Explaining Southern California's economy

The coolest cars in town, in pictures

Cadillac-Ciel-MDB

Matthew DeBord

Cadillac's Ciel concept convertible is old school but drop-dead gorgeous. Luxury with the top down rarely looks this smashing.

Hot-Wheels-Camaro-MDB

Matthew DeBord

It's a Hot Wheels Camaro, complete with the track. Yes, a Hot Wheels Camaro. For the kid in all of us...

Mercedes-Gull-MDB

Matthew DeBord

Mercedes brought back the gullwing doors and the public swooned. Matt DeBord swoons over the English racing green color. I've seen enough silver and black Mercedes.

Mustang-Boss-302-MDB

Matthew DeBord

The Ford Mustang Boss 302 may, just may, be the finest Mustang every created by human hands on Planet Earth. A revival of a 1970 classic, it's sure to draw some crowds when the 2011 LA Auto Show opens to the public — and it proves that Ford can still do it's most famous car better than ever, even when it's evoking the past.

Infiniti-IPL-Convert-MDB

Matthew DeBord

There's no shortage of convertibles at the 2011 LA Auto Show. This is Infiniti's new IPL, which should appear in showrooms in late 2012.

Matthew DeBord

Don't think cool cars can some in small packages? No so. The new Chevy Sonic is proof that General Motors can finally do a tiny ride that looks commands attention.

Smarts-MDB

Matthew DeBord

How many Smart cars can you pack into the LA Auto Show? Quite a few.

Where's-Ferrari-MDB

Matthew DeBord

Think Los Angeles is a true Ferrari town? Think again. This is where the Italian Stallions are supposed to be. But yet again, Ferrari has skipped the LA Auto Show.


What are car shows like the LA Auto Show all about? Sure, there are plain old sedans and minivans and pickup trucks. But there's also some hotter fare. Much hotter fare.

The LA Show gives automakers a chance to show off what they've got, in a city that's always had a love affair with the automobile. Run through the slide show for a sampling of some thrilling rides that you'll definitely want to check out when you come down to show this weekend or next week (it opens to the public on Friday, Nov. 18).

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Visual Aid: The food truck business, NYC edition

I have a bit of an attitude about food trucks. Living in LA, I tend to take them for granted and also tend to focus on the basics: taco trucks. I am in fact the Foursquare mayor of my favorite truck, where I can get a ceviche tostada or a plate of tacos and a Jarritos soda for less than $5. High-end food trucks have of course become a big deal in LA, but given that we live in America's most spread-out metropolis, they seem to be able to operate without too much trouble.

Down deep, New York has serious LA envy, so in the last few years, food trucks have become thick on the streets there. New Yorkers are competitive eaters (unlike Angelenos, who are basically happy to subsist on a diet of burgers, tacos, sushi, steak and the occasional cleansing bowl of arugula), so of course they can't just emulate LA food-truck culture, they have to transform it into something that might be worthy of a Harvard Business School case study.

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Wait! Maybe Yahoo will move to LA!

A while back, I suggested that Yahoo, the beleaguered technology colossus, should close up shop in Silicon Valley and move all its operations to Southern California. (It already has an office in Santa Monica.) Now CNN's Juilanne Pepitone reports that something along those lines might be in play. Could Disney buy Yahoo? Here's the lowdown:

While Disney hasn't thrown its name into the ring, one analyst thinks it and its big-media rivals should consider a Yahoo buyout.

"The big guys -- Apple, Google -- aren't interested. And either way, it would make more sense for a traditional media company to buy Yahoo," says James Dobson, stock analyst at The Benchmark Group.

That's because traditional media companies are struggling with how to monetize their online presence. They're still working through the transition from old to new media, and they face stiff competition from upstart online publications.

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