January 16, 2007

File under: Not Quite What I Expected

So I'm on work travel for the second week in a row, deep in the heart of Texas (clapping optional). Had to rent a car. When I was making the reservation, picked the Intermediate size. The selection screen said, "Oldsmobile Alero or similar." Remember that: Oldsmobile. Alero.

Fast forward five days. Land at the airport (it's effing FREEZING, by the way), head off to the rental car building. Turns out my reservation wasn't quite right, so while it's being fixed I'm looking over the menu, as it were. Dodge is apparently the brand of choice for Thrifty car rental around here. Fair enough. I figure I'm getting like a Neon or something. Fine, whatever, it's late, I just want a car and to go to my hotel. Sleeping is much higher on my list of priorities right now than the cheapo rental car that's going to get me from hither to yon. Give me a Kia. I don't care. That's basically my position at the time. So Mr. Thrifty Man finishes his negotiating with the little gremlins in the computer (based on the time it took, it was quite a transaction), and goes to get me the keys to what I'm fully expecting at this point to be a '78 Dodge Dart (it was after midnight as far as I was concerned, after a flight that took a full extra hour to board and another extra hour in the air thanks to something like 170mph headwinds, so you'll excuse me if I was a little impatient). Hands me the keys, I half look at them on my way to Space #20, and off I go. I get out into the garage, and there are no fewer than five attendants hanging around my car, one of them might actually have been sitting on it, I'm not completely sure. But a van comes by, they all pile in, and I'm left staring at my equivalent of an Oldsmobile Alero.

A sotcky, silver, slightly hostile-looking new-model Dodge Charger.

Now, I know it doesn't have a Hemi, and let's face it, it's a Dodge. But still, what Dodge managed to do with its newer line of cars is produce what looks, at least from the outside, like a muscle car. Which for the record, an Oldsmobile Alero does not. Not even a little bit. It's very much like the Hefty vs. Wimpy; the Charger is hef-hef-hef-hef-Hefty.

I should point out that, after a day of driving it, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to own one. You're sitting suprisingly high up for what I expect of a car like that, and the rear visibility is lousy. But still, I chuckle a little every time I walk out to it, as if I should be looking for a place to cruise the strip or something (or if you grew up in Wilmington, DE, cruise up and down Concord Pike between Taco Bell and the McDonalds. Not that I ever did that or anything). But I will admit, I'm more of a fan of Thrifty Car Rentals than I was two days ago. I was totally expecting a Kia and I got a muscle car. That's pretty cool.


Anonymous said...

Hey let me give you the proverbial high five as we cruise down the pike stopping at every fast food destination along the short but sweet journey. There are 5 btw. PS -- me like muscle cars, vroom vroom.


Allcarphotos said...

Excellent blog and thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts here. I am putting together a collection of photos and information on Oldsmobile cars and so far I managed to cover some of the models, and you will find some cool Oldsmobile Alero wallpapers, Oldsmobile Cutlass pictures and high resolution Oldsmobile Bravada photos. I hope you’ll find the website to be interesting, in case you want to pay it a visit.
Enjoy your day!

Michael R.
Webmaster, All-car-photos.com.

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