Posts Tagged ‘Car Buying’

The Car Chick to Drive for Woman-Owned Race Team in 24 Hours of LeMons

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

The Car ChickCharlotte, NC – 01/22/2014 – LeeAnn Shattuck (a.k.a. “The Car ChickTM”), co-owner of Women’s Automotive Solutions® and co-host of the internationally syndicated America’s Garage Radio Show has been recruited to drive for a woman-owned race team (Eagle Racing) in the 24 Hours of LeMons (yes, that’s spelled correctly) race at the Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama on February 1-2, 2014.

The 24 Hours of LeMons is a grueling, 24 hour endurance race on one of the most prestigious road courses in America.  Isn’t that the “24 Hours of Le Mans“?  Nope.  It’s “LeMons“, as in “lemons”. What’s the difference? The 24 Hours of LeMans involves multi-million dollar Porsches, Ferraris and Prototypes piloted by the top professional race car drivers in the world. The 24 Hours of LeMons involves $500 pieces of junk decorated like parade floats and driven by morons (many of whom are also professional race car drivers). The 24 Hours of LeMons is a series of endurance road races held around the country each year to raise money for Speedway Children’s Charities.

Samantha Bickford, owner of Eagle Racing, recruited Shattuck to drive for her team after seeing Shattuck race at Virginia International Raceway in November, where Shattuck was the celebrity driver at a Mini Cooper event. The team, nicknamed the “Cherry Bombs”, features three women racing drivers, including Shattuck and Bickford, and two men. The drivers will trade out in two hour shifts to complete the challenging, two day race.

“I am so honored to have been selected for the Eagle Racing team,” said Shattuck. “They race smart and have a history of consistency and success.” Endurance racing will be a new challenge for Shattuck who has been involved in high performance driving and racing for nearly 25 years, including road racing, Auto X, Legends racing, dirt track, ice rally and drag racing. “Endurance racing requires a completely different driving style and focus,” notes Shattuck. “You have to curb your competitive urges and drive to preserve both the car and the driver.”

Shattuck is sponsored by Woodie’s Auto Service & Repair, a local family-owned company with eight locations around the Charlotte area, and by the Grapevine Wine Shop & Wine Bar in Baxter Village, Fort Mill, SC.

Visit to learn more.

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5 Tips to Keep Your Car Clean and Organized

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Pure and Simple OrganizingBy Jennifer Burnham, Pure & Simple Organizing

Your car gets you from Point A to Point B.  It is your home away from home while commuting to and from work.  You spend time and money on it every year for oil changes, tune ups, maybe tires, and of course the inspection.

If you take care of your car on the outside and under the hood, then why does the inside look like a garbage dumpster?  Raise your hand if your car is cluttered with trash, mail, candy, and who knows what else.

If you would like to keep a clean and clutter free interior, then are some easy steps.

1. Carve out time for a deep clean.

Spend a Saturday morning cleaning out your car.  Be sure to have a trash bag handy.  I also recommend using a laundry basket for all those items that you find that don’t belong in the car.  Use the basket to transport those items inside the house.  Vacuum the seats and runners.  Dust the dashboard.  Give the inside some spring clean loving to start off on the right foot.

2. Have a trash can in the car at all times.

It is inevitable that trash will accumulate in the car.  Cut down on the messiness by having a trash bag handy.  One easy DIY option is to line a snap food lid container with plastic bags.  Insta-trash can!  I also recommend throwing away disposable items throughout the day.  For example, while you are filling up at the gas station, take that time to gather as much trash as possible and dispose of at the pump.  I generally gather trash before heading into a department store or shopping center.  Retail stores have trash cans by the front door, so you can easily drop it off as you walk in.

3. Organize your glove compartment.

Sort through the glove compartment.  Trash anything that is old or broken.  Printed directions to the beach?  Yep, those can go.  We have iPhones and GPS’ for that.  Old cassette tapes?  Donate them.  You probably forgot they were in there and for a measly $1.29 you can download that favorite song from iTunes.  So, what should you keep in the glove compartment?  Inspection papers, insurance cards, car manual, and maybe a first aid kit.

4. For the kids…

Think fun and easy.  Make it fun and easy for kids to keep the back seat(s) organized.  I love over-the-door shoe organizers as an option.  The smaller 5 pocket styles are perfect for cars.  Store wipes, diapers, sippy cups, movies, and toys.  Remind them to clean and tidy up before exiting the vehicle!  Kids will get used to cleaning up after themselves but you have to lead by example!

5. For the adults…

Adults accumulate tons of items that require transportation to the home each day.  The easiest way to get that stuff from your car to your home is by having a transportation system.  I love the Large Utility Tote from ThirtyOne.  It is small enough to sit in a seat or in the trunk.  Load your items into the bag at the end of each day and take them inside.  Every morning, load your daily necessities and transport to the car.  Voila!  Instant system!

Some of my favorite car organizing tools:

  1. Floor Litterbag (The Container Store) ($17.99)
  2. Clear Over Door Shoe Organizer (Organize-It) ($12.99)
  3. ABC Car Organizer (My Sweet Muffin) ($54)
  4. Large Utility Tote (Thirty One Gifts) ($35)
  5. Trunk Trays (The Container Store) ($5.99-$12.99)

Don’t Judge a Car by its CARFAX

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

We’ve all seen the commercials with the cute little fox saying, “Show me the CARFAX!”    It has become common wisdom that you should never buy a used car without a CARFAX report.  If fact, it’s one of my 10 Commandments of Car Buying.  But, there’s a lot more to a CARFAX report and to evaluating used cars than most consumers think.

Many used car shoppers simply look to see if a CARFAX report for a vehicle is “clean” – that is, no accidents or major title issues.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Think of a CARFAX report as being a “background check” on the used car you are considering bringing into your family.  A car with no accidents and a clean title history is not guaranteed to be lemon-free.  Where a car has lived, how it was used (and by whom), and how well it was maintained are key indicators of a vehicle’s predicted reliability.  At minimum, you should look at the following data on a CARFAX report:

  • Accident history
  • Title history
  • Number and type of owners
  • Title states and time spent in each state
  • Odometer history and consistency
  • Maintenance history

At Women’s Automotive Solutions, we look at 29 different pieces of data on a CARFAX report when evaluating the quality and value of a used car for a client.

Unfortunately, CARFAX reports are not 100% accurate.  CARFAX receives its information from more than 34,000 data sources including every DMV across the U.S. and Canada, as well as auto auctions, fire and police departments, dealerships, collision repair facilities, insurance companies, rental agencies, and more.  While this makes CARFAX the most thorough vehicle reporting system currently available, their accuracy still depends on the quality of the data they receive.  If an accident is not reported to the police, and the damage to the car is repaired by a facility that does not report to CARFAX, then that accident will likely not be reflected in a history report.  I recently saw a late model Lexus with a squeaky clean CARFAX that, upon closer inspection, had repairs and paintwork to the entire back third of the car.  On the other hand, I looked at Honda that showed a “Moderate Accident” on its CARFAX report.  In reality, it had only a very minor incident that required less than $200 to repair a crack in the front bumper cover.

Accident history is not the only critical information on a CARFAX report than can be inaccurate.  Many states flag cars that have been “totaled” due to an accident, flood, fire or theft by issuing a “salvage” or “flood” title – but not all.  A vehicle from one of these “non-disclosure” states, like Florida, may never reveal its sordid history (as a submarine) on a CARFAX report.  Unscrupulous dealers may engage in a practice known as “title washing”, where they take flooded or rebuilt cars to a state that doesn’t require salvage labeling and get a new, clean title with consumers being none the wiser.

So, don’t judge a car by its CARFAX alone.  A CARFAX report is a crucial tool in the car buying process, but it is just the starting point.  Always take a used car to an independent ASE Certified mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection before you buy.  A good mechanic is trained to look for signs of water damage, fire damage, paintwork and repairs as well as mechanical neglect.  Thorough research and a trained eye will go a long way to helping you find a good, reliable used car instead of getting stuck with a lemon.

Why Not Drag Race? Girls Like to Go Fast, Too!

Friday, April 19th, 2013

The Car Chick of Women's Automotive Solutions drag racing at zMAXWe’ve all heard the old adage, “Beware the woman driver!”  Sir Stirling Moss even reiterated his own similar opinion last week, only to be debunked by many women racers in the profession. That normally insulting phrase took on a whole new meaning recently at the the Doug Foley Drag Racing School held at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina, where I met up with top NHRA drivers, Brittney and Courtney Force, for a day of drag racing.

I have spent the last 25 years racing anything and everything, from karting to road course racing, dirt track to ice rally. I admit that drag racing had never held any interest for me. After all, you only get to drive in a straight line with no tire-squealing turns, and it only lasts a few seconds. How fun can that be? But, then again, I have never turned down the opportunity to learn new things (especially things involving cars and high rates of speed), so I was willing to give it a try. I also believe in learning from the best, and I can’t imagine any better teachers than the Force sisters.

The Force sisters are NHRA royalty. They grew up watching their father John Force win a record 15 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing series Funny Car world championships. “We grew up at the race track, watching Dad catch fire every weekend,” jokes Courtney. The Force sisters began racing as teenagers, but waited to pursue full-time racing careers until after college. “Mom said that she would support our decisions to become professional race car drivers 100% – but only if we went to college first,” said Brittney.

Courtney, who drives the Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car for John Force Racing, was named “NHRA Rookie of the Year” in 2012. She claimed her first “Wally” (1st place trophy) at the August 5th O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Seattle. Courtney finished fifth overall in the driver standings, equaling the best-ever showing for a Funny Car rookie.

Courtney follows in the footsteps of her two older sisters, Brittney Force and Ashley Force Hood. Brittney drives the 8,000-horsepower Castrol EDGE Top Fuel dragster and holds the title of the “Fastest Force,” having achieved speeds faster than 330 mph. Brittney spent all of 2012 testing and learning in a Top Fuel dragster on the tracks where she will be competing this 2013 season.

Oldest sister, Ashley Force Hood, drove a Castrol-sponsored Mustang Top Fuel Funny Car for her father’s team from 2007 to 2010. Before Ashley entered the sport, conventional (male) wisdom suggested that drag racing at the top levels was too physically challenging for a woman. Ashley quickly proved them wrong, racking up an impressive 105 total career wins, and finishing 2nd in the points standings in 2009. Ashley chose to retire from competitive racing in 2011, after the birth of her first child, and now serves as the President of John Force Entertainment.

While drag racing continues to be a male-dominated sport, the NHRA now has four women competing and succeeding at the top levels. That’s not surprising, given that our physiology makes us more tolerant of g-forces than men. Brittney noted that most of the men have come around and are now very supportive, offering advice and encouragement to her and her sister. “And, it’s not like the car knows or cares if you are male or female. It just knows how to go fast, no matter who is behind the wheel.”

That sounded good to me! After 20 minutes of classroom instruction, which included an explanation of the complicated set of lights known as the “Christmas Tree,” it was time to hit the track. I pulled on my trusty fire suit, gloves, and helmet, and the staff of the Doug Foley Drag Racing School strapped me into the cockpit of one of the school’s 800-horsepower dragsters. As I pulled up to the staging area, Brittney offered me some professional advice. “It’s completely normal to be nervous. Just try to relax. When you see the Christmas Tree light up, take a deep breath, then stomp on the gas!”

And stomp on the gas, I did. As a road course racer, I’m used to driving at speeds faster than 140 mph. (Just not in the span of a few seconds!) I was completely unprepared for the insane g-forces involved in an 800-horsepower launch. I went from zero to 100 mph in less than 4 seconds, and I swear that I felt my eyeballs pressing against the back of my head. Controlling the car down the straight quarter-mile strip was not particularly difficult. The challenge was to stay conscious while doing it.

My little 800-horsepower dragster was only pulling 1.5g’s, but I swear it felt like a hundred. Brittney’s Top Fuel car, by contrast, accelerates from zero to 100 mph in less than one second, subjecting her to a staggering 5.5 g’s. That is comparable to what is experienced by an F-18 pilot catapulting off the deck of an aircraft carrier. “Your body gradually learns to handle the increased g-forces, as you drive the faster cars,” explained Brittney. “It’s just like training for any other sport. You build up to it with time and practice.”

Sure enough, after a couple more passes, my body adjusted to the acceleration, and I no longer felt like blacking out. On my third pass, I made the quarter-mile run in just 9.5 seconds and reached a top speed of 141 mph. How fun can that be? You have no idea! Watch the video below to see for yourself!

Car Chick TV: Drag Racing - Girls Like to Go Fast, Too!

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The Car Chick Named Finalist for Woman Business Owner of the Year Award by NAWBO

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

LeeAnn Shattuckm a.k.a. The Car Chick(TM)

The Car Chick(TM)

Charlotte, NCLeeAnn Shattuck (a.k.a. The Car ChickTM) of Women’s Automotive Solutions has been named one of the three finalists for the Woman Business Owner of the Year award by the Charlotte Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

The Woman Business Owner of the Year award is an honor bestowed upon a woman business owner in the NAWBO community who exemplifies success within her business, her life and her community.  This award is presented annually to a woman who has demonstrated strong leadership skills in growing and managing a successful business that is more than three years old, while also demonstrating those skills in volunteer and civic activities.

Shattuck is the co-owner and Chief Car Chick of Women’s Automotive Solutions, a totally unique car buying service dedicated to helping women through the entire car selection and buying process.  Her company saves women (and men) 20+ hours of time and thousands of dollars on the purchase of a new or used car without the hassle and frustration of traditional car shopping.

Shattuck is also an automotive expert, radio and television host, speaker, author and champion race car driver.   She is passionate about educating women about cars and about empowering them to make informed decisions when purchasing, selling and servicing automobiles.

The winner of the Woman Business Owner of the Year award will be announced at the 28th annual NAWBO Awards Gala on Friday, May 17th at the Charlotte City Club.

The Car Chick Named Top Automotive Influencer by Michelin North America

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Charlotte, NC – 12/19/2012 –  LeeAnn Shattuck (a.k.a. “The Car Chick”), co-owner of Women’s Automotive Solutions® and co-host of the internationally syndicated America’s Garage Radio Show was named a “top influencer” of automotive consumers by Michelin North America.

Michelin North America identified 50 individuals across the United States and Canada to be a part of their “influencer community”.  These individuals included repair shop owners, race car drivers and team owners, bloggers, and “The Car Chick”.  The major tire company considers these individuals to be “top influencers” of automotive consumers in North America and critical to their marketing efforts.

Michelin flew Shattuck and the other influencers to New Orleans on December 11 – 12, 2012 to participate in a pre-launch event for Michelin’s new Pilot Sport 3 All-Season tire, which is due to hit the market early next summer.  Shattuck and the influencer community tested the new PS3 tires against similar high-performance tires from Michelin’s top competitors in a series of wet and dry braking and high-speed handling exercises on the NOLA Motorsports Park race track.

“Most people don’t realize just how big of an impact tires have on the safety, handling and stopping ability of a car,” remarked Shattuck.  “Testing different tires, side-by-side, under extreme conditions shows the glaring differences among tire brands.  I am so honored that Michelin included me in their exclusive influencer community and invited me to take part in this amazing event.”

About “The Car Chick”

LeeAnn Shattuck is an automotive expert, radio and television host, speaker, author and race car driver.  She is the co-owner and “Chief Car Chick” of Women’s Automotive Solutions®, a unique car buying service dedicated to saving women time, money and sanity when buying a new or used car.   Shattuck also helps car dealers, repair shops and other automotive retailers attract and retain female customers, through a strategic alliance with the Certified Female Friendly® Program.

Visit to learn more.

Press Release: Car Chick Makes Charlotte International Auto Show More Female Friendly

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Charlotte, NC – 11/09/2012 – LeeAnn Shattuck (a.k.a. “The Car Chick”), co-owner of Women’s Automotive Solutions® and co-host of the internationally syndicated America’s Garage Radio Show is offering free seminars at the 2012 Charlotte International Auto Show next weekend in an effort to make the annual auto show more inviting to women.

Shattuck worked with Auto Show organizers Dick Lewis, president of the Greater Charlotte Auto Dealers Association, and Natalie Tindol, owner of Tindol Ford, to create special events that would specifically appeal to the thousands women who are expected to attend this year’s show. Shattuck will conduct car buying seminars on Saturday 11/17 at 1pm and 7pm and again on Sunday 11/18 at 2pm. Shattuck, along with her co-hosts from America’s Garage, will run a car care seminar Saturday 3-4pm. The seminars will take place in the special “Family Entertainment Zone” at the auto show.

Shattuck is passionate about empowering women to make informed decisions about everything relating to their automobile. “Women control a staggering $80 billion worth of spending annually in the automotive industry. Yet, 74% of women feel they are not treated with respect by car dealers and other automotive retailers,” Shattuck said. “The show organizers wanted the women attendees this year to feel welcome, comfortable and valued.” Shattuck stressed that men are also welcome to attend these informational seminars.

About “The Car Chick”
LeeAnn Shattuck is an automotive expert, radio and television host, speaker, author and race car driver. She is the co-owner and “Chief Car Chick” of Women’s Automotive Solutions®, a unique car buying service dedicated to saving women time, money and sanity when buying a new or used car. Shattuck also helps car dealers, repair shops and other automotive retailers attract and retain female customers, through a strategic alliance with the Certified Female Friendly® Program.

“The Car Chick” of Women’s Automotive Solutions Gets Syndicated!

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Charlotte, NC – 08/06/2012 – The fun and educational America’s Garage Radio Show, with wacky hosts Chuck “Crank” Sperry, Chris “Stick” Romeis, and “The Car Chick”, has begun national syndication.

The America’s Garage Radio Show (formerly known as the Carolina Car Care Show) began as a weekly call-in repair show on WAVO 1150AM in July of 2010 with ASE Certified Service Writers and automotive experts, “Crank” and “Stick”.  In May 2011, Executive Producer, Chris Pardo, added co-host, “The Car Chick” of Women’s Automotive Solutions and expanded the show’s content to include a variety of hot automotive topics such as car buying, preventative maintenance, new car reviews and more.  The addition of “The Car Chick” also makes the weekly program more friendly and appealing to women.

Pardo moved the America’s Garage Radio Show to ESPN Radio 730AM in June 2012 and quickly entered into national syndication.  America’s Garage also airs on MileHi Radio in Denver, Colorado, Big Star 97 in Arlington, Texas, Storm Country KQCX in San Tan Valley, Arizona and Outlaw Country in Greensboro, North Carolina.   Dozens of other radio stations around the country have expressed interest in the newly syndicated show.

“I am just amazed at how far America’s Garage has come in just two years”, said Pardo. “With the hosts of Car Talk on NPR retiring this year, there is a need in the market for an informative and entertaining automotive radio program. I intend for America’s Garage to fill that need, nationwide.”

Pardo also produces and co-hosts the popular call-in show “New York Sports Talk” on ESPN Radio and “Ask the Design Diva” with interior design expert, Barbara Greene, on WAVO 1150AM. Chris Pardo, nephew of the legendary Don Pardo, has over 50 years experience in radio, television and motion picture production.

More Testimonials for Charlotte Spraggins and Women’s Automotive Solutions!

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Thank you so much for your help! It was the best car buying experience I have ever had! We are very happy with the car. It is exactly what we were looking for! Shalom, Michael
- Pastor Michael Walker; Church in the City, Denver, Co
May 2011

I have sold & purchased several automobiles through Charlotte. In a difficult economy, she was able to sell my sports car and get a fair market value. As a busy professional, I have limited flexibility in my schedule. On several occasions, Charlotte has met me at my home and work place to show me cars. She is professional, knowledgable, hard working and well connected int he industry. Thanks!
- Deborah Stegner
June 2011, Denver, Co

When I found out about Charlotte and Women’s Automotive Solutions, I had nearly decided to put off buying a car. At the age of 25 I had never owned a car before, so I did not know all the “ins and outs”. Initially, I was working with an auto broker at a large company, but felt a lot of pressure to purchase something that was over my budget and not entirely what I wanted. I spoke to a friend of mine about my frustrations and she recommended Charlotte, saying that she had a way of easing the fears of women in the process. This renewed my hope! I contacted Charlotte right away. Within 3 days, I drove home in my brand new car! It was EXACTLY what I wanted and with in my price budget. In addition, she secured a good auto insurance policy for me. I cannot speak highly enough of Charlotte and Women’s Automotive Solutions!
- Julia Marinozzi
Denver, Co.

Feeling shook up, sore & broken after my Pathfinder was totaled, I was lucky to have discovered Women’s Automotive Solutions! Running my Pet Sitting business, I had to replace my car immediately! Charlotte snapped into action and arranged demo drives for my targeted “next car” within days! She not only helped me find the car, but helped me reason through decisions at a time I was not thinking clearly. She also arranged financing for me all in a 2 week period!
I plan to use Women’s Automotive Solutions again and highly recommend Charlotte to anyone who has neither the time or interest in haggling with auto sales people. It’s great to have someone on your side knowledgable, when you are vulnerable after an accident.
- Barbara Himmelein
Charlotte NC 3/2011

Working with Charlotte was a simple process that took all the stress off our shoulders. All you do is tell her what you want and that’s it!…….it’s that easy. I am very satisfied with the outcome that Charlotte provided us. I would definitely recommend her services.
- Shaunn Roark
Denver, Co.  3/2011

Highly recommend Charlotte Spraggins for any of your car leasing or purchasing interests! She puts herself into finding the vehicle of your dreams. 110%! I recently had a difficult request for her. I had been shopping over a year to get out from under an “upside down” loan of a 6 + year old Benz. I did not want to loose the investment I had in it and needed to get a lower interest rate and payment. She got me into a much newer Benz, with awesome extended warranty, much lower rate adn saved me $355 a month! It’s simply the car of my dreams and was hand delivered to me in just 2 days! I did not have to spend the hours and stress of shopping, meeting dealers or test drive cars. She found it, told me it was the one and I took possession of it totally on her highly respected “trusted word” site unsceen. Charlotte goes above and beyond with only YOUR interests in mind!
Thank you Charlotte!
- Pam Bourdo
2011 Parker, Co

“My Car Needs a New WHAT?#$!”: The Car Chick Presents Women’s Car Care Seminar with Proceeds to Benefit Shelter for Battered Women

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Charlotte, NC - 01/16/2012 –  LeeAnn Shattuck (a.k.a. “The Car Chick”) of the America’s Garage Radio Show and Women’s Automotive Solutions has partnered with Woodie’s Auto Service and Repair Centers to educate busy women on automotive maintenance and repairs.

According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, approximately 75% of all automotive maintenance decisions are made by women.  Yet, many women are not comfortable making those decisions due to a lack of automotive knowledge and a general distrust of dealerships and service centers.  Woodie’s and Women’s Automotive Solutions have partnered to create a seminar to better acquaint women with vehicle maintenance needs and to instill confidence in their ability to communicate effectively with their mechanic.

Women’s Automotive Solutions is a unique car buying service dedicated to helping women through the entire car selection and buying process, enabling them to save hundreds to thousands of dollars on a new or pre-owned vehicle.   Co-owner and Chief Car Chick, LeeAnn Shattuck, is passionate about empowering women to make informed decisions about everything relating to their automobile.  Shattuck is known as “The Car Chick” and co-hosts the weekly educational and entertaining automotive radio show, America’s Garage.

Woodie’s Auto Service is a local, family-owned automotive repair and service company that has served the Charlotte community since 1962.  Woodie’s has seven automotive repair and service centers in and around the Uptown Charlotte area.  Their new, flagship service center opened January 5, 2012 near the corner of Carmel Road and Hwy 51.  “Woodie’s dedication to honest customer communication and quality automotive service made them the perfect partner for this ‘knowledge is power’ car care seminar”, said Shattuck.

The seminar, entitled “My Car Needs a New WHAT?#$!”, is for women only and will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2012 from 10am – 11:30am at Woodie’s Auto Service new location at 6625 Carmel Road in south Charlotte.   The cost is $5 per participant, and all proceeds will be donated to United Family Services to benefit the Shelter for Battered Women.

Visit to learn more and to register for this seminar.