Saturday, February 14, 2004

Cadillac owner speaks highly of his new CTS

Bob Kramer, who traded in his Mercedes E320 for a new car, says Cadillac's distinctive grille and angles grow on you after a while.
The Cincinnati Enquirer/ERNEST COLEMAN

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Bob Kramer wasn't planning on buying a new car.

But as a professional speaker, Kramer racked up nearly 100,000 miles in just a few years on his 2000 Mercedes E320. About the same time, he had charged enough on his General Motors credit card to earn about $3,300 toward any new GM vehicle.

After reading about the redesigned Cadillacs, he stopped by a dealership to check out the dramatically angled CTS.

"It's got that different look," says Kramer, a 54-year-old Fairfield resident, who is the former owner of Kramer's Sew & Vac Centers.

"But it grows on you."

So he decided to trade in his Mercedes for a CTS.

He got the luxury package with a 3.6-liter engine, a sport suspension with larger wheels and tires and OnStar.

The communications system has given him and his wife, Lois, directions and someone to talk to when they're lonely.

"Four years ago, if you told me I'd be buying a Cadillac, I'd have laughed," says the former Chevy, Buick, Mazda and Datsun owner.

If Kramer is laughing now, it's only because he's so happy with the CTS.

You can't miss his: The license plates say "Speaker."

And it's a color that Cadillac calls red line - miles away from his champagne-colored Mercedes.

"As long as you're changing cars," he says, "you might as well change that."

Lauren Bishop

First car: A 1958 maroon Renault Dauphine with a hand crank that could be used to start it. The car belonged to his sister and brother-in-law, who told 14-year-old Kramer he could have it when he turned 16. Kramer held them to their word and rang their doorbell on his 16th birthday.

Dream car: A stretch Hummer Limo to chauffeur the Kramers' chocolate Lab, Hershey, to the Mount Airy dog park. "The windows would be tinted extra dark, so I could enjoy watching people strain to see the celebrity inside, when it was just me and my dog, or perhaps me and my wife, Lois."

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