The Heirloom MkII: Genesis in Blue – Parts 3 and 4

Photo courtesy of the Orange County Register

From humble beginnings to a breaking point, this was where The Heirloom’s story takes a turn.

Hometown pride is one thing. Supporting the Los Angeles Dodgers was easy, as long as they were winning. As long as Tommy Lasorda delivered on his enthusiasm, his loyalty to the O’Malley family, and to the fans in Southern California, that’s all we cared about.

Sometimes, it was a listen to 790 KABC Talk Radio to check in with Vin Scully to see how they were doing. Yet, my clock radio had some magic in its transistors. It would pick up the voice of Jerry Coleman giving me a glimpse on how the San Diego Padres were doing. On some nights, the faint voice of Lindsey Nelson on KNBR in San Francisco would bring me the latest on what the Dodgers’ mortal enemy was doing.

My clock radio may have provoked something about my love for baseball.

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The Heirloom MkII: Genesis in Blue – Parts 1 and 2

Photo courtesy of ladodgerssgv on

Today, we reignite an old blog – within this website.

Randy’s MLBlog of several years, The Heirloom, becomes a column on Victory & Reseda. The first initial articles are repostings of old pieces from the MLBlog’s past. These will serve as a re-introduction to how baseball has informed this journalist’s life, even as a parallel to his automotive life.

Enjoy the rebirth of The Heirloom – MkII.

Where did this thing called The Heirloom began?

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What Do You Call This SUV?

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited Ultimate AWD
2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited Ultimate AWD – All Photos by Randy Stern

How important is the SUV to Hyundai’s bottom line? Well…

A few years ago, I attended the media drive for the 2016 Hyundai Tucson. The message delivered by the company’s USA brass was simple – they needed to compete in a growing SUV market. Since then, they are indeed competing in this market-leading segment of automobiles with a three-vehicle approach. A fourth vehicle – the subcompact Kona – will join the current lineup later in 2018.

Aside from the Kona and Tucson are a couple of larger SUVs Hyundai sells – the Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Sport. One of the questions that consumers ask is why these two distinct SUV products have the same name? In the USA, we know the Sport is a two-row SUV with a four-cylinder engine lineup, including a punchy turbocharged engine at the top of the range. The larger model – simply called the Santa Fe – is a three-row model available only with a V6 engine.

This all seems clear for USA consumers. Continue reading

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Historiography: Joined at The Hip

16th Annual TSI/Smith Nielsen Automotive Service Car Show
All Photos by Randy Stern

There was a time when two of the ultimate names in the British automotive industry was a single entity.

It was an interesting case of co-development where two very different and distinctive motorcars were fused into one body, one driveline, and one form of vehicular execution. Even with the oft occasion of separate development, the badge and the shape of the grille only denoted one brand over another.

We know many instances of badge engineering in the past and today. However, to think that once upon a time, Rolls-Royce and Bentley were one and the same.

How did they get to the point of being a singular entity producing some of the most desirable automobiles of its time? Continue reading

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Chicago 2018: Kevin’s View

2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 – All Photos by Kevin Tran/slashMedia

So far, you have seen Michael Gatch‘s phoptohgraphy, Anthony Fongaro‘s commentary, and my story from the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. We’re just getting started with the rest of the coverage.

Now, it’s slashMedia‘s turn. You can see some video teasers on their Instagram (@slashmediagroup) from the Chicago Auto Show. However, Kevin Tran (Instagram: @thenomadictire) is up first with his best ten images from the show. Let’s see what Kevin has come up with…

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Chicago 2018: The Reasons Why We Go

2018 Chicago Auto Show
All Photos by Randy Stern

Throughout the nation and indeed the world, there is a type of event that happens in almost every major city. Although there are major destinations, these shows serve multiple purposes. These are auto shows and they draw millions of people to them.

Recently, the Chicago Auto Show held its Press Days and just started its public days from February 10th to the 19th. Even though there are many auto shows held throughout the year, there are a few questions that come to mind. Why do we have these events? Why do some manufacturers put in so much effort with entertainment, raffles, and other attractions while others will skip a major auto show like the North American International Auto Show?

What comes to mind when you walk into a car dealership? Continue reading

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Chicago 2018: Michael’s View

All Photos by Michael Gatch

Two years ago, Michael Gatch joined me to help capture images from the Chicago Auto Show. What he came up with was a set of beautiful images with varying degrees of light and emotion. This year, he returned on his own, however would be a part of a growing team of content creators adding more context to V&R’s own coverage of the show.

The Northwest Indiana-based photographer had a few interesting stints prior to returning to his home base. In the Pacific Northwest, he networked and created beautiful content among the car community out there, as he had in the Twin Cities. Yet, I noticed a new spark from Michael, as we walk around one of the halls at McCormick Place. He began talking to the OEM and brand people on Media Day in getting an idea of how to expand the breadth of his content – including writing and video content.

I was happy to see that he is gaining an interest in automotive media. He is already a member of the V&R Family, and I am happy to state that he will be adding more than what you will be seeing below (and from his work two years ago).

In the meantime, this is what Michael came up with from the two halls at McCormick Place. More Chicago Auto Show coverage to come from other members of this year’s expanded team! Enjoy!

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Chicago 2018: My Take

#squad #cas18
That’s just five of us… – All Photos by Randy Stern, except noted otherwise

Since 1901, Chicago has hosted one of the largest auto shows in North America – if not, the world.

The over one million square feet of space inside two halls of McCormick Place houses almost every automotive brand in the country for a span of almost two weeks. The highlights point to a charity preview night that raises over $2.5 million for local causes and organizations yearly, before welcoming hundreds of thousands of people inside to look at 1,000 vehicles on display, while enjoying interactive exhibits showcasing the capabilities of these vehicles.

Before all of this, the 110th rendition of the Chicago Auto Show welcomes the media. Hundreds of us make our way through the one million square feet of space over the two halls to see exactly what everyone else will see in a matter of mere hours after we leave.

For me, this is my tenth time attending the show as a credentialed member of the automotive media. In fact, this the eighth time in-a-row since 2011 working the media preview inside McCormick Place, south of The Loop.

The one thing I keep telling myself before arriving into Chicago – this routine doesn’t get old.

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Not Exactly The Review You Want To Read…

2018 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Sport
2018 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Sport AWD – All Photos by Randy Stern

I was going to do a review of a wonderful premium-branded sports sedan, but things did not turn out the way it was supposed to end.

Let me explain…

The car in question was a 2018 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Sport AWD. Continue reading

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On The Dial: The World In His Eyes

Richard Blade's Autobiography
Photo by Randy Stern

First of all, I am not a book reviewer.

However, this column is about a book. This one was written by a well-known air personality and disc jockey who was at the center of a movement in radio programming. His voice can still be heard on SiriusXM’s 1st Wave channel, along with various appearances at DJ and MC events related to the decade of his greatest professional triumphs.

The air personality is Richard Blade. His book is called “World In My Eyes.”

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