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Thumbs Up for Chevy

We’ve just passed one of the most significant seasons of the year for Latinos, Hispanic Heritage Month, during which, Latinos celebrate their culture and heritage with fellow Americans. I just wanted to give kudos to Chevrolet for its contribution to the celebration, on a couple points.

First, as silver sponsors of the 2011 ALMA Awards presented by the National Council of La Raza, Chevrolet merits recognition. Corporate support for these events rarely gets acknowledged but as president of a non-profit organization in Austin, I know that sponsorships, or the lack thereof, can make or break an event, activity, or even the organization itself.  Certainly, Chevrolet has more than just altruistic goals in mind with its support of the NCLR but that’s how sponsorships work, ostensibly they’re a win-win for the sponsor and the non-profit.

Other major sponsors included Pepsico, Comcast, and Target.

I also have to thank Chevrolet multicultural marketing manager, Alma Crossley and her team for hosting me and other journalists at the ALMA Awards with such aplomb.

My second thumbs up goes to the Camaro 2SS that I drove while in Los Angeles; I extended my stay there in order to see family and meet with clients in Torrance, California.

I’ve driven in Los Angeles before, and may I just reiterate my appreciation for California drivers? I don’t care what anyone says, I’ve encountered the best driving/drivers in the Golden State. With the 2SS, of course, changing lanes on a six-lane freeway gets a little less tense when you have a 6.2-liter V8 with 400 horses and 410 lbs.–ft. of torque under the hood.

I drove the special edition model, bearing the paint job of the Indy pace car, white with orange stripes down the center. Equally striking, the two-tone interior included beige and brown leather seats, headrests embroidered with the SS logo, and French stitched dash and door panels.

The styling, inside and out, on this model is keen but what really stood out on this trip was OnStar, specifically, the turn-by-turn navigation.

I’ve been a MapQuest user for years, and haven’t been steered the wrong way yet, that is, until my last trip. Instructions from the airport to my hotel went awry and while I tried to figure out directions from the hotel desk person over the phone, I noticed the OnStar button. Many times it’s not active on fleet cars but this one was and what a godsend. It got me to my hotel, from Torrance to Whittier (where my family lives)—I think it took six freeways to do it—plus to all my appointments, on time and without a glitch. On my last journey, however, it did seem to get stuck—it kept defaulting to the destination name command and not the address command. Ultimately, I had to pull over and ask for help from an OnStar assistant.

Pricing for the 2SS starts at $34,295 but with the addition of a six-speed automatic in place of the standard six-speed manual, and the special paint job, ($470), the as-tested price came to $36,800.

All in all, this was one of my most memorable Hispanic Heritage Month moments. Thanks Chevy.