I’ve never really been into cars. When I was a young adult, I bought whatever car I could afford. As I got older, my husband made the car-buying decisions. I had some input, but I never wanted much from a car or even knew what I was missing. If it didn’t break down and it could fit my family comfortably, I was good with it.
But I’m starting to change my tune. Between homeschooling and road-tripping, I’m in the car more than ever. And I’m realizing that the car I drive is as much a part of my personal style as it is my lifestyle.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending a launch event for the newly-designed Chevy Impala. Maybe you remember the Impala of the 60’s and 70’s. It was the first car my mother ever owned and it was a flagship for Chevy – one of the best-selling vehicles in history at that time. The 2014 Impala has been re-imagined by Crystal Windham, Interior Design Director for Chevrolet cars in North America.
When I talked with Crystal, it was easy to read her focus and passion. She wasn’t there to put on a show or promote – she was an artist who almost seemed ill-at-ease among the hustle and bustle of the event. There was a feeling of serenity and humility about her that made me curious about her background. I discovered that she was from Detroit, grew up with “ok” grades (her words), always thought she would attend the University of Michigan – even got a partial scholarship there – but chose to attend the College for Creative Studies (sans scholarship) because of its reputation as an art school. She could have taken the safe route of U of M and had a backup plan if art didn’t turn out to be her thing. But, as she said, she “didn’t want a back-up plan.” With hard work and a passion for design, she became the first African-American female director in the history of General Motors.
Sitting in the Impala, the first word that popped into my mind was “smooth.” Crystal talked about “continuous flow.”Just like the animal the car is named after (known for its speed and grace), you can see and feel that flow inside and out. The cockpit and dashboard are ergonomically designed – everything is comfortable, reachable and not distracting.
As a busy mom/taxi-driver, I’m increasingly aware of the simple pleasures my bare-bones SUV is missing. Like the Impala’s hidden compartment with a valet code so you can lock up any valuables when you leave the car. I also loved the gorgeous leather and wood accents and the Impala’s attention to backseat passengers with its double sunroof and backseat AC plug.
Our clothes, our homes, and yes, our cars, are extensions of our personal style. When you can find something that beautifully marries your personal style with your lifestyle, you’ve got a winner. The Impala is a classy choice for young professionals, as well as moms who are ready to move out of the minivan stage.