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GM Ready For LA Auto Show

The Los Angeles Auto Show is already raring and preparing to start. Everything seems to be all set. After all, the organizers behind this international auto show sure have made everything quite just right before they open their doors. Who would want to have an international event with mishaps here and there?

Anyhow, it is not only the organizers of the Los Angeles Auto Show who have made all things prepared before heading out towards the opening of the event. All auto makers who would be showing their wares are also ready and prepared to face the public and show off what they have got. For example, if you were Jaguar the brand, you would have made sure that the vehicles that you would be showing off would be in top notch condition – the engine is ready to go, the Jaguar car parts are all shining and gleaming, and only the person behind the wheel would have to be ready.

General Motors has also prepared much for this event. In fact, some experts have said that GM is very much ready to take on this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. The company even did state that for this year, they would be showcasing cars and sport utility vehicles that would very much be a model when it comes to sophistication and global design. Their vehicles would also be models of technologies that are not only advanced but would also give show goers the chance to learn more about saving on fuel.

Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of GM, even mentioned, “We always look forward to the LA Auto Show because Los Angeles is such an important market for trend setting cars and trucks. Besides launching a number of exciting new production cars, trucks and crossovers, we’ll also demonstrate our commitment to addressing fuel economy and environmental concerns with several very important advanced technology vehicles.” Wagoner would also be at the LA Auto Show to serve as a keynote speaker.

So what GM vehicles would be available for you to view? According to GM, their list of vehicles at the LA Auto Show would include the 2008 Buick Enclave, the 2008 GMC Yukon hybrid, the 2008 Saturn Vue, the Saturn Aura Green Line hybrid, the 0th anniversary editions of the Saab 9-3 and the Saab 9-5, the Hummer HO 2 concept design, Cadillac vehicles Platinum series and DTS-L, and the Equinox Fuel Cell and Sequel from Chevrolet.

What is an Exotic Car?

Have you ever pulled up to a stop light, minding your own business, and the most incredible car pulls up quickly stopping next to you? Then, after staring at the car and then being caught by the driver, you can’t help but wonder what is that? You’ve never seen anything like it an yet you think, is that the car I just read about in my favorite car magazine?

So, do you find yourself wondering, exactly what is an exotic car? To start with, as with any explanation, it helps to begin with the official definition of “Exotic”.

ex·ot·ic /ɪgˈzɒtɪk/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[ig-zot-ik]

-adjective

1. of foreign origin or character; not native; introduced from abroad, but not fully naturalized or acclimatized: exotic foods; exotic plants.

2. strikingly unusual or strange in effect or appearance: an exotic hairstyle.

3. of a uniquely new or experimental nature: exotic weapons.

4. of, pertaining to, or involving stripteasing: the exotic clubs where strippers are featured.
-noun

5. something that is exotic: The flower show included several tropical exotics with showy blooms.

6. an exotic dancer; stripper.

In this case, we’ll go with number 2, simply because the others don’t fit when referencing an automobile. We’ll avoid the initial, number 1 definition as not all exotic cars are foreign in the US and the last term has nothing to do with cars, except that most exotic cars are considered sexy. That’s all that will be mentioned on THAT subject.

There are a variety of “laymen” definitions for what an exotic car may be described. Some think that it’s a car that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not necessarily true. A humbly priced Lotus Elise is considered exotic, yet is priced around $50K. Others view an exotic car as one that has doors that spring forward or are gulled like wings. There are a number of exotics that have “normal” opening doors, so that’s not necessarily an accurate approach. For the most uninitiated, they may surmise that an exotic is only of Italian or German decent and manufacture. Again, not necessarily true. There have been numerous British exotics, America has it’s share of specialty exotic manufactures and the Netherlands has yet it’s own form of exotic car builder.

Probably the best most common thought about what an exotic car is, can be boiled down to one simple statement. Do you see one every day? Or, simply put, would you see one on your bumper to bumper traffic laden commute? If the answer is no, then it’s probably close to being exotic. If you live near a Ferrari or Lamborghini dealer, hob knob in Beverly Hills or have a home near Miami, then it may not be an fair assessment. However, for the 99% of us that live in average city locations, typically seeing an exotic every day is not normal. There are some that have only seen such cars at car shows and or on the rare occasion on a major freeway connecting two cities. Since there are numerous web sites with “Sighting” posting sections, it’s probably a pretty accurate definition on the “rarity” of an exotic, making this a pretty accurate layman’s definition of “exotic car”.

With that in mind, an exotic car can also be considered a daily driver, but rarely seen. Many exotic car owners like to drive their cars as much as possible, but keep it to a minimum due to mileage restrictions they put on themselves so as to keep the resale value high. In most major cities, there are usually a higher number of exotic car owners than one may perceive. Most exotic cars spend time in garages, show rooms and/or collections. However, there are still a larger number of owners that prefer to take their car out on special occasions and just drive it.

There are many additional areas that can make up an exotic car definition besides just rarity. Items such as extremely different shape and size are common elements of an exotic car. Special composites that make up the frame or body are also areas that set an exotic car apart from their daily commuter brethren. Powerful engines usually installed in the rear are one of the more commonly thought about elements. Shifting mechanisms, starter buttons and flat bottom steering wheels are a few other less unusual, but common amongst exotics.

Shape. Many exotics have an extremely uncommon shape. They typically are very “Striking” or notice able both sitting at a light, gas pump or being driven down the road. Most exotics have taken on shapes that rival many show cars or concept cars, but that have been put into production as a fully operational drive able car. Shapes like wedges and hour glass are common visions.

Size. A number of exotics are actually small by comparison to the standard sedan or coupe. Almost all exotics are a 2 seater, with the occasional version that may have a “token” back seat. Some of the larger exotics, such as the Bentley are getting large enough in size to actually accommodate rear passengers. However, many of the truly exotics are made for two and commonly are less than 3 feet tall. Egress can be challenging at times, which makes for another case for definition of an exotic and it’s non-commonality. The majority of exotics are sports related with small sizes and big powerful engines.

Composites. Many if not all exotics are made up of space age or light weight materials slowly finding their way into the larger auto makers. Most of today’s aluminum’s and carbon fibers were first made popular on one exotic brand or another. Light material or new composites that make up the engine compartment are very common amongst exotics.

Engines and weight. A majority of exotics are made up of small size in stature and length, usually outfitted with large powerful engines. The power to weight ratio make it a lethal if not down right illegal combination, thus making it even more exotic.

All in all, exotics are not your run of the mill daily driver. Rather, they are something striking and unusual, yet beautiful and very very eye catching. Most if not all are rarely seen and thus make it the primary definition for the majority of our population. Regardless of your gender, it’s almost impossible to not stare at the unusual, strikingly different exotic car sitting next to you at that red light. Go ahead and stare. It may be a while before you see another exotic car!

The Beginnings of the Custom-Made Car

Since the beginnings of the motor vehicle, the custom-made car has been an aspect of the automotive scene. Farmers and ranchers frequently modified their Ford Model Ts to make a utility truck to cart goods and act as a farm workhorse. It was in the earlier postwar period, that motor vehicles became customised and vamped-up for appearance sake, speed and as a reflection of the owner’s personality.

Car Customization Characterized.

A custom-made car is any type of automobile that is modified from the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. Any modification to the car’s physique, mechanical elements and inside of the car, is regarded as customization. There are those vehicle owners that only add modest adjustments, such as chrome wheels, or a sport-style steering wheel, that are not standard fittings from the manufacturer’s plant. Other owners carry out full customizations that completely transform the body and motor of the car.

Beginning of the Postwar Era and Car Customisation.

Custom vehicle aficionado’s usually fell into two ideologies in the post World War II era. Returning soldiers frequently found work in auto repair places or fuel stations, whilst enrolled in college through the GI Bill. A lot of these fellows fiddled around with 1932 Ford coupes, as they came supplied with adaptable V-8 motors. The coupe was set lower to the ground and its bumpers and hood taken off. The roof was often lowered by removing three inches off the side-pillars. The 2nd camp, made up of Mexican-Americans, created significantly more involved lowrider modifications on automobiles types like the 1949 Mercury.

Custom Car Profiles.

Manufacturer’s cars, in the process of a custom modification, could be chopped lowering the roofline. Customizer’s frequently “frenched” their vehicles by welding manufacturer seams together to produce a one-piece seamless appearance. Door handles, latches and holes were filled for the sleeker look.

Custom Car Performance.

The Ford V-8 was at first the main modified motor. But Chrysler Hemis were also modified. Chevrolet’s small-block V-8s–especially the 350–were also given modifications. Customization included introducing a four-barrel carburetor, high-performance exhaust headers, a quicker gear-shift in the floor and tampering with the motor for more power. Personalised details incorporated chromed valve covers, cooling-fans and air filters.

Lowrider Modifications.

The lowrider characterized the custom vehicle image of postwar California. Complicated metallic paint schemes, murals about the trunk and hood, and dual shades, took over the lowrider’s appearance. Chrome wire wheels and low-profile tires added to the lowered profile. Manufacturer’s interiors were torn out and exchanged with custom tooled leather or vinyl.

The Forerunners of Car Customisation.

Gene Winfield and George Barris were early innovators within the custom made vehicle field, producing many different profiles. Winfield created the 1956 Mercury “Jade Idol.” It’s highlights included a blended paint format and Chrysler rear-fins. George Barris, founder of Barris Kustom Industries, was probably the leading voice in the early custom vehicle field, with his sequence of extravagant styles, including the famous Batmobile, built from a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car for the “Batman” Tv series from 1966 to 1968.

A New Crowd of Car Customisation Fans.

Motor car customization has become a lot more popularized, thanks to television series such as “Pimp My Ride,” hosted by Xzibit. This show has been broadcasting from 2004 (currently 2009) and has drawn a brand new crowd, consisting of young ladies, as Xzibit’s team transforms their old bombs into pieces of artwork on wheels.

With the advent of fibreglass body kits, spoiler kits and the like, car modifications have come a long way since the beginnings of the custom-made car.