by Dale Connelly, 10/22/99
DC: American cars are getting bigger. A car that claimed, for
many years, to be the largest Sport Utility Vehicle, the Chevrolet Suburban, has
been eclipsed in size by the new Ford Excursion. But every passenger car on the
road is still dwarfed by the Sherpa from Intimida.
But it's hard to get a Sherpa. Congress has decreed that Intimida limit production
and distribution by region.
Some theorists believe a too high concentration of Sherpas in one area might cause
a wobble in the Earth's rotation.
That's how mighty big ... it is.
Intimida Spokesman Skyler Farr offered to bring one by so we could see it. He
said he'd have it out behind the radio station, so ... (fade off a bit) ... come
with me ... and we'll take a look !
(sfx: door open)
(sfx: outdoor ambience)
Not yet ... but when he comes, we'll see ... the tallest, widest, longest SUV
... on the road today. He said he would be here. This is embarrassing. Well, let's
head back ... wait a minute.
(sfx: rumble approaches)
... it sounds like something's coming. It might be garbage day today ... or ...
no! It's him! It's the Sherpa!
(sfx: huge roaring sound as Sherpa pulls up, stops, engine still running)
(sfx: enormous engine running under throughout)
Wow! They're not kidding. This is HUGE. It feels like a fifteen story building
has just pulled up. And at the very top, in the 'penthouse' if you will, Skyler
Farr is peering out of his window. Hello!
Skyler: (distant) Sorry I'm late!
Skyler: (distant) Sorry I'm late!
DC: (calling) I can't hear you!
I can't hear him at all. He's motioning to his cell phone. He's going to give
me a call, it looks like.
(sfx: ring ring)
And there he is!
Skyler: (on phone throughout) Dale?
Skyler: Sorry I'm late.
DC: Got caught in traffic?
Skyler: Actually, some traffic got caught in me! I had to stop to dig a few compact
cars out of the treads (laughs).
DC: Ha! But seriously ...
Skyler: Yes, I DO take it seriously ... it's a good thing no one was hurt this
time. And I'm also lucky my tires weren't punctured.
DC: This is common?
Skyler: Too common. People think they can just zoom in and out between my wheels
and I'll allow for them somehow ... but I can't, always.
DC: That's a complaint you often hear from truck drivers ... that other people
don't allow enough room around a big truck, especially for braking.
Skyler: Yes, but the Sherpa is not a truck. It's a mighty big SUV. An off-road
DC: Right, if you like to go off road.
Skyler: No ... even if you don't want to ... the thing won't fit ON the road.
DC: What good is that?
Skyler: It's good for my image. I'm rugged ... I think.
And owning a Sherpa ... is rugged!
Just getting in ... is a challenge.
DC: I was going to ask you ... the running board is still ... higher than I can
Skyler: There's a rope ladder, but you've got to be something of an athlete to
use it. It's like being a kid again and having a tree fort! No girls allowed!
Ha ha. Just kidding.
DC: So if a person has a disability or vertigo or is just over 40?
Skyler: The Sherpa LE comes with an elevator. If you go for the XLE there's an
escalator. But for purists like me ... the tougher the better. I always wanted
my own personal mountain. Now I've got one!
DC: But it's physically demanding?
Skyler: Oh, yes. Washing it is a two day job. I have to use my rappelling skills
... hooking a line up over the drip rail above the windows, and then lowering
myself down with a pail and a sponge.
Skyler: And changing the oil ... now I know how the captain of the Exxon Valdez
felt! I have to alert local pollution authorities every time I pull the plug on
the oil pan.
DC: But can a car this large be a good neighbor on the road?
Skyler: Sharing the road with a Sherpa ... all the drivers around it have a common
enemy. And ... having an enemy in common is a great uniting force. So ... with
my Sherpa ... I'm making friends wherever I go!
They just don't happen to be MY friends.
DC: How can somebody know if a Sherpa is right for them?
Skyler: If you like heights, if you like mountain climbing, if you're not made
dizzy by lack of oxygen, if you've invested heavily in oil and gas stocks, if
you can accept the fact that your vehicle's profile WILL have an effect on the
local weather ... Then a Sherpa is for you!
DC: Thanks, Skyler. Skyler Farr, spokesman for Intimida, giving us a preview of
the future of American driving with a good look at the Sherpa, the biggest SUV
Skyler: You can't see it very well this close up. For a good view, you need to
be about a half mile away.
DC: Let me take a few steps back.
Skyler: Don't bother. I can give you that half mile in about ten seconds. Stand
(sfx: enormous rev and peel out)
DC: Skyler Farr, and the Intimida Sherpa.
Dale Connelly Reporting Home