Constantly fixing up used autos on the lot and emboldened by the omnipresent new-car smell, the dealership’s certified automotive professionals keep their wrenches oiled and their eagle eyes peeled, eager to restore cars of any stripe to roadworthiness. The cadre of mechanics pulls from 125 years of combined experience to repair ailing starters, haggard engines, and discourteous cup holders. Sedans, coupes, and SUVs confidently whir back into action after 27-point inspections that interrogate everything from tire wear and brakes to squeaky drive belts and misfiring spark plugs.
"We don't judge a successful day on how many miles we rode, but by the smile on your face." With that motto as their driving force, the expert guides at MotoQuest play a role in each step of the tour planning—from manning the phones during initial queries to scouting out routes that's tailored to each group's comfort level. The multilingual team, who are also trained in First Aid and Professional Comedic Stand-Up, amiably lead groups of no more than 10 bikers all around the world, from Alaska to South Africa to Vietnam.
Riders board a fleet including Harley Davidson, Kawasaki, and Yamaha bikes and either follow guides down roads that veer off typical tourist paths, or pick up a road map and carve out their own epic journeys. They may also opt for hourly or weekly rentals of the motorcycles and scooters. Journeys may take riders across scenic landscapes or through bustling towns that acquaint them with the local culture.
GoNorth began more than 20 years ago, when owner Rolf Meyer began a guide service for river trips in the Brooks mountain range. Rolf characterizes himself as the guy who’d rather be in a canoe on the John River than doing much else, but this laissez faire attitude belies his business savvy—in the last two decades, GoNorth has expanded to include full-service travel planning, car and RV rentals, and guided tours. Rolf and his staff help vacationers and local outdoors enthusiasts map out expeditions to Alaska's most scenic regions such as Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge and Denali National Park. These trips range from self-guided sojourns to glacier cruises to fully guided backcountry tours where visitors marvel at Gates of the Arctic National Park and sleep through the northern lights at the Arctic Circle. To further facilitate outdoor travel, GoNorth operates a camping ground and hostel, arranges RV- and car-rental services, details personal vehicles, and works with partner companies to book international trips to Switzerland and Germany.
John Schwartz, the owner of Perfectionist Auto Sound & Security, is running out of shelf space for all of his awards. With accolades such as one of Mobile Electronics Retailer of the Year award recipients, 2010-2011 Retailer of the Year award, and Best Car Customizer, the shop and its staff have perfected the art of whipping whips into stylish shape. Perfectionist’s services run the gamut from remote car-starter and audio-system installation to custom fabrications and lighting. An online gallery shows off some of the technicians’ best work.
At Lithia Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge of Anchorage a team of auto experts equips patrons with new and used vehicles from its namesake brands. Factory-trained technicians remain on-hand to perform maintenance services on all makes and models, keeping automobiles working like new so that drivers don’t have to buy a new car every time they hit a pothole. Their lifetime oil and filter service lets drivers prepay for the oil they need over their car’s natural lifespan. Each oil change brings with it a multipoint inspection to ensure that headlamps, wiper blades, emergency breaks, and horns stay healthy and operational.