I had two very specific LA Auto Show assignments at AskPatty: (1) a post about green cars on display and (2) a post about cars moms love. The latter is live now.

But there was so much more to see than that.


LA Auto Show Nostalgia

Vintage Lincolns at LA Auto Show

Vintage Lincolns on display for the media at the LA Auto Show

There were these gorgeous classic Lincolns on the first of the two press days I attended.

This included the 1956 Continental Mark II that belonged to Elizabeth Taylor in the 1950s, and was said to be custom-matched to the color of her eyes.

I am skeptical over this, as this car was blue and Taylor’s were famous for their violet color. But that could have been an exaggeration, like everything else in Hollywood. Still, I recall reading about the amethyst necklace Richard Burton gave her for her birthday (to match her eyes). And one of her signature perfumes was called Violet Eyes. So perhaps the makers of the Mark II simply did not get the memo?

At any rate, Liz’s car was a work of art, all tailfin and chrome, with nice fat whitewall tires. This was a nice contrast to all the sleek modernity of the rest of the Auto Show. Alas, by Day 2 the old vehicles had been removed and replaced by 2013 model Lincolns. The new cars are beautiful – but not as memorable.

Volkswagen debuted the convertible version of the Beetle they launched last year, and they also paid tribute to their heritage with three special editions that are meant to invoke the model’s glory days: The 50’s (black), the 60’s (baby blue) and the 70’s (brown, which really was a huge color in that earth-toned decade). On the second, quieter media day, there was some nostalgic filming going on at the VW booth. I posted a picture of it yesterday – but also caught a teeny bit of it on tape:

Dream Cars

Jeremy Scott's wild smartcar fortwo on display at the LA Auto Show

smartcar concept by Jeremy Scott

People attend auto shows for a variety of reasons. Some are practical (if you are planning to buy a new car, this is the ideal place to begin shopping as just about every automaker on the planet is represented). But it’s also aspirational. I will likely never own a Bentley or Aston Martin – but I can admire them at close range at the show. There were dream cars aplenty, including this unusual artist’s concept smartcar by designer Jeremy Scott.

I took a lot of photos of the usual suspects: futuristic concept cars. Lots and lots of crossovers and SUVs and EVs and hybrids (for the AskPatty post) — most of which did not end up in the finished product, but can be seen in my Flickr photostream. And of course, a lot of cars that are out of my price range: Audis, BMWs, Jaguars, Infinitis, Lexuses (Lexii?) the Range Rover Evoque, a Fisker Karma (which has gotten my attention at every LA Auto Show for the last several years — but has anyone seen one on the road yet?)

I spent a lot of time at the Ford and GM exhibits, but barely mentioned them in my posts, because I’ve been doing a lot with them outside the show. That is too bad, because I really, really like a lot of what they have on hand: I could see myself a happy owner of a CMAX or Fusion or Cruze or (if I could get the price down!) a Volt.

Interior of Volvo C70 at LA Auto Show


But every year at the Auto Show, I always find myself gazing at the higher-end, convertible version of the car I already drive. Volvo’s C70 convertible may just be my dream car – if only because I covet these creamy white leather seats. This is the reason I ended up buying my current 2006 Volvo S6: the seats are really comfortable.

Apres Show at LA Live

Thanks to my carpool buddy and the fact that my daughter no longer requires me to be home with her 24/7, I stayed through to some of the social events that followed the first day’s full schedule of press conferences. I had been told there would be an opportunity to interview some of Nissan’s executives at their reception, but could not find anyone at busy Katsuya to ask!

I actually did write about this on the live blog I kept the first day of the show (which was not kept up on Day 2, thanks to the stomach bug my daughter developed that morning, which prompted an unexpected and overwhelming wave of mommy guilt).

But I neglected to post any pictures of how pretty LA Live looks right now, all done up for the holidays – nor did I share the photo of the costumed performer on stilts who greeted guests at the Hyundai party held at the Figueroa Hotel. I am rectifying that oversight now.

By the way: When I checked into the party on Foursquare, I was informed that this hotel is home to one of the best bars downtown. The Moroccan decor of the lobby and pool area were definitely inviting, and I probably would have checked out that bar if I had not been anxious to get home to my family.

Which goes to show you that you can take the mom out of the house, but you can’t take the house out of the mom for very long. I guess that mommy guilt came over me earlier than I’d thought.