Los Angeles is an Auto Show


Hundred plus two years they been doing it, ice rinks and fires all leading to grown men and women drinking "zoom zoom" tall cans from a Mazda vending machine.

Yeah, the L.A. Auto Show is back, at the Convention Center, and a fella doesn't have to have a Pulitzer to notice that maybe, just maybe, there's a certain certain redundancy to our fair city hosting an auto show.

Because, you know, our fair city is an auto show.

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Because your commute home tonight might have moved only slightly faster than the stationery show cars.

Because the cars and trucks and crossovers and concept esoterica on the auto show floor posses a certain sameness, being all new models, made to the same regulatory standards, many in the styles and colors from the most recent design trends and cycles.

Meanwhile, look around you on the streets and highways and see what you see. No tuk-tuks or tap-taps, but diversity still.

Even the Convention Center's West Hall parking lot today had a Spkyer, beautiful Spyker, parked a few spaces away from a beat-up blue pick-up with a wood fence in the cab, something out of Tom Joad, something born to herd lost grocery carts.

Today and tomorrow (12/2 and 12/3) are the big show's press preview days. Ten public days open Friday and like an American vacation, runs through the following weekend.

If you've read this post this far, chances are you've been to this or some other auto show. You know what public days are like. Media days are like this: Less people; more middle-aged men with note pads, dark, fraying suits and bald spots; and more automobile executives delivering speeches from notes or from teleprompters. (Hint: Bifocals equal notes, other glasses equal teleprompter.)

In past years, celebrities unveiled vehicles. Like Jennifer Love Hewitt. This year, an Uncle Sam on stilts should have pulled the wispy gray cover off the Chevy Volt.

Deservedly Beloved Car Guy, Bob Lutz, stepped in this morning to deliver the media keynote address. Stepped in because, of course, the billed keynoter had resigned the day before. Lutz's name was patched over Fritz Henderson's on auto show signage. Lutz said that three California power companies and the EPRI (Motto: "Together, Shaping the Future of Electricity") would share 100 Volts for their respective fleets. The cars' OnStar systems will send systems telemmetry back to GM, making the fleet vehicles into a mobile focus group, and presumably, fanning the (electric) conspiracy flames.

One more quick note. Congratulations to the USA Today reporter who despite Lutz's announcement that he'd be dodging all questions regarding Henderson -- the resigned keynoter -- the journalist asked anyway. TTLA means it: congratulations. Gideon's Trumpet, man. As great a quote as Lutz is, and as focused on the Volt and the attendant lithium ion batteries we now have and electo-infrastructure we now need, and as much as it seems GM sent him to the wolves, he should have had more to say. And USA Today deserves the scoop.

P.S. -- Aside to KCET management: Proposed TTLA company car: The Fisker Karma S -- Sypker, fear not, you can be, still, sculpture. Tesla, Cakewalk or Movie Miento can have you.

P.P.S. Aside to everyone: Cambodia is still leading the world in telepathatic autos.

Photo Credit: The image accompanying this post was taken by Flickr user markjhandel. It was used under Creative Commons license.

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