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Byline: -- Staff and Wire Services

GURNEY MUSTANG DEBUTS

To celebrate what it says is America's first all-Mustang showroom, Galpin Ford tonight will roll out the new Dan Gurney limited edition Saleen Mustang.

Gurney, a legendary race car driver, will also be at the party at Galpin Motors Mustang Showroom, 15555 Roscoe Blvd., North Hills. The event runs from 5to 8p.m., and Gurney will sign autographs during the last hour.

The new Saleen sports a 465-horsepower, 281-cubic-inch engine, a short-throw shifter and race-inspired interior.

Several of the 300 Saleens made will be available for sale through Galpin Motors.

RAISING THUNDER FOR CHARITY

The 14th annual Thunder on the Lot charity fundraiser returns this weekend to the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds in Lancaster, featuring music, children's activities and displays of cars, trucks and motorcycles.

The gates open at 3p.m. Saturday, with music and contests starting at 4p.m. The 1970s rock band Foghat will perform at 8p.m.

Admission is $5, with an additional $5 for parking. Kids younger than 12 are free. Admission is free Sunday, when the gates open at 10a.m. The day's highlights include a display of custom, imported and classic cars, along with big rigs and motorcycles. Also, a poker run starts at 7a.m. Sunday from Antelope Valley Harley-Davidson in Lancaster.

The event raises money for nearly two dozen Antelope Valley charities. Last year's event raised more than $300,000, bringing the Thunder on the Lot total to $1.7million. Schedules and details: www.thunderonthelot.com or www.kidscharitiesav.com.

HERTZ CUTS GAS PRICE

The Hertz Corp. is making it cheaper for customers to refuel their rental cars. Beginning July 1, the Fuel Purchase Option will reflect pricing based on the average price per gallon as set by the Oil Price Information Service in the geographical area where the car is rented.

Customers who elect to purchase a tank of gas at the outset of the rental pay local market fuel prices minus 15cents per gallon.

Customers who don't refill the fuel tank before returning the rental vehicle and elect the option of then having Hertz refuel the vehicle will pay the local market rate plus a refueling fee of $6.99.

PRIUS A HOT COMMODITY

Gas prices are on a record pace, and that makes the Toyota Prius a much sought-after vehicle, according to Cars.com.

The gas miser is now the most-searched new vehicle on the automotive Web site.

It's the first time the Prius has surpassed popular vehicles such as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry to take the No.1 position on the Cars.com Search Index.

The Prius first cracked into the top 10 most-searched vehicles last summer as fuel prices started to climb.

"It's not surprising that the Prius became the No.1 most-searched vehicle on Cars.com at the same time gas reached a $4 national average," Cars.com Editor in Chief Patrick Olsen said in a statement.

He said surveys have shown $4 to be the tipping point in consumer purchase behavior, and that rings true on his company's site.

Other fuel-efficient models making the list of the top 10 most-searched new vehicles on Cars.com include the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit.

FINAL WORD

Helmet hair: The condition of a person's hair after wearing a helmet for a long period of time. Short hair tends to stand on end, while long hair tangles and/or goes flat.

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(1 -- color) Dan Gurney limited edition Saleen Mustang

(2 -- color) Toyota Prius
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Title Annotation:DRIVE
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 13, 2008
Words:595
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