DEFEND YOUR RIDE: David And Eliza At Disneyland

October 31, 2011 3:00 AM

dyr los angeles DEFEND YOUR RIDE: David And Eliza At Disneyland

“We had the door accidentally unlocked. Colin pulled the door handle, while we were on the freeway!”

The Driver: David and Eliza (with Colin) at Disneyland
Car in Question: 2003 Toyota Tacoma Pickup Truck
Spotted at: Disneyland, 1313 South Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, CA 92802
Odometer: 112,001
Car’s Nickname: The Silver Torpedo


Q: Why do you call your car The Silver Torpedo?

Eliza: Because I’m just being silly. It’s very large and silver.
David: It’s not silver, though.
E: Yeah, it is.
D: No, it’s like tan.
E: What?
D: OK, maybe it’s silver.
E: It’s silver.

Q: How long have you owned Mr. Torpedo?

D: It’s actually Eliza’s dad’s car. We’re borrowing it for a week, while we’re here in L.A.

Q: And where are you visiting from?

E: New York City.

Q: Excellent. Why are you here in Disneyland?

E:  We’re here with friends and family to spend time with them.

Q: Do you come to L.A. often?

E: At least once a year. I grew up here, so my family lives here and some very close friends of ours live here. We love visiting, but we just don’t know how people live here. The car culture is very…hmm…I guess inefficient. You just end up spending a lot of time in the car, and I feel like the traffic is worse than when I grew up. Every time we come back here, it just gets worse and worse.

Q: Where did you grow up?

E: On the West Side in West L.A. in Palms. My dad lives in Torrance right now, and my mom lives in Koreatown.

Q: How old are you?

E: I’m 30.
D: I’m 34.

Q: How much time do you usually spend in this car when you’re here?

E: We have family and friends all over the place, so maybe three or four hours a day.
D: That sounds about right.

Q: Wow, that’s a lot. What’s your favorite or worst part about being in the car?

D: The worst part is that it’s probably not the cleanest car.
E: <laughs> This is true. It used to be my dad’s work truck.
D: Best part about it, it’s a mode of transportation that was free.

Q: How would you compare driving in L.A. with driving in N.Y.C.?

E: It’s crazy here. I think this is the one deterrent keeping us from living here. It seems like there was no planning involved in the organization and the development of the city. It’s just a huge sprawl where the streets don’t really make any sense and the highways are clogged.

Q: So your main complaint is the congestion and the roads?

D: Pretty much.
E: Yes, and it’s not even just during rush hour. Yesterday, we were stuck in traffic at two o’clock in the afternoon on a Thursday.

Q: Traffic isn’t too much of an issue for you in N.Y.C.?

D: Well, no, not generally because we take public transportation and don’t own a car. However, we do a car-sharing program called Zipcar. We generally take cars out on the weekends at which time the traffic isn’t so bad.

Q: Do you have any rules in this particular truck?

D: No particular rules. Just no opening the doors while the car is moving.
E: Because that almost happened yesterday.

Q: Colin?

D: We had the door accidentally unlocked, and Colin pulled the door handle while we were on the freeway. Fortunately, it didn’t fully open. It only half opened. So if you were to push it, it wouldn’t open, but it was very close.

Q: Is there anything else we should know about this car?

E: It stores a lot of stuff in the trunk.
D:  Actually, there’s a story with this car.
E: Oh yes! This is actually a really cool story.
D: So awhile back, when Eliza’s dad just bought the car, he had it serviced—you know, just doing regular maintenance and what not. It was parked in front of his house. The next morning, he found that his car got stolen. He reported it to the police, filed the papers, and whatnot. But I guess it was a week later or so, he and his family were planning a trip to go drive up to Kings Canyon Park in his R.V. As they were driving up, they noticed that there was this truck that looked like the one that he purchased. He recognized it because he had put mirror caps on the side view mirrors and a piece of chain with a lock at the back of the truck. He immediately called the state patrol. They asked him where he was. As he was tailing this guy in his R.V., the state patrol came by and pulled over the other driver.

Q: How did the police know that it was your dad’s car?

E: Her dad said he knew the combination of the lock at the back of the car! Sure enough, he crawls underneath and unlocks this combination lock to prove that it was his car. The police took the guy into custody. Her dad was able to get his truck back after only a few days.

Q: And it was a brand new truck when it got stolen?

D: Yes, brand new truck. And we think–they never actually caught the culprits who stole his car–but we think it had something to do with the mechanic they took it to to get it serviced right before it got stolen.

Q: So what did the guy say to the police when he got out of the truck?

D: I don’t remember. I think he just said he had bought it off some guy. But when the police searched the car inside, they even saw a Korean church directory in the back that had her father’s information on it or something like that.

Q: And was the driver Korean?

E: No, he was white. My dad’s family said that the way the C.H.P. came down on the truck was very impressive. Out of nowhere, they made a formation like an arrow—like one guy in the front and two guys on either side, and they just slid right in front of the truck. They were very impressed with how the C.H.P. apprehended the driver.

Photos and interview by Michael Shen, blogger of

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