Tuesday, 28 May 2024 02:06

Whitney's Got Some New Shoes!

Since buying my old Blazer, I've been on the lookout for a new set of wheels. There's nothing necessarily wrong with those that were on there, but I wanted something different. 

So, Friday, I picked up these bad boys (pictured). I'm getting mixed reactions to the new look, but I like them! That's all that matters, right?

My only issue is: those tires are SO SMALL. They're pretty old too, and they're currently just on there to test the fitment. I'm going to switch back to the plain black wheels until I can save up for some proper rubber, ideally in the form of some big mud tires. 

It's slowly coming together! 

I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you that little steps can lead to great things. There's a lot of daunting challenges we face, but little by little, you've got this! They say anything worth doing takes time, and I believe it. 

Have a great week, and as always, thanks for listening to WQMX! 

Published in Joe Headley
Wednesday, 15 May 2024 03:31

Just one reason why

Since first seeing The Fast and The Furious as a little kid, I've always thought manual transmissions were cool. Anyone can drive, but it takes a little more to row through the gears. The car and driver share a special connection through that extra pedal and shift knob, and there's lots of good reasons to have them. 

Right off the bat, let's go ahead and put this to rest: yes, a modern automatic transmission shifts faster than any human with a manual. It's proven, and that's why uber-fast cars like Dodge's Challenger SRT Demon only offer the auto. 

Moving past that, there's still many advantages to driving a standard shift. Performance is a big one; from drifting to rock crawling, the added control of being able to pick what gear you're in exactly when you want it gives the manual an edge. As such, there are a lot of cars these days with paddle shifters, which attempt to give this capability without having the burden of a clutch. 

Outside of automotive sport driving, a commuter may enjoy the active engagement in the driving experience a manual brings. Simply put, they're fun! I think so, at least. 

There're practical reasons to buy a manual too. Oftentimes, particularly in older vehicles, a standard shift is more fuel-efficient than an automatic. This largely involves parasitic power loss, but there's also just the difference in how each is driven. Additionally, factors such as maintenace and repair costs come into play. Certain manuals are less prone to breaking than their automatic counterparts, and they're generally easier to fix if they do. What's more, in terms of practicality, knowing how to drive a manual might be the difference between you getting where you need to go or not. This is especially true outside of the U.S. 

Finally, is the reason why I wrote this. Just recently, news broke of a woman in Boulder Colorado who stole a truck and ditched it immediately because she didn't know how to work a clutch. It rolled and crashed into a hydrant, and she was arrested yet again for the same crime she had also committed a day prior. So, that right there is another advantage of owning a stick shift: for theft deterrence. 

Here's that story, and thanks for reading this blog. I respect whatever you choose; I mean, I own both a manual and an automatic and love driving them each. Just be sure the radio is tuned to 94.9 WQMX! 

Published in Joe Headley
Wednesday, 01 May 2024 03:06

Show Time! 

She's beauty. She's grace. She's my 1981 Chevrolet El Camino, Eleanor. 

Eleanor found her way to me a few years back, and the moment I saw the truck, I knew I needed it in my driveway. I'm a car guy, simply, and I've always owned something interesting. 

I've had a Monte Carlo SS, a Camaro, and an old Valiant sedan as summer cruisers in the past, but my El Camino takes the cake. Sure, there were things about those cars I really miss: my Camaro had T-Tops, my Monte Carlo was fully optioned with leather heated seats and all sorts of nice features, and a sweet little blinker on the fender would light up when you used a turn signal in the Valiant, for example. 

Still, there's nothing like Eleanor. 

Take a look at this picture I took of her yesterday, and that alone should tell you why. After the first carwash of year, it was photo time, and wow! This might have to be my new screensaver.

I love my old Chevy, and I'm so very excited for car show season to be back around. It's awesome that there is such a strong presence of car enthusiasts here in Northeast Ohio with so many events to go to. I attend as many as I can, but always seem to miss a bunch too! 

Sooooo, if you know of any family-friendly car meets going down in the Akron area this summer, please let me know! Whether it's a one-time deal or a weekly show, send all the info on the WQMX studio text line, sponsored by Toth Buick GMC, at 330-370-2000. Maybe we'll get a list going. 

Whether or not you've got a show-worthy ride, that's okay. Hopefully we'll bump into each other at some show, and I'll let you check out what's under the hood!

Published in Joe Headley
Wednesday, 24 April 2024 02:29

This is kind of funny...

So, I woke up before my shift here at the station to a massive headache. It hurt to open my eyes even. With as little light as I could manage I got ready, ate a few ibuprofen, and hit the road. 

Now, I'm normally sensitive to bright headlights, but you can only imagine how badly I wanted to avoid seeing them. When it comes to my review mirror, at least, that's no issue; it fell off a while back. Ha!  

I made that funny realization and figured it would be fun to share with you. Maybe there's an underlying message here: clouds can have a silver lining as such and just because something seems unfortunate doesn't mean it's all bad. Things happen and my best advice would be not to fight the current, generally. 

No matter what, there's no looking back in my old 4x4! Let's turn the music up and put the pedal down- till next time, thanks for choosing Your Country! 94.9 WQMX. 


Published in Joe Headley
Wednesday, 17 April 2024 02:33

Love to see it!

I'm a big fan of radio station memorabilia, especially when it comes to WQMX. (Go figure!) Old shirts, stickers, and logos are just the coolest things to me. They're remnants of a time past, and I often wonder if the station branded items I keep and the work I do under these call letters will weave into that history as well. To be that guy in those dated photos, to have driven that old WQMX promotions van, to have spun the hit songs of the era, and to have spoken on that same microphone as the local radio icons before me is what it's about. It's an honor to attempt to carry on the legacy, and I've got some huge shoes to grow into still. 

Before we get too far, I can't neglect to mention how cool the Send Me Backstage T-Shirts are in charting WQMX history. I want them all; past, present, and future. Be sure to stay posted for this year's new shirts. I'm really excited for the upcoming big reveal! 

Now, we're far from a young station, but there are some much older too. To put that another way, you won't find any 1970's WQMX Country gear. "Vintage" WQMX as we know it would probably best be a throwback to the 90's and early 2000's, and it was in those years we developed an identity. Our tagline is "Your Country! 94.9 WQMX," but that took some years to settle upon. Looking back, I've seen everything from "Kickin' Country" to "Your Station, Your Country!" 

You can get an estimate for when something was branded with WQMX based on this evolution. The latter slogan appears on our 2010 The Country Fest poster in our studio, for example. With that, I knew this WQMX sticker I came across in the wild the other day was nothing short of a classic. 

I was at the junk yard pulling parts for my Blazer when something bright caught my eye. A yellow Blazer just like mine sat deep in the yard, having seen much better days. The vehicle suffered front end damage from an accident but didn't seem too far from scrap regardless, based on the looks of it. It was all sorts of rusty, crusty, and musty. You could tell it was once a sweet little ride with some custom pinstriping on that vivid paint and some nice factory options to go with. There was hardly anything good left on that old Chevy, but I noticed something that put a big smile across my face. 

Somewhere along the line, the old owner slapped a WQMX sticker on the banana-colored SUV! It's still there, after all these years. The Blazer I found was a 2004 and the dated tagline reads "Akron's Own Country," so it has seemingly lived most of its life with that badge upon the side window. Let me just say... that's awesome. I eat that up. 

I love to see it. 

If you're rocking a WQMX sticker or magnet on your ride, thank you! 

Published in Joe Headley
Thursday, 04 April 2024 02:41

My Top Ten: Driving Pet Peeves

Driving... It's one of the most fun and rewarding things to do for a car lover like me, but at times, it can be the worst. There's those drivers out there that make us scratch our heads as to how exactly they acquired a license. Road rage, accidents, and traffic all stem from these careless, negligent people behind the wheel and the situations they create. It can make you want to rip your hair out! 

So, maybe you'll find some comfort in knowing you're not alone on some of these things. Or maybe I just need to take a chill pill. Either way, here's my top ten driving pet peeves!

10. Tailgating

9. Full stopping before an empty roundabout (or worse, stopping in the roundabout)

8. Distracted driving

7. Poking about in the fast lane then moving over only after I pass on the right

6. Cars pacing one another ahead of me blocking any chance to pass

5. Dangerously pulling out into traffic

4. Blinding bright headlights 

3. Littering the roadside

2. Coming up as close as possible behind me at a stop

1. Failure to use a turn signal

Most of these are self-explanatory, but let me give a little context on those that may not be. 

#7 happens to me so often. I drive like I've got somewhere to be, so I'm no stranger to overtaking. Out of courtesy, I always try to pass on the left. When I come up on a lone vehicle in the leftmost lane, I give them a moment to throw their blinker on and move over, and usually they will. Sometimes, though, they stubbornly remain in the lane, which prompts me to pass on the right before coming back into the fast lane. Now, that's all fine, but what happens next makes me want to scream: it's at this point that the car I just passed decides to move over. After I overtook them from the right, like I want not to do. 

#6 is a bad one for me too. If you've ever been out to the Dusty Armadillo past Kent on 76, you've probably experienced something similar. When a highway is two lanes, the left one should always be moving faster. When a vehicle in that passing lane wants to go the same speed as the car to its right for an extended distance, it frustrates me to no end. Somebody either speed up or slow down, and let me by!

#4 used to bother me a lot more than it does now. I got nicer anti-glare lenses in my glasses this past time and I think it's really helped. I also feel like cars have better low beams, so less drivers may be using their brights regularly. Who knows? 

Lastly, #2 has always annoyed me, and its only worse now that I drive a manual. Why do people feel the need to be as close as possible behind me at a stop? Whether it's a red light or a fast-food drive-through, give me a little space please. I don't need you to keep back 100 feet like I'm driving a dump truck or anything, but you shouldn't be so close I can't even see your hood. 

That's that! It feels good to air out some of these pet peeves of mine when it comes to driving. If you have anything to add, something that really get under your skin when you're behind the wheel, I'd love to hear about it. The best way to connect with me is by dropping a message any time on the WQMX Studio Text Line (sponsored by Toth Buick GMC) at 330-370-2000.

Till next time, safe travels!

Published in Joe Headley
Tuesday, 19 March 2024 01:50


On my way into the station here this evening, the old Blazer hit a milestone. I've been looking forward to catching this moment. We just crossed over to two hundred twenty-two thousand, two hundred twenty-two miles. She's still just getting broken in! 

High mileage isn't uncommon in these S-10 platform vehicles and I'm fortunate to have some of the best options for longevity with the 4.3 V6 and 5-Speed manual transmission. According to the guy I got it from, the engine in it is not original to the vehicle. I'm not sure whether that's true, but it runs great. 

My ride is a testament to a few things. First and foremost, road salt is a vehicle killer. The main reason my '98 is still in good shape is because it came from out west. Secondly, mileage (not unlike age), is just a number. Sure, it means something, just not everything. What really matters is how the car has been taken care of. Even though I'm the fourteenth person to hold the title for my Blazer, I can tell it's been loved. Car washes and oil changes are paramount, minimally. It all boils down to having pride in what you drive, and although it's not the newest or nicest, I sure do. 

So, cheers to the Blazer for making it all these miles, and here's to the next 222,222! 

Published in Joe Headley
Friday, 15 March 2024 02:59

That Place of Market...

Let's begin with some context. 

A week or two ago, my brother was driving his junky car. He was on his way back from helping me out with a ride when another vehicle pulled out in front of him and nearly caused an accident. Driving defensively, he slammed on the brakes! Well... the front wheels stopped before the rest of the car. By that, I mean that the subframe crunched itself out from how rusty it was, and the car had a Lightning McQueen "Ka-chow" moment. 

With front tires trying to go two different directions, he was able to fight the steering and bring the car back to home base. Thankfully, he wasn't far. That Cobalt's down bad and it is just something beyond what we care to fix. There is still a lot of good left to that car though, especially in the wheels and tires, the interior, the battery, and the motor. Because of that, I didn't immediately want to have it hauled off for scrap. Those tires aren't yet a year old, and it doesn't even have a check engine light, you know? Heck, it's got an almost full tank of gas! 

So, what to do with the old jalopy? We called some scrap yards for comparison, and one actually made a really fair offer. From there, the ball was in my court. The deal was made that I could keep whatever I could get out of it above scrap price if I took on the task of selling it myself. As much as I'd like to do some shenanigans with it in the woods, I thought this wasn't a bad gig, so I went ahead and posted it. 

I thought maybe there would be that one guy out there who (for no good reason) is super into Cobalts. That, or maybe there's some hustler who'd strip anything worthwhile off the vehicle before bringing it to be crushed. You do you! Never did I think I'd have upwards of fifty people pounding at my door with all sorts of offers. Instead of becoming irritated with all the Silly-Willys offering me half of what the salvage place did, I just laugh. You can't let them get to you. It really is a hot mess on the web though, with stupidity in all different flavors finding its way to me. 

Here's some notables- One person asked if I could bring the car to them in Toledo.... huh? Another fellow asked if it would make it up to Cleveland. Big Dog, I wouldn't have trusted it to make that trip before it broke and I wouldn't even bring it up the street if avoidable at this point. I said that straight up in the listing, too. Aside from those, there were a few offers so low I'd rather watch the vehicle rot away in the back yard than give it up to them. Whatever energy I pick up on, I'll reciprocate. You hit me with the automatic "Is this available" message and I'll come right back with a good ol' thumbs up emoji, for example. 

On the other hand, there's a select few people who just get it. The individual who I've made arrangements with was to the point and fair with his offer. He threw out a number that worked for me and asked when he could come pick it up with his car hauler. Perfect!

So, hopefully that all works out. For the little effort I've put in, if I make one hundred bucks or so, that's cool by me. It's definitely annoying, but I'm the guy to come to when it comes to these sort of interactions. From the powersports I've bought to the cars I've sold, this is far from my first rodeo. Regardless, at the very least, this provided the motivation for my brother to buy a new car and he seems to love it. I'm stoked for him, and we are so ready to get that old pile of rust out of the driveway. 

Sayonara, Loretta the Cobalt, and good riddance! 

Published in Joe Headley
Tuesday, 12 March 2024 01:09

The Return of The Blazer

It's back! After a long couple of weeks without the old thing, my Blazer has found its way back home. I'm elated. 

With that, here's some songs that remind me of my vehicle for various reasons. 






Published in Joe Headley
Friday, 08 March 2024 04:20

The New Dodge Charger

Information on the all-new Dodge Charger keeps trickling in, especially within these past few days, and a blog from me on this hot new ride is long overdue. Where do I even begin? 

First, let's talk about just how different it looks from its predecessor. The biggest change has me jumping for joy: there is once again a two-door Charger! That makes me so happy, as myself and others felt the reintroduction of the Charger in the mid-2000's as a sedan was a betrayal to its legendary roots. (It was almost as sinful as calling that FWD L-Body from the 80's a Charger!) There will still be a four-door variant of the Charger come 2025, but the coupe came with the cost of the Challenger nameplate retiring after this year. 

Design on these new Chargers is a departure from the past and a stride towards the future for Dodge. The cars give off a sense of familiarity, yet they're unlike anything we've seen from Stellantis thus far. They're some sleek looking rides, with futuristic styling inside and out that doesn't disregard the company's heritage.  You can tell its Mopar, especially from the windows upward, but the changes aren't subtle. 

Beyond aesthetics, there's a whole lot I could fill you in on with regards as to why this new Charger platform is so exciting. What's probably the biggest thing is that there is no longer a V8 offering. As blasphemous as that may be for some, what's offered instead is in fact a replacement for displacement. With a battery instead of a gas tank, the Charger Daytona is what's being described as the first muscle EV. It's something else!

You can either go with that, or opt for an Inline-6 powerplant to continue making trips to the pump and to keep that rumble beneath the hood. The ICE will be dubbed the Charger Six Pack, and those aren't expected to hit dealerships until 2025. The Daytona coupe should be the first variant of these cars to arrive to consumers. Both drivetrain options put out some massive numbers, but the EV is unparalleled with up to 670hp available out the gate. 

All that power is put to the ground via AWD, and that's the only way they'll be making any Charger going forward. Pair that grip advantage with advanced launch control, and these muscle cars are going to be borderline impossible to beat off the line at the stoplight, or even at the dragstrip. The temporary top-of-the-line Daytona Scat Pack is reported to have a quarter mile time of 11.5 seconds with a 0-60 in 3.3. That's blazing fast for a production vehicle, and apparently it's only the beginning for Dodge's journey into electrification. 

On that note, Dodge has attached a symbol to this new era they're entering, and I couldn't neglect to bring it up here. To denote a new chapter in muscle, they've revived what is known as the Fratzog. The Fratzog could be found on various Dodges in the 60's, such as my all-time favorite car, the 1967 Charger. It's something like an equilateral triangle with inward-curving lines, and you'll often see it depicted in red. I don't believe it is much more than a cool logo with no deep meaning, but I dig the nod to the cars of yesteryear. 

That's really what it's all about for new Dodge; changing to keep up with the future while remaining true to themselves and maintaining their fanbase. I'm glad they had the courage to push forward into the uncertain instead of sticking with the past out of principle. There might be a little hesitation initially on the part of the consumer with just how different these cars are compared to their predecessors, but I think that will fade quick when they hit the streets. The proof is in the pudding, as we'll discover, and my expectations are huge. 

I hate to admit it, but when it comes to EV's; if you can't beat 'em, join 'em! I still consider driving one to be crossing over to the dark side, and I'd go with the Six Pack myself, but you can't argue with performance. 

Anyhow, as much as I'd like to tell you all about the Fratzonic "exhaust" the Daytona is set to have or give you specifics on the battery range or tire size, I think I'll finish off this blog here. If you would like to know more about the all-new Dodge Charger, check out these links below! 

Published in Joe Headley
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