Escaping old habits

Did you know? Ford really does have a better idea
By Paul Viau | Jul 12, 2012
Photo by: Paul Viau MY ESCAPE PLAN — Two of Taylor Motor Company's finest pose with my new Ford Escape. From left are Dan Medford and Ben Beeson.

This column is a bit of a departure — actually a huge departure.

First of all, I’ve gotten off my goat bandwagon. And as I write this, I can hear a cosmic sigh of relief from readers. (Or is that the sound of goats keeling over?)

More importantly, I have taken a huge step in support of our country’s manufacturing industry.

Did you know? America’s auto industry has always been at the base of our economy,

So I am proud to say I just bought an American car.

Actually, in nearly 50 years of driving, this is only my third car from an American company. Yep, I have owned a couple dozen cars over my lifetime — Volkswagens, Porsches, MGs and Austin Healeys. (Yes, I’m a glutton for punishment!) I’ve owned Mazdas, Acuras, Toyotas and, most-recently, Nissans. Oh yes, and I did have a couple of Chryslers around the Millennium.

As a youth, I mostly drove Chevys and Fords (actually, a 1954 Mercury woody station wagon.) And there was also a hand-me-down Plymouth Valiant with a push-button, car-radio-style shifter.

These were family cars, but the first real "wheels" purchased with my own money were on an Austin Healey “Bug-eyed” Sprite. It was small, fast and the quintessential impractical car — built to fit just the driver and very petite cheerleaders. Ahhhh, youth.

But today I finally “Escaped” my 50-year loyalty to foreign cars and purchased (as you probably guessed this by now) a 2013 Ford Escape. It’s ruby red, the same color as my not-so-American motorcycle, which (Sorry, H-D) is a Kawasaki Nomad nicknamed “Ruby.” Quite a coincidence.

Why a Ford? And why the Escape? Well, at Maggie Valley Club we have a group of hard-working, fun-loving Ford factory workers (aka The Dean Group) who have been “escaping” to play golf in WNC for 20-some years. This year, when they arrived, I greeted them with praise for being employees of the one and only American auto manufacturer that didn’t take a government bailout. I told them I was considering a Ford, and they began singing the praises of the newly designed Ford Escape.

Meanwhile, a buddy of mine at work named “Coon” bought a new Ford F-150 truck with the Eco-boost engine. Coon was nutty about the performance — both power and economy.

Finally, this spring I visited Taylor Motor Company to work with Joel (Taylor) on the hole-in-one car for the annual Knights of Columbus charity golf tournament. I asked him about the new Escape, and as it turns out, he had just come back from the introduction of the new Ford models for 2013.

Joel was ecstatic about the redesign of the Escape. He went on and on about it — to the point that as soon as I got home, I went online and took a “closer look.”

It was a few weeks before Taylor Ford got one in, but it was worth the wait.

I am proud to say that I have officially “Escaped” proudly driving my first Ford car.

Now I am faced with a bigger dilemma. The wonderful Eco-boost engine that Coon (and now I) are excited about … is made in Spain.

Which reminds me, “The rain in Spain falls mostly on the plain,” and hasn’t stopped in WNC for days.

We could sure use the rain, but pleeeeeease, not on my new Escape.

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