Advance Auto Parts at the 2012 LA Auto Show!

Los Angeles unofficially kicks off the auto show season each November, and last year we got more than our fair share of compact SUVs, with Mazda’s MX-5, Ford’s Escape, and Honda’s CR-V—all using the LA Convention Center as a supercharged showcase for their global debuts.

This year, things seem to be switching gears a bit. While Toyota presented it’s all-new RAV4, the serious buzz of the day centered on the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series—with a whopping 622hp. (Yep, no joke!)

The new Jaguar XFR-S is no slouch either. This blue beauty is all about sexy curves and speeds up to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds.

And, those aren’t the only automakers promoting global unveils. Acura’s new model, the RLX, is on the floor, as is Volkswagen’s iconic Beetle Convertible. The public gets its first looks starting Friday…if you’re not in LA, no worries, we’ll have more details coming soon.

Editor’s note: We love Auto Shows—especially this one. And you can bet that we’ll be on the edge of our seats until this thing ends, waiting in eager anticipation for more first glimpses of all the tempting new offerings. I know, we’re nerds. (We can’t help it, we’re just geared that way.) Stay tuned for more candid updates from the LA Auto Show. 

In the meantime, text “HOLIDAY” to 36898 to check out the latest offers from Advance Auto Parts. Up to 5 messages per month; message & data rates may apply. —JK

Cars go Hollywood: a fun look back at famous TV cars and famous movie cars.

Throughout the years, Hollywood has produced plenty of television shows and movies that feature some of the best cars around. From vehicles with endearing, almost human personalities, to those memorably sleek chasses that nostalgically take us back in time, there are many vehicles that have been immortalized on the small and big screen.

Famous TV cars

One example is the 1966 Pontiac GTO featured on The Monkees TV show that ran for two seasons during the 1960s. Davy Jones’ iconic smile isn’t the only thing fans remember as the show famously featured the GTO that was transformed into a T-Bucket with a blown engine.

Off the racetrack and onto the sketch pad, Scooby Doo and his gang of friends travel in the famous Mystery Machine van. When the cartoon debuted in 1969, the van’s design was trendy and relevant — 43 years later, it’s a classic cartoon icon.

The decrepit, unimpressive car belonging to Lieutenant Columbo on the long-running Columbo series was featured in 69 different episodes. The car was a 1959 Peugeot 403 Convertible, and it fit the driver perfectly.

Famous movie cars

In 1990, NASCAR began to enjoy its most prolific decade, thanks in part to the film Days of Thunder,which featured a #46 City Chevy Lumina. Race car dreams popped up all over the nation after the movie’s successful run.

Finally, Ghostbusters, the 1984 classic by Columbia Pictures, featured a 1959 Cadillac Ecto-1. It was actually a modified Futura ambulance, and served the cast well through not only the blockbuster hit, but its sequel as well.

Unique cars: what grabs our attention?

These are only a few of the dozens of famous TV cars and famous movie cars that have been memorably featured. Unique cars usually become notable if they have been custom designed or altered in some way. In other words, you don’t find many Toyota Corollas making their mark on the star map — Hollywood demands much more imaginative vehicles. When a vehicle “makes it,” it is then often reproduced for museums, galleries, amusement parks and anywhere else that one may enjoy reminiscing with the unique cars that transported our favorite villains and heroes throughout the years.