Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Halloween Treat!

Last night as I "chased the whirlwind" at work, trying to get and then stay caught up, my teamleader came and told me to report to our department superintendent's office. Since he was smiling, I didn't worry like I do at times...

When I got there Sue told me she had gotten to draw someone from our department to drive a new Malibu home, and I was the first name she drew!

I was a bit shocked; I haven't driven a test car since 1984, and usually decline offer when they do because I really don't want to be responible for something with that big a price tag!

But I accepted, and brought home a 2008 Malibu LS with the same engine as Dottie's 2006. Nothing else is the same except for the feeling of driving an awesome car that I am very proud to be a part of building!

Dottie got up in the middle of her night's sleep when I came home and we took it out on the roads we are most familiar with; the ones we drive every week on our shopping rounds. The ones where we know every tar strip, piece of ribbed concrete, etc..

The engine is the same 4 cylinder that's in Dottie's '06; the same one that averages 28 around town and we've gotten over 37 mpg on the highway from. It has enough power to startle you when you really "hit it"; I can't imagine what the V-6 must be like!

The redesign of the interior has added some subdued lighting that is very nice, extra cupholders (2 for the driver and 2 for the passenger) and cubbyholes that I'd have never thought of, plus a two layer console so you can put things 2 different places to keep them easier to find! We were also impressed with being able to place our sodas or whatever in the ones in the console and then cover them!

The cornering is even better than Dottie's '06, and when a fox decided to come out of the median at 3AM running towards the left front fender the 4 wheel discs did a nice job of shutting it down as I swung the nose to the right to avoid him. I hadn't planned on practicing avoidance maneuvers, but she handled it well!

We both enjoyed playing with the XM Satellite radio; I've never decided that I could deal with another subscription fee, but can understand how it would be easy to fall in love with! The car has anti-lock brakes, traction control, and On-Star as well. Apparently all standard in that model!

In Dottie's '06 there is a display in the dash that gives you your current fuel range, current mileage, average mileage, and how long you have until you need an oil change.

In this one that is controlled by a button in the steering wheel inlaid along with the cruise control buttons, and comes up under the speedometer so you don't have to look away from the road. Besides all of the above, it also gives you the current pressure in all 4 tires individually, fronts left and right and rears left and right!

When we got back we took turns sitting in the rear seat and moving the front seat around. I have ridden a lot in the back seat of ours as we take Mom places; always comfortable and enough room for a not so svelte old man, the new one has even more leg room!

The rear of the console has a cubbyhole and a 12V outlet added to it along with the cupholders that were in Dottie's '06. As much time as my grandkids spend with Gameboys and Leapsters, that's a bonus!

The back of the seats has a net to keep things gathered up as well!

The back of the rear seats folds down individually from the inside, unlike Dottie's where the latch is in the trunk and you have to fold down one before the other. A nice change!

Quite a Halloween treat for me! The only thing I noticed throughout the test drive is that the Uniroyal tires had a bit more road noise than the Bridgestones on Dottie's '06. Since we put 4 or 5 different kinds on them, I might opt for one of the others were I ordering one.

A dream to drive! To see how far the American auto industry has come in the 29 years I've been working in it is quite amazing! The changes inside the plants are staggering; the technologies I never dreamt of, etc.. Having the end result in my driveway every day for my wife to drive and get to know it throughly; knowing that the people I stock for every night are the ones that put the parts on it and their hearts and futures in it makes it a very personal thing.

Driving the successor, and probably the last "platform" I will be involved with building before I retire was a joy and gives me great hope for the future of both my plant and Chevrolet!

Not something I would have dared to say 20 years ago!

Happy Halloween!



Hill said...

What a beautiful car, Alan!

Just gorgeous!

And proud you should be that you're part of the team building it.

Now if you only built Mustang Cobra Convertibles, buddy, I'd follow you around like a puppy.


ZBTzahBTzoo said...

Gee, Alan, I didn't even say "trick-or-treat," and I feel like I got treated anyway. Clearly you are proud of your company and your product, and THAT is delightful to see.

Solid, competitive product and guys like you are GM's best assets.

robin andrea said...

That is a great looking car. The gas mileage is really pretty good. You should be proud of being part of such a well-planned machine.

Joonie the Too said...

Alan! Now I have followed you home! You are always welcome at my place!

Nice car. And the photos are great. Better than what I would see in the brochure. Are you in advertising or marketing?

Now I am off to read more of your posts, and get into the mood to write the second part of my ghost story.

See ya later at Hill's? She's got this Hair thing going, and I fell for the bait. Actually learned how to upload photos on Thumbsnap. I was all nervous. (But I DID find a photo of that old house. Yea!!)

So far only Keith and I have found the courage to meet her challenge. LadyBug says her scanner is broken or some'n. If I had a nickle for every time I've heard that one....LOL!

Joonie the Too said...

I gotta learn how to read, I was too dazzled by the photos.

Must slow down and READ!!!!

Joonie the Too said...

Alan, I am humbled and awed that you linked my blog to yours. Wow. Thank You! I will link your blog, too, when I figure out how. I am new at this.

What an interesting feeling of community.

I was scrolling down to see what blogs you like, saw the link, thought, gee, someone else has a blog like mine, and then realized, holy cow, that's me!

You guys are gonna make a writer out of me yet. I am grateful.

Lane in PA aka Joonie

Joonie the Too said...

The big question is, does the 2008 Chevy Malibu have an MP3 port?

We bought a Prius in March of this year, but you know, what made me agree with Hubby's purchase was the MP3 port and power outlet inside the console. Hey, I need my iPod, I listen to books on it. Makes the trips to Georgia less boring.


Joonie the Too said...

The big question is, does the 2008 Chevy Malibu have an MP3 port?

We bought a Prius in March of this year, but you know, what made me agree with Hubby's purchase was the MP3 port and power outlet inside the console. Hey, I need my iPod, I listen to books on it. Makes the trips to Georgia less boring.


Mary said...

Nice car my friend.


Josephine said...

Hey babe...lovely car. You're like a kid with a shiny Christmas toy here ;-) I can see how and why you're so proud (...the fact that it seems like you've pretty much filled the memory card of your camera with pics says it all!)

Being part of something excellent is a really special feeling. Something you can look at and say 'Hey I was part of that'.

Are they going to sell it in Europe?

ryssee said...

"SOON, there will be a car you CAN'T ignore!" (See, I know what you're talking about!)
Nice features. Great pics of what looks like a really nice interior, esp the console. Glad you got a treat on Halloween.

taza said...

so, can you keep it?
wouldn't that be nice....

kath said...

nice car! glad you get to play with it for a while...

I am driving my 2002 malibu... and i have to tell you I just do not like it much...its not the car.... it's me. I bought it because it was there and a good deal.

I hate it.

to me its like wearing a pair of jeans that don't fit.
I am trying to get Dan to take his truck of the road and drive the Malibu, and buy myself something else



a better fit
you know?

Aveo, Yaris, Fit?????


hope you are having a great weekend!

ConnieJane said...

What a treat!!!

von Krankipantzen said...

How cool is that? What a great perk for you and great advertising for the company. Win/win for all. Shame about having to give it back...

Dr. Deb said...

I have seen many commercials and magazine ads for this car. My hubby's first car was a Malibu. And we need to get a new one soon. Hmmmm........

Green tea said...

Wow, wish I had checked that car out before I bought my 2007 Mercury Milan.

How neat to be able to drive a car you helped build..