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July 29, 1999 | Leslie Earnest
A Newport Beach auto customizer is suing Volkswagen of America and five Volkswagen dealers for more than $50 million, charging that they have interfered with its ability to transform the the popular New Beetle into a convertible. R. Straman Co. is one of two Orange County companies that have been re-engineering the model to stiffen its body so it could be turned into a convertible. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Orange County Superior Court, alleges that the U.S.
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BUSINESS
October 8, 1998 | JOHN O'DELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Southern California is home to a huge and versatile automotive aftermarket industry that often designs and produces dress-up and performance-improving add-ons for new vehicles before the car makers even funnel their new models into dealer showrooms. The Dodge Viper, the Plymouth Prowler and the convertible Toyotas, Nissans and Ford Mustangs that sprang forth in the late 1980s can trace their bloodlines to Southern California's custom car shops.
BUSINESS
April 2, 1991 | JOHN O'DELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Richard Straman and his crew in Costa Mesa carve sports coupes into convertibles that sell worldwide. Straman will turn a 1991 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit into a convertible for $75,000--that's after the owner pays a dealer $152,000 for the car. For the masses, Straman will convert a $35,000 Nissan 300ZX to a ragtop for a mere $9,500. Welcome to the world of the automotive specialties market, Orange County style, where for every car there is a product to make it stand out in the crowd.
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