Category Archives: Automobile Lifestyle

Commentary: An “Outsider’s” View of The Car Scene in Minnesota

Tweet Photo by Randy Stern Car season began in Minnesota a month-and-a-half ago. I was reminded of it at the time by the flood of social media posts with anxious enthusiasts waiting to arrive at AutoMotorPlex in Chanhassen prior to … Continue reading

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V&R Stories: Licensed for Adventure

Tweet It has been 37 years since I first obtained my driver’s license. This laminated card with my photo, stats, restrictions and endorsements has been my passport to the world. Well, maybe just one country – albeit one huge one. … Continue reading

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A Change In Plans

Tweet Photo by Randy Stern No Cars & Coffee? For the first time in over nine seasons that one of the premier car meets in America – let alone the state of Minnesota – will not take place at their … Continue reading

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Travelogue: Lamenting The Lonely Highway

Tweet Des Moines on a Saturday night. Photo by Randy Stern Sometimes, the romance of the open highway may not be as romantic as I once envisioned. When I was younger, I found myself driving between Southern and Northern California … Continue reading

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Commentary: What is a Luxury Car These Days?

Remember when luxury meant you sat in a nicely appointed interior and moved with grace along the tarmac? You sat in plush velour or the best leather hides behind a swath of wood trim, elegantly-styled instrumentation, while being entertained by a fine audio system.

Nowadays, a luxury car is all about the toys. How much technology can you truly throw into a $30,000-plus automobile? The list of toys on today’s prestige automobiles is unbelievable. If we just start listing out the latest in active safety technology alone, we may forget about the satellite navigation system, intelligent driving aids, central knob controls, iPod/MP3 player porting and Bluetooth enabler inside the cabin. Don’t forget about the airbag count!

Now, what is the latest “toy?” Let’s see, gas/electric hybrid propulsion systems and cleaner diesel technology. It’s not enough to have performance, but to become responsible towards cleaner greenhouse gasses. To pay over $45,000 for the privilege of being guilty for buying a luxury car and showing your true political stripes concurrently.

This is why I am anticipating a mass abandonment by the glitterati on Oscar Night of the Toyota Prius. Remember last year when some of the key celebrities showed up on the red carpet coming out of the ubiquitous hatchback because it was the latest in automotive efficiency? Now, celebrities can show off their green bling in their Lexus RX400h and the GS450h luxomobiles. Continue reading

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Historiography: When Motoring Meant Something

Tweet Photo by Randy Stern When you were a kid, what did your parents drive around in? Can you recall that far back enough to remember your first car ride? How about the time first time you went on a … Continue reading

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Travelogue: New Roads Found in The Carolinas

Tweet The Blue Ridge Parkway – All Photo by Randy Stern New adventures, new opportunities…these are what I always worked hard to achieve. This seems to be the theme of this work on this site of late. So far in … Continue reading

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Commentary: On the Air With…

Tweet Tom Stryker on the air in La Crosse – Photo by Randy Stern When I was a kid, I wanted to be a radio air personality. They called these men and women “disc jockeys” in my day. They had … Continue reading

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The Forecast Called For…

Tweet 2017 Lexus GX 460 – All Photos by Randy Stern A Victory & Reseda review of the 2017 Lexus GX 460 When I was a Boy Scout, they told us to simply “be prepared.” As I was looking on … Continue reading

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Commentary: What Turns Your Ignition?

Is this the key to your heart?

If you happen to own a Bentley Continental GT, Flying Spur or GTC, this is it! For those of us familiar with Volkswagen Group products, you may also see this key as a fancified version of the same key that operates your Jetta.

Why am I talking about a key? Well, Edmunds.com began the discussion by listing the ten coolest key fobs out in the market. The weighted Bentley switchblade key/remote locking fob obviously came in first. The list also includes some very prestigious names, such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover and Cadillac. Each key and fob is distinctive in relation to their brand. A Range Rover owner can lose their key down a canyon and not get crushed to death if it fell within 30 feet of the point of departure. Some keys no longer employ a blade to enter into a lock or ignition cylinder. The Toyota Prius lets you shove the fob into a slot onto the have you push the button to start the car.
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