LA Showgirls

1969 Volkswagen Bus/The Mystery Machine – Los Angeles, California

ZOINKS! Time for the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show…

2014 SRT Viper GTS – Los Angeles, California

VIPER ROOM It’s not a car, it’s a pod racer. The curvacious SRT Viper hasn’t changed much since its debut in 1992, except maybe it’s price tag – now starting around $102, 485.

2014 Chrysler 300 – Los Angeles, California

BLUE IT The Chrysler 300 is long overdue for a face lift and the 300 is about as exciting to drive as a Sebring. Better luck next year.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 – Los Angeles, California

GET TO WORK “You want a Masarati? You better work, b*%&h,” sings Britney Spears. True that….now get to work…expletive.

2014 Fiat 500 – Los Angeles, California

MAMA MIA! That’s a nice looking car. The petite Fiat 500 is still under powered, but it’s perky and will get your heart racing – a little bit.

2014 Jaguar XKR Coupe – Los Angeles, California

JUNGLE CAT This year’s Jaguar looks exactly like last year’s model, except now it’s available with a hardtop. Who can resist those sultry eyes?

2015 Audi A3 E-tron – Los Angeles, California

TRON IT A noticeable improvement for Audi after last year’s all white, diesel line-up.  Yawn. It’s hard to get excited about a hybrid hatchback.

2014 Dodge Challenger – Los Angeles, California

GAS GUZZLER The 2014 Dodge Challenger has great lines but I’d rather get behind the wheel of a 70s version any day.

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Car Porn in East LA

1983 Buick Regal – 1st Street, East Los Angeles, California

PORN AGAIN I don’t know what I want more, those t-tops and rims or a chicken torta. There are too many choices here.

1990 Saturn – 1st Street, East Los Angeles, California

TONY THE TIGER Say hello to my little friend… bad car, awesome paint job. Amazing what you can do with a little imagination. The world is yours, Tony! Well, at least Saturn is.

2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser – 1st Street, East Los Angeles, California

CRUISE SHIP They suck on gas mileage but this blue and silver PT Cruiser is the bomb. Love the whitewalls, windshield shade and chrome accents on this ride. And it looks like skirts are making a comeback too.

1990 Saturn – 1st Street, East Los Angeles, California

WHEEL STORY Back to Tony Montana’s Saturn, now that’s a rim job. Must be a challange to Armor All those skinny tires.

1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme – 1st Street, East Los Angeles, California

ROLL OUT These hot wheels look pretty good too, especially on the blue Chevy Impala in the background.

2001 Chrysler 300M – 1st Street, East Los Angeles, California

WING IT ON!  A boat of a ride but it looks so much cooler in burnt orange with suicide doors. It was a good day for auto ogling – big props to C-Monster for taking the great snaps! Now all I need is a payday loan so I can pimp my Pinto.

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The Merc-O-Matic

1968 Mercury Cougar – Los Angeles, California

1968 was a great year for muscle cars like the Camaro, the Firebird, the Mustang and the Cougar was no exception.

The Mercury Cougar shared the same platform as the Ford Mustang but had a slightly bigger engine – a whopping 428 cubic inch V8.

The hidden headlights gave the car a great look, but good luck getting them to actually work.

1968 Mercury Cougar – Los Angeles, California

 

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Classic Cars Revisit Route 66

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray – Route 66; South Pasadena, California

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air – Route 66; South Pasadena, California

1978 Chevrolet El Camino SS – Route 66; South Pasadena, California

The scorching sun couldn’t keep fans away from the classic cars at the 9th annual Cruz’n for Roses Hot Rod and Classic car show in South Pasadena, California on Sunday.

Chevy dominated this collection with several curvy Corvettes, two custom El Caminos and one, super pimped out, green Nova.

It was a good day to window shop for dream machines despite the epic heat.

1970 Pantera – Route 66; South Pasadena, California

1959 Volkswagen Beetle – Route 66; South Pasadena, California

1950 Mercury Coupe – Route 66; South Pasadena, California

Radical rides from the 1930s to the 1970s lined Mission Street, which was once part of the historic Route 66 highway.

Surprising standouts included a jet black Plymouth Fury, a red hot rod Mercury Coupe and  a white, wood paneled Ford station wagon.

Fortunately, no SUVs or crossover vehicles could be spotted for miles.

1965 Ford Galaxie Station Wagon – Route 66; South Pasadena, California

1960 Plymouth Fury – Route 66; South Pasadena, California

The town itself is stuck in a time warp and offers the perfect setting for observing these vintage collectables in the wild.

My favorite ride of the show was a mint condition, 1960 Plymouth Fury that seemed destined to steal the show.

A close second was a 1971 silver Plymouth GTX that also looked impressive as it made its way down Mission Street.

1971 Plymouth GTX – Route 66; South Pasadena, California

1960 Mercedes-Benz 220 SE Convertible – Route 66; South Pasadena, California

1972 Chevrolet Nova – Route 66; South Pasadena, California

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BMW Drivers are Total *#@$%! Who knew?

1980 BMW 320i – Ralph’s; Palm Springs, California

Say it isn’t so!

Recent studies claim that BMW drivers are total jerks. It’s sad, but true – most folks who drive BMWs should not be sitting behind the wheel of the “Ultimate Driving Machine.”

“BMW drivers were the worst,” says researcher Paul K. Piff of the University of California, Berkeley in the New York Times on Monday.

But wait, owners of blue BMWs did much worse in a recent automotive study according to the Daily Mail.

“Beware of blue BMW drivers who really are the most aggressive and more prone to road rage when they get behind the wheel,” the British tabloid  suggests.

Adding: “The likeliest road rage culprits are men aged 35-50 with blue BMW cars, the study of 2,837 motorists found.”

Blue was seen as the most aggressive color, followed by black, silver, green and red according to the flash poll.

The study for the tabloid was conducted by the discount UK website VoucherCodesPro. BMW needs to offer voucher codes and test drives to the poor pedestrians.

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The B-Team

‘I pity the fool who cuts me off!’  The Ford Econoline was recently replaced by the Ford Transit. I can’t say I will really miss this gas guzzler, but it was a great van for hauling crack commando teams.

This 1997 E-series has a hand painted camouflage custom paint job that works for commuting from downtown Los Angeles to Semi Valley and beyond.

It’s not exactly the kind of vehicle you would want to cut off during rush hour traffic. At least not in anything that’s smaller than monster truck.

1997 Ford Econoline – Freeway 10, Los Angeles

Econolines were built at Ford’s Ohio Assembly plant in Avon Lake since 1974. The Transit line is built at the company’s Kansas City, Missouri plant according to USA Today.

The timid looking Transit is a bit more rectangular in design than the E-series and also looks like a knock-off version of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

If you’re riding in the back of one of these, the Sprinter is by far the best option for van poolers. But the mini-Transit is an affordable alternative for plumbers, cable guys and wannabe Mr. T’s.

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Still Bugging

The original Volkswagen Beetle has been around since 1938 and manufactured until 2003. The iconic body style and its basic design hasn’t changed that much over the years.

The New Beetle made its debut in 1997 and was made until 2010. It’s a fun car to drive and it took over half a century to move the engine from the rear to the front.

These days it gets yet another retro face lift and looks a bit longer and sportier. The 2013 VW Beetle is destined to become another instant classic after a decade of mediocrity.

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2013 Volkswagen Beetle – Pasadena, California

The new retro design looked bland at first look, but over time it sort of grows on you. Like a worn leather jacket or a pair of broken in shoes.

The look is still timeless and the handling is surprisingly 21st century, thanks to the cars longer wheel base.

The Volkswagen wheel options are pretty awesome too. It’s hard to find a better set of optional wheels from any company out there today.

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2013 Volkswagen Beetle – Pasadena, California

This one looked like a super-sized Hot Wheel parked on the street. If they can finally update a Karma Ghia, I’d seriously consider an upgrade.

Until then I’m happy to watch it from the sidewalk.

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Mean Streak

2007 Kawasaki 1600 Mean Streak – Los Angeles, California

A black beauty with plenty of chrome that’s good for cruising down the boulevard or riding to destinations unknown.

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Curb Alert

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7340/9207336968_8220276225_z.jpg

Don’t do it.

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La Raza

“Going to the Olympics” (detail) 102′ x 20′  mural – Hollywood Freeway 101 North, Los Angeles

Artist Frank Romero’s 1984 masterpiece “Going to the Olympics” is stuck in the traffic snarled Hollywood freeway once again.

After being tagged, crushed and bombed by graffiti artists and then if that wasn’t enough of a diss, the monster-sized mural, 102 foot x 20 foot, was painted over by Caltrans in 2007.

Fortunately, the legendary Latino artist sued Caltrans and now his super colorful, car creation is back to give trapped LA commuters a daily dose of Chicano culture.

I wish I could say the same for the other freeway murals being “reinstalled” downtown, but taggers need more deserving targets too.

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