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Finance Manager Joshua Jackson (left) and sales professional Big J (right) ride their Harleys to work at Santa Barbara Harley-Davidson.

Paul Wellman

Finance Manager Joshua Jackson (left) and sales professional Big J (right) ride their Harleys to work at Santa Barbara Harley-Davidson.


Bumper to Bumper

Best of Readers Poll 2007


Motorcycle Dealership

Santa Barbara Harley-Davidson

3501 Via Real, Carpinteria, 745-1911

It’s hard to imagine there are enough bad boys and girls in this sweet little beach town to own many Harleys, much less vote this dealership into the boss-hog position. But year after year, Harley-Davidson, headquartered on the mean streets of Carpinteria, gets picked over all comers. And it’s not just for professional outlaws, either. Now the official motorcycle of UCSB’s film department (they sponsored a production class at UCSB last year), Harley is the choice ride of midlife crisis Montecito executives, too.

Finalist- Ducati of Santa Barbara

Place to Get Tires

Big Brand Tire Co. 99 S. Fairview Ave., Goleta, 967-1917; 7 N. Nopal St., 963-0355

It’s funny-even odd-when a tire company advertises as one of its qualities “No bait-and- switch.” It’s almost like a bank offering not to steal your money. But if you have ever been drawn in by other chains promising a great deal and then ended up being pressured into buying something a little more expensive, you will appreciate the apparent irony, particularly when it’s coupled with a corporate pledge of no hard sell and maximum value. A small chain centered around the Central Coast, Big Brand has two nearby locations, too, which means a lot more when you’re coasting over on less than well-treaded tires.

Finalist- Ian’s Tire & Auto Repair

Car Wash/Detailing

Educated Car Wash 3735 State St., 687-8800

They advertise the cheapest gas prices in town, which, when coupled with a 100 percent hand-wash car wash priced from $12-$20, was an irresistible bargain this summer when ash filled the air and it felt criminal to wash the car with the season’s scarce water supply. Maybe it’s not the best model of carbon footprint erasure, but it’s not soapsuds down the gutter and into the sea, either. Educated? It’s a no-brainer: Next to godliness, a clean car feels kind of heavenly.

Finalist- Fairview In & Out Car Wash

Car Wash/Detailing

Educated Car Wash 3735 State St., 687-8800

They advertise the cheapest gas prices in town, which, when coupled with a 100 percent hand-wash car wash priced from $12-$20, was an irresistible bargain this summer when ash filled the air and it felt criminal to wash the car with the season’s scarce water supply. Maybe it’s not the best model of carbon footprint erasure, but it’s not soapsuds down the gutter and into the sea, either. Educated? It’s a no-brainer: Next to godliness, a clean car feels kind of heavenly.

Finalist- Fairview In & Out Car Wash

Quick Oil Change

Jiffy Lube 932 De la Vina St., 564-3393; 6015 Hollister Ave., Goleta, 683-4100

Today’s new cars have engines that look more like computer terminals than anything Henry Ford might have imagined. Most of us couldn’t find a spark plug, much less tune an engine to the peak of performance specifications. Luckily, new cars don’t need much in that department. But every combustion engine needs regular oil changes, and getting it done quickly in a place that recycles is a convenience that seems more than we flawed mortals deserve. Jiffy Lube gets the readers’ votes of confidence year after year.

Finalist- Fast Lane Oil Change

New Car Dealership

Toyota of Santa Barbara 5611 Hollister Ave., Goleta, 967-5611

It’s the Prius economy, silly. At least that’s what we hope, and what Toyota of Santa Barbara insists is true: The popular hybrid car is flying off the lot-or, at least, selling briskly. And some day-who knows?-the last SUV will be shown only in a car museum memorializing the ancient world where fossil fuels almost cost us our civilization. Meanwhile, Toyota of Santa Barbara is number one with the readers.

Finalist- Santa Barbara Auto Group

Car Rental

Enterprise Rent-A-Car Four locations; for reservations, call (800) 736-8222

Last year, Enterprise Rent-A-Car made $9 billion by renting out 711,000 cars worldwide, according to its own fact sheet. Though Enterprise began leasing cars to executives in 1957, it started renting in earnest in 1963 and today declares itself the biggest in the world, concentrating on renting to people who’ve had accidents or need a substitute vehicle during car repair times. Of course, Enterprise can be found in 230 airports, including a location very near our own. The company is huge, but it likes to call itself community-friendly. Guess our readers have to second that.

Finalist- Hertz Rent A Car

Car Stereo Shop

Circuit City 3761 State St., 569-0300

We do 50 to 60 cars a week,” said installation manager Jeremy McDown. “So that gives us a lot of practice. We’re blessed with very talented installers, probably more than you would expect for a corporate setting. You know, you would think the little shops would have all the imagination, but we’ve been very lucky, very blessed with our personnel.”

Finalist- Santa Barbara Auto Stereo & Mobile Electronic Center

Auto Repair

Richard’s Accurate Import Service 401 Santa Barbara St., 962-1741

We are very grateful,” said Oren Glasman. “It does mean a lot to us, having been in business for more than 30 years. We’re starting to see the grandchildren of our first customers come in-a third generation. We’re not all about sell, sell, sell. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but integrity is what it’s all about; it’s what we’re all about.”

Finalist- SwedeMasters

Used Car Dealership

Milpas Motors 735 N. Milpas St., 884-8102

It’s a used lot that primarily deals in low-mileage, high-end cars like Lexus and Mercedes, according to salesperson Anthony Iezzi, who grew up in Jersey with Milpas Motors owner Steven Hartmann. The secret to their success? “I think it comes from understanding what the customer wants and then exceeding it,” said Iezzi.

Finalist- Toyota of Santa Barbara

Quick Oil Change

Jiffy Lube 932 De la Vina St., 564-3393; 6015 Hollister Ave., Goleta, 683-4100

Today’s new cars have engines that look more like computer terminals than anything Henry Ford might have imagined. Most of us couldn’t find a spark plug, much less tune an engine to the peak of performance specifications. Luckily, new cars don’t need much in that department. But every combustion engine needs regular oil changes, and getting it done quickly in a place that recycles is a convenience that seems more than we flawed mortals deserve. Jiffy Lube gets the readers’ votes of confidence year after year.

Finalist- Fast Lane Oil Change

New Car Dealership

Toyota of Santa Barbara 5611 Hollister Ave., Goleta, 967-5611

It’s the Prius economy, silly. At least that’s what we hope, and what Toyota of Santa Barbara insists is true: The popular hybrid car is flying off the lot-or, at least, selling briskly. And some day-who knows?-the last SUV will be shown only in a car museum memorializing the ancient world where fossil fuels almost cost us our civilization. Meanwhile, Toyota of Santa Barbara is number one with the readers.

Finalist- Santa Barbara Auto Group

Car Rental

Enterprise Rent-A-Car Four locations; for reservations, call (800) 736-8222

Last year, Enterprise Rent-A-Car made $9 billion by renting out 711,000 cars worldwide, according to its own fact sheet. Though Enterprise began leasing cars to executives in 1957, it started renting in earnest in 1963 and today declares itself the biggest in the world, concentrating on renting to people who’ve had accidents or need a substitute vehicle during car repair times. Of course, Enterprise can be found in 230 airports, including a location very near our own. The company is huge, but it likes to call itself community-friendly. Guess our readers have to second that.

Finalist- Hertz Rent A Car

Car Stereo Shop

Circuit City 3761 State St., 569-0300

We do 50 to 60 cars a week,” said installation manager Jeremy McDown. “So that gives us a lot of practice. We’re blessed with very talented installers, probably more than you would expect for a corporate setting. You know, you would think the little shops would have all the imagination, but we’ve been very lucky, very blessed with our personnel.”

Finalist- Santa Barbara Auto Stereo &

Mobile Electronic Center

Auto Repair

Richard’s Accurate Import Service 401 Santa Barbara St., 962-1741

We are very grateful,” said Oren Glasman. “It does mean a lot to us, having been in business for more than 30 years. We’re starting to see the grandchildren of our first customers come in-a third generation. We’re not all about sell, sell, sell. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but integrity is what it’s all about; it’s what we’re all about.”

Finalist- SwedeMasters

Used Car Dealership

Milpas Motors 735 N. Milpas St., 884-8102

It’s a used lot that primarily deals in low-mileage, high-end cars like Lexus and Mercedes, according to salesperson Anthony Iezzi, who grew up in Jersey with Milpas Motors owner Steven Hartmann. The secret to their success? “I think it comes from understanding what the customer wants and then exceeding it,” said Iezzi.

Finalist- Toyota of Santa Barbara

Joe Bluhm

Mayor Marty Blum

Marty Blum, Mayor of Santa Barbara.

Favorite place to read the City Council agendas?

East Beach Grill. I enjoy the ambiance, the ocean, the beach, and the palm trees. I can get a bite to eat, feel the breeze, and remind myself why I live here while I study for the meeting.”

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