Alt Car Expo: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

2 min read

**This is a repost of my original 9/22 post. Hey Hacker: I'm sending you my Botox bill, so suck it!**

Sometimes it's nice to go to a big, splashy car show– Frankfurt! Los Angeles! Pebble Beach! And sometimes it's nice to go to the Santa Monica Civic.

You see, the Santa Monica Civic Center is the Dodge Astro Van of venues.  Usually filled with scrappy, bickering families, it is a popular napping site for the homeless and certainly hasn't been upgraded since the early 90s.  Like the Astro Van, it's also so unpretentious that you can bring along your obnoxious kids & poorly trained pets and certainly don't have to wipe your feet before you get in.

The Civic was recently the host of the uniquely wonderful Alt Car Expo. 

Toyota, Ford, Nissan & Chevy were all in full effect– showing their latest and greatest in EV and hybrid vehicles– with lots available to test drive. Which is nice, for you can check them all out in one place– 'cuz nothing says Green like burning tanks of gas driving all over town to test drive fuel saving cars! BMW & Mercedes were there too, but with disappointing, half-assed gestures. Mercedes at least threw us a bone with the Merc A-class Hydrogen (I drove it, it's fun. Butt ugly, but fun).  

However, the coolest thing about Alt Car were the local contributions. And I'm not just referring to my new boyfriend:


But also the booth featuring a bunch local high school kids that took a traditional Beetle and transformed it into an electric one: 


(Take that–frog dissection!)

And the kids from CalPoly that made a Solar Boat:


(Total geekfest– I didn't even understand what they said half the time. It was like talking to Stephen Hawking.)

And LA's own Peterson Museum reminded us that a hybrid is nothing new:


Which is interesting, even in '78, hybrids were ugly. Go figure.

And this guy reminded us that the Alt Car movement is still a work in progress:


So all-in-all, the show is great. You can wear your sweatpants, bring your family, drive a bunch of cars and get a hot date. What more could a Saturday offer?

See at you next year's show!

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