The ‘In’ Cars This Year in Car Culture L.A.

It helps to be rich as some of these rides cost as much as a little house in the Valley

By David Mirsky for Hollywood Today

HOLLYWOOD, CA (RUSHPRNEWS) 7/17/08 – It’s finally summer here in Southern California. To be more specific, in the Westside of LA. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the area, the Westside of La-La Land is home to those little towns of Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Holmby Hills, the Pacific Palisades and of course, Malibu. This is where you’ll find all those big, beautiful homes and mansions. Homes of the wealthy, famous, and beautiful people. Millions and millions of dollars are spent on the purchase and maintenance of these shacks.
Accessories are also a big part of these domiciles… you’ve got to have the right type of lighting, landscaping, and most importantly, the right kind of car sitting on the circular driveway. After all, who would want a rusted ’68 Corvair dripping oil all over a hand-laid Italian marble driveway, brought piecework from Villa D’Este with the Pope’s blessings? So it’s important to have the right wheels in the area here that has always defined “car culture.” Just what is the right car anyway? What’s the “in car” to have these days?

 

First of all, do you want a luxury sedan or maybe something a little more sporty such as a two-seater convertible, or an all out sports car. Then there are those practical type cars like the new “green” cars or a mountain-climbing SUV – even though the closest they’ll ever get to off-road is a pothole on Sunset Blvd.

Nowadays, the imports seem to outnumber the domestic cars. Depending on what part of the Westside you’re in you’re liable to see more of one type of car than another. Take Beverly Hills, where there’s just about everything and anything made to be found. There are going to be more Bentleys and Rolls Royces here than in Santa Monica.

You’ll see the Bentley Continental GT’s all over the place in Beverly Hills, but you’ll get more than an eyeful of Beemers in the Palisades and Santa Monica. Brentwood, a more family oriented area needs their SUV’s more than Malibu, so look out for all those Range Rovers and Cadillac Escalades, the latter also found downtown, often driven by “persons of interest” to the local gendarmes.

You’ll find more BMW and Asian SUV’s in the Santa Monica area, and of course plenty of domestic models such as Jeep, Envoys, and Chevys. Porsche, Audi, and BMW SUV’s are apparently breeding in Malibu while we sleep.
Then there are the less conservative luxury cars…not the Bentley’s or the Rolls’…but the BMW’s, Jaguars and Mercedes Benz’s. Maseratis and Aston Martins are making their presence known as well, mainly due to building better cars, and aggressive marketing. There’s still nothing like watching and hearing a bright red Ferrari speeding past. Even a Turbo Porsche can be impressive these days. If you’re strolling down Rodeo Drive on a sunny day, it will only be a matter of time until you’ll spot something you’ve probably only seen in a magazine or on TV.

Lately, what seems to be the hottest cars on the Westside are: the CL 63 Mercedes Benz…what an incredible car…The Bentley Continental GT’s, Range Rovers and Land Rovers (I can’t tell the difference) which replaced the bulky Hummers…BMW 650 convertible is a sleek favorite as is the SL550 (or SL63), Porsche’s are big with the kids and rockers, Aston Martins serve the gentry very well…Bond, James Bond…why not?

The current high gas prices are taking their toll, but these are folks that can handle $100 fill-ups. The second car still needs to be an energy-saver, from the new BMW hybrid to even a Prius. Has naught to do with Green, Westside fashion plates can’t resist the trendy or to look like they are giving something back to the people. Soon it will be chic to drive a battery-powered car to Ago’s or The Ivy.
Quickly, turn around and see that $750,000 Mercedes Benz SLR…forget who’s driving it. You can’t throw a dead cat in this town without hitting a celebrity. But this car is rarer than spotting Tom Cruise or Julia Roberts and even prettier. Or that Porsche Carerra…and of course, the rare of the rare…the million dollar Bugatti. Believe me, you’ll know it when you see it. You will see the latest and greatest cars anywhere, right here on the Westside….Audi’s new R8 monster, or a gorgeous, bright red Enzo Ferrari…only 399 of those were made, and we’ve seen at least a dozen different ones in Los Angeles. It truly is something to see. Not since our visits to Monte Carlo, where the chic car buffs go for the Monaco Grand Prix – which is traditionally held the last weekend of the Cannes Film Fest – have we seen such an accumulation of incredible cars.

Any of these cars we’ve mentioned will usually be acceptable in most of the Westside driveways, after all…with the extinction of lawn jockeys and hitching posts, what else can the pompous put in front of our homes, a motor home or 12 foot fishing boat? Your basic Ford’s, Chevy’s and Dodges don’t really cut it round here unless it’s Jr.’s first car, or a loaner. . It’s all about the looks…its about spending more money on 22 inch wheels than that little Toyota is worth, or being forced to listen to hip-hop with that 2000 watt sub woofer filling up the trunk, vibrating the fillings from your teeth. Its all good…its all about the BLING and the RIDE…and that’s pretty much what’s being seen on the Westside of LA….I love LA