One would suspect that a banker would prefer a vehicle that is practical yet a bit sophisticated, perhaps with a hint of luxury. But then carmakers developed sport utility vehicles.
Sport utility vehicles have matured from their earlier configuration as the vehicle of choice for sportsmen only to more refined all-purpose vehicles that appeal to nearly all drivers. Even bankers.
Its little wonder, then, that Don Whitehead, president of Enterprise Bank, goes for the all-weather road handling ability, especially in the snow, and reliability of his 1998 Chevrolet Blazer. But its the cargo-hauling capacity that impresses him the most.
It goes good and holds lots of stuff, says Whitehead.
When the lease runs out, he adds, hes going for another one.
Mike Campbell, president of Michael James & Co., a public relations firm, drives a red Dodge Durango hes dubbed Ruby. After moving to the wilds of West Newton last year, Campbell decided he needed a four-wheel drive to navigate the hills and valleys between his Pittsburgh office and his Westmoreland County home.
Fortunately for his neighbors, Campbell was around to pull them out of snow banks on more than one occasion last winter.
Bill Bajcz, president of AMS Electronics, drives a 1996 Chevrolet Caprice because, as he puts it, it doubles as a truck or a van. Bajcz says its not unusual for him to load the trunk, rear seat and passenger seat with cargo so that he can make a same-day delivery to a customer in the area.
Hes driving the last model year for the Caprice, so he figures hell go to a van when the Chevy expires.
At the other end of the spectrum is Marilyn Landis, business development officer for Heller Financial, who thinks that, while cars should be practical, they also should make a bold statement. However, she says her 1996 Mazda Miata is every bit as practical for her as a dowdy four-door sedan might be.
I spend my life in my car, Landis says. Its my office.
The smallish convertible, she says, allows her to reach anything she might need cell phone, note paper and so on without having to reach very far.
Landis likes the Miata so much that shes driving her second, another snazzy red job that replaced the 1992 Miata she used to drive.
Sales people need to stand out, Landis says, but a Mazda says practical and I still need to work.
A bonus for Landis is that her teen-age son is too big to fit in the tight cockpit. Little doubt that its the reason shes able to go to work at all.
David DeLullo, president of Comtech Manufacturing, doesnt drive a Harley-Davidson to work, but he might work to afford the several storied motorcycles he owns.
Ive had a passion for Harley-Davidsons since 1974, says DeLullo.
He has cultivated a 25-year habit collecting and racing Hogs. He owns four, one reserved just for 100-mph-plus jaunts on racetracks. Another, he says, he designed from the ground up.
DeLullo also collects firearms, particularly lever-action Winchester rifles. Perhaps thats to dissuade admirers who might be tempted to turn a bit too covetous toward DeLullos prized Harleys.
Ray Marano (email@example.com) is associate editor of SBN.