Thinking Out Loud

Photo by Randy Stern

Victory & Reseda wants to do something for the Carmmunity.

This site is becoming more than just a look at the automotive industry and a place where vehicle reviews live. It has dipped its toes into the pool of enthusiasts and has learned what makes them tick.

Actually, V&R is still learning. There is more of that pool to explore.

Considering the stories coming up for V&R (and Randy's work in Lavender), the bar has been raised. We are going trackside soon. We are going to more events – some, for the first time. Just being out there, representing V&R and other outlets help in making the inroads needed to bridge readers to this work.

However, V&R wants to do more. It wants to embrace a wider carmmunity. It wants to bring people and their vehicles together. But, how? There are plenty of opportunities to do that already, right?

A recent visit to a local car meet sent the neurons in my brain flying. It helped when a friend of mine garnered a Top 10 award from said car show with his wonderful 2008 Dodge Caliber SRT4. In all, it sent me to the drawing board hoping I could come up with something that would engage the carmmunity that speaks to V&R's commitment to bridging everyone together.

Some options are being considered for such an event. This would take place later on this year, if not for the spring of 2014. These are some thoughts on what is possible for a V&R carmmunity event for its home base in the Twin Cities.

CAR MEET: It is probably the lesser effort of the ideas being tossed around here. It would be more of a meet where no categories are set up or competitions are created pitting one car against another. It is simply to bring your vehicle, meet other people and have a good time as a carmmunity.

There are logistics involved. Finding a venue where up 25-50 vehicles can be shown in an organized fashion. The venue should have additional space for sponsors (if any) to set up their space. Plus, there should be ample parking nearby for spectators to attend. It should also be pet friendly, as we know that people would love to bring their pets along. Bathroom facilities – whether they are portable toilets and permanent fixtures – are also a must.

What about food and drink? Obviously, no alcohol will be served on site. A food truck is optional, but there is nothing wrong with just bringing coolers of water and soda pop. It could be a "bring your own beverage as long as it is non-alcoholic" situation, also.

It should be an open show where no makes trump another, no class rules the roost and no era is significant above another. Just bring your vehicle, show it off, talk about with others and make connections.

There are some caveats, however. Behavior is important, especially when venues lend themselves to certain community situations. Obviously, burnouts, hooning behaviors and other forms of anti-social behavior – by both vehicles and humans – will be discouraged. The idea is to maintain a safe, friendly, politics-free atmosphere for all to attend.

URBAN/SUBURBAN RALLY/CRUISE: An activity for participants is to get out and drive. You could show you car, but can it move? If so, can you enjoy the pleasure of driving without the stress of competition and incorporating the camaraderie of your fellow motorists?

In the Twin Cities and environs, there are plenty of routes to explore on such a rally/cruise. Minneapolis' Grand Rounds mentioned last month offers challenges reserved for some cities. The elevations and curves are fun, but traffic might be an issue. Besides, an average 25-30MPH speed limit around the entire route. St. Paul and other communities offer similar routes. While scenic and less challenging, there is a bit of a speed limit rise, keeping drivers interested, at least.

The alternative would be a more regional rally/cruise. On some roads, the speeds will be higher and the views would vary – from flat farmland to truly scenic vistas. I could think of several routes to tackle with intermediary stops for food and facilities.

This could be a bit riskier, but potentially done without much liability and an emphasis on safety and fun over competition.

AN EVENT FOR CHARITY: Some organizations and sponsors tie some form of sponsor as part of the program. Proceeds from donations, fees and leftover from expenses would go to a worthy cause. In this case, the cause would have to be locally based that emphasize serving this community or for a greater good beyond this region.

My two main charities I support are the Aliveness Project and Justin's Gift. The Aliveness Project provides food and resources to people with HIV/AIDS. Though their main fundraiser is the local edition of Dining Out for Life, the potential for growth in service needs could be looming. With more new cases of HIV/AIDS across all populations, programs such as the Aliveness Project would be taxed if the new cases seek services from it and other related organizations.

Justin's Gift was formed in the wake of the suicide of local teenager Justin Aaberg in 2008. In his memory, Tammy Aaberg has formed a foundation geared towards helping other LGBT teens to find community and a safe place to be themselves. Currently, they are forming a support group for LGBT teens in the region. This will augment the many services and resources Justin's Gift would provide to ensure a healthy life for LGBT teens struggling through bullying and other challenges while in school and at home.

I am certain there are other worthy organizations that would welcome any proceeds a V&R event would raise. It is a thought as an add-on down the line…or, sooner.

SPONSORSHIPS: Let us not call them "sponsors." Rather, they would be seen as collaborators. If entities collaborate, they can increase the capacity to bring participants and spectators alike.

What kinds of "sponsors" would be a good collaborator? Local car dealers are one source of collaboration. That collaboration would range from providing space to do the car show, a starting point for a rally/cruise or become an integral part of an event by showcasing their vehicles and providing any additional support for participants.

If any other automotive entity wants to join, that is great as well. They could reach out to participants and spectators on goods, services and on-site support. There could even include businesses or organizations that fit with V&R's efforts and work.

It is not a requirement to bring in sponsors in the onset. It is perhaps a "down the line" look at what is possible if the momentum gets going.

OR, JUST SIMPLY PARTICIPATE ELSEWHERE: If time, money, resources and commitment run short for a standalone event, why not join in? Sometimes, it is best to see what can be done with various resources to participate at a show currently in progress.

The opportunities to join in a show are plenty. There is the Monday RiceKillers meet in Brooklyn Park, the Wednesday MN Garage Geeks meet at the Sonic in Bloomington, Friday’s Frozen North LX meet at the same drive-in restaurant and the monthly MN C&C event out in Chanhassen. Plenty of opportunities to show off cars, talk V&R, network with organizers and such.

So, could this all be done? What about some of it? How about if it could be done at all? Right now, it is all a dream of this publisher and a web publication.

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  1. Hi Randy,

    I realize this is an older piece, but I'd like to see where you're at with this currently and potentially talk more about it.


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