My job was to sell automotive parts to the local mechanics both professional and hobbyist. I remember one day learning from my mentor at the time, Dev, who had me fill a big box in the front of the store with a variety of miscellaneous items that had sat on the shelf so long that the dust was making me sneeze with my every movement. I questioned Dev on his strategy of burying items people don’t want into a box they now have to dig through to investigate what is ‘on sale’. His response was simple and quickly understood; “people (mostly men in this environment) like treasure hunts”. He was right. Every person who walked in the store could not leave without at least a quick rummage through the box. I watched over an over the items being picked through with most people walking out with their unique treasure.

To this day when I see a box in a store I still can not resist the temptation to explore and treasure hunt in the box. Another ‘Retail Marketing Thinks Inside The Box’ technique for moving slow moving inventory is to package three or more items into one box marked on sale. There is always one item that appeals to someone and the rest of the items… well, wanted or not, they are all an added bonus.

The next time you are trying to think outside the box in your business, exploring for creative ideas, ask yourself if perhaps the answer can be found; inside the box?

Hobbies – Its Rewards And Its Values

As children, we constantly receive toys for our birthdays and Christmas. Commonly boys receive car models, guns and shirts while girls are often gifted with hair accessories, dolls and dresses. Most often we treasure these gifts only for a certain period. However those who have been exposed to the benefits of maintaining collections have retained its features until the present time. Hobbies can be financially rewarding. Promoting a certain hobby to a child can teach him values not commonly found in books.

Our collections can tell so much of our personality. Each collection takes years to build. Some collections are rare finds while others are simply born out of fascination. Some people cars. They spend most of their time looking for vintage ones and tuning it once in a while. However our children would never have the same fascination unless we start them off. Car models can easily be maintained and kept in their rooms. It neither needs tuning up or spare parts.

Collecting does not only satisfy our fascination, it also teaches the value of responsibility. The mere discipline of maintaining one item in mint condition is challenging for a child. Toys are meant for enjoyment for most children. However there are some toys worth keeping.

Items such die cast models increase their value due to rarity or extinction. Most toy manufacturers stop production after a certain period of time thus increasing the price and value of the item. Commonly these are toys that have historical importance.

Matchbox cars are the most popular choice among male collectors. Admittedly it pays attention to details capturing the exact appearance of big cars. The variation of this collection ranges from vintage looks to the latest finds. It intends to give satisfaction to those who could not afford to buy the real thing. Though it is meant for play, some just intends to display it for the sake of keeping it.

Clean it constantly according to instructions. Dust can ruin the color and some details of your collection decreasing its value. If you still have it, retain the box, the receipt and even the tag to prove its authenticity. Sadly some collections are imitated today making it harder to find original thing.

Our passion does not have to be expensive. It can start from a mere interest. We can collect many things but focusing on a certain model can be a good start. Most valuable collections today are those bought in garage sales, retail stores and even found in trash. Try to find out more about your collection. Collectibles with history can appraise its value making more financially rewarding for the collector.

Collectors today are very lucky to have the internet as a research tool. Find out more about your collection using this medium. Frankly other collectors are putting their items for sale thus you would have a good idea where to start if you are new in this category. Relatively the latest models of die cast cars can be a great option for beginners. Just make sure you put it somewhere your kids would not reach to avoid it from being chipped or lost.