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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, December 17, 2001

The Left Lane
Maserati returns

Lovers of Italian performance sports cars won't have to spend a minimum $142,000 for a Ferrari or $290,000 for a Lamborghini now that Maserati is back.

The Modena, Italy, automaker with a storied racing history in the 1950s has returned to American showrooms after a 10-year absence with models in the (to borrow a line from the Rodeo Drive shopkeeper in "Pretty Woman") "just obscene" price category, rather than the "truly, truly offensive."

On order at JN Automotive are two Maserati Coupes and two Maserati convertibles, due to arrive in time for O'ahu's spring auto show. The coupe is priced at about $80,000; the convertible, about $100,000, said Roy Andres, sales manager for JN's exotic car division. One is already pre-sold.

The Maserati, which falls somewhere between a Ferrari and an Alfa Romeo on the luxury car scale, has a 4.2-liter V-8 engine that pounds out 385 horsepower, with a top speed of 176 mph. That's enough to get you caught on the speed cameras, but what on earth do you need to go that fast for?

"It's not the speed," said Andres with a laugh. "It's a matter of the money."

— Staff and wire reports

Animated nomination

"Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within," a Sony Pictures release completed by the filmmakers Square Co. earlier this year in Hawai'i, is one of nine potential nominees for the first-ever Best Animated Feature to be awarded next March by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Other nominees are "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius," "Marco Polo: Return to Xanadu," "Monsters, Inc.," "Osmosis Jones," "The Prince of Light," "Shrek," "The Trumpet of the Swan" and "Walking Life." This list will be pared down to three for voting by the academy next March.

— Wayne Harada, Advertiser entertainment editor

Bookstore catalogs

So many books, so little time. If you find yourself overwhelmed searching for the right book between the book stacks this season, pick up a Borders Holiday Catalog at the store's information desk on your next visit. This free catalog lists hundreds of books, CDs and movies to consider (you'll find similar guides at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Waldenbooks, though some stores already are out of stock and won't be getting more this season). Notes on large print and audiobook availability are included and, on the back, you'll find a coupon for 10 percent off total purchase through Dec. 24. There's also a section on bargain books and gift ideas, a timesaving addition.

—Chris Oliver, Advertiser staff writer

Agbayani to sign autographs at Macy's

New York Mets star Benny Agbayani, home for the Christmas holidays, will make an appearance from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Macy's Pearlridge's men's department. The baseball star will autograph any Myth apparel purchases, from novelty T-shirts to shorts. While supplies last, fans will also receive a free photo of Agbayani.

— Wayne Harada, Advertiser entertainment editor