June 16, 2006

Whenever I'm in Southern California, I can't help but wonder if the weather is always this nice. After 10 years of coming out here on a regular basis and never seeing bad weather, I guess it is this beautiful all the time. Sunshine, blue skies, and temps in the low 80s greeted the Road Tour crew on Thursday morning as we began our first full day in L.A.

After our daily drivers meeting, we headed out for the trip to Wilshire Boulevard and the Petersen Automotive Museum. From the Primedia offices in Placentia, this trip could take anywhere from one hour to three days depending on the time of day and traffic. We left Placentia at 9 a.m. and, amazingly enough, we drove straight in without any traffic jams or snarled traffic. It must be the luck of the Road Tour.

The Petersen Museum is an incredible place to visit. Museum "head guy" Dick Messer gave us the royal treatment with an in-depth and behind-the-scenes look at some of the amazing collection of vehicles. The emphasis is on hot rod history and heritage, and it was great to see some of the early cars and stories of the pioneers who made our hobby what it is today. One of the current exhibits features Chip Foose and some of his incredible work. To see so many of Chip's cars in one place really gives you an idea of the impact this all-around good guy has had on our hobby over the last decade. Anyone who has an interest in street rods, customs cars, and special-interest vehicles needs to get to the Petersen Automotive Museum at least once.

We said our goodbyes in L.A. and headed out of town by 2 p.m. The rule in Los Angeles is: Get where you want to be by 3 p.m. 'cuz you're not going very far between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. We wanted to get to our hotel in Claremont because we had such a great offer for the evening: an invitation to the drive-in Thursday evening to see the new movie "Cars." It was the perfect ending to another perfect day on the Road Tour.

Stay tuned. There's only one more day until the start of the whole reason we made this trip--the L.A. Roadster Show starts on Saturday.

Jerry Dixey

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