Celebrity Drive: Glenn Beck
Talk Show Host Doesn't Hide His Passion for American Cars, Thinks Highly of Hydrogen Power
By K.S. Wang
Daily Driver: 2006 Cadillac Escalade (Glenn's rating: 10 on a scale of 1 to 10)
Other car: 2005 GMC Yukon Denali (rating: 7.5)
Favorite road trip: Across the country
Car he learned to drive in: 1976 Toyota Celica
First car bought: 1969 MG convertible
As the newest face on Fox News Channel's afternoon lineup, talk radio host Glenn Beck is on fire. If you don't recognize him from his old show on Headline News, he's the guy who comes on at 5 p.m. eastern, looks into the camera and sometimes flails his hands for effect or makes funny faces to catch your attention when proving a point.
Beck has the whole hour to dispense his libertarian view of the day's events in his sardonic style and viewers are noticing. In February "Glenn Beck" was the third most watched cable news show after "Hannity" and "The O'Reilly Factor" and Beck only joined on FNC in January. In such a short time, Beck has improved his time slot 100 percent in ratings.
When it comes to car talk, Beck is also in fifth gear with his trademark passion and conviction. Make no mistake, Beck is patriotic and thus he owns American cars. He's since become an ambassador for General Motors, through his radio show. "I had all my GM cars before I was an ambassador for GM," Beck says. "The reason I took them on is because I love them."
He gets the perk of test driving GM cars when he visits Motor City, including a GMC Acadia (which he loved) and a hydrogen fuel cell car, which he drove a few months ago for a whole month. "I loved it!" he exclaims. "It's quiet, it has acceleration like you wouldn't believe. The only problem is -- no hydrogen stations. Shell is working on that, they're partnering with them."
Beck said it's a small little car that "looks pretty gutless" but it's not. "It really has power," he says. "It blew me away. I would buy one in a heartbeat. They want to put it out for $24,000. It's not a Bentley. But for $24,000, it ain't a $24,000 car, I'll tell you that!"
Before he test drove the hydrogen car, Beck had a conversation with execs at GM about their new cars. "I said, 'Really, serious -- what do you have buried in the basement? What about the hydrogen car?' They said, 'Yeah, we've got it, we're working on trying to get the fuel cell.' They got a little testy with me and said, 'Glenn, we can create anything, we can build anything but we need somebody that will give us the policies and then not change them on us once we retool. You tell us what we need to build and we'll build the damn car, we're Americans and we can do it.' I just love that attitude."
Beck gives his 2006 Cadillac Escalade a perfect 10. "It's smooth, everything just seems to be placed right in it," Beck says. "It's solid. I had a Range Rover before that and I hated that car, it was always in the shop, it was always having trouble. It was the opposite of what I thought a Range Rover would be."