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Biofeud! Silver Lake's Lovecraft Current and Former Owners Quarrel

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A Lovecraft Biofuels '77 to '85 Mercedes Benz conversion kit

Lovecraft in Silver Lake is where eco-minded peeps go to covert their old Mercedes diesels into vegetable oil-running machines. Today the Los Angeles Times reports on the "huge hipster soap opera," which has developed between current Lovecraft owner Tacee Webb and former owner Brian Friedman. "Webb's complaint alleged that Friedman swiped the database of 7,000 customers, hacked into the company's computer system, changed the business phone number, sold cars without a license and accepted payment from people for cars he never delivered, damaging the Lovecraft name." An injunction against Friedman ensued in February. Friedman has also filed complaints: "Friedman contends that Webb liquidated the car inventory after customers had been promised vehicles and tried to evict him and his girlfriend from a Topanga Canyon house owned by Webb. Friedman's legal documents say that Webb promised Friedman the house in exchange for a share of the business." Webb says that Friedman moved in to the house prior to consent.

Meanwhile, there are questions as to how environmentally-friendly the whole thing is. An air pollution specialist with the state Air Resources Board tells the LAT, " reclaimed grease generally emits lower levels of particulates...but still releases significant amounts of other pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide." Competitors say Lovecraft's conversion kits "aren't the most mechanically sophisticated on the market." As Justin Carven, the founder and president of Greasecar Vegetable Fuel Systems in Massachusetts tells the paper, "I think a larger part of their [Lovecraft's] marketing is about pretty people driving funky-colored old Mercedes around town." What, you can't think about the environment and your image at the same time?
· Cutting-edge Silver Lake biofuel company is embroiled in a legal battle [LAT]