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DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Lauren At The La Cantina Grill

February 6, 2012 3:00 AM

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“I really can’t stand reckless drivers!”

dyr chicago11 DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Lauren At The La Cantina Grill

“If my car had a human emotion, I would say it would be cool and laid back, just like me.”

The Ride
The Driver: Lauren
Car in Question: Gray 2009 Toyota Camry
Spotted at: The La Cantina Grill, 1911 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616
Odometer: 47,000
Car’s Nickname: Apollo

THE DEFENSE

Q: How did you get your car?

A: About two and a half months ago, I was in a car accident. I was at a stop sign and stopped, but when it was my turn to go, the other person didn’t. The guy ran right into the passenger side frontend of my car. Luckily no one was injured, so I was grateful for that, but the car wasn’t so lucky. After the insurance company assessed the damage, they decided that the cost to fix it was worth more than the car. I was pretty upset about that because I really liked that car. It was a 2004 Buick Rendezvous. After I received the payout from the insurance company, I took the money, went to the dealership and bought this car.

Q: What attracted you to this car?

A: When I got the Buick back in 2004, gas was not how it is now. Back then I was paying around $2.20 for unleaded gas. Now gas can get up to $4.20, which is double what it was then. I decided that it would be best for me to just get a car. However, I needed a car with space. Since the Buick was so roomy, I couldn’t imagine getting a super small car. It just wouldn’t work for me, especially since I road trip a lot with friends. So I looked at quite a few cars and finally settled on this one. I really loved how spacious it was. It also had individual temperature controls for each passenger, a navigation system and a sunroof.

Q: Since you’ve gotten into an accident, how has that experience affected your driving style?

A: Since I’ve been in more than one car accident in my life, I’m far more impatient now than I was when I first started driving. Now I really can’t stand reckless drivers who bob and weave in and out of traffic, people who cut in front of you or anything else that can possibly lead to an accident. I just try to remain as alert as possible.

Q: Where’s the farthest place you’ve driven to in this car?

A: Probably Iowa. My mom and I drove there in order to see my brother play basketball. It took us about four and half hours to get there. It would have probably been shorter if my mom hadn’t stopped at so many rest stops, which I don’t like to do. I try to avoid them at all costs because they’re generally creepy and deserted. It was also a pretty boring trip since there was nothing to look at.

Q: Do you have any rules for your car?

A: No smoking and no eating. I hate the smell of smoke. I will never let up on that rule. As time goes on I will probably ease up on the eating rule. The only reason why I don’t want people eating in it is because I want to keep the car as clean as possible.

Q: If your car had a theme song, what would it be?

A: I listen to a lot of eighties music so I guess it would only be appropriate for me to choose something from the eighties. I would probably say “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston, “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics, or maybe a Pat Benatar song.

Q: If your car had a human emotion, what would it be and why?

A: I would probably say cool and laid back, just like me.

Q: Do you have a nickname for your car?

A: I call my car Apollo. I gave him that name because when my friends first rode in it, they said it felt like they were riding in a spaceship.

Q: What do you think your next car will realistically be? What’s your absolute dream car?

A: This is kind of funny because I was just talking to someone about this the other day. My next car will hopefully be a Jeep Wrangler. My dream car would be that same car, but in hot pink with a removable top and doors. Basically, I want an exact replica of the Barbie Jeep. I always wanted one as a kid, but I got the convertible instead. If not that, it has got to be some sort of muscle car–preferably a Mustang from the ’60s or ’70s. I really like vintage muscle cars.

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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