Dave's L.A. Auto Show Photo Diary

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For a few hours during the surprisingly manic coverage of this year's L.A. auto show, I was able to sneak down to the floor and get some first-hand impressions of all the cars on display. Along with some notable debuts, like the new Mazda3, I found quite a few interesting tidbits that might have slipped through the cracks of our extensive coverage. Check out my thoughts and photos below.

Oh, as for the photo above? Most years auto shows are celebratory in nature. At Chrysler's expansive display this year, though, it seemed more like a ghost town, with few people and dim lights, adding a somber air.

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Kia had almost a dozen new Souls on display, unlike most automakers, which will show one or maybe two versions of their new offerings. This lets massive crowds of journalists — and I'd assume show-goers — get more up-close time with the new model. Good job, Kia.

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Fastlane Daily was filming a segment on the Nissan Cube. Good to know Derek D flubs his lines as much as I do.

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The new BMW 7 Series has some of the coolest taillights I've ever seen. The rest of the car is a bit bloated, but these lava-lamp-like lights were awesome.

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Here's an angle Infiniti doesn't want you to see of its new G37 retractable-hardtop convertible. I'd almost say the rear half looks like a Chrysler Sebring convertible, but that might be a bit too mean.

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The 2009 BMW 3 Series gets a slightly tweaked hood. You don't really notice it at first, but right next to the still-untouched, flat-hooded convertible the new look seems like a major alteration.

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Hyundai's HED-5 concept car had some intricately designed plastic on the bumper.

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Mazda integrated a small navigation screen into its swooping dash. The screen size is about that of an aftermarket unit, and it was crisp and clear. All the controls were on the steering wheel as well.

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Ford went the opposite route on navigation with this gigantic screen. It was just huge and will be optional in the new Ford Fusion and Mustang, as well as the Mercury Milan.

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Speaking of the Fusion, that chrome is really hard to photograph! Man, my eyes are still sore from the glare.

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Way in the back of the Ford display was an accessories garage where this 2010 Mustang convertible got an alternate grille, with smaller fog lights below the headlamps. This looked a hundred times better than the production GT model's giant fog lights in the grille.

By David Thomas | November 24, 2008 | Comments (13)

Comments 

J

i think the nissan cube is ugly as can be and i think ford needs to put more power under the hood of the mustang if they want it to compete but my favorite car here would have to be the fusion i think its the best looking...by far..the soul is cool too

i see a fiesta in the background of the Fusion pic...how come we never saw any pix of that car?? The Mustang looks better with that grill, IMHO.

The fiesta you see is the same Verve concept car that was on the circuit last year.
http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2008/01/ford-verve.html

Tony

J,
Mustang still has a solid rear axle. You sure you want it?

I think "Z". Yea.

J

tony,
id still want the mustang, i have a 66. and seriously how bad can a solid rear axel be, it cant be THAT bad. If the solid rear axel is a major problem dont you think ford wouldve fixed by now or no one would be buying them at least. i will admit this though there is no way the mustang will be able to compete with the comaro unless it packs some serious power under that hood and not just 315.
(im not buyest to ford i just like american cars more that japanesse

J

Who wants the Mustang is a total mystery.
It is 2008, and they are still putting solid rear axle there?

No wonder they have to go to D.C. to beg for money for them to burn.

Tor

It is not hard to photograph you just need a better camera. A cheapest dSLR at ISO 400-1600 (depending on the lens) gets that image nice and sharp without the flash...although I actually like the effect the flash had in your shot...

Bloke

J, you know why I jump on you? Because you constantly post information that makes no sense or is wrong. Ford did not ask for bailout money, yet. Here is a story on just that:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/24/business/24ford.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

You and Cj are the worst at checking anything you say.

Tor,
That was not the flash. I shot with a Canon G9. There were huge spots on each car and that was bouncing off the grille. Our staff photographer, Ian Merritt noticed the same problem> I was just using a photo that didn't turn out to illustrate that Ford is intentionally lighting the grilles for effect on showgoers.

BlokeTheDope

Bloke,
Alan Mulally as quoted in the WSJ, "Ford will absolutely make the needed changes that will justify large sums of taxpayer money. The only thing that we're asking for is to set up a bridge loan mechanism so we could continue to invest in the products that people really do want and value."

Consider yourself dope-slapped!

Bloke actually posted a link

CJ or J (does it really make any difference), come on now, don't you have a source for that quote? That's right because it isn't an actual quote. You're lame making stuff up like that. Besides don't you know the difference between the bailout and a loan? Come back with something real next time. Dope slap that.

J

whoa first of all tony im new to this and that was my first post ever seriously so there must be another J because i just now figured out that your able to post things

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