Hello CEP listeners, it’s been awhile! How have you all been? Between traveling, guest bloggers and Andrew’s Nissan triple play, I hope I haven’t forgotten how to write one of these things. There’s been a lot going on since I last blogged, but aside from our interview with the fantastic Josh Bilicki (check it out here!), the biggest news in my life has been my new vehicle: the Chevrolet Colorado Z71.
First, I want to say thanks to everyone who participated in the poll that decided my vehicle purchase. My co-hosts thought I was a bit nuts for letting the people determine what my next truck would be, but you all came through! This vehicle is everything I thought it would be and more. It comes with a 3.6L V6 that pushes out a shade over 300hp, can tow up to 3,500lbs, gets 26 miles per gallon on the highway, and the Z71 package means that it’s always in “sport mode.” To show you all how old school I am (and how long it’s been since I’ve purchased a new car), I was surprised to see that it wasn’t equipped with a CD player. Now I have to download stuff onto another device!? Is that what you kids are doing? Woah! Not to worry though, the Colorado has Sirius XM, so I am set for tunes. The color, you ask? In case you didn’t see the pictures we posted on social, allow me to enlighten you. The truck is a beautiful, deep cocoa brown with a hint of silver in it. The factory calls it “Brownstone”. When you get it out in the sun, it is deep and rich. In the darkness, it’s just about black so it looks menacing, especially with the aggressive Colorado headlights creeping up in your mirror. When I first signed the paperwork, I figured this was going to be one of the more unique colors on the road. Then I got it out on the road, and it wasn’t. Turns out, every 4th car on the streets of southern Wisconsin is either Brownstone or something dangerously close to it. But that’s alright, this thing (although surprisingly hard to keep clean) is awesome! So, what’s the point of this blog then? If everything is magnificent and I’m just thanking the listeners for their astute voting abilities, why bother writing this? Just say thanks on the air, right? Well, there is one GLARING issue…I miss my Trail Blazer. Like, I REALLY miss my Trail Blazer.
That’s right, the Trail Mc Blazer. The ol’ “T Mc-B". My 2007 Chevrolet Trail Blazer LS V6, Silver with gray cloth interior, a 4.2L V6 engine, a CD player (Google it, kids) and over 150,000 miles on it. I’m pretty sure the dealer did me a HUGE favor when they gave me $1,500 for the trade-in. My new Colorado gets better gas mileage with more horsepower and has all the high-tech newness you’d come to expect with something made in 2015 or later. But here’s the thing: my Colorado is a new truck. A TRUCK. A material thing. My Trail Blazer was a part of my life. In the age of young adulthood where there are constant life changes, my Trail Blazer was one of the only constants.
During the time I had the Trailblazer, I: Graduated college, worked as a maintenance technician at a senior living facility, got a job at Milwaukee Tool in field sales, moved to Michigan, got promoted, moved across Michigan, got promoted again, moved back to Wisconsin, bought a home, went on plenty of first and maybe second dates, fell in and out of touch with new and old friends, became an uncle to 3 super kids, stood up in or ushered at 6 weddings, and started a kickass podcast with 2 of my best friends. I can’t help but smile when I think about every time I washed and vacuumed that SUV to get ready for a date, or the race tracks and road trips it’s been a part of. The T Mc-B was our workhorse vehicle when Tristan, Andrew and I went to IMSA races in Canada, Virginia and Ohio. Hell, the idea of this very podcast was born in MY Trail Blazer during the 14 hour trek home from Virginia International Raceway last summer. Any time this vehicle needed work, which was a lot towards the end, it gave my dad and I an opportunity to spend some extra time together and B.S. about life. Now he’s all “Take advantage of the warranty! Go to the dealer!” I can’t spend quality time with my father while some ASE- certified rando is changing my oil! (Editor's Note: And the paint color! I've never seen paint like it: Not quite grey, not quite silver, not quite matte, not quite metal fleck, seriously impressive.)
If you aren’t a car person, you might not understand how important cars can be to people. The Trail Blazer was almost like an extension of me, like an extra limb. It fit me BETTER than a glove. I’ve had the Colorado for over a month now and I still accelerate like I’m in the Trail Blazer. Because of the difference in displacement, gear ratios and engine mapping, the Colorado sometimes struggles to find the right gear when moving from a dead stop, because I'm not driving it like a Colorado, I'm driving it like a Trailblazer. Maybe it’s the bowtie on the steering wheel? Look, in my head, I know it was right to move to a better mode of transportation. It was logical. The Trail Blazer was just going to keep nickel-and-dime-ing me to death at this stage of its life, and I had already put WAY more cash into it than I was ever going to get out of it. But that's not all there is to it. Sometimes the head and the heart don’t align. Or is it the heart and the wallet? I promise if you encounter me on the roads I’ll be a courteous driver, but please don’t mind me looking in my rearview mirror a little bit extra nowadays.