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DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Demis At Pompei

March 19, 2012 3:00 AM

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"It has six airbags throughout the car."

dyr chicago11 DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Demis At Pompei

“The first car I ever had was a stick shift. Ever since then I’ve always wanted one.”

The Ride
The Driver: Demis
Car in Question: Red 2007 Toyota Matrix
Spotted at: Pompei, 1531 W. Taylor Street, Chicago, IL
Odometer: 54,395

THE DEFENSE

Q: Hi Demis. How long have you owned this vehicle?

A: Two and a half years. My previous car was a ’92 Toyota Tercel. At the time, I had three kids and one on the way. I needed a car where I had room for a stroller, a car seat, and other things, but I really didn’t want a minivan or a station wagon. When I got to the car dealership, I picked the Matrix. Even though it doesn’t look that big on the outside, it has a lot of room. I’ve used this car to move mattresses, tables and chairs.

Q: What do you like about a stick shift?

A: The first car I ever had was a stick shift. Ever since then I’ve always loved them. I have driven automatics before, but there’s just something about a stick shift. It’s hard to explain, but stick shifts are better. That’s the reason why I bought this car. When I got to the lot, there was a 2009 black Matrix that I test drove. Even though it had newer features, and was in my favorite color, I just couldn’t buy it because it wasn’t a stick shift.

Q: What are some of the features you like about the car?

A: I save a lot of money on gas because it’s a stick shift. So I only have to fill it up every two weeks. I’ve forced it to go under empty a couple of times and it still made it. I also like how safe it is. It has six airbags throughout the car. That was a big selling point for me because I wanted my kids to be protected when I’m driving. I also like the radio. I bought it used so whoever had it before me put this radio in. At first I hated it because it didn’t play CDs. I’m like, what type of radio doesn’t play CDs? At the time I didn’t have an iPod. After I got one, everything changed, since I can sync my iPod to the radio. So I don’t even worry about that anymore.

Q: Tell me about the soccer jersey you have as a seat cover?

A: This is my flag. I’m from Argentina. This was one of the first jerseys I got in Hong Kong when I was in the military. Now I keep it as a seat cover. On top of the seat is my daughter’s Bears hat. She is a big Bears fan.

Q: What about this Darth Vader pillow pet in the backseat, what is that all about?

A: That’s mine. That’s my companion. Everyone always asks, oh, is that for the kids? But it’s mine. He’s my riding buddy.

Q: What type of music do you mainly listen to in your car?

A: It really just depends on my mood. I listen to a lot of classical rock, Spanish music, metal and industrial type of music. When I’m in the car by myself, I normally just plug up my iPod. If I’m in the car with the kids, I’ll turn on the radio and let them listen to what they want to.

Q: Finally, if your car had a human emotion, what would it be?

A: Not sure if this is an emotion, but it’s dependable. Like, anytime it snows really badly, I never have to worry about getting stuck anywhere because the car has front wheel drive. Like I said before, even if I hit empty, it takes a long time for the car to run out of gas. I haven’t had any problems with it so far. All I have to do is just regular maintenance things, but that’s it.

Photos and interview by Nicolette Chambers

Are you ready to Defend Your Ride? If so, email localautos@cbs.com with “Defend Your Ride Chicago” in the subject line for submission details.

View previous Defend Your Ride features as well as other great stories for people who love cars at CBSChicago.com/Autos

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