Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cooper Tire: An Off-Road Review

   When I was growing up, all I wanted was a teal Geo Tracker.  I had seen their awkward frames veer down my street daily and for some extremely odd reason, all I wanted in life was a chance to drive one when I turned sixteen. Sixteen came and went, with it, no Geo Tracker.  My crushed little adolescent spirits would not be deterred, however.  Given that any soft-top vehicle is completely impractical for a location that is annually assaulted with over 8 feet of snow, I opted for a far-more Rochester-worthy vehicle. While a tank or a truck outfitted with tracks is the best way to go, I went for a new-to-me Oldsmobile 96' Ciera SL.  From its rust to its I LOVE WINE sticker that refused to relinquish its grasp of the bumper, the whole tin can further ostracized me from my BMW-driving peers.  But, I paid for the shimmering excuse for an American-made car myself so I was proud, in my own way of it.

   As I handed over my hard-earned banquet hall tips to the nice man with the dilapidated car, I distinctly felt the presence of my younger self, throwing a tantrum.  My 8-year-old self punched, kicked and clawed in my wake, obviously upset that I chose such a sub-par mode of transportation.  GEO TRACKER she screamed, over and over until I drove away, leaving her to freeze in the Arctic temperatures.  Of course, after a couple of miles I started to feel badly that I was so quick to abandon my lofty car dreams and in the process, kick my younger self to the salt-encrusted curb.  Hence, I made myself a promise.  I vowed that I would someday, somehow get a Geo Tracker.  This would involve moving somewhere that would be warm enough to support such a venture, and of course getting rid of the white, I LOVE WINE- bumper stickered Olds.

   Years passed.  High school turned into college and the white veneer of my chariot turned rust colored. I knew full well that the car who had braved so many of those horrible, snow, ice and sleet covered roads would not be able to make the two-hour drive to my University.  Hence, with equal parts of sadness and forlornness, I parted ways with it, only to reunite with it in the summer.  Unfortunately, the summer before my sophomore year spelled trouble for the sad piece of machinery.  The heat only worked perfectly in the heat of summer, the air conditioning in the chill of winter.  The check-engine light had a piece of hockey tape over it, as ignoring it was easier than getting it fixed.  Then came the day that she failed her last inspection, I knew I had to move on.

   Enter my lovely, delightful Jeep Liberty.  My younger self and I had a conference once the LPOS began its slow decent into car death.  While gleefully digging its grave, we decided that the Geo Tracker, in retrospect, resembled the car my Barbie and her platonic best friend Ken drove around my basement in.  Eight-year old me acquiesced, and we decided that a Jeep was a cooler, non-Barbie way to go.  So, with my mom in tow, we ventured off.

    I had my heart set on an older Wrangler.  Older Wranglers were bare-bones and just cool looking.  Unfortunately, older models did not harness technologies like seat or pedal adjusters.  I swore that I'd never buy another car that required phonebooks to see over the steering wheel.  Likewise, if I could not reach the pedals without hugging said wheel, the vehicle was a no-go. With a sad manner, I stalked away from the Wranglers only to be overtaken by the beauty of the Libertys.

   We haggled and bartered, and even threw in the LPOS' dead form for good measure.  Mom and I drove away with my lovely Jeep-green Liberty.  She has been with me ever since and I love her unconditionally.  That is until I started hunting.

    When I began my first year of my hunting adventures, I was toted around in my ex's larger than life Wrangler.  The behemoth could clear gigantic boulders in a single bound so it was the perfect vehicle to transport us safely to our hunting ground. While I enjoyed bopping around in it, I hated that my smaller, less-off-roading Jeep was unable to make the trip.  That has been the case for years now but then Cooper Tire walked into my life.

    I never have claimed to have a "popular" or "noticeable" blog.  When my blog is mentioned somewhere or is talked about,  its like Christmas, my birthday, and opening day rolled up in one.  So, when an affiliate of Cooper Tire contacted me, I was more than shocked.  They said they had seen my blog, especially a recent review that impressed them to no end.  They needed some bloggers to review their new Discoverer AT/3s and would I be interested? I would receive a flip-camera, the tires and a free installation.  Obviously, given the title of this posting, I said yes.

   Waltzing into Black's Tire and Auto, I informed the nice gentleman behind the desk that I was here for my free tires. I had rehearsed this statement in my head the entire way there, as I figured this was the last time I'd ever have the opportunity to string those words together and actually receive free tires. The manager knew the situation, took care of the paperwork and set his men to work.  The guys were genuinely impressed, as they had never seen these tires, nor ever met someone who scored a pair for free.  We went a size bigger than my previous tires and the AT/3s fit perfectly.

   Sporting new tires, DU, E4 and I were ready for action.  Acting like this was our big break, we quickly fell into our roles.  DU was the script director and videographer.  E4 took pictures and coached where I should drive, how I should stand.  The whole production turned into a mud-filled fiasco.

   Without any more introduction, I give you the first video appearance of the Writing Huntress.  This elusive figure is seen for the first time, makeup-free and mud- splattered for your enjoyment.

Welcome to HLYH, Cooper Tire!

Watch as the AT/3s look good, spinning in mud!

The Writing Huntress reports from the mud-filled Jeep!

Thanks, Cooper Tire! Watch as The Writing Huntress forgets the name of the tire she's reviewing then proceeds to say "tires"and "absolutely" a lot! She sounds like a weird Canadian Yankee but she sure does look cute doing it!

* Thanks to the boys at Black's Tire and Auto in Monroe, NC for their sense of humor and willingness to let me intrude on their job.  I know it may have been annoying for me to be running around like rabid hyena, taking pictures of everything as asking "what's that?" 58 times but y'all were welcoming and patient so thank you so very much. 
** Thanks so much to Philip from the Zimmerman agency for his help and amazing e-mail answering abilities!
*** Thanks again to Cooper Tire! The AT/3s are great tires.  Not kidding- I can feel the difference when I drive.  It feels like there's glue under my tires and with the new terrain of my abode, I'm going to need it! 
**** Thanks to E4 and DU, the production team extraordinaire, for the production of the above videos.  Dealing with my hunting diva attitude, having to set up my makeup and hair appointments and stroking my over-abundant ego is a tough job but someone's gotta do it! Get ready to go into retirement, boys, because I'm entirely sure we'll never go big time after people have seen this... 


Murphyfish said...

Well done me dear on a great review, apart from forgetting the company name ;o). Even in review your humour shines through and as always your posts are a joy to read.
Oh and how the hell do you get a freebie like that, not that I'm bloody well jealous or anything...
best regards,

The Writing Huntress said...

Mr. MurphyFish- Thank you! This was an awesome review not only to take part in but also to write up!

The freebie came via e-mail. Their marketing agency found me (and Ben. G too) and wanted me to write up the review for them. A few days later, I had a flip cam and a free set of then-not available tires.

Of course you're not jealous... it's a wicked trait :-)


Sandford said...

What a great post!!! Every sentence rings true

Ged Online

Swamp Thing said...

Ha ha ha, I was afraid of getting stuck like that! It was raining the day we tested them on the forest roads...no way I was gonna screw it up! It was too wet to take it out in the mud on the farm. :(

Bob Mc said...

I'm envious. Looks like your Jeep could use a wash job. :)

The Writing Huntress said...

Sandford- Thanks for stopping by and for the great compliment! I attempt to inject truth into my writing. Generally it works, sometimes not- but glad to see you liked it!

Swamp Thing- I really thought I cracked my front axel but we only broke my license plate holder. You like 'em as much as I did? They said there was supposed to be some video that I never saw..

Bob Mc- It did! And since I made the mess, I cleaned it up. Took a rainstorm, gallons of water and about 7 things of soap to get rid of everything!

Thanks all,

SimplyOutdoors said...

Oh how I remember when I had a truck that I could do those sorts of things with.

It looks like fun - and getting stuck is half the fun, too.

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