Think You’re A Car Expert? Let’s Find Out!

Many of our readers got a kick out of our post, 10 Strange But True Facts About Cars, so we thought you might enjoy testing (or expanding) your knowledge about cars.

Lots of people like cars. But are you a true autophile? Autophiles are car enthusiasts and tend to know a lot about cars. Not to be confused with audiophile--one who is particularly interested in high-quality sound reproduction--though there’s no reason you can’t be both! Here are some fascinating facts about cars. See how many you know before scrolling down to get the answers.

1. Cars can come with any number of features, but for a decade, one actually came with a picnic table. Do you know which one?

2. Many cars come with navigation systems these days. One car company has raised the bar by offering drivers cutting edge technology (a Multi-Media Interface, or MMI). It does a lot of fancy things, including the ability to experience amazing 3-D navigation.

3. Kids are amazing, beautiful creatures. But as passengers in cars they can’t seem to help but leave a trail of crumbs and debris--and spread them all over your car. They aren’t solely to blame. Adults can be messy, too. That’s why in 2013 one company got incredibly smart and offered a built-in vacuum. Which car company was it?
Sherwood Auto Repair serves customers from all across the Portland area including Sherwood, Tualatin, Tigard, Wilsonville, and Lake Oswego. On average, Sherwood Auto Repair technicians service or repair 10 vehicles per day.

4. As we’re sure you’re aware, there are days when it’s just a little too chilly for convertible owners to drive around with their top down. Thank goodness one car company put at end to their suffering and finally came up with a solution to this arguably tragic problem.

5. Celebrities can afford to drive just about any car they want. Some drive eco-friendly cars (like Julia Roberts and Leonardo DiCaprio who both drive a Toyota Prius) while others prefer flash (like Jay-Z’s Maybach Exelero, valued at an estimated 7 million). What kind of car did Bob Marley drive?
Sherwood Auto Repair works on all models of automobiles, new and old, including hybrids. The most common vehicle among our customers is the Honda Civic, followed closely by the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

6. Modern-day steering wheels are round, and seems an obvious shape for its function. But that’s not how they started out. What was the first steering wheel like?

7. Back in the day, being able to listen to music in your car was huge. Car radios started appearing in cars as early as 1924, and for decades it was the only option you had. What was the first alternative to car radio?

8. Speaking of music, what was the last car to offer a cassette player?
DogDid you know Sherwood Auto Repair used to have a mascot? From 2010-2015, Felix’s lab Red served as our shop greeter. He did an excellent job!

9. We all know cars have either a timing belt or timing chain, but do you know what two engine components they connect?

10. The idea for the vehicle airbag was patented way back in 1952. When was the first passenger airbag made available to the public?


  1. You never know when you have a picnic emergency! At least that what Honda thought when they included a folding picnic table in all Honda CR-V models from 1997-2006. Honda was, and still is, the leader in the compact SUV market. In fact the CR-V was the first. How many CR-V owners actually used their table is up for debate, but just knowing they could seemed enough of a reason the company chose to include the feature for 10 years.
  2. Audi designers are known for using advanced technology whenever possible. While other car companies have perfectly adequate systems, the Audi navigation system uses Google Earth to take 3-D navigation to a whole new level.
  3. Always thinking about the needs of the consumer, Honda does it again. Their 2013 Honda Odyssey was the first minivan to offer a built-in vacuum cleaner, making it easy to clean without lugging your home vacuum cleaner outside. In 2017 the Chrysler Pacifica started competing with the Odyssey by becoming the only other vehicle offering the convenience of a built-in vacuum.
  4. Leave it to Mercedes-Benz to invent the Airscarf, a heating system that makes it possible for convertible-owners to take it off with confidence. (We’re talking about the convertible top, of course). The Airscarf sends warm air from the seat headrest behind you instead of blowing it into the air from the dash.
  5. Reggae king Bob Marley drove a BMW. Why? Because it stood for his band, Bob Marley and the Wailers.
  6. When cars were just being invented people had little frame of reference for means of transportation they were able to control outside of boats. Boats used a stick called a tiller that connected to the rudder to adjust direction. Until steering wheels replaced them, early automobiles used tillers that looked kind of like a joystick.
  7. Enjoying radio in your car was wonderful, but it did have its drawbacks. There were commercials and the signal wasn’t always good. In 1956, Chrysler introduced the “Highway Hi-Fi” allowing drivers to enjoy recordings for the first time. Special length records were developed by Columbia that were just the right size for the system. That’s right, records. With needles touching the record to produce the sound. While in a moving vehicle. And we thought 8-track tapes were annoying!
  8. Cassette players had a good, long run, but by the end of 2011 there were no cars manufactured with a standard or optional tape player. The last car to have a factory equipped cassette deck? The 2010 Lexus SC430.
  9. Timing belts or chains connect the engine’s crankshaft to the camshaft, and controls how the valves open and close. Timing belts need to be changed on a regular basis while chains can sometimes last for the lifetime of a car.
  10. The 1973 GM Oldsmobile Toronado was the first car sold to the public with a passenger airbag.

Whatever you drive, let Sherwood Auto Repair help you keep it for as long as you like. Call today and schedule oil service and regular maintenance. A comprehensive and complimentary inspection is included with every service so you can be sure your car continues to perform at its best.