MY CLASSIC CAR: Marty’s Waugh’s ’66 Chevrolet Impala SS


chevrolet impala ss ron westphal chevrolet Aurora IL

R&L: When and how did you acquire the car?

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Source: MY CLASSIC CAR: Marty’s Waugh’s ’66 Chevrolet Impala SS | Galleries |

One year with the Chevrolet Bolt EV: Takeaways from my immersion into all-electric driving

bolt ev Ron Westphal Chevrolet in Aurora, ILJust over a year ago, I finally realized my long-time dream to purchase an affordable all-electric car with over 200 miles of range. Now that I’ve got a full year and around 8,500 miles of road behind…

Just over a year ago, I finally realized my long-time dream to purchase an affordable all-electric car with over 200 miles of range. Now that I’ve got a full year and around 8,500 miles of road behind me in the Bolt EV, let’s check in on the good, the bad, and the awesome.

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One year into owning the Bolt EV as our family’s only vehicle, we are loving, it. It is peppy, smart, and comfortable. Plugging in at home has given us back so much time that used to be wasted waiting in line and filling up at gas stations. We have only had “range anxiety” once, when I was intentionally pushing the car to its limits (we’ll get into the details of that a little later). So far there have been zero mechanical issues or problems with the car. We exclusively use one-pedal driving, which took no time at all to get used to, and now just feels like the “natural” way to drive. Added bonus: since we almost never hit the brake pedal (except in reverse), the brake pads will likely last a very long time.

Much to my surprise and dismay, a year after our purchase the Chevy Bolt EV is stillthe only sub-$40,000 electric car with over 200 miles of range that you can buy and drive home today. I had expected the Tesla Model 3 to meet those criteria by now, but they’re still only shipping the tricked out models with prices in excess of $50,000. I also really thought that the new Nissan Leaf would be packing a 60kWh battery similar to the Bolt EV, giving it a similar range, but Nissan only increased the size of the Leaf’s battery to 40kWh, giving it a range boost from around 105 miles to 150 miles.

Going the distance

The subject of range is a good place to start. We took a number of long-ish trips over the last year that would not be possible in most other “mass market” electric cars, including trips from our home in Everett to Leavenworth (203 miles round trip), Vancouver, WA (195 miles one-way), Port Orchard (110 miles round trip), and La Conner, (95 miles round trip). The Bolt EV performed flawlessly every time, giving us reasonable range estimates and inspiring full confidence that we would have no problem making it to our destination.

Of course, I had to push the car to its limit at least once. On our way back from visiting my parents in Vancouver for Thanksgiving we decided it would be fun to strap a ridiculously large Christmas tree to the top of the Bolt EV. I knew that having what was essentially a huge fractal sail strapped to the roof would destroy our efficiency, but even still, I underestimated just how severe the hit would be.

bolt ev side view Ron Westphal Chevrolet in Aurora, IL

We made it to our planned charging stop at the Chevy dealer in Olympia—barely. Starting with a full charge at my parents’ house, we burned through 58 kWh of the battery’s 60 kWh capacity in just 109 miles. Unfortunately, the supposed DC Fast Charger (DCFC) at the dealership was not up to full DCFC specs, and barely pumped out more amps than my Level 2 home charger. We got nowhere near the theoretical “90 miles of range in about 30 minutes of charge” that the Bolt EV is capable of on a true DCFC station. After two hours at the charger we finally had enough in the battery to make the remaining 90 mile drive home.

Fortunately, that was both the first and the last time so far that I have used any public charger for my Bolt EV, because its range has proven to be more than enough for 99 percent of the trips we take, even in the winter when the cold weather pushed the maximum range a little below 200 miles.

One frequent objection that people seem to have about electric cars is that they aren’t sufficient for road trips. I concede that point. There were two times this year that we went on road trips beyond the capability of the Bolt EV—a 570-mile one-day round trip drive to Walla Walla, and 2,000-mile 4-day round trip to Visalia, California. In total we spent about $156 to rent cars for those two trips.bolt ev jump start Ron Westphal Chevrolet in Aurora, IL

Fuel cost comparison

How did our fuel costs compare to our old gas-powered car? Our previous car was a relatively fuel-efficient 2001 Saturn SL2 that averaged around thirty miles per gallon (despite having over 200,000 miles on it). Using monthly average Seattle-area gas price data from, my calculations show that if we had continued driving the Saturn, we would have spent $863 to travel the same 8,700 miles that we put on our Bolt EV in its first year. Meanwhile, our actual cost of the electricity that we put into the Bolt EV was almost exactly $300. So we saved $563 in fuel alone ($407 if you subtract the rental car expenses for the road trips), plus the cost of around three oil changes and whatever other maintenance our old gas-burner would have needed.

A less fuel-efficient gas-powered car that averages around twenty miles per gallon would have cost around $1,300 in gasoline, for a savings of $1,000.

bolt ev parking lot Ron Westphal Chevrolet in Aurora, IL The tax savings

Speaking of savings, as of right now there is still a pretty big federal income tax incentive available if you purchase most EVs. I’m the type of person who prefers to file my taxes as early as possible, so you can imagine my frustration when the IRS delayed publishing the 2017 tax year version of the EV tax credit form (Form 8936) multiple times. They eventually released it in late February and I was finally able to file my taxes. We received that sweet $7,500 EV credit in late March.

It’s also worth mentioning here that if you live in Washington State, the incentive that exempts the first $30,000 of the purchase price of an EV from sales tax is set to expire at the end of this month, so if you’re thinking about buying an EV soon you may want to do it now while you can still save up to $3,000 in Washington State sales tax.

The little things

Here are some of the cool little features that we’ve noticed in our first year of Bolt EV ownership:

  • The parking brake sets itself when you shift into park if you’re stopped on a steep enough a hill.
  • The volume displays on the screen closest to where you’re setting the volume—if you use the buttons on the back of the steering wheel, it displays on the driver’s screen, but if you use the center console knob, it displays on the center screen.
  • When you turn on the rear window washer a small jet also washes the rear cameras.
  • The on-screen guide on the reverse camera turns as you turn the wheel, which makes perfect parking ridiculously easy.
  • The HVAC fans turn down automatically when you make a call or talk to Google via Android Auto (or Siri via Apple CarPlay).
  • The stereo has a setting to increase volume automatically when you go faster, accommodating for road noise at high speeds.
  • You can still provide a jump start to ICE cars in need (I actually did this once).
  • The rear view mirror camera is super rad (and has a brightness adjustment button on the back).
  • Cruise control stays “on” even when you turn off the car (why do so many cars reset cruise to “off” every time you get back in the car?!?).
  • Safety feature – In “L” mode the car creeps forward if your seat belt is not buckled, making it immediately obvious that you’re still in gear if you’re about to try to get out. Also, as soon as you open the door the car will auto-shift into park.
  • While plugged in to charge, you can use the app or the key fob to precondition the heat in the winter without depleting any battery.
  • Parking brake auto-releases when you hit the accelerator, and auto-sets if you’re creeping forward down a hill in “L” mode with your foot completely off the pedal.
  • Android Auto is super useful and after a software update is now (mostly) full-screen (previously it did not fill the width of the screen). You can jump to Android Auto by holding the “Home” button for a few seconds.

There are also a few complaints, but they are all very minor:

  • The headlights are a little too bright for other drivers.
  • One time we experienced a software glitch that disabled all the steering wheel buttons (cruise control, on-screen menu selection, volume). It fixed itself on the next drive.
  • The stereo flips back to FM radio every time you turn on the car.
  • The window control rockers have an “automatic down” mode for all four windows but, but only the driver’s window has automatic up.
  • The way the My Chevrolet smartphone app calculates efficiency is stupid (they divide your miles driven by the entire amount of electricity you’ve put into the car, not just what you’ve actually used).

While the Bolt EV is great the way it comes, there were a couple of aftermarket add-ons we opted for:

  • $180 – Full-coverage all-weather floor mats from WeatherTech
  • $378 – Yakima roof rack system, which consists of the LP19 landing pads, Skyline Towers, 50″ CoreBars, and SKS Lock Cores

The verdict

As mentioned earlier, if you want to drive home today in a relatively affordable all-electric car with over 200 miles of range per charge, the Bolt EV is still your only choice. But just because Chevrolet is taking home a default victory in this category doesn’t mean that the Bolt EV is not a worthy competitor. I’ve been seeing more and more of them on the road lately, so the word must be getting around. In retrospect, I’m glad we bought the Bolt EV, and I’m looking forward to driving it for many more years to come.

Source: One year with the Chevrolet Bolt EV: Takeaways from my immersion into all-electric driving

2019 Chevrolet Suburban Adds 6.2-Liter V-8 Option – Motor Trend

2019 chevrolet suburban rst ron westphal chevroletThe 2019 Chevrolet Suburban RST with the Performance Package boasts a 6.2-liter V-8 with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Read more here.

After bringing the RST Performance Package to the Tahoe last spring, Chevrolet is now giving Suburban buyers the same option. Instead of the standard 5.3-liter V-8 that makes 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, the 2019 Chevrolet Suburban RST with the Performance Package boasts a 6.2-liter V-8 with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. The direct-injection engine features active fuel management and continuously variable valve timing.

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These Suburbans also feature a 10-speed automatic transmission rather than the standard six-speed. Magnetic ride control, optional on the regular Suburban, features a performance calibration for improved body control on all Performance package models.

A performance dual side-exit exhaust system is available, designed by aftermarket exhaust company Borla. This feature improves exhaust flow by 28 percent, Chevrolet says. Buyers can also choose Brembo brakes with red six-piston, fixed aluminum calipers and larger 410 x 32mm Duralife rotors. The automaker says the performance brakes offer an 84-percent increase in brake pad area and a 42-percent increase in rotor area for improved system thermal capacity.

The Performance Package is based on the regular Suburban RST that came out last year. These models receive 22-inch wheels wrapped in Bridgestone P285/45R22 tires. Visual upgrades include black accents on the grille, mirror caps, roof rails, window trim, and Chevy bowties.

Chevrolet hasn’t announced how much the 6.2-liter Suburban will cost when it arrives this summer. But the same package on the Tahoe goes for $2,720. When we tested that model, it was able to hit 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds, ahead of a 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe LT 4WD Z71 we ran at 7.9 seconds.

Source: 2019 Chevrolet Suburban Adds 6.2-Liter V-8 Option – Motor Trend

2018 Silverado Centennial Edition around town

I had a great time driving this eye-catching brand new 2018 Chevy Silverado Centennial Edition around the Montgomery, IL area.  Can’t wait to do it again!  Whoever gets this beautiful blue beauty is gonna be one lucky person!  Call our Customer Care Team at 630-898-9630 for more info or visit this truck on our website.  


22 inch premium painted wheels with chrome inserts

all terrain tires

heritage bow ties

chrome recovery hooks

floor liners

floor liner heritage bowtie

centennial blue metallic paint

Taxpayers Bought EPA Chief Scott Pruitt a Fancy Chevrolet Suburban With Bullet-Resistant Seats

Bullet-Resistant Seats Wasn’t that nice of us.

Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt isn’t exactly the most popular man in Washington these days. And it would appear he knows the value of protecting his behind; according to documents surfaced by the Washington Post, Pruitt upgraded his official government vehicle to a Chevrolet Suburban with bullet-resistant seat covers last year amidst a security spending binge.

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Former EPA administrators made due with a lowly Tahoe, but Pruitt opted to move up to the larger Suburban after a few months on the job reportedly because “it was similar to ones in which some other Cabinet officials rode,” an unnamed official told the newspaper. The Suburban LT—itself an upgrade over the usual LS models procured by the government—has a leather interior, navigation, and yes, “Kevlar-like seat covers” that most definitely aren’t a normal dealer option.

The one-year lease was signed last spring at a cost of $839 per month, which the government covered with a one-time payment of $10,200. All the while, the EPA has also maintained the lease on the former administrator’s Tahoe that Pruitt used at first, which costs $9,000 per year and now sits in a garage at the Washington, D.C. headquarters. And the Washington Post found out that Pruitt’s office just signed third lease on a second Suburban, which cost taxpayers another 10 grand.

So, that’s nearly $30,000 a year for a fleet of Chevrolet SUVs—at least one of which has bullet-resistant seat covers, don’t forget. EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox told the Post that officials would look into the the lease overlap, but defended the security decisions as necessary.

“Security decisions are made by EPA’s Protective Service Detail and are similar to security protocol across the federal government,” he wrote in a statement to the paper.

The “Kevlar-like” covers reportedly cost hundreds of dollars to buy and install, an expense that was approved by Protective Service Detail head Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta. Other projects pushed by Perrotta, who has also been criticized for overspending, include the notorious $43,000 soundproof phone booth in Pruitt’s office and the first-class-only travel policy.

Source: Taxpayers Bought EPA Chief Scott Pruitt a Fancy Chevrolet Suburban With Bullet-Resistant Seats – The Drive

Chevy Bolt vs. Volt: Chevrolet’s electrified models explained

Chevy Bolt vs. Volt

Despite having similar names and a similar reliance on electricity, the Chevy Bolt and Volt are not at all the same car. To highlight the differences between these two vehicles, we compared them across several categories, allowing us to get a feel for the technology and features driving each model.

Chevy Bolt vs. Volt


Now in its second generation, the Volt is a plug-in hybrid car equipped with a four-cylinder engine that takes over when the battery runs out of electricity. If you’re not sure which one to choose, read on for our Chevy Bolt vs. Volt comparison highlighting design, technology, performance, and safety.


An electric car is, by definition, a high-tech vehicle. To that end, even the base version of the Bolt comes with a 10.2-inch touchscreen integrated in the dashboard, Bluetooth connectivity, and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay compatibility. Music plays through a six-speaker sound system.

Chevrolet also bundles in a 4G LTE connection, though it’s only active if users pay extra for a data plan, and Chevrolet Connected Access, which gives the driver access to an array of useful information including vehicle diagnostics and dealer maintenance notifications.

The Volt offers the same level of standard equipment, though its touchscreen is a smaller eight-inch unit. In terms of tech features, both models stand proud near the top of their respective segments.


All electric, the Bolt uses a 60-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 150-kW motor. In more familiar terms, the hatchback produces 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. Its 3,580-pound weight makes it rather portly for a compact car, though it’s on the lighter side of the spectrum for an electric car. Chevrolet quotes a range of up to 238 miles but your mileage will vary depending on how you drive, where you live, and what you routinely carry.

Chevrolet quotes a range of up to 238 miles in the all-electric Bolt but your mileage will vary depending on how you drive, where you live, and what you routinely carry. The hybrid Volt provides a useful 420-mile range before needing to fill up or stop for a charge.


Charging times are ballpark estimates, too. Chevrolet says a full charge takes approximately nine hours when using a 240-volt home charger but about 24 hours when the Bolt draws electricity at the rate of four drivable miles per hour through a standard 120-volt outlet. Fast-charging stations can zap the battery pack with about 90 miles of range in 30 minutes.

The main part of the Volt’s plug-in hybrid drivetrain consists of a pair of electric motors that jointly deliver 149 hp and 294 lb-ft. of torque to the front wheels. They draw electricity from a 18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that stores enough juice to power the car for up to 53 miles. If your commute is shorter than that, you could theoretically never have to put gasoline in it.

Thanks for reading about Chevy Bolt vs. Volt.  For additional information please contact our Customer Care Team at 630-898-9630 or visit our website. 

For more view Source: Chevy Bolt vs. Volt: Chevrolet’s electrified models explained

Chevrolet now lets you pay for Shell gas right from the driver’s seat

Hate having to fumble for your wallet or plastic payment card just to get some gas in your tank? Chevrolet and Shell know your pain and have developed a solution. You can now pay for gas without even touching your wallet, but you still have to step outside to fill up your car’s gas tank.

“We introduced Marketplace to deliver value, productivity and convenience to our customers,” said Rick Ruskin, Chevrolet’s senior manager for Online Commerce, in an official statement. “Bringing the Shell Pay & Save functionality right on the touchscreen of our vehicles is the latest advancement of this platform, allowing drivers to simply access Fuel Rewards and pay for gas while inside their car.”

The Shell Pay & Save feature joins Chevrolet MyLink Marketplace and other convenient features such as integrated services for ordering at food establishments, dinner reservation assistance, hotel and parking accommodation services, and more.

The in-dash payment system is currently only available through Shell-branded gas stations in select markets. A nationwide rollout is expected over the next several months and will be available on all Chevrolet models from model year 2017 and newer. This feature is only available in the United States.

 Want to know more?  Call our customer care team at 630-898-9630.  Or, visit us online at 

Source: Chevrolet now lets you pay for Shell gas right from the driver’s seat

Former Chevy engineer and Chevy Trucks celebrate centennial together

chief engineer of chevy trucks

Paul Hitch retired more than 40 years ago as chief engineer of Chevy Trucks, but he never goes a day without talking about the Detroit automaker where he spent decades building vehicles.

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So Hitch, who turned 101 on March 2, naturally remembered that Chevrolet was celebrating its own centennial this year. He mentioned to his son how much he would like to speak with company executives, possibly even the man who currently holds his old position.

chief engineer of chevy trucks old school picA few phone calls were made, and on March 26, Eric Stanczak, the current chief engineer of Chevy Trucks, knocked on the door of Hitch’s home in Savannah, Georgia.

“The conversation flew by. We reminisced about trucks, how the industry has really evolved,” Stanczak told ABC News. “He asked me a lot of questions. Paul is a very inquisitive guy.”

The highlight of the meeting came when Hitch and Stanczak spoke by FaceTime with Mary Barra, the CEO of GM, who called from her office in Detroit.

“Mary wished him a happy birthday, and was so thankful that he contributed so many great things to the corporation,” Stanczak said.

old chevy tahoe convertibleBarra’s father, who was a toolmaker at a GM plant, overlapped at the company with Hitch.

Very few women worked at GM during Hitch’s tenure, he said, and he hired only one female engineer for his department.

Hitch started his career at Chevrolet in 1935, when he was 18 years old. He attended General Motors Institute of Technology (now Kettering University) in Michigan, where he studied mechanical engineering. Four years later he returned home to Indianapolis, working for GM as a junior engineer.

chief engineer of chevy trucks“In those days you didn’t have too many choices for a job. It was still the Depression,” he told ABC News.

Source: Former Chevy engineer and Chevy Trucks celebrate centennial together – ABC News

2019 Chevy Cruze

2019 Chevy CruzeIt’s becoming more difficult to find suitable mounting points for license plates on the front of new cars. Case in point: the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze sedan and hatchback, which follow the big-grille trend, expanding it further into the bumper. The new grille also sports a curvaceous and highly textured structure that looks too pretty to obscure with a plate.

If you have any questions about the 2019 Chevrolet models, please call our Customer Care Team at 630-898-9630.

The new front styling more or less parallels the one on the also revised 2019 Malibu and is the most obvious change to the 2019 Cruze. Other changes for 2019 don’t fuss with this compact’s successful visual formula, which has been in place since this generation debuted for 2016. Mildly reworked headlights, taillights (LEDs on the top Premier trim), and wheel designs will be tougher to spot. The RS package now borrows the black window surrounds, badges, and alloy wheels from the Redline package.

Inside is Chevrolet’s new Infotainment 3 system, which is a reskinned version of Cadillac’s latest version of CUE. It’s controlled by a 7.0-inch touchscreen that also responds to swiping gestures and is standard across the line. Higher trims with navigation can store and load user profiles from the cloud, allowing transfer of a driver’s home screen, audio presets, saved destinations, and contacts into any compatible Chevy. Wireless software updates and live traffic are also included. Elsewhere, the interior design is carryover, save for a new brown leatherette on the Premier and additional black trim on all models.

Chevrolet also is a little more generous with equipment. The Premier now adds automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection to the suite of driver assists (most of which aren’t available on lesser models) and standard automatic climate control. Remote start is now standard on the LT, and a heated steering wheel is a new option.

The two engines and two automatic transmissions stay the same, but the six-speed manual is no longer (GM cited a take rate of just a couple percent). The turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four with 153 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque pairs with a six-speed automatic, and Chevrolet is estimating its fuel economy as up to 40 mpg highway for the sedan, 38 mpg for the hatchback. The 137-hp 1.6-liter turbo-diesel with its sturdy 240 lb-ft is expected to offer even better fuel economy, at up to 47 mpg with the diesel-exclusive nine-speed automatic. That’s impressive, except the 2018 Cruze diesel sedan with the manual posted a 52-mpg highway rating.

Expect the first 2019 Cruze models on sale by the fall. In states like Michigan where front license plates aren’t required, they’ll look even better.