TMCP #576: ASK RICK: Still Teaching Teens to Drive a Stick Shift, Benefits (Or Not) of Buying An Automotive Business, and Best Interior Colors Ever! Business? What To Look Out For!

Rick Schmidt – Ask Rick:

It is May and time for another riveting Ask Rick segment where I ask him the tough questions! It is time to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and honor them this Memorial Day. While many take this as a time for grilling and the celebration of the start of summer, we need to also reflect on events of the past and impart the attitude of respect and honor to our children.

It is the fifteenth year for The Muscle Car Place Podcast and it has come a long ways since it’s lowly beginnings and I thank you, the listener of coming along on the journey. I have been blessed with some amazing opportunities and the connections to meet incredible people and to share it all with you The Muscle Car Place audience.

This episode features a few minutes from TMCP Episode #1, released on May 23, 2009!

Rick’s Take On Kids Driving Stick shifts:

This year  my oldest daughter graduates from high school and will be moving on to college. I asked Rick how he has handled the life events of his girls graduating and maturing into adults. He has always felt that the age of eighteen and graduating high school signified a right of passage into adulthood with many life changing events all happening at that time of life. He stated he really did not know how to answer and it was a normal transition that he had prepared them for all during childhood.

I also asked him if he let his kids take a car to college which quickly changed to a discussion of do you teach them to drive stick shift cars? Rick’s answer was adamantly yes, his kids took cars to college and also yes, you should teach your kids how to drive a stick shift for multiple life and safety reasons.

In today’s day and age a stick shift car is tantamount to installing an anti theft device as so many people can no long drive anything but an automatic. This almost guarantees that your kids friends will not be able to joy ride the vehicle and less chance of theft due to the lack of knowledge. A couple of the biggest points are that when driving a stick shift it is exceedingly difficult to text and drive since both hands are being used to drive the vehicle and that it gives a greater sense of being a “driver” and actually driving the car and being one with the experience of controlling the vehicle.

Ricks Take On Big Auto New Cars:

Ford Mustang Dark Horse

I asked Rick about the styling of some of current vehicles after GM announced the return of the ZR1 package in the Corvette line, now released on the C8 series. They also announced a new “Zora” package that is expected to sell for around $150k to $200k. Rick said the ‘Vette is more of a track car and he is not in a position to take advantage of this in the proper environment of a road track. He also hopes any new improvements in looks gets handed down to the lower models and fixes some of the looks issues. He said that in past years the initial vehicle was not great but as the sportier models came out some of the better looks upgrades were later handed down to the lower model cars making the whole line better.

Ford has released the “Dark Horse” Mustang and I asked Rick what he thought of it. Rick said it was a very sharp looking vehicle and also sounded great, he just is not a fan of the all black interior. He likes vehicles with color inside that elevates the experience from the drivers perspective instead of hiding everything in black. Even on vintage cars he has met people who changed the interior to all black and Rick thinks this is not a good thing. The color should be celebrated and preserved instead of eliminated.

Ricks Take On Buying An Existing Business:

I asked Rick about buying a business that someone is selling? He said his first question is to ask clearly of WHY the business for sale? If the current owner is at retirement age and is wanting to move on after years of running the business well, that could be a good investment opportunity. If the owner is a younger person and is just trying to flip the business it may signify some underlying issues like poor management, wrong business wrong time, or unhappy employees and this would be an investment you definitely want to avoid. It is hard to not get caught up in the “what ifs” and the fantasy of owning your own business, but a lot of research is required to ensure you are not going to lose everything on a bad deal hidden as an opportunity.

Ricks Take On Summer Investment Vehicles:

Which if these cars would be something you would like to drive all summer and really get to know?  Goal is to buy a car – hold it until the end of summer and not lose any money.

Car #1:

1970 Pontiac Trans-Am in Lucerne Blue with white stripes. This car is a bucket list car for Rick so he is very excited about the prospect of driving this car over a summer. The only draw back is the automatic transmission but he believes the rest of the car makes up for that shortcoming. It’s a great handling car, fun to drive, and will be easy to resell whenever that day comes.

Car #2:

1984 GMC K1500 Blazer, this is a repainted truck that is semi restored BUT it is nice enough that Rick would not want to take off road and scratch it up. He just cannot understand though why people drive 4X4s on the highway when they need to be off-road.

Car #3:

1965 Malibu SS, automatic with air conditioning. Rick said the wheels and the exhaust system have to go but otherwise it is a nice example of early muscle. He just would not be up for driving it more than the Trans-Am so it did not tip the scales away from the T/A.

Bonus Car:

Ford Shelby Mustang . Rick said if money is no object this would be the car but the Trans-Am is more of a driver car and would not go down in value if he drove the wheels off it over a summer.

You can find out more about NPD at the website National Parts Depot, or on social media via NationalPartsDepot or on

Thanks Rick!

-Rob Kibbe


This interview sponsored by our friends at National Parts Depot – your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!



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