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Sylvan Learning Center
1035 Lincoln Road
Bettendorf, IA

Alleman Development Office
1103 40 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

American Bank of Rock Island
3730 18 Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201

The Bar and Stool Shoppe
842 18 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Hodgson Funeral Home
608 20 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

Hughes Tire & Battery
120 E 1 Ave
Milan, IL 61264

Why do we love our cars?

By S. Hayes, Dispatch/Argus Staff writer

So you think you spend a lot of time in your car?

Running to the store for breakfast, to the drive-through for lunch, waiting for the little ones after school, basketball practice, slumber parties and every other activity under the sun adds up to hours per day. Why, after all the hassles of repairs, traffic jams, and insurance costs, are we still crazy about our cars?

``People and their cars are like cowboys and their horses,'' said Bob Taprich, a Rock Island car dealer. ``They're something an individual can attach to. Your car distinguishes you from other people, and other cars. Today people are able to cover distances quicker, which makes them more independent.''

Almost everyone wants to have a car, he said. While consumers today have more technical knowledge, it's more confusing for people to choose with so many options.

``There's hardly a car on the road that won't last over 100,000 miles -- it's a matter of simple care,'' Mr. Taprich said. ``Nowadays, cars are built to go 100,000 miles without a tune-up, and warranties that used to be 12,000 miles or 12 months are now 36,000 miles or three years.

``Like always, though, people want the new thing -- the new toy -- so many go in for leasing,'' he said. ``Some people do a lot of driving consistently and want a new car every two to three years, while others have to have something new and trendy on a regular basis.''

Car ownership was part of the American dream, but now it's more than that, said Ken Wagler, a Rock Island car dealer.

``Your car is part of your personality -- sort of like when people say `you look like your dog'. Owning a car used to be the American dream,'' he said. ``It's not so simple anymore, but the car is still a prestige symbol.''

Having a car is practical, but it's not just an issue of practicality -- it's a status symbol, Mr. Wagler said.

``It indicates a person's level of success in their climb up the ladder, and is a personality influence,'' he said. ``Men can buy their muscle cars and four-by-four trucks, while women generally have tougher parameters and buy a more practical car.''

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.