RCR L.A. Airdrop

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RCR L.A. Airdrop
RCR L.A. Airdrop Thumb.jpg
Episode Details
Episode Link Watch
Season YouTube Partner
Air Date June 9, 2014
Credits DanDaMan97x

Regular Car Reviews travels to Los Angeles to meet Matt Farah and The Smoking Tire team. We see Southern California with Pennsylvanian eyes. Everything is new! We pick two cars to review.

This is the first time that Regular Car Reviews is taken out to the west coast of the United States. Los Angeles is eventually revisited during The Pacific Fister.


"Friday Morning, May 2nd, 2014.

Okay, so here's the thing about California: As a Pennsylvanian, there's a real feeling of disorientation in those first few moments after disembarking. The fearsome symmetry of airports and shifted time zones and the unfathomable wait for impossibl- dry sandwiches. Sure, you have many of the same types of people here that you might have back home. People tan everywhere, and hey everybody loves the beach, and the fixation with gawdy rims is an international plague. But there is an immense rush of visual and aural-AUral, not Oral-stimulation that acts like a shock to the system. When you're young, you expect the rest of the world to simply be an extension of the world you know already, behaving in exactly the way you know it, devoid of any unexpected complications. But this here, this, Los Angeles, this is beyond the pale, something that took a while to really put into words.

*INTRO* (This is How We Do It)
Oh I'm kinda buzzed, 
And it's all because,
We're in California,

This place does breakfast like nobody does, 
free(?) eggs benedict, yo.

To all the white bros, 
Who drive Dodge Nitros, 
We just might review it,

Let’s hit the track,
Bring the K-car back.

Silly YouTube videos brought us to California, and put us in cars we’d never have touched otherwise. I promise there will come a day when this sense of awe wears off, but I don’t anticipate it’s gonna be soon. So immediately you’re gonna notice the people, even before the Chevy Volts and the Frankenstein Gallants, and it’s impossible not to people watch. It’s like you’re Henry James sitting at the back of the party and gathering material for a future novel. I must reiterate, the only reason Regular Car Reviews can travel to California is because of you, and your donations to Fund Anything.

It’s the morning of May 6th (corrected to May 2nd on screen), 2014, and I’m farting with anticipation from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. The airplane restroom saw me three times because when you turn 32 you can no longer trust your farts, sometimes they lie. Los Angeles-to me-exists only as Adam Carolla’s version of LA, because I’ve listened to his podcast for so long, and I believe then, that LA is a city of heavyweight egos with glass jaws. An orange skin contingent of Botox enthusiasts line the streets, they look as if they’re the type to feel strange if suddenly found in the possession of the ability to move their face. California produces its own kind of golden noise, with tourists and all of the palm tree-lined beach blasted spectacle and townies in confederation against it. Natives, tanned to a golden brown, cycle past, unphased by the sights and sounds as they peddle to the nearest Ralph’s and I wonder with glim amusement if they will someday donate their apathy to science. Here, indifference is a bonus dick and it’s hard all the time.

My phone vibrates with an unknown number and a text is waiting for me. It says “Hey, it’s Matt, call or text when you land”. I was too self-conscious to call, so I texted back a hello. Matt texts that he’ll pick us up by baggage claim, he says to look for a black-on-black Chevy Volt, and I tell him to look for two guys with shirts and ties. It’s amazing, Matt Farah looks exactly like Matt Farah, right down to the ever-present Dillon Optics sunglasses. I would later try them on and stop scoffing, those things made Oakley’s look like gas stat dollar shades. 

LA, y’know LA is full of things: Success, glass buildings, this dune buggy, this leopard print limo, this motorcycle accident, this Toyota Previ-ohhhughhfffnnnghhh mid-engine minivan. I have never met anybody famous before, I think I met Louis Anderson in an Ocean City boardwalk bookstore in the ‘90s but that could have just been my imagination. Matt Farah is someone around which you will quickly become comfortable. There’s no aura of exclusivity or gate-keeping with him, but here is something which may, or may not be entirely visible on The Smoking Tire or on /TUNED or on /DRIVE. The man is a Cheyenne Mountain of automotive knowledge.

*Matt and Mr. R looking at an ‘80s teal Lamborghini at a car show*

Matt: Yeah, so this one, this is the second generation body, with the first generation powertrain, this is-this is the prototype for the second generation. They later scrapped this entire powertrain, and put a Diablo drivetrain in it with a traditional centre console and a V12. Very strange car.

Mr. R: I know this is a weird question, but can it cool itself?

Matt: Not really, no.


Matt: This guy’s got a-a plaque on his Bentley Turbo Hornet, today is like a $12,000 car. 


Matt: Look at that Cobra, oh that’s, {not quite sure here}


Matt: (can’t hear)...in this area, it had a spare tire even, I got footage of it, it’s crazy.

*cut to in Matt’s car*

Matt: and we went to this audition, or-or test shoot, and it was in this building, we we’re going to leave and this guy, this guy get in the elevator, he’s like an Asian guy, he’s fat, he’s got a big gold chain on and he’s got Google Glass on.

Mr. R: Really?

Matt: You just wanna kick him in the dick, and, and I fuckin’, we ride down the elevator with him, still creeped out because I think he’s filming me or something, and, and we got out to the valet outside and he’s got like a ’04 Rolls [Royce] Phantom, on HUGE chrome rims, and they’re so cheap and I know they’re so cheap because I know the guy who makes them, and they’re dirty wheels he sells to dirty people.


Matt: ..this area, the one road that-…

Mr. R: Wow, look at that rock face, wow, that’s tight.

Matt: Yeah.

Mr. R: I’m ashamed I’m using a GoPro on this, it’s not gonna look as tight as it is but...

Matt: There’s a, y’know people…

Mr. R: Wow, I did not appreciate how tight this road is.

Matt: Yeah, there’s a..the rule is you just don’t ever cross the double yellow [line], always wanna assume someone’s going the other way. 


Mr. R: And this is the corner… (Mulholland)

Matt: This is the corner everyone tries to drift and/or wrecks and/or fuckin’ smashes up a motorcycle. They call this tree the Giving Tree, right here. 

Mr. R: Uh huh

Matt: And if you crash they hang parts of your car off of the tree.

Mr. R: *The iconic huh/ah noise*

*Back to the voiceover*

Los Angeles, LA is a concrete assault on your attention. LA is a dusty baking tray of too much. And then, the entire city becomes calm. It rushes, and then it doesn’t. It’s aware of itself, this metropolitan region. Boston is modernist, and Chicago is post-modern, so what’s LA? What comes after post-modernism? Hyper-realism? A city doing a perfect impression of a city? Whatever, jet lag is starting to set in and we rest in the nicest hotel in which I have ever stayed. 

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014. 8:00 AM, I (not sure here) red light the tree and I’m wide awake. The sun is a fresh needle boring my Foster Grant hand-me-down sunglasses, and this sun is much brighter here than it is in Pennsylvania. Wakeboarders drift like lint over a small harbour. This Marina is full of pleasure craft. How many owners have Southern Cross lyrics etched in brass plates mounted in the cabin of their boats? The sky is cloudless, just like yesterday, I’m used to overcast skies. Four Momhats row a boat.

It’s 10:00AM and The Roman and I are waiting for Matt to pick us up in front of the hotel. Slow Jam music plays through hidden outdoor speakers, and hotel attendants sweat in suits, the music changes songs and bumps a little harder with an accelerating tempo. This car port has a scorer, the jam is urgent, yes we’re moving now, it’s getting faster, the jam is getting faster now, yes, yes ,yes, the jam is here we go, here we go, you are going places, yes, you, you, you have arrived, yes, here we go, yes, they’re all waiting for you, here he comes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Even the grass is presentable here. Abandoned hats and unneeded scarves sit on the bench by the entrance to the Marriott as valets proclaim the arrival of cars that I will never own. Morning looks like mid-afternoon here, and the smog is a tailpipe sniffer. The sheen to rust ratio is out of control on the Chargers and Nissan high-bodies (?) AWN RIYUMS.

Matt: As we like to pronounce it, it’s ‘AWN RIYUMS’

There were satellite dishes painted like 8-Balls, and teenagers wandering the streets in ill-fitting sandals, physically and emotionally tax’ed by the doing of things. There were no singing raisins awaiting us here and the roads were proliferated by signs indicating this is not a through street. We anticipate one more day up in the canyons, and one more night in Hollywood, and a reprieve from listening to Counting Crows. I…I don’t want to go. I don’t want to leave this place. I’ve already grown accustom to this onerous noise of nothing in particular. 

A Nissan Pathfinder zooms down Admiralty Way, its path uncertain. A thick body couple of about 50 wonders aloud if this is the beach they’re looking for, as it is one of many, and like us they’re only here for a short while and thus prone to fits of uncertainty. Much like trash cans at the New York International Auto Show, children are mysteriously absent here, as if people stop reproducing as a means of evening out the gene pool. Does anybody really say ‘Nar-Nar’ here? Are the clichés in place out of accuracy, or ridicule? It’s hard not to stare, but everything’s new. Oh man look, oh, oh check that guy out, dude it’s California Man. California Man. California Man knows where the party’s at.

We’re here to film cars, and to yank a line from Sin City, prove to our friends that we’re worth a damn. Finished reviews of these two cars (Matt Farah’s Stage 2 DeLorean and the Dodge Nitro) will come, for now I rested my concentration on the crushing stupidity that (unintelligible) Easterners such as us are even allowed near them. Switching a digital SLR from photo to video mode in the Los Angeles area without the expected municipal bribery turns you into a criminal and I was expecting choppers to descend upon us the moment we left the comforting clean floors of Gotham Dream Cars. But once my feelings of (I’m trying I swear) rise, and I understand the juxtaposition of that statement, they are slow to fall.

Worthiness, Earned Income, Guilt. 10,000 thank you’s aren’t enough. I revert back into my natural state and drop my shoulders so I take up less room. Chew with your mouth closed, speak only when spoken to, and don’t let up with the ‘yes, sir’s and ‘no, sir’s. And I’m holding a Canon 70 to 200 millimeter lens, and a cream white devilish beauty that cost the same as a custom-built i7 computer with SSD hard drives. A dog walker/jogger approaches us, he doesn’t know Matt, and certainly doesn’t know us. But he knows four facts about DeLoreans and here’s a DeLorean right here and oh, he’s got four facts and he’s gotta tell ‘em all right now. Oh we will review this DeLorean, you bet we will, but I need to tell you one thing about it, and it’s the most sincere compliment I can give to his car. Matt Farah’s DeLorean is so good, it feels normal. It feels, just like a car, it’s that put together. We used The Smoking Tire’s camera equipment to film all this, and as we pack everything up, and turn to leave, I’m seized by the feeling I’ve left something behind. But whatever it is, it’s gone now. 

I’m in California, and I’m dumbstruck. Even while I recognize the limitations of the high. This is a place for people who like the beginning of things more than the middles or the ends. That first bite into a piece of warm, buttered toast, that first shuttering dip into an icy cold pool on a hot summer day, and the first honeymoon month of a doomed relationship. But, when you find yourself breathing into the morning air as crisp as a Fuji apple, you realize when it comes down to it, there’s nothing wrong with feeling that way. Nothing wrong with that at all. I don’t want to go.

At least find, 
the sun shines, 
most the time, 
And the stock hoods are black.

Track day bro, 
suspension’s low, 
But you know I keep thinking about, making my way back.

I’m Pennsylvanian, born and raised, 
But these days, I’m still between two whores
LA’s fine but it ain’t home, 
PA’s fine but it don’t shine, no more.

And I am bizarre, 
Can’t play guitar (lies), 
But you’re not here for that, you’re here for the cars.

And yes, I cried when the Echo died, 
The Fit is fine, 
But only after some high, maintenance fees and work.