Shelby Car Show at Santa Monica Pier this Saturday

Cobra
Shelby on the Pier, 2008

Car nuts will have a treat this Saturday, as the Seventh Annual Los Angeles Shelby American Automobile Club Car Show arrives at the Santa Monica Pier.

The history of Carroll Shelby is too lengthy to recite here, but suffice it to say he’s the man behind the development and/or perfection of some of the most famous cars in performance and racing car history, including the AC Cobra, the Shelby Mustang GT 350, and the Ford GT40, as well as the Sunbeam Tiger. Moreover, Shelby worked much of his magic within a short tire-screeching drive of the Pier. Plenty of examples of these cars, as well as newer models given the Shelby treatment, will be on hand Saturday, along with their owners. It’s one of the largest collections of Shelbys you’ll see anywhere, and it’s free!

The Shelby show runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with numerous awards to be given, including Best of Show, starting at 2. I’ll be the one holding a camera and drooling.

See Nissan’s First Zero Emissions Car This Weekend

On November 14, 15 and 16, locals will have the opportunity to check out Nissan’s first ever zero-emissions electric car, the LEAF. This will be the first public unveiling of the LEAF in North America. You can check it out this weekend at the following locations:

Nissan's New Electric Car Debuts in LA this Weekend
Nissan's New Electric Car Debuts in LA this Weekend

November 14, 2009 10am – 9pm
Third Street Promenade
1351 3rd Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA

November 15, 2009 11am – 8pm
Americana at Brand
233 S. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA

November 16, 2009 9am – 5pm
University Southern California
3501 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA

According to Nissan, the LEAF handles and accelerates like a V6 and has a top speed of up to 90mph. It will have an average range of 100 miles per charge and the battery will charge in 4-8 hours on a 220V home charging unit. At quick-charge stations, it will charge to 80% in about 26 minutes. Although Nissan has not released exact information on pricing, they say that they are “targeting a price in the range of other typical family sedans.” The LEAF will be on the road in some states in 2010, with mass-production beginning in 2012.

To attend one of the unveiling events this weekend, register on their website here.

Must see at LA Auto Show (opens Friday 11/21)

I’ve spent the last two days wandering around the LA Auto Show checking it all out.  This is a quick run down of my favorite activities at the show that will be available to the public at large when the show opens.  

My absolute favorite was Volvo’s “City Safe” demo where you actually get to sit in the car and put the system to the test real time.  It works, amazingly well.  I have to thank Adam Kopstein from Volvo who let me ride along and “tape” the ride.  Its amazing how well the system works.  I did it and failed the first time as instinct stepped in and before I got close enough to activate the system, I braked myself and had to retry the test.  Its freaky.  It works.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2Ktf2P1byQ[/youtube]

It doesn’t take much imagination to see this working very well in real life.  Imagine being in a parking lot, or bump and go traffic, exhausted and turning around to hand the kid in a car-seat a bottle or just turning your head before a lane change and the car in front stops quickly.  City Safe won’t let you rear end them, or if fast enough you won’t do much more than a tap with no damage to either of you.  Bring your DL and be prepared to stand in line.  Its a trip but well worth the thrill…and no extra charge! Continue reading “Must see at LA Auto Show (opens Friday 11/21)”

Found on Road Alive: Suzuki X90

Suzuki X90 found on road alive in Arcadia
Suzuki X90 found on road alive in Arcadia

At first this little beast caught my attention simply because of the BMW badge over the trusty Mac Apple on its bloated little butt.  What sort was beast was this?  When I went to the front I remembered.  Its a Suzuki X90, about as rare a car from the 1990’s you will find.  Under 8,000 were imported and sold here from 1996 until 1999 when Suzuki pulled the plug and quit importing it.

Front grill badging...at least that wasnt pimped
Front grill badging...at least that wasn't pimped

Pic by me with the trusty cell phone-cam.

Ford Takes the LA Beaches and aims for a little more.

Escape Hybrid is the official vehicle of LA County Life Guards
Escape Hybrid is the official vehicle of LA County Life Guards

 It is no secret I love cars.  Also it is no secret that I jump at the chance to see the new ones and let the manufacturer show off a bit.  Tuesday was Ford’s 2009 Model Ride and Drive for the media.  Very clear- Ford loves bloggers.  They view, respect and treat us like the traditional media. Bloggers and online media outnumbered the traditional media at this event.

Short version of my day with Ford:  The Escape Hybrid is the official vehicle of LA County Life Guards.  They are proud of it and should be.  They have some great little cars for us now and on the way.  They have some good alternatives to the SUV with their variety of Cross-over vehicles.  The latest version of Sync kicks Onstar into the dirt and rubs its face in the mud. 

For all the blather about the media event, the PR guys showing off the cars and my take on a few of the cars you need to make the jump.

Continue reading “Ford Takes the LA Beaches and aims for a little more.”

New Parking Meters

parkingmeter1.jpgI’ve been mostly out of town for the last two months so when I pulled into my regular public parking spot to get a cold afternoon treat, I noticed the parking meters had all been beheaded and a new-fangled meter installed in one spot near the sidewalk.

Using it is very straighforward — note your spot number, punch it in, then deposit coins or credit card (woot!) to pay. My favorite part is you don’t have to then go back to your car and put a ticket in the window.

I’m sure there are all kinds of ways this new technology will get messed up, but for now, I’m liking it. Have you seen these all over town already and I’m just late? Anyone have any problems with them yet?

Another photo after you deposit a coin in the slot.

Continue reading “New Parking Meters”

ICME: The Bling Package

blingpackage.jpg“Gold Packages” are so Y2K. Someone got themselves the full on Bling Package!

Saw this at my neighborhood Vons today. I only had my cell phone camera so it’s tough to see that the 24″ is all made out of diamonds, even when you do click it for bigger.  (Okay, probably not diamonds, but they sure are shiny.)