Bumper to Bumper
Best of 2008
Santa Barbara Harley-Davidson 3501 Via Real, Carpinteria, 745-1911
“I would say our success is a combination of having the best motorcycles and the greatest staff,” said Shiva Miller, office manager of Carpinteria’s sparkling Harley dealership. The archetypal American motorcycle, which just celebrated its 105th anniversary, roars through our readers’ collective consciousness every year this time. “I think this is our 402nd win in a row,” said Miller, whose math has clearly been affected by the open road.
Ducati of Santa Barbara
New Car Dealership
Toyota of Santa Barbara 5611 Hollister Ave., Goleta, 967-5611
There has been movement throughout the years in this category-automobile fads and just the normal ups and downs of the marketplace. But most people know the story here: beyond the possible deals, there’s the surely justified claims of fine service. It’s the price of fuel, it’s the green-ness of this town, and it’s the Prius, which people have been all but fighting over on the car lot as shipments occasionally stray in. Sources say the dealership is getting much easier shipments and the car, which gets about 48 miles per gallon in city driving, is not likely to be sales eclipsed soon.
Santa Barbara Auto Group
Place to Get Tires
Big Brand Tire Co. 99 S. Fairview Ave., Goleta, 967-1917; 7 N. Nopal St., 963-0355; 900 N. I St., Lompoc, 736-1550; 1909 S. Broadway, Santa Maria, 346-6322
Chain stores do very well in our Best Of poll wherever big appliances are concerned. This chain offers to best any prices among the major brands it sells and promise no bait and switch games will be played. They do brakes, shocks, and belts as well and never get tired of serving you.
Ian’s Tire & Auto Repair
Enterprise Rent-A-Car Four locations; for reservations, call (800) 736-8222
With four locations in our area, including the crucially important airport/university offices, Enterprise is without doubt the most convenient of the half dozen rental agencies working here. With weekend and one-way to Los Angeles Airport deals, it’s no wonder the readers keep picking this big chain over the mom ‘n’ pop fleets.
Car Stereo Shop
Santa Barbara Auto Stereo & Mobile Electronic Center 3234 State St., 682-2505
Customer service extends beyond slapping something electronic into your car, according to manager Kevin Kelly. They put it in your car and then show you how to use it, Kelly explained, admitting that they made a bit of a bonanza this year with car phones. But the store is also big on integration-“Lots of stereos are Bluetooth friendly,” he said. “And we’re big on showing people how that works and that’s why people like us.”
Richard’s Accurate Import Service 401 Santa Barbara St., 962-1741
In stark contrast to their love of chains, the readers also bestow their votes on seasoned businesses-observe the number of winners who have more than two decades of continuing service in an ever-changing, partly tourist economy. Richard’s has more than three decades, and if you ask any old timers ’round here, they’ll tell you it’s because these folks fix what’s wrong with your car or tell you honestly why they shouldn’t.
Educated Car Wash 3735 State St., 687-8800
They offer an irresistible combination: reasonably priced car washes with, as they advertise it, the cheapest gas in town. With petrol prices swinging more wildly than Lindsay Lohan on a bender, that makes cleaning your car more profitable than driving it dusty. Hand detailed to quick rinse, it’s the intelligent person’s automobile-o-mat.
Fairview In & Out Car Wash
Used Car Dealership
Zoom Motors 335 N. Milpas St., 963-3989
Just the car, just the car you want. Perhaps uniquely adapted to a town of many moneyed people with some leisure time, Zoom offers to find you any car you desire dealing with manufacturers in the United Sates and Canada. From exotic items like gull-winged Hyperboles to everyday wheels like the Oldsmobuick you wanted when you were a teenager, Zoom says it can deliver. And the readers agree.
Quick Oil Change
Jiffy Lube 932 De la Vina St., 564-3393; 6015 Hollister Ave., Goleta, 683-4100
If the candidates are right and we can save America by checking our tire pressure, then Jiffy Lube is like some kind of superhero because that’s only a small part of the services this 30-year-old chain will perform for you. The bigger picture includes oil and filter changes that actually do help improve mileage and should decrease the amount of polluting your cherry ride is unleashing on the zoosphere and all the other spheres. The readers believe in this fast fix, and they want you to chip in for the Gipper, saving planets and dollars as well. Environment-saving may very void where prohibited by law.
Fast Lane Oil Change