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Hertz Car Rental A Number One!

Not many things work that well nowadays.

And then there is Hertz Car Rental - which does!

Created in 1918 by Walter L. Jacobs of Chicago as a car rental company with a dozen Model Ts, it was sold in 1923 to John D. Hertz, president of Yellow Cab and Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company, and given a new name: "Hertz Drive-Ur-Self System."

In all likelihood, the early owners never envisioned the scope and power their company would come to enjoy. Today, with almost 2,000 locations in the United States alone, Hertz is the largest general use car rental company in the world.

And for us, driving an Audi convertible in South Florida in February ’08–  it was the best - - A-Number-One. From the moment we picked up the sleek, silver vehicle at the Fontainebleau Hotel location in Miami Beach, where we experienced swift, expert, and courteous treatment, we could feel the special Hertz touch at work.

Happily the weather cooperated, and the top stayed down most of the time attracting admiring glances on every road and byway. Valet parkers at hotels and restaurants out-did themselves to get behind the wheel. As for us, through all the driving in frenetic South Beach, on the long ride  through the Everglades to Marco Island and then back, on Collins Avenue in bumper-to- bumper traffic the week the Boat Show was in town, we felt comfortable in an automobile that had been delivered in immaculate condition and serviced to perform.

Early on, there was a little glitch. After a long drive, the dashboard suddenly lit up displaying “2:00.” We searched the manual to discover what it meant to no avail. It was the Saturday night of President's Weekend. Still we managed to reach someone at Hertz who assured us there was no danger. All we needed to do was bring the Audi to a Hertz location the following day. All Hertz offices are open seven days a week.

Sunday morning, the cheerful and competent Hertz rep on duty in Miami Beach quickly solved the problem. The “2:00” was an indication that we had driven for more than two hours straight; it was time for a break. A quick adjustment deleted the disturbing dashboard display. And all was well.

Despite being a bit intrusive, the Audi was a great rental. But there was nothing intrusive on the part of Hertz. We even got the benefit of a special Hertz offer of returning the vehicle on an “empty tank" -- a terrific option in these days of excessive fuel prices. “Just leave the keys in the car,” the amiable rep told us. “We’ll take care of the rest.”

And they did.

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About the Authors:  Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in Miami. They teach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.

They are also travel writers who specialize in luxury properties and fine dining as well as cultural history and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. More about these authors.

You can contact the Frommers at: 

Email: myrna.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU
Email: harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU

This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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