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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Mar 5, 2006

By: The LACar Editorial Staff



Hate it or love it, one of the most watched television broadcasts every year is the Academy Awards. This one event solidifies the California dream with movie stars in swank fashion enjoying normally mild climate (considering it is March). The allure of California and the entertainment industry is not lost on the automotive companies.

Hollywood has always had a love affair with spectacular transportation. In the earlier part of last century, a number of special one-of-a-kind cars built by coachbuilders for the desires of movie moguls were not unheard of. Hollywood had a special romantic quality - and during that period a number of iconic buildings were created over the years, from the fabled Grumman's Chinese Theater, to the classical Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel that sits just a stones throw from the theater on the opposite side of Hollywood Boulevard.

Unfortunately, the days of the custom built car, going out to the movies, and the regality of many landmark buildings and hotels in Hollywood seemed to have fallen on hard times.

Currently, Hollywood is well into a revival that is borderline remarkable. One look at the area surrounding the Kodak Theater complex, Mann's Chinese Theater, and the Hollywood Roosevelt leaves little doubt that we haven't forgotten what style is all about. The recent remodel of the landmark Roosevelt Hotel captures the flavor of old Hollywood with beauty and architectural grace and prominence that just isn't abundant in many of the more modern buildings.

Films still keep the interest of America and the world, albeit, many prefer the comfort of home rather than going to a public venue. Either way, we seemingly have an insatiable hunger for celebrities in movies, television, sports, radio, music, and the runway.

Look around, the rebirth of the custom made car is stronger than ever. Many simply choose to make minor modification to pre-existing cars, while other look to more serious endeavors with hot rodding, and others who have an abundance of cash can have a car of their dreams created from the ground up, providing they have the patience.

General Motors is not just aware of this renaissance of sorts, but is an active participant in it. Several years back, GM opened a design studio in North Hollywood to absorb some of this magic.

Another significant sign that GM is plugged in is the commitment it has made to its star studded annual GM Ten affair.

This year, like the previous, showcased the best of GM cars worthy of celebrity status, along with a fashion show featuring the worlds' best fashion designers adorning the bodies of many of the most recognized names in their respective fields.

This year featured the likes of charismatic Jeremy Piven, Anna Kournikova, the always fun Carmen Electra, a dazzling Brooke Burke, the gorgeous Stacy Keibler, Lindsay Lohan, Eva Longoria, Mischa Barton, Sarah Chalke, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, Tyrese Gibson, the dynamic duo of Matt Leinhart and Reggie Bush, Maria Menounos, Alexandra Hedison, Katherine Moennig and Erin Daniels, Derek Luke, Sarah Foster, Elizabeth Banks, Joy Bryant, and Liz Phair dressed in fashions from Gucci, Versace, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Dolce & Gabbana, to Oscar de la Renta. The vehicles on the catwalk explored all facets of GM. Some of our favorites are the stunning '68 Firebird, 1956 Chevy Bel Air, 1965 Chevy Impala, a 2006 Chevy Corvette Z06, Cadillac STS, a 2007 Cadillac Escalade, the upcoming Saturn SKY and Pontiac Solstice GXP, to the custom Pontiac GTO.

One didn't have to look to the runway for some of the more charismatic people we know. Numerous celebrities dot the sea of attendees. Among them are Jamie Foxx, David Spade, Bill Mahr, Courtney Hansen, Billy Gibbons, Bai Ling, and dozens more. These well known names are movers and shaker, whether we personally agree or not with some of what they say or do. Their influence among their followers is usually pretty significant. Guilty by association comes to mind, but there is no guilt here. Nearly all the cars presented are magnificent and anyone, star or mere mortal, would be happy to share the spotlight with such exciting cars.

The cars have a personality that comes across loud and clear as do the celebrities on the runway. The posing and gesturing is great stuff forcing smiles on the faces of the hundreds in attendance seated around the wide and lengthy runway, size appropriate for a two-ton work of art.

In a brief one-on-one, Gary L. Cowger, Group V.P. Global Manufacturing and Labor, personally expressed his interest in the GM Ten. And for good reason, this affair not only generates positive press for GM, but it also keeps its finger on the pulse of those that have such a strong power to persuade. As this also is a charitable affair, it seems there really isn't a down side.

General Motors is looking forward to recapturing the luster that it has lost, just as Hollywood has done recently. The desire of countless individuals to turn around tired hotels, aging movie houses, and even cities is being realized. Hollywood will never be the same. GM is ready to rebuild itself, for better or worse, but it too will never be the same.

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