LA CAR REPORT—This is a Valentine story with a little bit of everything including one Brit, a Rover, a rat, an era gone by, and of course a lot of love. Palm Springs provides an ideal place to escape to, with blue, balmy skies and warm weather. It’s also home to Modernism Week, one of the most popular events in the desert. Palm Springs is a magnet for lovers, just as Modernism Week is for lovers of 50s and 60s design. And while over a half-century separates them, the Sinatra residence and current Land Rovers stationed in the circular driveway seem very compatible.
LA CAR REPORT—$10,000. That’s the price the pundits were saying it would cost to replace the hybrid batteries when the second-generation Toyota Prius splashed onto the scene. Along with all the accolades (car of the year awards, etc), the technology was accompanied by fear and loathing—fear of the unknown and loathing over all the attention it was getting. Fast forward ten years, and hybrid battery repair can be now had for the cost of a major tune-up. How did it get from ‘$10,000′ to under $1000? This is the story.
LA CAR REPORT—I don’t know about you, but to me it seems like 2013 flew by awfully fast. Just as we are getting used to the new laws that took effect this year, it’s time to ring in a new year and take a look at the new California driving laws for 2014. Hundreds of new laws take effect each year, with a portion of them devoted to driver safety and driving-related matters, such as vehicle registration and licensing issues. There’s even a new law designed to make riding your bicycle a little safer.
BOOK REVIEW—With “Inside Shelby American – Racing and Wrenching with Carroll Shelby in the 1960s,” legendary race car driver John Morton has written a most personal memoir that centers on his years working for the redoubtable Carroll Shelby. This is a story of a young guy from Waukegan who wanted to be a racing driver more than anything, and who went on to do just that in spite of all the obstacles. Morton’s path revolves around Shelby, the man, the cars, and the people. Doug Stokes reviews the book.
LA CAR REPORT—Clay Dean, Design Director for Global Advance Design for General Motors, is fired up on GM design, as he should be. Having seen the ups and downs at GM, including the rise and fall of Hummer, Clay is looking to the future of Cadillac with the Elmiraj concept, and what it takes to have Large American Luxury. LA Car Editor John Grafman sat down with Clay Dean and reports.