Is Your Prius Safe? A Face of America Qustion.
The answer: Yes, Yes, Yes!

By Tony Mussari

Greetings from Portland, Oregon.

As of today, we have driven 4,121 miles cross country in search of the Face of America in our 2007 Toyota Prius.  The car has performed flawlessly.

We drove through a blizzard just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. We crossed the California desert in intense winds, and we arrived in San Francisco in a driving rainstorm. 

At times, we drove very fast, in excess of 75 miles per hour. On our way to Tustin, the LA freeway became a parking lot, and we moved very slowly.

Wherever we were and whatever the traffic conditions were, our Prius lived up to its reputation.

On Tuesday, March 16, we drove from Moraga California, to the Toyota dealership in Walnut Creek for our 30,000 mile service appointment. The appointment was set up by Jeff Crawford, the service manager at our Toyota dealership in northeastern Pennsylvania, Motorworld.

In Walnut Creek, Al Splendorio and Tim Howell made sure that we were treated as if we purchased our Toyota from them.  They were welcoming, friendly, competent and very accommodating.

One of the wonderful features of Toyota at Walnut Creek is a complimentary breakfast at a very nice restaurant called Buttercup.  Kitch, Julie Marvel and I had a grand time talking about our experiences over a warm cup of coffee and scrambled eggs.

When we returned to pick up our car, our Prius was waiting, and we had a wonderful opportunity to speak with members of the service department and two very satisfied Toyota owners who willingly agreed to speak to us about our Face of America project.

Yesterday in Ashland, Oregon, a man approached our car in a service station.  He looked at me with a face that was full of questions, and then he said: “Is that car you are driving safe?”

That gave me an opportunity to make the case for the Prius and my experience with Toyota.

“Yes it is,” I replied, “and I have the evidence to prove it.  My wife and I are driving to each of the 48 continental states in search of the Face of America in my Prius, and we are here to tell you everything is going well and our Prius is performing beautifully.”

His rejoinder got me thinking. “I believe you.  I like Toyota products.  They should have people like you speaking to people like me because you have actual experience driving the car.”

“How is it on gas?” he asked. That’s one of my favorite questions, because it enables me to sing the praises of the Prius.  We are averaging 43 miles per gallon, and we have been driving speeds of 68 to 75 miles per hour on the highway.

“That’s great mileage,” he replied.

We were now engaged, and Barry Grigsby was willing to tell his Face of America story on camera.   

Thanks to our Prius, we found the Face of America at a Toyota dealership in Walnut Creek, California, and at a Shell gas station in Ashland, Oregon.

Thanks to the fuel efficiency and the superior performance of our Prius, we are able to make this Face of America journey, and fulfill the dream of a lifetime.

Until the next time, we hope that all of your stories have happy endings.

Please keep us in your prayers and always know of our gratitude for your help, kindness and support.

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