Editor’s Note: In a move similar to the advertorials periodically published by the automotive buff books, this submission by Jesus Garcia was underwritten by Chevrolet. To that end, it lacks the editorial objectivity of material we typically post on this site. With that as caveat, know we enjoy and appreciate Mr. Garcia’s work, and hope you, the txGarage audience, do, also. DB
In 1968, the United States Congress introduced Hispanic Heritage week, and it was another 20 years before it was extended to the full month of September. Why September? Well, Mexico celebrates their independence on September 16th. I know a lot of people may confuse it with Cinco de Mayo, but that is a completely different holiday. It’s like confusing Memorial Day with the Fourth of July.
One of the ongoing patterns in my life is that I’m always riding the edge between worlds. Not as an outsider – more like a visitor. It definitely influenced my decision to become a writer, as so many of us often write about society while wishing we didn’t have to be part of it.
I am an immigrant. I was born in Mexico in 1992, moved to Texas in 1994 with my family as a legal resident and became a citizen in 1999. I carry dual citizenship and the only reason I can hold a conversation in Spanish is because my parents had one very important rule growing up: “English at school, Espanol en la casa.” I grew up in the border town of Laredo, TX and moved to a ranch at the age of 7. My light skin means that people don’t assume I’m Hispanic until I say my name or speak fluent Spanish with no accent. I lost count of the number of times I’ve seen people’s eye widen when they find out I’m 100% Mexican.
South Texas is a very unique landscape. I often joked that it’s where Texas becomes Tejas. When I travel and people ask what I am I always say, “I’m Texan.” I’m very proud to live in a place where I can take pride in three flags.
After several years of writing and wearing a cowboy hat I’m starting to make a little name for myself as the cowboy writer from the Lone Star state, with a Texas-sized passion for all things automotive. So, when Chevrolet called me to see if I wanted to take the all-new 2019 Silverado Custom Trailboss for a spin I was all for it, giving the Trailboss a taste of the ranch life!
The 2019 Silverado Trailboss is one of the many trim levels offered on the Silverado lineup. It’s an off-road package that comes equipped with:
- Z71 Off-Road Package
- Factory 2-inch Lift
- Meaty Goodyear Off-Road Tires
- Rancho Off-Road Suspension
First impression: the truck looks intimidating, thanks to its 4×4 set-up. The red tow hooks are a nice touch, reminding the buyer that this truck is ready for anything. I had seven days to show this truck around South Texas – and the first stop was San Antonio, where I attended a Charreria hosted by the Association de Charros San Antonio. A Charreria is basically a Mexican rodeo incorporating Hispanic culture and traditions that go back centuries. It’s the national sport of Mexico, and its roots can relate to that of American stock car racing. Much like a rodeo, people are coming to see cowboys show off their skill through various games and competitions. The sport got its start through ranch hands and cowboys seeing who was better at playing games, much like NASCAR got its start by good ‘ol boys seeing which whiskey runner was the fastest around a track.
The Charreria was held on September 15th, a date celebrated as El Grito de Dolores (the Cry of Independence). Even in September, there was no escaping the Texas heat, but the sky was littered with forgiving clouds that cooled the breeze as we watched the show. The youngest rider in the show was a 5-year old girl, who pulled on the heart strings of the crowd through her bravery and adorableness as she rode on a living, breathing animal weighing more than a Harley Davidson.
The announcer explained each competition and the history of how it began, as the live mariachi band filled the arena with an overwhelming sense of pride.
After the Charreada, I packed the Silverado Trailboss with friends and went to San Antonio’s historic market square near the Riverwalk, called El Mercado. The place was packed with people celebrating the holiday. Food vendors slinging elotes, tacos, Micheladas, and super gorditas as several live bands played songs while enjoying the cooling temperatures brought on by the night. The atmosphere was joyful as families enjoyed the surroundings, a slice of home in a town where I never feel homesick.
Back at home it was time to see how the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Trailboss coped with my day-to-day activity in the ranch life. Powered by a 5.3 liter V8 giving me 335 horses to play with, the power is connected to the asphalt via a 6-speed automatic transmission.
On the dirt back roads (where I learned car control) I was able to blaze the trails in a cloud of dust at 70 mph without spilling my coffee. (For that composure, a shout out to Goodyear’s Wrangler Dura Trac tires and Rancho shocks.) All I had to do was keep the Silverado between the ditches and rocket through the Texas brush. Even when I decided to get it sideways the truck’s Stability Control pulled the reins by applying braking power to individual wheels to slow me down, and – not incidentally – keep the Trailboss under control. Like a teacher barking at me to behave in class, the Silverado Trailboss kept me safe and in line.
The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Trailboss fit into the ranch like a well-worn leather glove. And why wouldn’t it? It’s a Chevy pickup. This is one of its many domains. Even the horses seemed to like it. One of the features I liked on the new 2019 Silverado is the feather-light tailgate. My petite mom was able to lift the tailgate using one hand. The LED lights inside the truck bed proved to be extremely useful when you’re loading or unloading under a moonless sky and don’t have a spare hand to hold a flashlight.
This model tested was the 2019 Silverado Custom Trailboss, making it the entry-level in the Trailboss lineup. My main criticism with the entry-level Custom Trailboss is that while it is meant to be a base model you do not get options that one as a truck owner/buyer has gotten accustomed to having as standard. For example, you don’t get storage in the center console in the entry-level 2019 Silverado Custom Trailboss. You get a functional bench seat but it does not open to allow you to put stuff in. I’ve been around trucks my entire life, and I can tell you that having a place to put your stuff at arm’s length is a vital necessity for day-to-day living. We need it!
I want to thank Chevrolet and Association de Charros for allowing me to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month in style. Finding new roads (or making your own) is a little easier when you’re rolling with the Trailboss.