We Wash III is a full-service auto appearance, repair, and customization facility that specializes in ride beautification. A platinum wash special is a total vehicular makeover that takes 10–12 minutes. In addition to a premium hand wash, your wheelmobile will receive a tire and rim wash and a full interior vacuuming that removes crumbs, dust, and old copies of Rodney Dangerfield's autobiography. A tire glaze helps rubber-wrought wheels look their best while careening down the highway, and a thorough window wash will allow interested bystanders crystal-clear views of your dashboard toothbrush collection.
Growling engines, beeping horns, and clattering train wheels are indelible sounds of Chicago's streets. And every day, more than one million travelers hear this din from inside the Chicago Transit Authority's buses and trains. The intricate network of interconnected train tracks and bus routes—which once also included horse cars, trolleys, and streetcars—composes the second-largest public-transportation system in the nation, a system that provides an average of 1.64 million rides per weekday around the city and surrounding suburbs.
Buses zip along 140 routes, pausing periodically at bus shelters or blue-and-white street signs as an automated voice of reason announces each stop in a resonant baritone. The subterranean and elevated "L" train system, whose lines were once named for Saul Bellow characters, switched over to its simpler color-coded system in 1993. Today, for example, the orange line leads to Midway, the blue line takes travelers to O'Hare, the red line connects Wrigley Field and the White Sox's U.S. Cellular Field, and the brown line ambles to the famed Steppenwolf Theatre.
In recent years, the CTA has launched a series of green initiatives, which help conserve energy and cut up to 82 percent of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and other emissions. In addition to offering an alternative to rising gas prices and traffic, the CTA offers LEED-certified headquarters, dispatches fleets of hybrid buses and other efficient vehicles, coordinates recycling programs for engine oil and batteries, and maintains a bike-and-ride system for cyclists who'd like lifts.
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As a young man in Calabria, Italy, Antonio Scalzo worked on Fiats and Alfa Romeos. After he moved to the U.S., he exercised his eye for detail and love of Italian autos as he and his family opened and operated a successful FIAT dealership in the Chicago suburbs. Following his success outside the city, he opened the brand-new FIAT of Chicago steps west of the Loop, taking pride in being the city's first FIAT dealership. There, Antonio and his staff welcome visitors into a showroom filled with shiny testaments to Italian craftsmanship. Cars such as the FIAT 500 series in both sport and lounge models, a playful vehicle that exudes an elegant, chic, European sensibility. Curious motorists get behind the wheel of their favorite speed machine during test drives and can take in their precious four-wheeled friends for regular maintenance, flashy upgrades, or booster shots at the service center.
Almost a century ago, it was 1914 and William J. Cassidy was gazing out from his livery stable to watch the newfangled automobiles rumble past on Roosevelt Road. He knew then that he’d been right to expand from shoeing horses to also servicing tires. Never having children, Will took his 16-year-old nephew, Hugh, under his wing in the venture. When Will retired, Hugh took over and kept the company afloat even during the bleakest days of the Depression and WWII. Hugh’s six sons all followed in the family footsteps, opening additional locations in the suburbs, and then their children opened even more.
Today, those descendants operate 15 Cassidy Tire & Service locations throughout the city and suburbs. The Cassidy experts keep vehicles running smoothly as they grow old by practicing a full range of other auto services, from rotating tires to changing oil and flushing transmissions.
Technicians at the 6,000-square-foot West Loop Auto Spa hand wash cars from bumper to bumper with professional-grade products. During full-service washes, the technicians go the extra mile to clean glass, vacuum interiors, and wipe down the dash and rims, while customers test-drive the shop's complimentary WiFi. With their detailing services, they shampoo all mats and carpets, clean leather, and finish crossword puzzles tucked under the seats. In addition to washing and detailing, they also offer dent-removal services and window tinting.
With lube and service centers spread across America, Valvoline Instant Oil Change ensures that roads from coast to coast teem with automotive vigor. Certified technicians perform a roster of services, including quick in-and-out oil changes that allow motorists to arrive without an appointment and remain in their car while Valvoline oils forge a truce between metal parts. Facilities also encourage odometers to reach up to 300,000 miles with an engine-guarantee program that helps motors live long enough to see tow trucks go extinct. Valvoline extends its care to cars of all makes and models as well as charitable organizations.