MY MOM’S BIG FAT MONSTER GARAGE
As an entertainment columnist, I’m not in the habit of writing about members of my family, but then again it’s not everyday I end up at a posh VIP party with my 70-year old mother. But there we were at the Los Angeles Convention Center for a Champagne reception and sneak peek at the hot wheels at this year’s L.A. Auto Show.
After a brief pit stop at the potato martini bar, which featured smashed spuds with all the fixings, we headed upstairs.
My mom, who is in the market for a new car, dressed for the occasion in black skinny jeans, black Escada stiletto boots, Channel sunglasses and her very best black leather Armani motorcycle jacket.
“Lamborghini, I definitely want to see Lamborghini,” she said with determination. Mom was primed to pimp her ride.
There were gleaming cars aplenty. We stopped by a sleek Lexus lFA, which has a 500-horsepower engine, 200-mph top speed, panorama glass roof and 10-spoke, 19-inch wheels.
We paused to admire a Lexus 400 hybrid designed and signed by Paul McCartney. Inspired by his 1962 Hofner bass guitar, this Beatle buggy had a sweet paint job, stick shift in the shape of a microphone and seats patterned after Sir Paul’s Vox amplifier.
There were cars in every imaginable color: iridescent white, fire engine red, gun metal gray, British racing green. There were two wheelers and three wheelers, concept cars and prototypes.
Bentley hosted its own private party within a private party. Servers made the rounds with Veuve Clicquot and asparagus spears wrapped in prosciutto while car buffs marveled at the machines. The centerpiece? A convertible Azure as blue as the water off Ibiza with control panels worthy of the Spruce Goose and kid glove interiors as soft as a baby’s behind.
We cruised over to Ferrari where a 612 Scaglietti was on display in steel gray with a snazzy red interior and more dials than a Swiss watch factory. The flashy Ferraris even came with their very own attendants who flicked off the odd piece of debris with fluffy feather dusters. The Ferrari folks were quick to dismiss doubts about my mother’s hot rod. “You’d be surprised how many people buy these,” M. Toscan Bennett said.
“Yes,” I replied, “But how many of them are 70-year-old women who drive with the parking break on?”
He paused and responded with a shrug, “Well-it’s all about being young in spirit.”
We hit the Jaguar area, where I made the mistake of suggesting that a new wagon might be more appropriate. Mom scoffed. This senior spitfire had racier things in mind. She shot past the Saturns without so much as a passing glance. She bolted from Buick and left the Dodge in the dust.
Mom was cruising toward Lamborghini and when she apparently found the car of her dreams, a 2006 Saleen gull wing S7 Twin Turbo. Price tag: a cool $550,000.
Around the corner the Bugattis beckoned, but those Escada stilettos were taking their toll. She made her way to the parking lot loaded down with fancy brochures and CDs and visions of dual- pump fuel injectors dancing in her head.
So the next time you see a Saleen S7 creeping down the right lane of PCH at 10 mph, smile and wave. Chances are it won’t be K-Fed or Leno or Diddy, just my mom behind the wheel of her shiny, post midlife crisis. Valium anyone?