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Picture(s) A Day – 21 February 2009 – Big Thanks to Ed Bozarth Nevada #1 Chevrolet

So lately my car has been practically screaming at me to change the oil. 4% oil life remaining. Every time I’d start the car it would ding at me and display CHANGE OIL SOON where the mileage would normally read. OK, I get it – time to change the oil :) This meant some time at the local Chevy dealership and I figured that since I knew I was going to be at a Chevy dealership, I’d be able to take a picture of a Corvette for my picture of the day. I’ve been a big fan of Corvettes for as long as I can remember and being surrounded by them is a wonderful thought.

Those who’ve read this blog for years (all three or four of you out there) know that I spent a couple of years in retail automobile sales as a sales and leasing consultant at what used to be C&M Chevrolet in San Diego. Some readers might even know that I spent quite some time as a lot attendant and shuttle driver for a Pontiac, Buick, and GMC dealer as well. Knowing what I do about dealerships, their service departments and sales departments I know it’s a good idea to have a dedicated service writer and a dedicated salesman on call. These people work on commission and having been there, I try to do what I can to make their lives as good as possible, especially if it doesn’t cost me anything to do it.

My car is under warranty for five years or 100,000 miles so any repairs of that sort will go to the dealership. I might do my own brake job when the time comes and I’ll save a few bucks by bringing my own oil (Mobil 1 Extended Performance 5W-30 is cheaper at Wal-Mart), but for most work including oil changes I’ll be at the dealership. It may be a bit more expensive than other places, but I’ve worked in the tire and lube department at a national chain store and the experience did nothing but prove to me that the technicians at a dealership are more trustworthy, knowledgeable, and more highly qualified than the average guy at the quck lube or big box store.

My local dealership used to be known as Vista Chevrolet before the Bill Heard auto group went bankrupt due to fraud. When the Bill Heard group went under, what was Vista Chevrolet sat for some time in suspended animation. Ed Bozarth decided that the former Vista Chevrolet would be a great addition to his enterprise and made it the ninth dealership in his holdings. I’d seen signs of life, but hadn’t had the chance to stop by yet. With Trevor (yes, I named my car and it’s named after a character in a Jimmy Buffett Book – have some fun and go read Where is Joe Merchant? :wink: ) practically screaming at me to get the ****ing oil changed, I called up the service department and was told that I should be there by 1630. I was there at 1630 and I was the very last service customer of the day.

Erlinda Delgado was the last service writer standing and turned out to be a great one :) Everything she did was perfectly professional and she knew exactly what was going on – just the type of person I want for my service writer and the type of person I’d recommend to friends, family, and readers. So if you’re in the Las Vegas area and need work done on your Chevy, click her name to send her an email and make an appointment or call her on her direct line at 702-967-5602 8)

Having been there and done that in the car biz, I like to make sure I also know who’s the best salesman to send my friends and family to at a dealership. The identity of this individual can usually be determined by a look at the sales board where everyone’s sales record for the month is on display for all the sales staff to see. This particular dealership’s sales board is right out in full view if you know what you’re looking at and it told me that Mike is the top guy, so I asked the receptionist if she had any of his cards. She didn’t, but she called him up and he came out to meet me and chat for a bit :) It turns out that Mike’s full name is Mike Carlin and he is the only salesperson from the Vista Chevrolet family who was thought of highly enough to be kept on staff by Ed Bozarth. He has years in the business, knows what he’s doing better than almost anyone I’ve known in the business, and is also a really nice guy as well :) If you’re in the Las Vegas area and looking for any type of car, give Mike a call first :wink: He can be reached by email at mcarlin@edbozarth.com or by phone at 702-967-5657 which is his direct line.

With Trevor now safely in the hands of the service department, I set off on a quest for Corvettes in the sales department. Photography at dealerships is something that I like to get permission for. This is private property after all and I don’t want to offend my hosts :) Permission secured, I proceeded to the other end of the show room. What I found was something that I was hoping I’d see but never really thought would actually be there :shock:

21 February 2009

21 February 2009

Yes, that’s carbon fiber :wink:

21 February 2000 - ZR1 badge on the left fender

21 February 2000 - ZR1 badge on the left fender

And that’s the identification badge you’ll find on the only car in General Motors with carbon fiber parts.

21 February 2009 - The mighty 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1

21 February 2009 - The mighty 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1

The machine in front of me was none other than the mighty 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 :twisted:

21 February 2009 - 6.6 liters of supercharged V8 American muscle

21 February 2009 - 6.6 liters of supercharged V8 American muscle

LS9 is the GM designation for the engine that powers this beast. It’s 6.6 liters of American V8 muscle that produces a mind warping 640 horsepower and about that same number in pound feet of torque!

21 February 2009 - The 200 MPH marking insn't just for show on this car

21 February 2009 - The 200 MPH marking insn't just for show on this car

I had to reach inside the window to get this picture, but I think it turned out OK. The speedometer goes up to 210 MPH and it’s been proven to reach 205 in some tests.

So why not just open the door? This is car is worth over $100,000 so I don’t want to even touch it for fear of damaging it. There’s also another reason I didn’t really want to open the door. I figure some of the quirks of the Corvettes I sold have probably gotten through to this one. One of those quirks is that on the Corvettes I dealt with on a daily basis it was a pretty darn good idea to actually go drive the car if you opened the door because unlike 99% of the cars out there, the Corvette has something like fifteen computers which all turn on when the door is opened up so that they’re ready to go when you finally let out the clutch. All those computers put one heck of a drain on the battery and the next thing you know, that battery is dead if you don’t drive the car to charge it up. Now, a dead battery isn’t just a quick problem when you go to try to sell the thing to an interested party who’s annoyed that you need a jump start – it’s more than that in a Corvette. A dead battery trips all sorts of faults in the computer which requires a trip to the service department if you don’t like warning lights on the dash flashing at you and shining in your face. And the face of that interested party who might just buy the car and hand you a commission sizable enough to make your mortgage payment. Better I stick my arm in the car than potentially cause someone that trouble :wink:

21 February 2009 - Taillights and exhaust pipes are all you're likely to see

21 February 2009 - Taillights and exhaust pipes are all you're likely to see of the ZR-1

As the caption says, taillights and exhaust pipes are all you’re likely to see of the ZR-1 :P No, they didn’t start it up or anything – that’s just the flash bouncing off of the reflectors in the taillights :wink:

Once again, I’d like to thank the management and staff at Ed Bozarth Nevada #1 Chevrolet for their kindness, hospitality, the free basketball, and permission to photograph their ZR-1. Thanks go out to Erlinda and Mike for their wonderfully professional and friendly service. I’d also like to thank Ed Bozarth for doing what he did in taking on the former Vista Chevrolet. In a time where budgets are tight, car sales are down, and everyone’s scared, he made the choice to take a risk on this dealership. In doing that, he provided jobs to an entire dealership’s worth of people. From lot attendants and cashiers to sales associates and service writers, a lot of people are needed for a dealership to succeed. Repair technicians are highly trained professionals who make good money and now there’s probably ten or twenty of them who aren’t on unemployment.

So yeah, it was a good day – I got pictures of a ZR-1 to post on my blog and met some really great people :D

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6 comments to Picture(s) A Day – 21 February 2009 – Big Thanks to Ed Bozarth Nevada #1 Chevrolet

  • Kath

    A free basketball? For why?

    I just paid $236 for my 20,000 mile “check-up” at my dealership and the only thing I got was a second trip back bec. they reprogrammed my key clicker, didn’t mention it, and then when I went to use the other one, it didn’t work. So I had to go back and have the second one done.

    • A free basketball for being me :wink:

      I guess Mike thought it was nice of me to ask for his cards and refer friends to him :) They’re giving away basketballs and footballs to buyers and prospective buyers, so they had ‘em on hand in a truck bed – why not 8)

      I’m sorry to hear about that problem with your dealership. I can’t speak to Ed Bozarth’s remedies, but C&M had a few ways of trying to make it right – like a free oil change or something.

  • Kath

    Probably if I had thrown myself on the floor or something, then maybe — nah, I’m kidding. They just aggravate me bec. it’s like it’s nothing to take your time and have to go back .

    But the service dept. is top notch (even if they aren’t open on Sat.) and they are very nice.

    The dealership, they pretty much know they’ve “got me” bec. my last car was from there and another truck and now this truck. So they may take me a teeny, tiny bit for granted. I’ve never gotten anything free from them, ever.

    And while I’m being a crab, the salesman when I said I can write you a check for the whole thing right here, right now, is there any “discount” for paying cash? He said, “Why? I either get your money today or I get the financing money on Monday, not really enough time to warrant a discount.”
    I pretty much wanted to walk out (and I should have) but hey, what’s $50,000 among friends, right?

    You better believe I complained to his boss.

    • Good job on complaining to the boss!

      True enough, there’s no discount for cash for that reason but he didn’t have to say it that way. If you can get the 0% financing it’s the way to go. One of my Corvette customers did that and saved a boatload of money because he still had it earning him interest!

      What I’d recommend is asking nicely the next time you buy a car if there’s some way you can get a free bedliner/side steps/oil change/etc. and see what they say :)

  • Kath

    Have to add, tho, that Chevrolet is the best, as far as I’m concerned. My little bits of crabbiness aside, I’ve driven them for more years than I would ever tell you and they’ve always been the best.

    So my recommendations to ANYONE, buy a Chevy truck.

  • Sifrona Cotton

    I only have 3 words: I WANT ONE!

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