Camaro and Corvette Concepts by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Concept by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Concept by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

Well, if you are a car fan then you know the beginning of November means that the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) car show in Las Vegas is about to unleash a bunch of customized show cars for 2012!!

This show is not for small customizers anymore, the big boys have been here for sometime now, and 2011 SEMA is no exception.

The raw SEMA photo feed is here (no photos till Nov. 1):

http://www.semadigital.com/

GM’s HOT

Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Concept by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Concept by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

This year has been a good year for GM, and this has been especially true for the new Camaro. To celibrate, Chevrolet is coming to this year’s SEMA show with six hot concept Camaros and Corvette models.

They are designed to show off exactly what the owners can do with their vehicles with a little time, money, hot chicks and imagination.

There will be a number of GM concepts wearing special visual upgrades, including the Camaro Convertible Red Zone Concept, Camaro Synergy Series Concept and the Camaro 1LE Concept.

CAMARO
The Camaro 1LE Concept is oh so hot!! Die-hard Chevy fans will likely recognize the 1LE package code as a road-racing designation, and the concept isn’t a disappointment.

Along with a new rocker panels outside and a new spliter, the Camaro has a magnetic ride control suspension, special chassis bracing, a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox, Brembo brakes and a host of bits lifted from the meaner ZL1. Those include a dual-mode exhaust, shifter and flat-bottom steering wheel, which are a welcome interior upgrade.

Speaking of the ZL1, fans of that machine will enjoy a new Camaro ZL1 Carbon Concept packed with trimmings made from the lightweight weave.

CORVETTE

Corvette Concepts by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

Corvette Concepts by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

Corvette fans will also get a chance to take a peek at two special concepts, including a Grand Sport designed to pay tribute to 50 years of the Corvette nameplate at Carlisle and a Corvette Z06 Ron Fellows Hall of Fame tribute car.

I would love to see the Ron Fellow car raced in a NASCAR race, with big Coke logos on the side and Costco plastered all over the front.

Yeah, the Coke Costco Ron Fellows Corvette raced in NASCAR would be a dream made complete with Arnold Schwarzenegger at the flat bottom wheel!!    😉

Ron Fellow Corvette Concept by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

Ron Fellow Corvette Concept by GM at the 2011 SEMA car show in Las Vegas

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Los Angeles Dodgers file for bankruptcy – Owner Frank McCourt has obtained $150 million in interim financing in order to save the club from a take over by Major League Baseball

Los Angeles Dodgers file for bankruptcy - Owner Frank McCourt has obtained $150 million in interim financing in order to save the club from a take over by Major League Baseball
More drama for the biggest travisty in Major League Baseball history – The Frank McCourt mismanagement of the world famous Los Angeles Dodgers.

If you have not been following this… basically Frank McCourt made his money in the Boston real estate market specializing in the development of major commercial real estate projects, particularly parking lots.

I guess he loved parking lots so much, that he first tried to buy the Chicago Red Sox which has a large one, and then the Anaheim Angels and Tampa Bay Buccaneers; before finally succeeding in 2004 and bought the Los Angeles Dodgers for $430 million from NewsCorp, Rupert Murdoch’s flagship enterprise.

OPPS
McCourt’s purchase of the Dodgers was financed mostly by debt, with McCourt’s South Boston parking lot property was used as collateral for some of the financing to acquire the Dodgers from News Corp.

The Dodgers assets acquired by McCourt included significant real estate assets related to the stadium in Chavez Ravine, including stadium parking lot land. Plans have been announced for new real estate developments at Dodger Stadium. Hmm… Condos? Parking garages? A hospital for the elderly?

To offset the purchase, McCourt has raised ticket and concession prices every year. By 2010, the Dodger team and its related assets, in which McCourt had invested heavily in improvements, had increased in value to $727 million according to Forbes. Yeah, value gotten from the high ticket prices that the fans had to endure in order to go see a game.

What started it all, was that Frank McCourt decided to divorce his wife of 30 years – mega-businesswoman, Jamie “First Female CEO of a Baseball Team” McCourt. This bloody court fight exposed a lot of problems with the Dodgers finances, but it also threatened to saddle the team with the burden of a family feud in the owner box. In the end, they settled out of court.

Unfortunately it was contingent on Major League Baseball approving a 17-year television contract between the Dodgers and FOX Television. However, this month the MLB rejected the television deal and the settlement agreement fell apart.

Later last year it was revealed that the California Attorney General was opening an investigation into the team’s charitable foundation – the Dodgers’ Dream Foundation. It seem that according to tax returns, the charity’s chief executive Howard Sunkin, earned a salary of nearly $400,000 per year!! This is almost a quarter of the foundation’s entire budget. Sunkin is a close associate of McCourt and has worked with him during his divorce proceedings. The California courts awarded the funds to be repaid. McCourt personally repaid $100,000 – but, seriously!! What a scumbag!!!

HERE AND NOW
Today, Los Angeles Dodgers issued a statement that owner Frank McCourt has obtained $150 million in interim financing, and if the Delaware bankruptcy court approves the financing at a hearing on June 28, 2011.

It seems that McCourt could meet payroll and remain in charge of the team, but Major League Baseball is expected to challenge McCourt’s move. McCourt said the financing would stabilize the financial future of the team. The move also could extend the battle for ownership of the Dodgers well beyond this season, making it a long slow torture for us all.

“The action taken today by Mr. McCourt does nothing but inflict further harm to this historic franchise,” MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement.

Under the MLB constitution, the act of filing for bankruptcy enables the commissioner to strip McCourt of ownership. But bankruptcy court proceedings generally override MLB rules. If McCourt secures a favorable decision, he could keep the team and attempt to secure a lucrative, long-term television contract that would allow him to pay his bills.

Manny Ramirez is the Dodgers’ largest creditor, according to the bankruptcy filing. The Dodgers owe their former left fielder $21 million, followed by New York Yankees outfielder Andruw Jones ($11 million), Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda ($4.5 million) and shortstop Rafael Furcal ($3.7 million), and the Chicago White Sox ($3.5 million, for outfielder Juan Pierre).

The list of creditors also includes much of the current Dodgers roster, Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully ($152,778), the city of Los Angeles ($240,563 in tax debt), and two players yet to play for the Dodgers (prospects Zach Lee at $3.4 million and Alexander Santana at $499,500).

In their bankruptcy filing, the Dodgers said they owed almost $40 million this week alone, including $20 million in current and deferred salaries and $18.7 million to fund future deferred payments, in accordance with baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.

In his statement, Selig said the Dodgers’ financial woes were “caused by Mr. McCourt’s excessive debt and his diversion of club assets for his own personal needs. We have consistently communicated to Mr. McCourt that any potential solution to his problems that contemplates mortgaging the future of the Dodgers franchise to the long-term detriment of the club, its loyal fans and the game of baseball would not be acceptable.”
So, what will happen with the Los Angeles Dodgers? I don’t know which will be better, McCourt keeping the team, or the MLB Corporate machine getting control of the team.

All the fans want is a good schedule, great play and wins. Something McCourt hasn’t done, even though he raised ticket prices.