Friday, July 25, 2008


I'm a Chevy guy.

Over the years, I've owned more Chevrolets than anything else. I've owned a couple of Caprice, a couple of Luminas, and currently own an Impala.

I've had other vehicles, too: Nissan Sentra, Mercury Cougar, Pontiac Grand Prix ... but I'm still a Chevy guy. My last four have been Chevys. My next will likely be a Chevy.

What brought all this up?

Spent a few days in Chicago this past week. And rented a car.

Usually, I rent from Hertz. Don't rent often, but having dealt with different companies, I've never had a problem with Hertz. I can't say that about the others I've used. And, to be fair, I have't used a lot of others. Never Avis, for example. No reason, just haven't. And, until recently, hadn't used Enterprise.

When someone backed into my car at a ball game last August, I ended up being furnished a car from Enterprise.

They furnished a car at the directions of the other insurance company. I didn't care for the car. It was okay except it was too small for my fat ass.

Still, Enterprise treated me fine. So, when we needed a car for the Chicago trip, I used Enterprise. And, since they showed that I'd be able to get an Impala -- I drive an Impala, remember -- it seemed perfect.

Well, guess what?

That's right. They didn't give me an Impala.

They gave me a Jeep.

A Jeep.

Sure, it used to be an American vehicle.

Used to be. It's owned by the Germans. Nothing wrong with Germans. If I was German, I'd be thrilled. But I'm not. I'm American. And I wanted an American car. Like an Impala.

I'd driven a Jeep before. Years ago. Didn't care for it. It wasn't mine. Not my kind of vehicle.

This Jeep drove okay. But it was a Jeep. Not an Impala.

Sure, some folks like Jeeps. But it's not my idea of a vehicle I want to drive.

I was really looking forward to driving an Impala. You see, not only do I like my Impala, I know where everything is.

The turn signals. The windshield wipers. The cruise control. The radio controls. The lights.

All that stuff, I know where it is in my car.

But in a Jeep, everything's different.

So, when I get the vehicle -- and yes, I did ask for something else, say, an Impala -- I had to spend the first few minutes -- several minutes, actually -- learning where everything is. Because, driving in a strange city, I don't need to be trying to figure out where any controls are; I need to know where everything is.

To be honest, it rode a lot better than the last Jeep I drove. But still, it's not my kind of vehicle.

I'm a Chevy guy.


  1. Basil, Jeep is not owned by the Germans. Jeep is part of Chrysler LLC, owned primarily by US-based Cerberus Group, although Daimler AG of Germany (who used to own Chrysler) retain about a 15% share.

    Most of the ownership is American, Cerberus is a private equity entity, so Jeep and Chrysler are now private companies.

    No question, the vehicles are crude and unpleasant, and the company buys some cheap components from wherever they can find them, increasingly in China and India.

    There are no vehicles made entirely in the US anymore.

    My car was designed by Germans, built in Mexico with a Polish engine and a transmission from Argentina. That is the way of the world these days.

  2. It would be nice if rental cars had standardized dashboards and accessories. Thee is nothing like fumbling in the dark for the overhead light in a strange car, so you can then find the windshield wiper control and the defrost control to clear the windshield, to determine how lost you already are...


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