Terry Box, a 32-year resident of the Heights, stands beside his 2013 Mustang Boss 302. “I was fortunate enough to buy a good house and I just try to keep the yard up as one of the Saturday chores. The area is so nice that I want to do my part to keep it that way,” Terry said.
Editor’s Note: Know Your Neighbor is an occasional feature of the people who make Heights Park such a great place to live. We believe everyone has a story to tell. If you know a neighbor who should be featured, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For 23 years, Terry Box wrote about the automotive industry for The Dallas Morning News. His loyal readers know him best for his equally informative and entertaining car reviews. His time at the paper — 35 years total — ended last December when he announced he was semi-retiring.
Fans who have missed his trademark style can rejoice: Terry continues to write weekly reviews for Jerry Reynolds’ CarProUSA. As neighbors on the 600 block of Ridgedale can attest, Terry drives and reviews a wide array of vehicles. There are often a couple of test cars on display at his house.
Terry, a resident of the Heights for 32 years, was nice enough to “put it in park” for a few minutes to answer our questions about living in Heights Park, his background and, of course, cars.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Denton, but I have lived in Dallas for most of my life and graduated from Lake Highlands High School and the good old University of North Texas. I consider myself a homey.
What’s one thing you like the most about Richardson/Heights Park?
There’s probably not one. For me, the area’s appeal includes good people, great neighborhoods, some fine parks and a slower pace than frenetic Dallas. My blood pressure drops when I cross the city limits into Richardson.
What’s one thing Richardson/Heights Park needs and why?
As a Libertarian, I’m hesitant to advocate government restrictions or “solutions.” But I hope we residents can keep our neighborhoods healthy enough to slow the movement of tear-downs and over-sized houses I see west of Floyd.
What is your favorite local restaurant and why?
Fish City Grill, without a doubt. Fish is basically the only meat I eat and I’ve not found any affordable fish restaurant with the food, the service and the feel of Fish City.
Obviously, you are passionate about cars. What other passions/hobbies do you have?
As weird as it sounds, I enjoy working out and since my semi-retirement, I spend about two hours or more a day at the 24 Hour Fitness on Campbell Road. I also have returned to regularly reading books — mostly fiction — which I never had the time or energy to do when I was at The Dallas Morning News.
Your yard is tidy and has good curb appeal. What’s your secret?
I was fortunate enough to buy a good house and I just try to keep the yard up as one of the Saturday chores. The area is so nice that I want to do my part to keep it that way.
How many cars have you owned?
I believe it’s about 25, but every time I try to count, I seem to overlook one or two. My current car is a 2013 Mustang Boss 302, a limited production track-and-street car that Ford built in 2012 and 2013. It’s my eighth Mustang and it might be my last — though I can’t guarantee that. The exhaust and intake systems have been modified slightly, but are still street-legal. I’m afraid I remain an 18-year-old kid trapped in a 66-year-old guy’s body.
How many cars have you driven in your career?
I estimate about 600, including my current stint as a reviewer for Jerry Reynolds’ CarProUSA.
What’s the coolest/best car you’ve driven? Why was it cool?
I don’t have a single favorite because I’ve been fortunate to drive a bunch of really special cars and each had its own highly distinctive personality. But the best ones include a 2006 Ford GT, a couple of thundering Corvette Z06s, a 2017 Mustang GT350-R, two Dodge Hellcats, two Bugattis, three Lamborghinis and a Ferrari California. All could be driven on the street — with varying degrees of difficulty — and were reasonably civilized, but offered performance that was just heart-stopping.
What advice do you have for car buyers?
First, visit one of the sites like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds.com and figure out the approximate range of price you should pay. Those sites also have good information on the value of trades and used cars. In addition, my boss, Jerry Reynolds, provides a lot of good information on his website and show. And if people still have questions, they can always e-mail me. I will try to get them an answer.
Where do you perform your test drives? Do you have favorite local/Richardson roads?
Mostly, I drive them as I presume consumers will. Occasionally, I get up on North Central, but I prefer the Bush and the Dallas North Tollway for speed-work. I have found a couple of unpopulated areas just northeast of us in Plano that are good for handling tests. I always enjoy driving on Waterview just because it’s such a pleasant street; but I make damn sure I’m going 35 mph or less.