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The Chevron Experience, Part 2 [Group Sex Video Footage Violated California’s Consent To Film Laws]

Posted in Alt Fuels, auto industry, Car Tech, Emissions, Fuel, Gas Prices, General, Materials, Newsworthy, Oil Industry by Suzanne Denbow | September 16th, 2008 | Leave a Reply |

On Friday, I posted The Chevron Experience, Part 1 [Group Sex Video Footage Edited For Content And To Run In Time Allowed] , which briefly outlined my tour of Chevron’s Richmond Technology Center in California. My account was cut short, however, due in equal parts to the fact that there was a wealth of information that I needed to organize, and that there was a substantial amount of my travel budget [provided courtesy of Chevron], that needed to be spent at various San Franciscan drinking establishments, immediately. I promised a full, uncensored post on Monday, but technical difficulties with RideLust and the mother of all hangovers prevented me from making good on my word, delaying the big reveal until today.

Despite being the single most data-saturated, excruciatingly technical press event I’ve ever attended [even surpassing a particularly painful city council meeting regarding septic tank overflow I covered during my newspaper days], the tour itself was actually pretty interesting. Total, there were about 18-20 auto bloggers present, including a member of the Jalopnik [cue Heavenly chorus] camp, to whom I so smoothly introduced myself as “Such a huge fan!”.

Although nearly 6 hours were spent outlining in painstaking detail why Chevron’s Techron Concentrate fuel additive was so revolutionary, the majority of us already came to the table with a pretty substantial background knowledge of Techron’s superior performance. Personally, I’ve been using Techron on the Red Rocket since the government began adding ethanol to the fuel supply, and I know guys from the garage I used to work in who depend on it as much as the average motorist depends on unleaded fuel. With that kind of widespread professional following, you would think Techron would already have the fuel additive market cornered, but you would be wrong. As a result of the current economic situation, the fuel crisis has cast energy companies in roles as the bloodthirsty villains, making consumers quick to finger the big boys like Chevron as the reason for the $4-a-gallon-for-gas epidemic. The truth is far less conspiracy-theorist, but the average consumer doesn’t understand the finer points of objectivism economics [I used to, but that was back in college, many, many a keg stand ago] and opts instead to inaccurately place the blame on the oil industry. That, coupled with the fact that there are no official standards by which to evaluate [or rank] the effectiveness of fuel additives, leaves Chevron between a rock and slippery, lubricated place [so to speak]. So Chevron did what most would do in a similar situation and turned to the niche market that, although relatively small, has shown them the most support and understanding: the gearheads. By opening their doors to me and my fellow auto bloggers, Chevron was obviously seeking a forum of understanding in the group of people who know their engines best.

Even a mechanic has his [or her, as the case may be] limits though, and for me, Arthur Fonzerelli appeared in full jet ski regalia around hour 4 when the tour of the microscope lab began. The only aesthetically pleasing aspects of the experience were the presenters themselves who, as I mentioned before, thoroughly blew GM’s Chevy Volt engineers out of the water [what can I say? I’ve got a weakness for guys in glasses]. Unfortunately, Chevron’s Richmond facility is an extremely secure zone and access is heavily monitored by the Department of Homeland Security, so my film footage from the board room of the tangled mass of limbs and lubricants was confiscated before I left the premise. As a consolation prize, however, Techron is sending me a free case of Techron Concentrate, which I fully intend to use immediately after I change the oil in the Vo’. If you behave yourselves, I’ll take pictures.

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