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Car fans are good sports at club meeting

August 13, 2003|Roger Vincent

More than 300 sports car enthusiasts gathered Aug. 2 near the Santa Monica Pier at an event intended to promote harmony among hard-core partisans of various makes.

The summit was arranged by Mani Jayasinghe, who noticed years ago that sports car forums were clannish events where owners of a certain type of car would meet -- and rag on owners of competing brands. Jayasinghe, a marketing analyst for Toyota Motor Sales USA who drives a souped-up 1994 Supra Turbo, started an e-mail and Internet campaign to bring the different partisans together in a public place once a year where they could check out one another's cars and share some civil conversation.

Socalsportscars.com, at its fifth meeting, brought out a lot of Supras, Corvettes, Mistubishis, Hondas and Dodge Vipers, Jayasinghe said, plus a smattering of other makes and models whose owners wanted to be part of the scene.

But has it stopped the put-downs?

"At least locally, if you go to the forums," Jayasinghe said, "a lot of the flaming has stopped."

-- Roger Vincent

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