Dracourage Blanco??

There’s always one thing in my cars that ends up causing them to spend time in the body shop.  With the Blackbird, it was windshield replacement – and thank God I had a complete glass coverage plan, I was swapping out broken and cracked windshields in that car more often than I felt necessary.

With Dracourage, my 2013 Chevrolet Cruze, apparently this car is snakebit when it comes to hood damage.

Last summer, my car hood suffered some paint and scrape damage when debris from a pickup truck flew out of the truck’s back, floated in the air, and crashed right on my hood, causing some nasty scrapes to the paint and body.  Urgh.  That necessitated a new paint job.  And I had only owned Dracourage for about a month.

Last Friday, I left my home in the Town and Village of Green Island, walked over to get in my car … and noticed that the front of my hood was pushed in about an inch.

Son of a

From what I could discern, it looked as if someone had backed into the front of my car, then drove off.  Possibly the hood was impacted with a trailer hitch or something protruding, like a piece of lumber.

I looked around my street.  None of my neighbors’ cars or trucks looked like they had anything that could have impacted my hood like that.  And thankfully, if there even IS a thankfully in this equation, the damage was limited to the hood; the front grille was undamaged.

But still, the way the hood was puckered and crumpled, there was no way I could open the hood to check my oil or add wiper fluid or anything like that.  And if the impact happened to damage the interior hood lock … I shudder to think about driving on I-787 and suddenly my hood flies up in front of me.

Make the call and bite the bullet, Chuck…

“Hello, Allstate?”

An investigator looked the car over and took several photos and measurements.  We then arranged for an appointment for repairs.  Essentially the car would need a new hood – thankfully my coverage with Allstate guarantees certified GM parts, and even if there are aftermarket parts at a lower price, GM will price-match.  Swank.

Monday morning, bright and early, Dracourage is off to DePaula Chevrolet – the place where I originally bought the Cruze – for hood repair and replacement.   And while Dracourage is undergoing the equivalent of an automotive “day spa” treatment, DePaula provided me with a loaner car – a 2016 milk-white Chevrolet Cruze.

Ahh… something I should be familiar with.

I got in the white Cruze (“Dracourage Blanco,” I suppose…), and tried to insert the key in the car’s ignition.

Wait a second … I can’t get the little key part out of my key fob.  And for that matter … where’s the ignition slot on this car?

“Oh, it’s a keyless start,” the attendant told me.  “You just press this button.”

The car roared to life.


This could be fun.  A little space age technology.  Neato.

Then I discovered something I did NOT like about this loaner car …

Something called Auto Stop.

Any time I pulled up to an intersection to wait for the traffic light to change to green, the car’s engine shut off.

What the hell?

And as I stepped on the gas pedal to move forward, the engine fired up.

Oh that’s not comfortable.  I don’t need my car turning on and off while I’m driving.  This isn’t the equivalent of coasting on a bicycle… no, no, this Auto Stop feature is not for Chuck.  But hey, a loaner car is a loaner car, and at least I’m thankful it’s at least a General Motors vehicle.  Although my requests to get a Corvette loaner car instead were met with giggles from the body shop.

Well, I won’t have Dracourage Blanco for very long.  Because based on DePaula’s schedule, I should be retrieving MY Dracourage today, or sometime this week at the latest.

And I’m okay with that.  After all I’ve gone through with cars in my life – engines melting in my Pontiac 6000, the electrical issue in my Saturn Ion Cardachrome, that horrible day in June 2016 for the Blackbird … a little scrape and body damage seems less frightening.

Plus, good insurance and a good body shop helps make things a bit easier.  Don’tcha think?

FTC Disclaimer: At no time did I receive any compensation for, nor receive any promotional benefits for mentioning DePaula Chevrolet or Allstate insurance in this blog.