WWRD? It Begins

Remember "Toonces The Driving Cat?"

You have to admit that was one of Saturday Night Live's most brilliant ideas during the Phil Hartman era. The concept of having a cat that drove the family car even with Victoria Jackson and Steve Martin in it was something else.

You know who else loves to drive? Me! Yet, compared to Toonces, I avoid any cliff as humanly possible.

The point here is a new fun and interactive way to develop crowd-sourced content towards further engagement for V&R. I call it "WWRD?" Translation: What Would Randy Drive?

How this works is simple. Via V&R's social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, I will ask the question for WWRD? submissions. The submissions are compiled and delivered with 3-5 vehicles as called out by YOU.

On your end, just give me a vehicle – any car, truck, SUV/crossover, van of any make, model and year. What I do is compile what I know of said vehicle and give you an answer why or why not I would drive it. I'll also explain why.

It's a Dart!

Remember the Dodge-Alfa Romeo compact I "speculated" a month or so ago? Well…it's got a name…

Much to the glee of everyone even remotely not in the automotive industry, the Dart name is a throwback to a simpler time. The nomenclature's reappearance was received with such joy never seen of any automobile in a very long time. It received huge media coverage – one of the television outlets in the Twin Cities had a piece on the Dart's return.

Perhaps I should explain why everyone went absolutely ecstatic over Chrysler's announcement of their new compact's name.

Historiography: The Class of 1982

The list can go on forever, but I will concentrate on the most important thing overall: Graduating high school. As I realize today that I am indeed on the latter side of my forties, remembering every moment of that year seems a bit difficult these days.

#VOTY11: The Winner Is…

The road to the Vehicle of the Year was not one to tread these days.

Now in its fifth year, the criterion for a winner gets tougher with more things to scrutinize and take notes on. It is not as easy to give the award away.

To be the VOTY, a vehicle has to be pretty darn good. There's no room for mediocrity when looking at vehicle quality, performance, ease of use, comfort, driving dynamics and overall efficiency. They also have to have a story behind them worth telling. Not to mention, a public say as to which one is worthy of the award.

The 27 vehicles nominated came from 16 brands that stretched from compact sedans all the way to heavy-duty pickups. These vehicles were assembled in seven different countries, mostly in the NAFTA zone. Under the hood were regular internal combustion engines either fueled by regular petrol, premium grade petrol or ultra-low sulfur diesel. Some had electric motors attached to them. One particular nominee had its electric motor be the primary mover of a vehicle.

Overall, the scoring was indeed tough. It actually came down to the voting itself to declare a winner.

Conversation Piece

That would include many vehicles out in the marketplace. The BMW M5 had many enthusiasts excited when it was announced that its turbocharged V8 packed 560 horsepower. The Lamborghini Aventador effectively replaced the Murcielago with an incredible look that had the supercar crowd wanting a piece of it.

The Victory & Reseda (Your Favorite December Holiday) Gift Guide

No matter what you call the end-of-the-year gift giving celebration…or, to which prescribed philosophy you celebrate it under…we're all in the throes of retail hell.

Why does holiday shopping have to be such hell? Because we always think big without considering the fiscal impact of doing so. Images of hybrid theories (or, as Malcolm Burt of Friday Night Furlosophy would call it "some imaginary sky theory") parlaying the dreams of wide-eyed children towards some form of relief from reality. The concept of gift giving, card sending and the intermixing of faith is a burden we all bear during the month of December.

As an automotive website, perhaps it's time to play in this sandbox.

The point being is to answer the question of what to give that special automotive enthusiast for the December gift giving ceremony. Now, this is not a wish list for me…but, rather a survey of what V&R would suggest to the gift giver if you're interested in running up your debt to the maximum.

Rather, here's a list of "affordable" gift ideas for your chosen holiday…

Driven Like The First Snow

In some cases, a vehicle may have received a not so glowing review. Perhaps I may have missed the point…or, something may not have been clear the first go round? There had been vehicles where the initial experience was negative, but all was resolved the second or third time around.

VOTY 2011: The Ballot

Have you voted for the Victory & Reseda Vehicle of the Year award? You can right here…and below…

Los Angeles 2011: The Auto Show that's 23 Miles from Victory & Reseda

It's true – I grew up 23 miles away from the site of this year's Los Angeles Auto Show.

So, how did I get 1,935 miles away from it? Why was I not there to cover it? Long story…but the show did yield some spectacular debuts. Some of these world premieres were well worth the wait.

It is a good thing that the Los Angeles Auto Show found resonance in its timeslot in November. The show itself puts the West Coast in the spotlight for our industry. November in Los Angeles is a great time to soak it all in – just before the Thanksgiving crush.

I'm talking about those of us in and around the automotive industry. But, for those of you who are planning to attend the show…what a way to spend turkey week!