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Who Is Allpar? - Brief Bios of Some Contributors

 

Mike Sealey in his cab

We miss (in memorium):

Daniel Stern

News staff bios

Daniel Stern, unrelated to the actor, was deeply involved with slant six cars from early on; he quickly became an expert in their repair, maintenance, and tuning. From there he developed expertise in engineering automotive lighting system, leading to his current profession as a lighting consultant, as well as the upkeep and upgrade of four-cylinder Mopars. His work has been recognized in industry publications, Automotive News, and Mopar Action.

Bill Watson

Bill Watson's first ride in a car was his father's 1936 Graham Supercharger touring sedan, on the way home from the hospital. The first car he can remember is his father's 1940 Plymouth, bought soon after Bill was born.

His father said Bill could recognize and name cars a block away by the age of five. His father's various Chryco products, 1950 Dodge Special Deluxe, 1955 Dodge Regent, and 1965 Dodge 330 (slant six) galvanized his interest in things Chrysler. He learned to drive on the 1965 Dodge 330. He turned down a 1962 Valiant sedan for a 1965 Envoy Epic as his first car, a decision he regretted about a month after he bought it. The Envoy was replaced by a 1972 Dodge Dart sedan, and it has been Mopar ever since.

His only new car was a 1978 Dodge Monaco Brougham. He has also owned a 1949 DeSoto Custom, three Studebakers, and a Renault Fuego. When this was written, he owned a 1983 Imperial (daily driver), 1964 Studebaker Commander, 1963 Studebaker Lark taxi, 1962 Valiant Signet 200, and a 1962 Lancer GT.

In his teens, Bill started collecting articles and brochures. He now has 5,500 car brochures (not all Mopar), articles, clippings, photos, manuals, books, etc. that would take about eighty file boxes to pack up. Single, he shares his apartment with his “paper car” collection and two cats.

Dan Minick (analyst and contributor)

Dan Minick has an MBA and a mechanical/technical background and upbringing. His father ran a farm, engine, and metal fabrication shop; Dan turned its focus to remanufacturing engines in the 1990s. He was involved in the engine remanufacturing industry for ten years, and wrote a quarterly column in Engine Builder (formerly Automotive Rebuilder) on import engines from a remanufacturing standpoint. A few of his columns are on engine-builder.com.

Dan was the VP Finance at a roof coating company until recently, when he became a full time professor of Operations Management at Kansas State University.

His perfect job would be integrating numbering systems, within mergers and acquisitions; merging systems within a M&A environment; and planning strategy for synergistic fits. His ideal “reality” job would be automotive writing and consulting; business consulting, financial number crunching, looking for cost-cutting; teaching econ and accounting; manufacturing process simplification; and providing break-even analysis.

Michael Volkmann

michael volkmann

Michael Volkmann, a mechanical engineer in the steel industry, autocrossed and road-raced Neons. Michael has drag raced his 1971 Duster 340, 2009 Challenger R/T, and Neons, of which he’s owned seven — one SRT4, three ACRs, and three Sport Coupes. He currently races sprint karts.

neon

mike

Lanny Knutson

LANNY KNUTSON has been editor of the Plymouth Bulletin, official magazine of the Plymouth Owners Club, since 1987. He lives in Erickson, Manitoba, Canada, and owns two vintage Plymouths: a 1949 P18 Special Deluxe sedan and a 1964 Valiant Signet convertible.

Pete Jackson

Pete’s screen name is now poorboy_616; it had been “the parts god” (one of his regular customers gave him this nickname). He wrote:

I have been repairing vehicles ever since I could walk, or turn a wrench (which came first, I don't remember). My father was my mentor up until I took my first automotive technology course in high school. Now he looks for me for advice... (Interesting how the table has turned...)

I have two years of formal automotive technology training at Clark County Vocational Skills Center in Vancouver, Washington. I was also a Washington state finalist in the Ford/AAA student national auto skills competition in 1997.

pete jackson

I now have four years of experience in Auto Parts split between NAPA and Schuck's Auto Supply and about a year’s worth of experience in Diesel Engine rebuilding at Detroit Diesel Corp. I have also turned wrenches for a number of years repairing my friends and family.

I also have a wife and two children, whom I love dearly.

Hemi Andersen

The last mechanic to work on Bob Schneider’s “General Lee” before it was auctioned off, Hemi Andersen has decades of experience as a skilled mechanic and tuner.

hemi andersen and fury

He has owned a 1948 Dodge, 1951 Imperial, 1958 Fury dual-four-barrel 318 (converted to a 383 in 1963, 1964 Dart GT 273, 1963 Belvedere wagon, 1967 Coronet wagon, 1972 Charger, and other cars. He also owned a 1981 Aries, 1989 Chrysler TC by Maserati, 1985 Voyager, and the 1985 Laser. The only car bought new was the 1964 Dart GT 273 four-speed. The 1958 Fury had been a factory car, with 2,300 on the odometer.

hemi andersen

Family cars in New Jersey were a 1940 Dodge, 1952 Coronet, 1956 Belvedere, and 1965 Barracuda. The Fury stayed home when he got the Dart, and “was sold by parental mistake. They didn’t know what they had.”

Hemi wrote:

I came along in October 1939, just before Adolph Hitler invaded Denmark. My Finnish mother had just married a Danish sailor, who sailed the seven seas for Moore McCormack Lines. My dad sailed on the “Scan Line,” going to the Scandinavian countries as well as St. Petersburg, Russia.

Dad met my mother in Hangö, Finland and transported her to Copenhagen after they were married, in 1938. I grew up wanting to be a motorman on the trolley cars that ran all over Copenhagen. I guess I have always liked machines with wheels.

Hemi and dad

After World War II, we settled in River Edge, New Jersey; our first car was a 1940 Dodge 4 door sedan that dad bought so mother didn’t have to walk miles to a store. My first encounter with auto mechanics was when the battery went dead on it.

The fellow, George Goehs, who operated the Amoco gas station on the corner of Midland Avenue and Kinderkamack Road (now a Dunkin’ Donuts), accused me of shorting out the voltage regulator, which I had not touched. So, having been accused of the crime, I decided I might as well be guilty of the crime.

From that time, I maintained the Dodge as best I could and even ended up with my first job working for George at his gas station. Gas was 19.9¢ a gallon in those days, early 1950s.

As time went on, I had decided that I was going to be a mechanic — PERIOD. So when it was time to go to High School, I chose Bergen County Vocational and Technical High School. I attended Bergen Tech from 1955-58, graduating at the top of my class — just nine years after I arrived on the shores of America.

Bergen Tech, I was told, is “a place where trouble makers are sent” back when I was leaving grade school. As a freshman in 1955, I was met by a mixed group of guys. Some harassed me a little in the hallways, but not quite as bad as in the movie “Back to the Future.” I made a lot of friends that have become lifelong friends, so there were more pluses than negatives.

I have to laugh about it today, I was undoubtedly the geek to many since I carried my books in a leather briefcase and rode my bicycle to school until I got my driver’s license. Then I drove my 1948 Dodge. Yes, I have been MOPAR from the beginning. Nevertheless, I did get my name engraved on the “Honor Plaque” at the end of the freshman year.

Upon graduation in 1958, I took the only job listed on a rather long list of shops and auto dealers that was a Mopar dealer, McCrane DeSoto /Plymouth at 285 Passaic Street in Hackensack (now an Office Zone). I have worked for many dealers over the years, Harbor Chrysler in Ventura, CA being the last. From there, I had my own shop in Ventura for 22 years before retiring in 2011.

It has been an interesting career, having had the pleasure of meeting many intriguing people and their cars including Duncan Renaldo (Cisco Kid) who drove an Imperial, and John (Bo Duke) Schneider whose orange 1969 Charger (Bo’s General Lee) I had the privilege to work on and also drive.

I think it is time once again for vocational schools to be available for students who do not intend to pursue a college education. Where else will our country develop the trade skills needed to grow our economy?

hemi andersen again with transmission

When I left New Jersey for California, my first job was as a mechanic at WillMar Dodge on LaBrea Avenue in Los Angeles. To secure the job, the service manager gave me the “ultimate” test, I suspect. The transmission guy had quit and left two transmissions on and below his workbench, completely disassembled. One was an A-904 and the other a A-727. He told me quite simply, “Put them together and install them in the appropriate cars that were there. If they both work okay, you have the job” So I did and had the job.

From LA, I moved to Oxnard/Ventura area, north of LA. Over the years I worked at five different dealers in that area, the second and the fifth went out of business due to poor business practices. In 1988 I left the last dealership and moved into my own shop which I operated until retirement.

with his car

In retirement, I am in no way retired, still turning wrenches on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but just for fun and for free. I am also a member of TC America, a club for owners of Chrysler’s TC by Maserati cars, where I serve as Technical Advisor.

Rich Hutchinson (contributor)

Rich was raised on (and in) Mopars as a child, and has clear memories of all of them: the 66 and 73 Dodge Monacos, the 76 Chrysler Cordoba, the various Plymouth Horizons; and later the EEK New Yorker and Imperial. He has owned only Chrysler products: Two Horizons (1981 and 1985), a 1989 Lebaron coupe, and currently a 1995 Plymouth Neon Highline coupe he doesn't ever want to give up. He is married and lives in central New Jersey, and his wife drives a 1992 New Yorker Fifth Avenue she doesn't want to give up either.

Bohdan Bodnar (technical contributor)

Bohdan Bodnar holds a PhD in electrical engineering. He was employed at Bell Laboratories and was responsible for performance engineering on the 5ESS Switch project in its various aspects -- call processing, overload control, wireless applications, design of field and laboratory experiments, detailed modeling and simulation. Bohdan supervised Master and PhD students in packet switching and IP router design theses. He holds Unites States and foreign patents in overload control, distributed database management, router design, and specialized hardware.

Bohdan is a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Motorola. His responsibilities include improving laboratory test methods, high-load handling design for wireless networks, analysis of field conditions, and improving wireless systems engineering processes.

Bohdan speaks fluent Ukrainian, holds a Sho Dan (first-degree black belt) in Seisan Ryu Bushi Do Kai, and enjoys listening to classical music. He became interested in automotive servicing after purchasing a 1986 Le Baron that entered the “problem of the week” plan immediately after the warranty expired.


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