“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


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

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