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Car Rental Startup Turo Is Renting Out Erlich’s SUV From “Silicon Valley”

The car is only available in San Francisco, so people on the street know exactly who to avoid.

WHAT: The “Aviato” car that blowhard investor Erlich Bachmann drives around on HBO’s Silicon Valley, now available to rent for $49 a day.

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WHO: Car rental startup Turo, in partnership with HBO.

WHY WE CARE: Turo’s not a bad idea–it’s basically Airbnb, but for cars, where people rent out their cars to travelers in their city–but it faces a barrier moving into the space dominated by car rental companies offering a similar product at similar prices. So how do you stand out? With novelty, by renting out cars like Erlich’s Aviato-emblazoned Ford Escape to anybody with $49 and a driver’s license in San Francisco. Erlich’s Escape isn’t the only pop culture-themed car on the service–they’ve got Max’s Interceptor from Mad Max/The Road Warrior on the streets in Eastern Michigan, and the station wagon from National Lampoon’s Vacation near Georgia–but those vehicles are replicas listed by enthusiasts, while the Aviato-mobile is a brand partnership with HBO. (That may explain why the Mad Max and Vacation cars start at several hundred dollars a day, compared to the relatively affordable Escape.) And even if you have no intention of visiting San Francisco or renting some random person’s car anytime soon, visiting the listing for Erlich’s car is probably worth your time–the description is written in-character by Erlich, so you can get your fill of purple prose, self-aggrandizement, and talking about butts.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.

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