LA Notes – Day 3

Today was my final full day here and I regret to say that I didn’t get to go over and have a look at the other hall here at the LA Auto Show. Fiat and Porsche were both over the other side and it would have been good to see what they had on show. Unfortunately I had to leave earlier than expected for an appointment.

I’ll write a little about that appointment tomorrow.

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On the plus side, I had the pleasure of catching up with a former TS correspondent and all-round great Angelino, 1985Gripen.

Gripen covered a Saab event in San Diego back in the Trollhattan Saab days and provided reams of entertaining content from that trip. He was also gracious enough to drive me up to Santa Barbara last time I visited here, to meet with the late, very great, Bob Sinclair.

We ate well, and it was great to catch up with Mike once again.

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Most of the press conferences were yesterday and because they have to allow space (for people, vehicle drive-throughs, etc), a lot of the manufacturers actually changed their displays overnight.

The Saab stand saw the addition of a 9-3 SportSedan in silver:

Saab Stand Day 2

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Other events from the show…..

Mazda had a cool 20th anniversary edition of the MX-5 on show:

Cadillac showed a small concept car, which is about as anti-Cadillac as you can get and therefore makes total sense:

Volkswagen had a “Caraoke” stand playing Eye of the Tiger and other things. Seriously.

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Chevy were offering drives of the new Volt at the LA Auto Show. I didn’t have time for one, but I did see them cruising around the perimeter of the LA Convention Center on brief trips outside for some fresh air.

This will sound like I’m anti-GM (which I guess I am to some extent) but the one thing that struck me about the Volt as it drove down the street – it already looks dated and kind of cliche.

Maybe the cliche thing is a bit harsh, but it definitely looks dated. With that body shape and black panel at the back, it could have come out around 2002.

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And speaking of the Volt, it won a Green Car award today. There were five finalists but the presenter was candid enough to admit that only two of them mattered as far as the award was concerned – the Volt and the Nissan Leaf.

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I don’t want to be all negatori (but I will).

I also saw the Mini Countryman on the street today and it’s one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen. It’s like an automotive version of Honey I blew up the kid!. It’s a shape that screams small car, but it’s far from small.

It’s so big it made my camera blur with fear.

BMW have effectively built a Mini X6. And it’s not right.

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If you live in or near LA, I can highly recommend you get along to the LA Auto Show. The venue is great and the displays are spacious and well set out.

I’d go so far as to say it’s the most accessible and best presented of the few Auto Shows that I’ve been to since running this website (Sydney, Detroit, Frankfurt).

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Tomorrow I catch up with another SU regular and local LA resident, DickL, for breakfast.

Dick lives very close to the house where the Saab 9-4x photoshoot was staged a few days ago. In fact, he saw the bus and a Saab sign outside the property as he was driving past, but wasn’t aware of what was going on.

After that, a little sightseeing and then I’m homeward bound, baby.

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