“I was looking for a Firebird, but this one has flip-up headlights like Inspector Gadget.”
- THE RIDE
- The Driver: David
- Car in Question: 1995 Saturn SC2
- Spotted at: Los Angeles Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027
- Odometer: 114,487
- Car’s Nickname: Buzzsaw Shooter
Q: What neighborhood do you live in?
A: I currently reside in Eagle Rock, 90065.
Q: And how old are you?
A: I am 30 years old.
Q: What color exactly is your car?
A: It’s a black-gold. It’s got gold dust in there. Pure gold dust from California, even though it was made close to New York. It makes no sense, really.
Q: Is this a custom color?
A: No, no, it came that way. That’s what they told me. But mostly it’s muddy brown in the light.
Q: How long have you owned it?
A: I’ve had it since 2001, I think the summer of 2001. I got it to specifically have at school in Miami.
Q: How did you acquire it?
A: I got it at a Saturn dealership as a used car.
Q: Why did you want this one?
A: Really, I was looking for a Firebird, something that had that look. I always wanted a car that kinda looked like that. This was a compromise between looking like that and having the safety my parents wanted. It’s a safer vehicle. I also found out that the Firebird has a bigger blindspot. But this one has flip-up headlights like Inspector Gadget.
Q: You say it’s a safer vehicle, but when I saw you turning, I heard some serious squeaking. What’s going on?
A: I just found out there is a problem within the transmission, which I think is a big deal for a car. It makes a ga-gunk sound, as well, when you put the RPMs really high. Then, if I go in reverse, watch out!
Q: What happens in reverse?
A: A louder ga-gunk, and I don’t know what’s shooting out the back when that happens.
Q: Are there any other problems with the car?
A: It likes to make noise. I’ve been fixing stuff as I go. That’s the current deal at the moment. Other than that, it’s good to go.
Q: Do you come to the Los Angeles Zoo often?
A: I used to go a little bit more to sketch and stuff like that. I’m a member here.
Q: Are you an artist?
A: I’m a storyboard revisionist. I guess I tell people I’m an animation artist at Disney Television Animation.
Q: Do you get into Disneyland for free?
A: I do get in there for free. It started in June. I feel very lucky.
Q: Do all employees get in free?
A: If you’re a full-time employee at Disney, though I don’t think this applies to all employees, since it depends on where you are and what union you belong to. You get a thing called a silver pass that lets you into the Disneyland Resort.
A: Again, I feel very, very lucky.
Q: So do you use your car mainly to commute?
A: Mostly for commuting back and forth to work, and to go to classes and stuff. It used to be more for classes and going to drawing stuff before I actually got work.
Q: Do you take any drawing classes?
A: You know what? It’s weird, I don’t do it as much as I used to. I do it within work, I guess. They actually have a couple classes there, so I’ve done those. It’s part of the package.
Q: Let’s plan a day trip right now. Where are you going to go?
A: I do like Malibu, I swear, though I haven’t been there in awhile. I like going to Malibu Beach and doing goofy stuff. Oh, wait, I remember my favorite day when I came here to California to visit. I went to an animation studio in the morning, snuck onto a film studio lot in the afternoon, and then went to a goofy arcade bumper boat place at night. That was pretty fun.
Q: How did you sneak onto the studio lot?
A: It was back when security was more lax. I think it was in 1994, something like that. I was visiting my sister who lives here, too. We just moseyed our way on, looking like we belonged there.
Q: By the way, what’s your car’s nickname?
A: Oh, a nickname, I never thought of a nickname. Let’s call it Buzzsaw Shooter.
Q: Live the dream. Where’s the farthest place you’ve ever driven to in Buzzsaw Shooter?
A: I have driven from Miami back to my home in Rye, New York in Westchester County. Oh, oh, just kidding. I drove it cross-country from Massachusetts to here in Los Angeles.
Q: And that’s what, 3000 miles or so?!
A: It took about four days, but we also stopped in Vegas on the way here. It was me and my dad, so we were just going across in the car. It would’ve been three, but we made sure we got sleep and stuff.
Q: Where’s the craziest place you’ve ever driven in this car?
A: I’ve brought it backstage at Universal Studios. The tour tram went by while I was in it. I saw all the people there just sitting there in the tram bus. I think they were supposed to be seeing Jaws, or King Kong, or something, but they were just sitting there. Then my car’s there, and I’m just sitting in it.
Q: So instead of Jaws or King Kong, they see Buzzsaw Shooter.
A: Yes, totally. Wow, 50 bucks well spent, huh?
Q: Did they take any photos of you?
A: Maybe they did it secretly just to remember what weirdos look like in Los Angeles.
Photos and interview by Michael Shen, blogger of lacantdrive.com
Are you ready to Defend Your Ride? If so, email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Defend Your Ride L.A.” in the subject line for submission details.
View previous Defend Your Ride features and other great stories for people who love cars at CBSLA.com/Autos.