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AND NOW FROM THE PEANUT GALLERY…

BACK SEAT DRIVING—Not to be outdone by Oscar Meyer’s Wienermobile, Planters has whipped up a counterpart. With a body that only Mrs. Planter could love, the NutMobile makes the Wienermobile look like a sports car. On the other hand, this bio-dieselmobile is actually eco-friendly. How many celebrity vehicles can claim to run on peanut oil?

LONG DISTANCE RUNNER

AUTO REVIEW—“It’s 106 miles to Chicago. We’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.” Jake and Elwood, you might say, had quite the trip in front of them. What they were driving has become an icon, but a police cruiser is not my chosen mode of transportation. Instead, I chose the Avalon. And a different route. No guns. And no cops or cigarettes. I did wear sunglasses though, but only when the sun was out.

JAGGED LITTLE ONE DOLLAR PILL

BACK SEAT DRIVING— NYT columnist Thomas Friedman proposes we up our gas tax by one dollar to help end our Middle East oil dependence and reduce our deficit. Yawn, so what else is new? Here’s what: Fiedman’s proposal is backed by Ford Chairman Bill Ford, CEO Alan Mulally, and some well-known conservative pundits.

SOLID MILK CHOCOLATE

AUTO REVIEW—When Ashford and Simpson sang “Solid”, they could have been singing about the new Chevy Cruze. We’re talking old school Volvo solid. Undercover Brother solid. Bob Seeger “Like A Rock” solid. If the Cruze was a chocolate Easter bunny, it would not be one of those hollow varieties. This one is solid milk chocolate.