Owner Profile: Bob Irvin

By Ford Social Member

For Bob Irvin of Olney, Maryland, his 2013 Ford C-MAX hybrid isn’t merely his vehicle. On warm summer nights when he drives around with the windows down and music cranked up, the C-MAX is a time machine that seems to transport him back to cherished childhood days spent in another prized Ford: his dad’s 1964 Galaxie 500.

Irvin’s father, Bill, was an enlisted Air Force man – and a devoted Ford man – who’d use his 30 days of annual leave to drive his family on a pilgrimage to his parents’ farm in eastern Kentucky. In the summer of 1967, that meant a three-day cross-country road trip from San Bernardino, California.

The seven-year-old Irvin shared the Galaxie’s backseat with his older sister, Myra, his Uncle Henderson and the two family pooches, Pepi and Pierre. He and Myra, naturally, had an invisible line to divide their territories, but they crossed it often to exchange comic books.

The car didn’t have air conditioning, so the family drove through the night to take advantage of cooler temperatures. “One of my greatest memories is driving across the Mojave Desert at night in the Galaxie with my parents, windows down, feeling the warm breeze coming in the car,” he says. “There was a sense that we could go anywhere.”

Every now and then, Irvin would get promoted to the front seat to help keep the driver awake with his chatter. The crackling AM radio kept them company as well. His parents preferred country music, but occasionally a Beatles song would sneak through. As they crossed the Midwest, they listened to a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. When they heard station WLW out of Cincinnati, they knew they were almost to their destination.

These days, Irvin uses his C-MAX not only for his daily commute into Washington, D.C., but also for camping and fishing trips with his wife, Nancy. As the president and CEO of a national conservation group, Irvin was impressed by the commitment of Ford to fuel-efficient vehicles and was drawn to the C-MAX hybrid for its fuel savings and the benefits for the environment.

In fact, last summer Irvin and his wife loaded up the C-MAX and hit the road for—where else?—Kentucky, where his parents now live. “There were no dogs or kids in the backseat,” he says, “but it brought back nice memories of my childhood trips in a Ford.”
Mario S. De Pillis, Sr. 07/10/2014
Right on! I've had the same experience. I traded my brand-new Rav-4 Limited for the C-max hybrid. The Rav is a good suv but I have more room and convenience and comfort in my C-max, and after observing my son's C-max get throught the snow and ice of Western Massachusetts, I decided that front wheel drive was plenty good enough. Far better than the Prius in visibility and room. I wish Ford would promote it more.
Brad B 02/02/2014
Hey Ford & Bob !  Like you Bob my wife and I are C-Max owners, we name our cars and "Herbie" came to live with us exactly a year ago (2/1/13) and driving has been different ever since.  The learning curve to get higher mpg's took about 1,000 miles.  We after getting the brake/accel rountine down hard started to see an average of 44 to 47 mpg in town and and 42 to 43 mpg on the interstate.  After a year and learning a few more driving style changes "Herbie" routinely delivers from 48 to 51 mpg in town, and 45 to 48 mpg on the interstate.  Herbie has the all the normal options with a few extras, sat/nav, winter package (love those heated seats) and the power lift gate.  Added one after- market accessory, a 1 1/4" trailer hitch (no turn signal wires) for my wife's wheel chair rack and hitch hauler (gas can runs for the mower) to expand Herbie's capabilities.  As far as a wish list would go I'd like a dealer installed plug-in feature for charging the battery, and a factory styled roof rack w/cross bars (think escape type) for the C-Max.  One humorous story, my gas budget is about 30% of what it used to be ... I was getting gas (3rd of last month) and a guy was filling his "Burban", it took $35 & change to fill Herbie, the "Burban" was still filling after I drove away telling him that was for the month and he'd passed the $89 mark feel'in sorry for himself.  Unless I get called out, I spend about $45 for the whole month on gas !  Our son lives in Florida and we spent $85 on gas for the entire trip !  In closing I own a Escape, have owned a Flex an Edge ... The C-Max is the car I wished I could have bought in 2009 !  It's that good !