Media Credentialed for Baltimore Grand Prix

Hey Everyone, I just got some great news! I was media credentialed to go the Baltimore Grand Prix. I am sooo excited to be able to cover the event on this blog and The College Driver.  Should be a lot of fun.  If you have tickets, I look forward to seeing you there.

Win Baltimore Grand Prix Tickets

Do you want to go to the Baltimore Grand Prix?  Well you are in luck!  Mr. Tire is giving away 250 pairs of tickets to the 2011 Baltimore Grand Prix for Friday September 2nd.  All you need to do is fill out and submit your information on the online entry form. Then you could win tickets to the event.  You better hurry to enter as the sweepstakes ends August 22nd, 2011.

There is a catch.  You can enter if you reside in Delaware, Washington DC, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia or West Virginia.  If you live in other states… sorry you are not eligible.  I assume most people within the specified entry states are most likely the majority of people who would be attending the Baltimore Grand Prix anyway.

The winners will be notified by email on August 24th.  So don't make any plans for Labor day weekend if you enter.  Remember this is big event for Baltimore.  If you win some tickets I hope to see you there!

To enter visit:

Interested in Driving a Cross the Country?

Some people are aware I am getting a Honda Accord from my Grandma.  The car however is in California and I am in Maryland.  What's the best thing to do?  Roadtrip!  That's right I am taking a Cross-Country Roadtrip.

I am driving the car from Irvine, CA to Baltimore, MD.  Unfortunately I cannot find an interested friend or family member to accompany me.   That leaves the co-driver position open to any interested people.  Ideal candidates should photography skills, and a clean driving record.  A plus would be if you are interesting, fun, and adventurous.  I am planning on leaving at the beginning of August.  If you need to get from West to East coast and want to have a great time seeing the country, send me an email!

Car Shows and events in July

Tuner Evolution, Soverign Bank Stadium, July 16


Here is a quick listing and rundown of Car/Bike Shows and Events taking place in the area for July, 2011.  I hope to see you at a couple of them.

  • Car Show and Carnival, Proceeds benefit local Boy Scouts and local mission, Calvary United Methodist Church, Annapolis MD, July 9, 11am – 4pm,
  • Chevy vs. Ford Showdown, Security Square Mall, July 9, Baltimore MD, $5 Admission
  • Vintage Car Lovers 21st Annual Car Show, Longwood Community Center, Brookeville MD, 8am – 2pm, Free for Spectators
  • R&H Toyota 1st Annual Car Show, Proceeds benefit The Children's Guild, R&H Toyota Service Center, Owings Mills MD, July 16, 9am – 3pm, Free for Spectators
  • Hogs & Heroes Bike/Car Show & Poker Run, Old Glory Harley Davidson, Laurel MD, July 30, Registration 9am – 11:30am, Fee $30
  • Carlisle Chrysler Nationals, Carlisle Fairgrounds, Carlisle PA, July 8-10, 7am – 6pm (Sun. 7am – 3pm), $10 Admission
  • Carlisle Bike Fest, Carlisle Fairgrounds, Carlisle PA, July 22-24, 8am – 7pm (Sun. 9am-4pm), $8 Admission
  • Tuner Evolution, Sovereign Bank Stadium, July 16, 2pm – 10pm, $10 Admission


*If I am missing an event or show or you would like me to add an event, please email me.


An interview with James DeAngelis, CCBC’s Comprehensive Automotive Programs Coordinator (Part 1)

If you are someone who has considered an automotive career in the greater Baltimore area, go see James DeAngelis III. Why? He runs the Comprehensive Automotive Programs at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) – a very important job.  The programs at CCBC are responsible for teaching the automotive technicians of tomorrow.  Not only does Mr. DeAngelis run the comprehensive automotive programs, which have day and night classes, he also teaches courses himself.

Many of the students in the automotive programs are likely to be working on your cars someday. So you have to have a lot of respect for the quality teaching of Mr. DeAngelis and the staff at the college.  He is clear and thorough and somehow easily keeps students interested in the material for classes that last all day.  Maybe it’s his great expertise, his wit, and his humor. Maybe it’s the captivating stories he tells.

DeAngelis is a man with many surprising interests and talents.  On a given day in his spare time you might see him collecting old computer equipment (like floppy disks!), working on his own vintage game for an emulator, tinkering with one of his many bikes or vehicles, searching for Atari cartridges to add to his vast collection, or watching the latest Top Gear. He might even be writing a business plan and proposal for his quick lube and auto repair shop.

His enthusiasm for his job can only be matched by his enthusiasm for Ford Festivas.  Not only does he own two Festivas, he loves actively posting on and meeting with others who enjoy these cars as much as he does. If asked about the Festiva fanaticism he will tell you straight and serious, “It's the greatest car ever made! I used to own seven.”

For more information on this creative and dedicated individual, his background and what he does, here’s my in-depth interview:


State your name and job title?
James (Jim) DeAngelis, Comprehensive Automotive and Collision Repair Programs Coordinator, Comprehensive Auto instructor

How long have you been at CCBC?
Well, I came to the college from Ford Motor Company, having been a Service Training Instructor in the Mid-Atlantic region starting 1999. In that position, I taught new technology and products to dealer technicians. As a college instructor, I’ve been here since December of 2005. However, I did graduate from the Ford ASSET automotive program in 1996, offered here at the Catonsville campus.

How long have you been teaching at the college?
I applied and was hired as a full time instructor in the fall of 2005.
Prior to that, I was invited to instruct the Ford ASSET classes on Diesel Engine Performance once a year, for several years.

How did you get started working for the college?
Well now, that’s a long a story… As a student here, one of my instructors (Jack Davis) made mention that he had been observing my interaction with fellow students, and felt that I may do well as an instructor. I took that nugget of advice with me. That influenced my choice to pursue the position at Ford Motor Company. In the summer of 2005, while having a conversation with CCBC’s Auto Department coordinator about my upcoming guest presentation at the college, I was informed that one of my former mentors was retiring, and was asked if I would be interested in applying for his position. I jumped at the chance to return to the college as an instructor, having many great memories about my time as a student here.

Tell me about CCBC’s various automotive programs?
CCBC offers several different programs, to meet the needs of both the student body and area businesses.  Ford, GM and Toyota, sponsor what is referred to as the Industry Specific programs. These programs were developed in conjunction with manufacturers, with the goal of producing career minded service technicians, for each of those brands. These students complete a two-year, AAS degree in Automotive Technology.  If one of these manufactures does not interest the student, they can enroll in the Comprehensive Automotive Technology program. The Comprehensive program discusses all brands of vehicles. In this program, the students can also obtain an AAS, or they can earn one of several certificates. The certificates include all the same automotive classes, but exclude the academic classes that are part of the degree.

What advantages does CCBC have over a private vocational school? Schools such as WyoTech or LincolnTech.
Community colleges can offer certain advantages over any for-profit school. The primary advantage is cost. A community college is partially funded by the community’s taxes, so tuition costs are typically significantly less than that of a private, for-profit technical school. CCBC also enjoys direct support of its automotive programs by both the three mentioned manufacturers, and area dealers. This gives us a greater opportunity to help students attain employment within the local industry.

What disadvantages does CCBC have over these schools?
Well, since we are the mercy of our local and state governments’ budget constraints, our facilities are not quite as glossy and grand as some of the for-profit institutions.

What’s the difference between getting an Automotive Certificate and Degree?
The Automotive Certificate option permits the student to complete various levels of automotive training, while the degree adds to that a greater depth of development, in the form of academic classes, taken in conjunction with the automotive training.

How do you and the college choose teachers for classes?
We put a bunch of names in jar, and have a former circus chimp grab one at random. It keeps things fresh. Seriously, though; Full time faculty is selected by committee, after the candidates have submitted written resumes and interviewed with a panel of faculty from both the Automotive department, and other areas of the college. Adjunct, or part-time faculty, are selected somewhat differently. These persons are individually selected by the full time faculty for their expertise and ability to relate directly with the students.

Do you like your job?
I count myself as one of the lucky few folks in the world that absolutely loves what they do.

Do you like teaching?
Being with the students is my favorite part of my job. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than interacting with the students in the classroom and lab.

What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
As a technically and hands-on oriented person, I find the administrative aspect of my job the least enjoyable, which makes it somewhat of challenge.

Do you like the students?
The students are why I love my job. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with anyone wanting to learn.

What about annoying ones that want to do interviews? 🙂
Those can be a bit of a challenge, on occasion.

*Click to read Part 2 of the interview