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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 Wed, Sep 30, 2009

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

HOT WIRES For hot and tender news wires on the car culture, see LA Car's Hot Wires Dallas Police Officers Issued 39 Tickets for Not-Speaking English Is the New V6 Mustang Truer to its Heritage than the GT? Datsun Roadster Owners Save Calling All Car Clubs: Eagle One's Golden Rule Award  



NAKANO: BACK SEAT DRIVING Dallas Police Gave 39 Tickets for Not Speaking English Well, we've heard of the fictitious infractions DWA (Driving While Asian), DWB (Driving While Black) and DWH (Driving While Hispanic) - terms steeped in racial profiling or stereotyping. The Dallas Police Department have invented a new one: DWNSE, otherwise known as Driving While Not Speaking English. Of course, no one to my knowledge has actually ever received a ticket for DWA, DWB or DWH. It turns out, however, that Dallas police officers have issued at least 39 tickets for being a non-English speaking driver, carrying a fine of $204 per incident. Alas, there is no such law in either Dallas or Texas. Evidently, police officers may have mistaken a federal statute requiring drivers of commercial vehicles to have sufficient proficiency in English to operate the vehicle safely. However, no such law exists for drivers of non-commercial vehicles.   After learning that officers issued tickets at least 39 times in the past three years to people received traffic tickets because they couldn't speak English, Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle issued a public apology: "I was surprised and stunned that that would happen in the city of Dallas because we are a very, very diverse city. I apologize to the Spanish speaking, Hispanic community." The incident came to light earlier this month, when Ernestina Mondragon was stopped for making an illegal U-turn. Rookie Officer Gary Bromley cited Mondragon for three violations: disregarding a traffic control device, failure to present a driver's license and "non-English speaking driver." After local news reported on the Mondragon incident, Chief Kunkle said his department reviewed its records and found that 38 similar tickets had been written in the past three years by six different officers. "All fees will be refunded and the police will ask for all convictions to be reversed," said Kunkle in an official statement. The department is evidently also considering dereliction of duty charges against the officers involved and the sergeants who reviewed the citations.  


2010 Ford Mustang V6

NAKANO: BACK SEAT DRIVING Is the V6 Mustang truer to the heritage than the GT? We just scheduled the new 2010 Ford Mustang V6 for a week's worth of testing. We had already given the new Mustang GT a once over (see Muscle Under Glass). It's the best Mustang GT we've every tested. For on-road handling, responsiveness, and that fun-to-drive factor, it has a leg up over its competitors. However, one aspect of the new Mustang GT that seems puzzling is its front fascia. Instead of the traditional Mustang three-box opening, Ford chose to black-out the area between the grille and the headlights. Perhaps they were thinking 1969 Boss 302, but the execution looks less distinctive than the base V6 model. For some reason, Ford even made the opening under the front bumper less distinctive-looking, forgoing the Shelby-like lower mouth for a horizontal slit.

The upshot of all this is that the base V6 version of the new Mustang is truer to the heritage of the 1960s sporty car than is the new GT. Curiously, for the new Shelby GT500, the designers disposed of the GT front end and went with a design that is more closely aligned with the V6. Although this may seem like a minor difference, when it comes to buyers of cars like the Mustang, the look of the car is paramount. This rather minor detail could be one of the reasons why sales of the Mustang are now trailing rival Camaro. So, in 2012, when the Mustang is due for a mid-term makeover, it could do far worse than adopting the V6 front fascia for the GT. It would not only be a very inexpensive change, it will bring the look of the GT both closer to the the mid-1960s Mustang and closer to the Shelbys. - Roy Nakano  


Datsun roadsters at the Japanese Classic Car Show

BREYER: BACK SEAT DRIVING DATSUN ROADSTER OWNERS SAVE 2nd Annual SoCalROC Show-N-Shine Toy Drive The 2nd Annual SoCalROC Show-N-Shine Toy Drive is November 7, 2009 and as it quickly approaches, the Southern California Datsun Roadster Owners Club is working hard to make sure everything is in place. As you can imagine, an event of this scale requires some attention to detail. Although our main purpose is to gather toys for the children, we want to make this a fun time for all and draw as many people in as we can. Our sponsors have been generous. Although their sponsorship is not in the form of funds, we do appreciate their much-needed support (more is still needed here as well). However, we are in need of some funds for this event. Our need is not huge. Actually, thanks to our sponsors and some club members volunteering, our needs are rather small compared to most events of this caliber. Nevertheless, we do have a need for this toy drive to be a success. Our funding goes toward a dual cause: First, there are the expenses associated with the event. Second, we are holding this at the Datsun Heritage Museum - a non-profit organization that is letting us use the facility for free. Any leftover funds will go to support the legacy that the museum is working so diligently to preserve. If you can donate any amount, $10, $20, $30, $100 or more, it will go to a great cause (and your name will be included on the card given with the toys when they are delivered). You can also designate your funds to buy a toy, just be sure to say so when making your donation. Funds can be sent via PayPal directly to [email protected]. For more information on the 2nd Annual SoCalROC Show-n-Shine Toy Drive, log onto Thank you for your support! Chris Breyer, President Southern California Datsun Roadster Owners Club Editor's Note: The 2nd Annual SoCalROC Show-N-Shine Toy Drive takes place on Saturday, November 7th, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Datsun Heritage Museum, 41610 Date Street, Suite 103, in Murrieta, California. Admission: $10, or bring a toy of equal or greater value  


Street Rods Forever club show in Monrovia

LITROV: BACK SEAT DRIVINGCALLING ALL CAR CLUBS! Eagle One To Donate Total Of $3,000 To Favorite Charities Of Car Clubs Winning Golden Rule Award Clubs with active community involvement programs have an opportunity to win the grand prize of a $1,500 cash donation to a favorite charity in the Eagle One Golden Rule Awards competition. Three other award-winning clubs will each receive a cash donation of $500 for their favorite charity. Recognizing and rewarding car clubs for outstanding community service programs is how Eagle One car-care products has chosen to promote the fact that there is more to car clubs than just cars. Winners will be selected in four regions of the U.S.: West, Midwest, East and South for conducting the most outstanding community service program in their region during 2009. The grand prize will be awarded to the car club judged to have performed the most compassionate achievement. In addition to a total of $3,000 in cash donations from Eagle One, and co-sponsor Valvoline, winners will also receive a generous supply of Eagle One car-care products and Valvoline motor oil for fund-raising purposes, as well as a custom-designed trophy. An entry form may be downloaded beginning October 1 by visiting It can also be obtained by calling (818) 501-1445. Deadline for entries is December 31, 2009. Winners will be notified by February 10, 2010. - Alex Litrov





LA Car

That was LA Car's subtitle when it started back in 1997. It's original website address was about five times the size of Since then, La Car became LA Car. Its subtitle became Reporting From Car Culture Ground Zero, then From The Heart of Car Culture, to The Cars and Culture of Southern California and back. At all times, however, we aimed to chronicle the Southland's automotive spirit - much like one's own journal or diary. LA Car has always been a great source to come back to from week-to-week, to see what articles and reviews have been added to our rather staggering database. With Back Seat Driving, a.k.a. BSD (not to be confused with two similar, well-worn abbreviations, BS and BFD) and Hot Wires - Hot & Tender News From the Car Culture (co-located with Back Seat Driving, and updated at least daily), we give you some reasons to come back more often (all opinions, by the way, are those of the respective author). So, go ahead and bookmark We'll be sure to always provide a link to Hot Wires and the latest Back Seat Driving blog entry. In the meantime, welcome to the journal and journey from the heart of the car culture. - Roy Nakano  For the story behind LA Car's shift knob avatar, go to Kool Knobs for LA Car For past Back Seat Driving and LA Car Blog entries, click the Archives.

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