Just about a month ago I received an email with the subject line "test drive opportunity." With the amount of spam I'd been receiving, I must admit that I almost deleted the message immediately. However, for some unknown reason, I clicked to open it - and I'm glad I did.
The message, addressed to me personally, read (in part):
"I see that you like to write and tweet about branding, clowning, and taking trips, and so I am wondering if you would like an opportunity to document the experience of test driving a roomy and sturdy Escape Hybrid or a sporty yet stylish Lincoln MKS for a few days? It’s usually the car journalists who get to test drive the cars, but we’re looking for fresh perspectives and feedback, something a little more engaging and authentic. What do you think?
I contacted the sender, at the Social Media Group in Dundas, ON, and informed them that I would really appreciate the opportunity to test drive the Ford Escape Hybrid. I also mentioned that this week would provide a great opportunity for a possibly unique driving experience. Today, as my clown persona Toots Caboose I will be participating in the Portland Rose Festival's Junior Rose Parade. Friday I will be driving to Springfield, OR to be a speaker at the Spring Conference of the Healthcare Communicators of Oregon. The clown make-up goes on again for the Grand Floral Parade on Saturday and I'll be at the Festival's Waterfront Village on Sunday to judge the "Pirates and Princesses" costume contest.
This morning the adorable white Ford Escape was delivered to my home. The man delivering the car commented on the fact that my Ford Ranger was in the driveway. I explained that I come from a family that have been loyal Ford customers for decades. To confirm my memories, I contacted my mother to find out how many Fords they had owned over the years. I was informed that, over the years, my parents have driven 21 Ford automobiles. A total of 19 of those vehicles had been purchased from the same Ford salesperson. My parents' first new car was purchased in Portland many years ago. It was a 1960 Ford Falcon. At times, my siblings have also owned Fords. In fact, my sister, who lives in the Bay Area, currently drives a Ford Escape.
My first adventure in the Ford Escape Hybrid was a drive over to Portland's Hollywood District to prepare for the Junior Rose Parade. I haven't had time to inspect all the "bells and whistles" but I immediately felt very comfortable driving the vehicle and appreciate the fact that, like my Ford Ranger, the driver sits up a bit higher than most cars on the road. The large windows all the way around provide great visibility. The quietness of the Escape is somewhat amazing. For even a clown, with some extra padding, the Escape was very comfortable. The only negative so far is that the car doesn't seem to like some of the taller speed-bumps in my neighborhood. It must have a fairly low clearance.
I'm looking forward to sharing more of my test drive experience - especially the road trip down to Eugene on Friday.
Photos: Above top - Clown buddies Chloe and Sam–E join Toots Caboose in checking out the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid following the Junior Rose Parade. Lower photo - On my way home from the parade I stopped by DiPrima Dolci Bakery & Cafe to introduce Toots Caboose to owner (and my friend) Pat Diprima.
Read the other bLog-oMotives entries about my Ford Escape Hybrid test drive here.
© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives