Los Angeles, CA is the automobile capital of the universe. We have lots of cars, lots of traffic and we used to have the worst smog in the country, if not the world. In the 1950's & 60's on an average day you couldn't see a block and breathing the stuff was hazardous. Because of those conditions legislation was passed in the 60's to require auto companies to build engines with pollution controls to try to make the air breathable again. Over the years the requirements have gotten stricter so now some cars like the Toyota Prius claim to produce cleaner air than they take in. I am not sure if I buy that but they are very clean running cars even compared to recent cars with low emissions.
During our shooting period for this World Wide Panorama I had to have my car smogged, to have it checked and approved for use in California, so I drove the car to my mechanic and thus began the process. I had to have the car tuned, repaired and checked, then drive the car to a smog test station where they put the car on a dynamometer to check the exhaust both idling and at driving speeds. If the car passes the information is electronically sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles so I can then receive my new registration when I pay the renewal fees. This of course ate up several days of my time since I had no transportation to get to work, the renewal fees were also late so this caused considerable delays and money to remedy that situation.
Our public transportation system here in LA is not very good and the city is so spread out that it is very difficult to get around without a car for most people. The working poor have to rely on this transit system and they feel the effects more than the middle or upper classes. In the last 20 years the city has undertaken the quest to build a modern rapid transit system but due to politics and money the progress is slow. Within 30 years, if the politicians don't chicken out, we can have a modern transit system that will benefit everyone.
So I finally got my car running and smogged so I now can get to work around the city. My present car is a 25 year old Volvo which has been a good car over the years I have owned it. because the cost of petroleum has shot though the roof I am going to have to replace the car soon with something a bit more economical. Since I hadn't been able to get around, to photograph another subject for Transportation
, a shot of my car being repaired seem fitting. Oh yes my mechanic, in the panorama, is Juan and both he and Ed have taken care of my car for about 10 years.