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2013 L.A. Auto Show – winners and losers

November 22, 2013 in Downtown, Driving, Entertainment, Events, History, LA, News, Seasonal, Shopping

Entire Honda Accord Line named “Green Car of the Year”

The rain may have slowed down the award show start yesterday, but the end result was a lot of folks at Honda’s Torrance headquarters must have been elated.  Celebratory even.  In a crowded field of worthy competitors Honda’s Accord line, not just a single model, but the entire line of 4cyl, V6, hybrid and plug-in hybrid Accords with their “Earth Dreams” technology won Green Car of the Year. Quite an accomplishment and hats off to the folks in the South Bay for bringing the award home.

The 2013 LA Auto Show is without a doubt the best I’ve seen since I started covering it in 2007 for blogging.la  There were some 50 World Premiere’s at this years show of some really stunning cars.  BMW chose us as the auto show to introduce us to their new “i” program, that will in time be as recognized and as important as the “M” series is to them.  For a pic of my winners and losers for this years show you need to make the jump. Read the rest of this entry →

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2013 LA Auto Show opens Friday

November 18, 2013 in Downtown, Driving, Entertainment, Events, Transportation

Its that time of year. I lose my mind and go car crazy all over the web, its time for the L.A Auto Show!

It opens this Friday, November 22 and runs through Sunday December 1st.  Its really a big deal show and its been fun watching it morph into one of the big deal shows on the international circuit.  I dare say, I think its even nicer than Detroit which was the biggest in the country for decades. “Was” as the past tense simply because they don’t have hall dedicated to aftermarket and tuners like we do here in L.A.

The show this year is being changed up a bit in terms of layout.  Bentley moves to the south hall, GM spreads its brands more in the center of the South Hall.  For a complete list of the brands and where to find them check this MAP.  Conspicuous by their absence is the exotics (Ferrari, Lambo) or high zoot (Rolls and Bugatti).  But then again we are billed as the “Green Car” show and do award the “Green Car” of the year here so I guess I can’t complain too much. Read the rest of this entry →

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Free diesel at Cloverfield and the 10???

November 13, 2013 in Driving, Shopping, West Side

audi clean diesel

Hat tip to my friend @Ruth666 who spotted this around 8AM today. I have no details other than its Audi plugging its clean diesels (which they really are) and may or may not be giving free diesel today.

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I want that shirt and our old ‘stang back too.

October 16, 2013 in Driving, Entertainment, Fashion, Food & Drink, History, Hollywood, People, Shopping, Vintage

50 Years Mustang and Fashion

Blogging leads to adventures and fun soirees. Last night I was invited to a pretty swanky affair celebrating 50 years of Mustang and Fashion. It was held at The Standard Hotel on Sunset in WeHo.  This shirt was worn by the wait staff from the hotel’s Event Department and we couldn’t get them to give one up for us.

The event is documented in my flickr set, and was actually a lot of fun. Great food, nice cocktails and cars with pretty models next to them.  The Standard itself is quite the place. I remember it as the Golden Crest Hotel, then a retirement home when I first moved here, then it was abandoned for a while.  Quite the come back as you will note from the pictures.

The show itself was a fun bit of high zoot fashion history intermingled with a particular generation of the Mustang.  The speakers were L.A.’s own Christos Garkinos an expert in all things vintage along with Ford Design Director Joel Piaskowski who talked about the cars. Read the rest of this entry →

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Folks in the Hollywood Hills demand action to control tourist traffic

October 9, 2013 in Driving, Hollywood, LA, Law, Law Enforcement, News, Social issues

hollywoodsign

It first appeared here over a year ago in a blogging.LA post by Tamara, now the L.A times has jumped on the story too.  Today’s times reports that residents of Hollywoodland and other tracts with great views of the Hollywood sign are plagued with tourists blocking traffic, stopping in the middle of the road for the “perfect shot” of this L.A. icon.

I’ve suggested in the past folks visit Griffith Park for a view of the hills and the sign.  Its not up close and personal but it gets the point across without disrupting the lives of those that live close to it.  It certainly doesn’t put folks at risk with life and limb from that vantage point.

Tourists aren’t going to go away.  And that I suppose is a mixed bag. The L.A. Times article has one resident suggesting the city post armed check points to keep tourists out of the neighborhoods.  Thats just a tad excessive.  What would you suggest to help the problem?  Where would you suggest they go so as not to interrupt traffic or cause damage to peoples property for that great shot?

 

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Heart on a sleeve politics on their a@@

October 3, 2013 in Driving, Entertainment, Politics, Transportation

bumpersnicker

I love a good bumpersnicker, but this one went just a bit over board.  My favorite one?  “Dyslexic devil worshippers sell their soul to santa”.  Which one is your favorite?

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Folks. Its only water don’t lose your mind already

September 26, 2013 in Driving, News, Weather

raindrops

Yes, water falling from the sky is a rarity but its not entirely unheard of. Its called rain.  I just checked sigalert.com and it appears the city has lost its collective mind.  I have a doctors appt in Hollywood a bit later this morning.  The freeways between here and there are littered with accidents and sigalerts.  As long as I’ve been here I’ve never understood why folks continue to drive fast and try to stop short on wet roads, it doesn’t work.  Could we all agree to slow down and not run into each other causing more massive traffic jams?  Please?

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Driverless cars programmed for rude too?

September 18, 2013 in Driving, LA, Technology

googlecar

Just about a year ago CA allowed driverless cars.  Google has a few out there, mostly in the Bay Area.  Or so I thought. Coming back from the desert yesterday I spotted this one on the 10 somewhere around the 15.  It was in the slower lanes and well, I wasn’t so I lost sight of it and continued my trek into the city.

Imagine my surprize as I was merging onto the 57 North when it suddenly appeared to my left and behind me.  It was coming fast and passed me with signal on and the damn thing cut me off.  I had to brake to keep a decent following distance, then it braked and moved over one more lane.  WTF.  Can’t they program it to keep decent following distances and not cut others off too?

Gawd as my witness,it happened. I even have a witness, my daughter Kari was with me and she grabbed the picture.  All I gotta say is watch for them. They have giant spinning thing on top and look kinda dorky.

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Found on Road Alive: Blue Meanie

September 13, 2013 in Books, Driving, LA bloggers, People

blue meanie

Let me be up front, I see this car often as it belongs to a friend and fellow photographer, author and general bon vivant, Steve McCarthy.

The car is a 1960 Triumph named the Blue Meaniel.  Its a driver, more specifically a Road Trippin‘ car that he goes on excursions with and jots every twist in turn for his blog and in books.  Blue Meanie made it to Seattle and back last year, this last month it made it to Yellowstone and back.

I love living in the land that rust forgot, you see great little sports cars like this still in use and well loved.

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23rd Annual Street Rods Forever show in Monrovia Saturday

September 12, 2013 in Driving, Entertainment, Food & Drink, News, San Gabriel Valley


This show is one of my all time favorites, not because its where I live, its because its a terrific show focused on one type of car…street rods and other customs.  Every car has a story and the owner will gladly tell you how he took it from who-knows-what-condition to the street rod or custom you see now.  Seriously, they love to talk about the trials and tribulations of getting that car to show quality or at least driveable. Read the rest of this entry →

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1975 LA County Sheriff training film – call it retro Sunday

September 8, 2013 in Driving, Entertainment, History, LA, LA bloggers, Vintage

Or how to drive a tank fast on bias ply tires!

This film is a hoot.  The tips apply if you drive a rear wheel drive tank on bias ply tires.  The commentary is still sorta relevant when it comes to fast driving a car with rear wheel drive.  I love the brown haze they called sky back in the day, my how things have improved!

Tip o the hat to Sergeant Tom LeVeque at Arcadia Pd who found this old video.

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Great LA Drives : Canyon Carving above Malibu

September 6, 2013 in Driving, Entertainment, Maps, Transportation

FIESTA ST test route

If you know me, you know by now I’m a car guy.  Not trucks, suv’s or anything else with 4 wheels.  Cars.  Cars that handle well and are fun get my blood pumping. Yesterday was just such a day.

If you were terrorized by a bunch of new Fiesta STs yesterday, it was me and I apologize.

Got a hot hatch of your own and want some fun? Take the route I took yesterday starting in Santa Monica into the hills and canyons above Malibu.  The route is just drop dead gorgeous with the Cornell Winery as a mid point in the route to stop for some libations and just catch your breath.  It will take you up PCH from SaMo to Malibu where you make an abrupt right up Malibu Canyon, across Mulholland and then down Decker Canyon to Leo Carillo State Beach.  About an hour for each leg if you follow the entire route.

What you get on the route is some really exciting hills and curves to test your driving ability.  I’ve done a similar route in the past and on non-school days you do need to have your wits about you are there are kids on skate boards running the canyon without regard to lane maintenance.  And bicycles.  All that is part of the territory I guess, weekdays are the best bet for canyon carving when traffic is light and the kids are in school. Read the rest of this entry →

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YO…sweetheart you ain’t handicapped

August 21, 2013 in Driving, Law, San Gabriel Valley, Transportation

And you park funny too!

Here I am sitting in the rather fast moving drive through line with a few cars behind me. Behind me is this Twenty-something with a kidlet. Suddenly she dives over to the side and goes into a Handicapped Parking Space…clearly signed and delineated in blue paint. She hops out, grabs a kid from the back seat who SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN A CAR SEAT and runs into the store. Seriously, having had a parent that was handicapped prior to his passing I know those spots are precious to those who need them. I wish a pox upon that little chirpy for taking the spot from one who could have used it.

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LA vlogger Austin Null is a Agent for the Fiesta Movement

July 31, 2013 in Blogging (in) LA, Driving, Entertainment, LA bloggers, Transportation, Twitter

It bears repeating, you meet the coolest people blogging.  This time around it was LA vlogger Austin Null an Agent with the Fiesta Movement.  The Fiesta Movement is a social media program with Ford that gives folks who blog and vlog 2014 Ford Fiestas to take on missions, adventures if you will, and do posts about the cars they are given. It involves monthly missions from when they get the car in April until the program ends in December or January of next year.

I met up with Austin recently here in Culver City at Fullscreen where he is a “Social Engagement Strategist”.  He also blogs and vlogs with his own YouTube channel.  Austin is a recent transplant to the Los Angeles area living in the West LA area.  The Fiesta Movement has given him missions that have allowed him to explore more of L.A and sunny SoCal. Read the rest of this entry →

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Nice parking ace…did you really have to do it?

June 26, 2013 in Driving, LA, Transportation

Ok…I’m in as much a hurry as anyone. Today was my neuro appt at Kaiser Sunset. Parking was always rough there until 2 years ago when they instituted complimentary valet parking. Its well signed too.

So…I left early to allow for parking dilemmas, and knew that if all else failed I could use the handy valet service.  Zipping around the corner in my nifty new compact I came across this idiot hogging 2 compact spaces.  Absolute genius.  Didn’t even make an effort to fit in one compact space, but angled in blocking another.  It was clearly marked as they pulled in “small car” and “compact car” only, a redundancy that escaped them.  The worst thing was that if they followed the signs up one more level they would have had the use of free valet service.

There’s an app being tried somewhere in Canada that will PAY people to report parking ‘tards such as this one.  Not sure when or if ever it will make it to L.A.  But when it does I will be rich.

Pic by me…love how the license plate glows in the dark.