It’s always a bit of a risk sending four car nuts out into the hordes of an auto show, cameras at the ready, and asking them to bring back their favourites.

We did it with Senior Editor Jonathan Yarkony once, and all we got back was hamburger and hotdog photos. We did it with Jacob Black once… all we got was a (scary) glimpse inside his fractured mind.

This year, we sent Brendan McAleer, Chris Chase, Simon Hill and Dan Heyman into the fray of the LA Auto Show. These are their favourites.

Brendan McAleer:

Kia Ballast Point Sedona
At about 4:30 pm on the day of the show, having been up for twelve hours to catch the leaks overnight and having logged a dozen miles of back and forth getting elbowed in the endless scrums trying to take a picture of yet another crossover, Kia’s booth hoves into view like an oasis in the desert. Reporters, tradespeople, dealers, and all the other various hangers-on cluster around like wildebeests at the watering hole. So sure, it’s not production ready, but it’s still the best thing ever.

Back to the Future Tacoma
Really, it’s the simplicity of this idea that’s the best thing about it. Taking a bush-bar [the term you’re looking for is “‘roo bar” – Ed.], a bed rack, and a smattering of yellow KC off-road lights, Toyota transformed their Tacoma pickup into a childhood icon. It’s Marty McFly’s truck, the one we all lusted after – heck, Marty lusted after it too for a while – an image of off-road fun in the California sun. Sure, Doc’s gull-winged Mirai has a sense of humour about it as well, but the Taco’ still looks cool today. I’d love to wake up to find it in my driveway – “Throw another coat of wax on there, Biff.”

Dodge Viper ACR
While Fiat was busy trying to convince us that the Fiat 124 convertible provided a cure for erectile dysfunction (you’ll understand when you see the commercial), just around the corner Dodge had the real lusty presence. The bewinged Viper ACR is simply the baddest car on the show floor, capable of mopping up most of the exotics on display, as well as any of the concepts. It’s just such a beast, and suffers fools not at all.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
This car deserves its own detective show, with a lead character called Lucky. Hire pale-eyed Alexandra Daddario, give her a badge and a gun, and commence loose-cannoning all across Little Italy. The twin-turbo Giulia is prettier by half than the M4 GTS sitting across the way at the BMW booth, it’s more interesting, and it gives me heart palpitations. Amore!

Porsche 911SC Targa
Rob Zombie–lookalike Magnus Walker was on hand at the Pirelli booth to show off one of his “Outlaw” 911 builds. However, over at Porsche’s factory booth, the genteel simplicity of a classic 911 outshone all the cutting and welding. The Targa’s probably the least-loved variant of the classic cars, but the success of the new one is bringing it back into the spotlight again. It’s probably already too late to keep your eyes peeled for a good deal on one, but you might get lucky.

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