Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fat Broad on Platforms

Your Pap had to sit his-self down on the leather Chesterfield and hollar for the domestic to pour him a stiff one when he saw the new BMW X6. Once a great fan of BMWs, your Pap has, since the early millenium, become disinterested in the Roundel. Why? Because in the last six years, the company has been turning out one hideous looking alien ship after another (with the exception of the 335i/xi coupe).

The X6 is another case in point. BMW misses the mark with this one the same way many BMWs today miss the mark. The sum of it’s parts, as intriguing as they may be, do not as a whole make this a viable car. Yes, the roofline is intruiging with it’s severe slant; the performance and handling is rumored to be pretty good; and the technological wizardry is definitely in place. But put together, it begs the question, “why?”

Just look at this thing. It’s hunchback profile and oddly elevated stance make it look like a fat broad on platforms. Your Pap has not been won over by the BMW press release bull crap about how the car drives like a BMW, handles like a BMW, and how as a sport-utility vehicle is superior to others on the road. More importantly, the X6 looks bad and screams uselessness. You Santa Monica moms with your postpartum bellies and your good handbags won’t be able to “clean-up” at the Barney’s Warehouse Sale ‘cause guess what, the cargo capacity is about half the X5.
Undoubtedly some BMW badge whore will suck this up and tell everyone she’s driving a Bimmer or a “B-M”, depending on which side of the 710 freeway she lives. If the X6 must be had at all, then this one’s for the suburbs. And do your Pap a favor…please keep it there!

Your Pap’s List of X6 Absurdities:
  • fat & heavy
  • seats only 4
  • low roofline means no beehive hairdos
  • little more than ½ the cargo capacity of an X5
  • econo hatchback-on-stilts styling
  • makes the X3 look good
  • over-engineered in order to make a fat lady dance
  • $60-80k
  • another BMW built in South Carolina
  • badge whores will drive this, only to be directed to staff parking at the Bel Air Hotel

Pleeze! Keep it in the Garage.

Boy do we love our cars in L.A.! Apparently some of us love our cars so much we can’t bare to have it relegated to the garage.

The owner of this Sunset Strip home has eliminated the garage entirely, parking his Lamborghini Diablo right next to the damn foyer! – uh, wouldn’t that have formerly been the actual garage?

Now your Pap has seen a good amount of unique renovations and certainly appreciate personal expression, but putting this Raging Bull inside this $6 million bachelor pad somehow isn’t bringin’ it. And the James Bond movie playing on the TV…don’t think so! Then there’s the den next to the car with the neon sofa and the day-core is starting to look like The Sharper frickin’ Image.

On the other hand, how ‘bout the ever so humble BMW 335i coupe? Your Pap has always had a soft spot for the 3-series coupe. It may only be a 3-series, but here, car and architecture meld into one starlicious combination. We Likes!

Anywho, to each his own. Good luck selling a $6 million house with no garage and “inside” parking for one car.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Buy the Car, Get the Girl

Your Pap just got word of this train wreck and quickly turned all attention to eBay auction #130242316095. The winner of the car gets a date with this 26 yr. old femme fatale.

Guuurl! Can you really handle the type of guy that's gonna drop some coin for this 16 yr. old Honda that needs bodywork? Your Pap fears that soon after your date next week, you’ll be paying him a conjugal visit over at the Casa Grande. Lawdy lawd, then how will you diffuse all that society gossip!

As for the Honda Prelude, your Pap’s nose isn’t turned so high up that he can’t appreciate a good Honda – but this ain’t one of them. What’s with the modifications? LOL on the “shark fin” air diffuser a la BMW Z3. OMG on the lower side bumper area with air intake resembling the Mercedes SL65. and WTF on the $299 custom paint job from Miz Earl Scheib.

Good luck, sugar plum. Make sure you meet him in a bright parking lot.

FOLLOW UP: The auction closed at $2,500.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

That's Hot!

Return of the Old-Guard Bentley

You’re looking at one of 550 freshly minted rolling estates named the Bentley Brooklands…new for 2009. This would be a more satisfying Bentley for you old school snobs that hiss and shudder at the latest crop of the “German” Bentleys – the Continental GT/GTC and Continental Flying Spur.

Your Pap does not normally like to delve into technical specs but in this instance, the fans out there need to know the most obvious distinction of the new-crop Bentley from the ones back in those patrician days when it was Rolls Royce/Bentley and not as it is today VW/Audi/Bentley.

To start, the Brooklands’ 6.75 twin turbo V8 is pure Bentley – well-pedigreed, with a lineage that cannot be questioned! There’s none of that shameful VW/Audi parts-sharing as with the Continentals. The 6.75 engine is hand-built in Crewe, with the basic powerplant dating back to 1959. It grew to the current 6.75 displacement in 1969. In 1982, the first turbo was added, and the twin turbos arrived in 2002, with further refinements last year. In the Bentley Arnage, this engine produces 500 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. For the Brooklands, additional tweaks to the engine give it 550 horsepower and 774 pound-feet of torque. 774 pound-feet of toque is nothing less than epic! This engine has the most torque of any V8 in the world! Your Pap likes!

Was that too tedious and too much information for the L.A. dahlings? Well, you can thank your Pap later because this little bit of knowledge is bound to save you embarrassment during the next cocktail conversation somewhere up in Trousdale.

To be honest, this Bentley is not your Pap’s favorite cup of tea. But then again, your Pap does not keep homes in the all worlds best cities nor does your Pap travel in social circles with individuals of a ten-figure+ net worth. And for those people, the Brooklands thankfully represents the Bentley brand accurately – genteel, stately and hella EXPENSIVE (it’s $400k)! Everything about this car reeks of affluence – from the fine wood and leather in such abundance as to give the nature conservancy an aneurism, to the individually-signed engine, to the svelte sheet metal and paint you could lose yourself in. This is the kind of car for which you’d be happy give your driver the afternoon off just so you could drive yourself around L.A. It offers complete isolation – what do you know, L.A. has no potholes and Santa Monica has no bums. Truth be told, your Pap does not think the Brooklands is really an L.A. car. In L.A., this car is a Bob Mackie gown in a sea of Forever 21 prom dresses. Your Pap would rather you keep this set of wheels at your One Hype Park residence, thank you.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The PRIUS *spit*
a Most Inappropriate Car for L.A.

Over at the L.A. Car Couture, we’re not gonna let $5/gal. turn us into silly, alarmist tree-huggers. We will not be getting into the automative equilvalent of the fetal position and there will be no driving of Pruises along the windy Boulevard de Sunset from The Strip to the Pacific Ocean.

Your Pap believes the environmental and celebrity-hyped Prius thing is a total B.S. and has got a few things to say about this Prius situation.

First – why would your Pap rather contract a venereal disease than tool around in a Prius? Because you have to give up too much for too little (if you enjoy driving; every trip is an adventure) and for a car enthusiast, the Prius is automotive lobotomy. Start the car, and you hear no engine. Step on the pedal, and you feel no torque. Look at the dash and you see nothing but a completely digitized panel. Turn the wheel and it handles like a scooter. Step back and look at it and you see a damn aardvark! This car does not drive well; does not ride well; and does not look well. This is the perfect car for a eunuch monk and we ain’t having it L.A.!

As for being the environmentally correct thing to do…well, your Pap and everyone in all the right zip codes are not driving hundreds of thousands of miles a year to make that big of an environmental footprint. But if you insist, then fine, get a Prius and it can be the car of your house staff or personal assistants. And if you wanna make a statement; if you wanna pander to the masses, the Prius would be very appropriate parked right up in the porte-cochere of your estate.

Some celebrities obviously realize that owning a Prius is a great way to pander to their fans. It’s why they’ll drive the Prius when they know the paparazzi are gonna be there. But seriously, do think most of Ocean’s Thirteen are tooling around in these things…no! They’re being driven in limos and Escalades and they employ an entourage of security and staff following along in gas-guzzling Tahoes or Denalis. And for you wannabes that think you’re Cameron Diaz in your Prius, well you're not! – you look like an idiot. Now, Cameron Diaz looks hot in a Prius, because she’s Cameron Diaz, and she’s A-list. And she’s A-list in a AMC Pacer; she’s A-list in Chevy Vega; and she’s A-list in a Ford Tempo. But you aren’t!

So don’t buy into this Prius thing – if you do, well then your Pap’s got a Cadillac Cimmaron to sell you!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Footballer in the Roller

It looks like the well-inked and ab-licious footballer has pickup up himself one of these ultra-exclusive Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe and had it tricked out by DUB, car customizers to the stars. The Dropead starts at $412,000 (or roughly the price of a small Santa Monica condo). But add in the options, market adjustments and DUB mods and it’s definitely pushing into a blood-curdling $600k+.

Check out those wheels – they look like 20s or 22s but since the car is such a behemoth, they’re actually 24-inches...custom made! The car also has color matched exterior panels and David’s number “23” embroidered on the seatbacks. Go big or don’t go at all in this larger-than-life car. If you can drop $400,000, you can drop $600,000 for a personalized one…mmmkay!...because you better NOT get this in Avis fleet white with just the factory fitting. People will tawk!

Even without customization, the Drophead Coupe in itself is pretty posh. Everything about this car is extravagent and big! How about its nearly 6,000 lb. weight or the turbo 12-cylinder engine! This car is W I D E ! Check out the papparazzi photo – see how far apart Posh and Becks are sitting? The damn car is the size of a Chevy Suburban, making a Mercedes S-Class look mid-sized. (The Fans will have to forgive your Pap for even including the words “Chevy” and “Surburban” in the same write up). Your Pap’s favorite thing on the car is the convertible cover (normally plastic or leather on other more pedestrian vehicles). In this land yacht, it’s made of polished teak! Mmmkay!

Rolls is putting 100 of these for 2008 (exclusivity assured) and already long sold out, without hardly any marketing. Build them and the will come. The ultra-affulent do not like being market to. By late last year, two Phantom Drophead Coupes sold for $2 million at auctions. Are you getting it, this car is big time! And for you L.A. brats that grew up with silver spoons in your mouths, this is a great car to own and LOATHE because you suddently decided to go green!

Rolls Royce has reponded to demand by doubling production, which is still a measly 200 units for 2009. – it’s about answering prayers and still maintaining exclusivity. This is Rolls Royce throwing a steak to a den of dogs. Boy these are hard times for the rich. Your Pap will be praying for them.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

That's HOT!

Everyday Value

Mercedes SL or Porsche 911 or Aston Martin Vantage?

Let’s get right to the conclusion – the Fans CAN’T go wrong with any of these three cars.

But if your Pap had to rank them…

It’s a frick’in ASTON! That name alone is worth the first $2,000 of your monthly lease payment. Then there’s the exhaust note – it’s aural ecstacy. And there’s the lustful, seductive styling…[if you experience premature ejaculation and/or have difficulty with staying power, please keep distance from the car!] As for exclusivity, about 1/10 of these are sold each year in the U.S. compared with the SL or 911.

The SL is in it’s own class. It’s really no competitor to any other car than itself in different iterations – SL550, SL600, SL63 or SL65. It’s a car for a certain set – I’ve got some money; I don’t need a flashy car like a Bentley, Aston or Rolls; I want a car that I can safely tool around in on a daily basis with easy replaceability should I crash it. This car is so comfortable in its own skin. It tries to be nothing more than an SL and is envious of no one. SL drivers enjoy easy living, from senior-citizen options like the self-closing trunk to the massive amounts of power matched to an automatic transmission. SL drivers don’t want to do too much, yet reap all the benefits of motoring well. And the car doesn’t disappoint either!

There are great exotic sports cars out there, and then there’s the 911 – the working man’s “cheapie but goodie.” Precision, purity, perfect. Problem is 2/3 of all 911s sold in L.A. have tiptronic…that’s Porsche vernacular for automatic transmission. I don’t care how good that automatic is, it’s an automatic…on a sports frick’in car! Yes L.A. traffic is bad. I understand there’s a lot of stop and go traffic. But still, don’t get a 911 in automatic…you have the S-Class as the daily commuter. Your 911 is for weekend jaunts to the Montecito home. To me, 2/3 tiptronic sales mean POSERS!

And Why?
If Beverly Hills had a Costco, they’d sell SLs and 911s in a 2-pack.

[2-pack SL550 or 911, your choice – one for you; one for your mistress. $200,000. coupon valid July 17 – August 3, 2008.]

There are just too many SLs and 911s in L.A.’s better neighborhoods. They are the Miatas of the well-heeled. And in L.A., well-heeled a-many there are. Half of all SLs sold worldwide are in Southern California! – that’s quite disturbing if you want exclusivity. But SL drivers aren’t all about exclusivity. They like telling their friends how much they enjoy their SL…”it’s a great car, you should pick one up too.” The 911 is no better in terms of exclusivity despite what Porsche salespeople will tell you. 911s and SLs enjoy the same yearly sales volune. The situation with the 911 is grimmer when you see local dealerships stocking 911s with automatic transmission and wood steering wheel – assisted-living features are par for the course on the SL, but inappropriate in a pure-bred sports car. As for the Aston, if should find one with wood steering wheel (you won’t), what the hell…it’s English.

So what it comes down to is simple – In L.A. where rich is never rich enough and thin is never thin enough, don’t fly commerical with the SL or 911 – go private with the Aston.

Monday, July 21, 2008

2010 Camaro is tantalizing, but lookout there's an expiration date.

The upcoming 2010 Chevy Camaro is pretty damn nice looking. Of the American retro-redos, your Pap thinks this is one of the best. The Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger come to mind as obvious competitors, but it’s the Camaro’s styling that really hitting the ball out of the park. We love the lower rear bumper - the blacked-out air dam rocks! especially with the vertical ribbing. Dual mufflers are nice too, but quad exhausts would be even hotter and we’ll likely see that on the top of the line, monster-engine model. From the profile, the lines look great – exquisite overall proportions that are balanced. Front and rear overhangs are just right. That rear fender bulge is awesome giving it a muscular stance. The headlights, slightly eclipsed by the hood is very seductive. Even the interior is nicely done. Interior looks great, but frightfully cheap American plastic could be the ruination of everything perfect here. Your Pap will get back to the fans on this.

Pricing will likely start in the low to mid $20k for a base model with V6, topping out in the mid to upper $30k fully loaded...which is the one your Pap recommends. You must get the top of the line monster V8! You CANNOT, guys, get this in a V6 or you might as well check in your balls at the door. Plus you can't be caught dead with less than 19" rims. Robust, muscular proportions…make that 20” rims. The only thing and your Pap would like changed is to see the car lowered a bit to close up some of the wheel-well gap.

Ok, admittedly this isn't exactly a car that speaks of your success. And let's face it - it's not exactly Sunset Plaza, but rather The Americana. But if you already have a couple of $100k+ germans in your garage and you just wanna cheap, fun and easy car to take you on a little nostalgic road-trip back several decades, then get the Camaro as your 3rd or 4th car; drive it for a few months and then give it to your teenager. See the thing is, your Pap likes the Camaro...alot. But let's face it, it's a muscle car for someone who lives in Panorama City. And around here, we don't do that...not north of Sunset...thank you!