My cell phone rings, “We’re here to deliver your car,” the guy from Page One Automotive says. I have no idea what to expect, and run down the hallway to open my garage door. There, parked on the street, sits a gorgeous silver 2011 Buick Regal Turbo Sedan. A little intimidated, I stop half way down my driveway. The delivery guy hands me the remote, requests my signature on his paperwork, and within seconds he’s gone. Now it’s just me and my luxury car for the next four days.
It takes me a while to pluck up the courage to check her out. First I have to get my heart rate back to normal and make sure my hair and make-up look just as polished as Regal, before I take her for a spin. Her flowing lines and sculpted body deserve to be seen, so what better place to take her than the upscale Newport Beach Library, where I’m editing my travel memoir.
As I roll my computer case through the garage, my Kia Rio looks concerned. “Don’t worry, you’re still mine,” I say.
Regal is outside, waiting for me, and as I click on the remote to open her trunk, I realize, “OMG, I lost the key.” I back track through my garage, eyes focused on the cement floor but I can’t find it. I ask my 23-year-old son to help me look for it. He inspects the remote and all of a sudden, this metal prong ejects. “There’s the key,” he says. Now I feel dumb.
I head back to Regal, open the doors and slide into the soft leather seat. I already feel pampered, wondering if this seat will start pulsing and kneading my back like the one at the nail salon. I insert the key and the engine purrs ever so smoothly.
Everything is elegant inside, from the leather steering wheel to the ebony trim with its piano-black accents. But like any woman, I need music to get in the mood, so I play with the sound system first.
I’ve never been inside a car with a seven speaker sound system, and once I discover XM Radio, I’m hooked. I find my favorite dance hits on “The Groove,” and start wiggling to the beat, reminiscing over my night club days in Paris where I’d dance to Donna Summer and other disco hits. Now I’m relaxed in my elegant interior when I hear a tapping on the window. It’s my neighbor from across the street.
“Got a new car?” he asks.
“GM offered me a car to drive to Speed Fest this weekend,” I reply.
“Looks great,” Jim says.
“I love it, but I can’t figure out where the hand break is.”
“Let me take a look.”
I get out and Jim gets in.
“See the red light with the P?” I say “Well, does that mean the brake is on?”
Jim fumbles around with various buttons, then pulls out the manual from the glove box and thumbs through to the correct page. He reads the instructions.
I’ve never heard of an electric park brake before, and once Jim figures out how to release it, I take off and start jammin’ to Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio playing, “For those who like to Groove.”
As my foot pushes down on the accelerator, I feel the turbo kick in, giving me the boost I need to pass a slow Lexus before the on-ramp to the 405 freeway. I’m in my own cocoon, happy and enjoying a luxury I’m not used to. What a difference from six years ago when my family lived a simple life on the island of Ambergris Caye. We would take our kids to school by boat.
My husband can’t wait to drive Regal to Speed Fest.
“Here’s the address,” I say, handing him the paper.
“Why don’t you enter it in the navigation system,” he says.
“I’m not sure how it works.”
It’s not as easy to figure out as I thought so I pull out my tablet for navigation. Too much technology to keep up with, and we’re running late.
The ride to Coronado is smooth, turbo-powered and luxurious. I head over to the Chevy booth where they are celebrating 100 years of Chevy + 100 years of Naval Aviation, and thank Dave Barthmuss and Sara Leeper for offering me four days of luxury driving.
Not long ago, I contributed to a blog post on GM’s the future is electric blog and was offered a nice car to drive, plus 8 tickets to attend Speed Fest in San Diego. Since my youngest son, 17, enlisted, I have been involved with Cell phones for Soldiers which Chevy is also helping raise funds for. Please contact me if you have a use cell phone you wish to get rid of.
Do you enjoy driving? What features are important to you in a car?