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January 24, 2013 | David Undercoffler
In the late 1940s, Enzo Ferrari reluctantly agreed to build road cars as a way to finance his racing outfit. One has to wonder, though, whether he would have signed his name to today's Ferrari FF, a four-seat, all-wheel-drive hatchback intended to broaden the brand and boost global sales. Designed to lure a new kind of customer, the FF comfortably totes four passengers and their luggage without worrying mortal drivers about landing wheels up in a ditch. Ferrari calls the body a shooting-brake design, which probably plays better than "hatchback" on the lot in Beverly Hills.
January 17, 2014 | Roy Wallack, Gear
You'd think, after 125 years, that the simple bicycle wouldn't have many radical new ideas left. Well, the glacial pace of change on two wheels is a thing of the past. The 2014 models showcase at least four huge and practical changes: mountain-bike-style braking that has broken into road bikes, new and improved mountain-bike wheel sizes, built-in lighting for commuter bikes, and even extra water and tool-storage capacity for mountain bikes. It's just too bad you can't get them all on one bike.
April 12, 2011 | Sandy Banks
I felt a little out of place on Sunday as I unloaded my creaky beach cruiser from the trunk of my car and strapped on a helmet so new it still had the price tag attached. I hadn't ridden a bike in years; there was rust on my fenders and in my knees. But it didn't take more than a few wobbly blocks for me to realize that I fit in just fine with the thousands of bicyclists who turned out at Sunday's CicLAvia in downtown Los Angeles. There were plenty of pros in padded shorts on bikes that cost more than my first car. But there were also kids with training wheels, middle-aged couples on tandem bikes and plenty of folks whose labored breathing on modest inclines suggested that they hadn't been out in a while.
January 8, 2011 | By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
The line of students who walk the few blocks from Western Avenue Elementary keeps getting longer. Only a year ago, it was just a handful who ventured once a week to the South Los Angeles Learning Center, an afterschool program for homeless children in a tiny strip mall. Now, it's more than a dozen, five days a week. On this afternoon, the kids are rowdy and restless. They chomp on chips and grapes, sip punch and chatter. The noise ricochets through the cramped classroom, but Charles Evans, the man who runs the place for School on Wheels, hones in on Jeanquis.
January 8, 2012 | By Barbara Demick
Even the police are driving Porsches. Chinese officials love their cars - big, fancy, expensive cars. A chocolate-colored Bentley worth $560,000 is cruising the streets of Beijing with license plates indicating it is registered to Zhongnanhai, the Communist Party headquarters. The armed police, who handle riots and crowd control, have the same model of Bentley in blue. And just in case it needs to go racing off to war, the Chinese army has a black Maserati that sells in China for $330,000.
June 23, 2013 | By Martha Groves
World on Wheels, the last full-fledged indoor roller skating rink in the city of Los Angeles, will hold its final lace-up Sunday night. For three decades, the Mid-City institution has won loyalists as an indoor amusement park, party venue, fitness center, haven for young people and hip-hop incubator. It has even played matchmaker. But a bankruptcy proceeding, a change in ownership and evolving neighborhood tastes have conspired to end its free-wheeling days. "It's like losing a member of the family," said Nelson Bracamonte, 55, a weekly regular at the rink since its opening on Halloween 1981.
January 4, 2011 | By Jori Finkel, Los Angeles Times
Paul Soldner, a ceramicist and longtime Scripps College teacher who introduced a pottery technique called American raku, died Monday at his home in Claremont after a period of declining health. He was 89. "He was one of the greats in California ceramics ? part of the West Coast scene that came on in the '60s with Peter Voulkos, John Mason and Ken Price," said Doug Casebeer, an artistic director at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colo., which Soldner helped to found.
April 3, 2009 | DAN NEIL
I'm quite certain that somewhere right now, emotionally shattered BMW technicians are gathering in a church basement for a support group, huddled around the cookies and the coffee urn, their hands fairly vibrating with frustration. For as well deserved as is the title Ultimate Driving Machine, BMWs also have earned the reputation as the Ultimate Hangar Queen, taking up residence in dealership service bays and sending mechanics over the crumbling edge of insanity. Hello -- sob!
August 11, 2012 | By David Undercoffler, Auto Critic, Los Angeles Times
The car: 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra Mk II The power: 271 horsepower and 312 pound-feet of torque from a 289-cubic-inch V-8 (about 4.7 liters). Power is routed to the rear wheels via four-speed manual transmission. The photos: Shelby 289 Cobra Mk II The speed: Motor Trend tested a 289 Cobra in 1963 and hit 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, but claimed that time would probably drop with the addition of better tires in the rear to combat wheel spin. The price: Estimated at $600,000 to $700,000.
September 15, 2011 | By David Undercoffler, Los Angeles Times
Poke around a little into the biographies of history's well-known names and you'll find a few who had siblings whose own successes were inevitably overshadowed. The Wright brothers had a younger sister who promoted their careers. Joe DiMaggio had a pair of brothers who played in the majors. R&B singers Erma and Carolyn Franklin saw their sister's career outshine their own. You know her as Aretha. So it's in this vein that Audi's 2012 A6 is trying to get a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
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