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Podcast: Episode 75 – Whir: The best impression that Blake has ever done

Chris, Blake, and myself are all back in the same room for the first time in weeks. Blake has been off checking out the new ND Miata, and I was running wild down in Baja to test a brand-new BFGoodrich KO2 tire. We’re back now though, and Blake has shown …

Stop the pressers: a Hoonicopia of Automotive Excellence. And a Hyundai Pony too.

Nearly everyone in this business remembers their first presser with fondness, be it ever so humble. A Fit, a Corolla, a Dodge Neon with crank windows – it doesn’t matter what it was, just that you finally had the opportunity to write something useful or incisive or interesting. Mine was …

Enthusiast’s Guide To FIA Formula E

Remember how excited people got about the Audi R10 TDi racers when they debuted? They were something completely new and different. They were the pinnacle of technology, they were fast, they were quiet, and they wiped the floor with their competition. Starting this weekend, the FIA is trying to capitalize …

Podcast: Episode 74 – On the Road Again: NY and Virginia…

I’m on the road again, and I’m reporting in after spending some time in NY and Virginia. I’ve traveled up to NY to sample the all-new Lexus RC F, and then hopped on a plane to Virginia to sample some Volkswagen goodness. This is a special shorty episode, as it’s an On The …

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘LeMons South Fall’ preview at CMP

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Here’s a bit of 24 Hours of LeMons trivia (because everyone loves that): Carolina Motorsports Park has hosted 13 LeMons races, more than any other track. This weekend marks the second CMP race this year and it will be the 14th visit in LeMons checkered history. The LeMons Fall races are notable and distinct from the spring race in one important way: BS Inspection takes place amidst a parade of LeMons cars through nearby Camden, South Carolina, which then turns into a freak/car show in Camden’s downtown. This has become a staple of LeMons’ calendar and a race that many look forward to all year.

Early-week weather forecasts suggest that pleasant temperatures and dry-but-humid weather conditions should prevail this weekend, but rain has occurred often enough at CMP that veteran teams will be prepared for it. The full course should be enough space for the 113 registered entries, a somewhat paltry number after the overwhelming 228 that turned laps at Thunderhill last weekend. You can see the unofficial entry list here and be sure to read on for a slightly more involved and, of course, high-brow preview of the race.

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Installing the 3M Paint Defender Spray
on Jason Connor’s Mountune Focus ST

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Hooniverse Associate Editor Jason Connor has a pretty rad machine in the form of his mountune Ford Focus ST. He has been taking it to the track, and hitting the canyons, while also using the car to serve as the occasional Hooniverse camera car. That means he’s getting some paint chips on the nose of his beloved vehicle.

We’ve turned to 3M for some help. They produce the Paint Defender System, which is essentially a spray-on paint protection film. It’s affordable, easy to install, and also easy to remove down the road when you need to replace it.

Take a look as Jason installs the film on his car.

For more information, head to http://www.3Mauto.com and be sure to ask them any questions you have on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/3MAutoUSA)

[Disclaimer: 3M provided the system for free. Also, they want us to give away some kits... I just need to think of a contest.]

Podcast: Episode 75 – Whir: The best impression that Blake has ever done

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Chris, Blake, and myself are all back in the same room for the first time in weeks. Blake has been off checking out the new ND Miata, and I was running wild down in Baja to test a brand-new BFGoodrich KO2 tire. We’re back now though, and Blake has shown up at the podcast palace riding the Zero SR electric motorcycle. My ride isn’t as cool as that (Elantra GT) but I did just spend a weekend with the 2014 Dodge Viper.

Hop the jump to hear more about all of that…

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Craigslist Crapshoot

Robert Emslie September 17, 2014 Craigslist Crapshoot

The World’s Worst Car Is For Sale On Craigslist

Welcome to Craigslist Crapshoot, our weekly search for the most bizarre, awesome, and/or terrible vehicles that the online classifieds has to offer. 

Little Twelve Toes was one of my favorite episodes of School House Rock, because it was both funky and creepy, what with an alien that had twelve digits on each extremity and a head that disembarked with his hat every time it was doffed. That attraction has translated to my adulthood as I now have an attraction to 12-cylinder automobiles even though I know they are all far from the most resource efficient, and there’s really not a one that wouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg – and maybe a head if you’re an alien – to maintain. Still, last week we dreamed big. We’ll see the most twelvalicious in a sec, but first this week’s challenge.

This week’s quest comes from Jim Yu who wants to see some sweet factory decals. That’s right, this week we want all the screaming chickens, snapping snakes, and ICOC stickered cars you can find. The more garish the better. This quest will probably limit your findings to cars and trucks of the ’70s and early ’80s, but if you can find anything outside that age range, all the better.

As always, we want your finds to go down in infamy and not in the site’s spam filter. Follow any of the following advice and you’re crap will be known far and wide.

  1. Easiest way to not get caught in the spam filters is to create an IntenseDebate account. If you do so and your posts aren’t appearing, let us know at tips@hooniverse.com and we can put you on the whitelist
  2. If you don’t want an IDC account, you can create a wordpress.com account and do the same thing.
  3. If you’re the Ted Kaczynski type and don’t want any kind of account, then try to place only a single link in a comment and just drop any outgoing link in via its raw URL and not as a text link.

If you’re down with that, let’s see the dirtiest dozen.

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Stop the pressers: a Hoonicopia of Automotive Excellence. And a Hyundai Pony too.

Brendan McAleer September 17, 2014 Featured, Quick Shifts

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Nearly everyone in this business remembers their first presser with fondness, be it ever so humble. A Fit, a Corolla, a Dodge Neon with crank windows – it doesn’t matter what it was, just that you finally had the opportunity to write something useful or incisive or interesting. Mine was a Nissan S-Cargo. That… that explains a lot, actually.

Most importantly, it explains why I spend the bulk of every Monday asking the question: “How can I avoid writing about new cars this week?” Not that there’s anything wrong with new pressers, and Our Blessed Lady of Acceleration knows there are many who would cheerfully roshambo me for the chance to drive the base-engine Sonata that’s in the driveway this week. So, no complaining.

However, life is too short for electric power steering and the same damn thing fifty other people are going to talk about. I like to think I have a nose for sussing out stuff that’s far better – or way, way worse – than your average modern car. This is a clip show, of sorts, of a few things I’ve been up to this year that I thought might appeal to the Hooniversal reader. There’s a Turbo Esprit. There’s a Pony. Strap in.

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Hooniverse Asks- Should We Just Quit Pretending That Anyone Wants to Sit In the Middle Seat?

Robert Emslie September 17, 2014 Hooniverse Asks

Bitch Seat

When it comes to the typical sedan, unless it is really small – like 30-clown small – it more than likely has belts for three in the back seat. Again, if it’s even a mid-sizer, that middle perch is pretty much a penalty box when it comes to anything other than a trip next door.

The middle – or, to be totally politically incorrect the ‘bitch‘ seat – is offered by manufacturers as a throwaway feature that the makers can tout, or perhaps a nod to the insurance industry. It would seem that a five-passenger car must necessarily be better than one that only seats four. As a matter of fact, when Volkswagen couldn’t move the 4-place Passat CC here in the States, they shipped a slew of them back to Germany where they were retrofitted with back seats that could take 5 in a pinch.

It seems that for most cars – and a lot of pickup trucks as well – that pinch is exactly how that middle seat occupant will feel as cars today just don’t offer the width necessary for three-across seating. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to condemn my friends to center seat purgatory on  even the shortest of runs. What with even FWD cars having sizable tunnels these days, and the aforementioned skinny minnie-ness of most cars, it just seems cruel. What do you think, shall we just all agree that the middle seat is not a real thing and eliminate that extra belt that lives back there?

Image: Mummy Of 3 Diaries

Last Call- Ready for Launch Edition

Robert Emslie September 16, 2014 Last Call

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Todd McLellan takes beautiful photographs of motorcycles. This image is a from a series taken both in side view and, as seen above, from top-down. That’s a rarely captured view, giving the bike the appearance of a rocket on the pad, and lends a totally different angle on a bike’s beauty. There’s something else about this particular bike that’s extremely different, can you guess what it is? The answer is here.

Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged. 

Image: Artnau

The Best Guy on Craigslist, Part 2: Four Early-’80s Imperials for $2000

1981 chrysler imperial for sale

Unfortunately for me, I’m resigned to believe that a solid-axle, rear-wheel-drive Detroit V8 powered car can only be so bad. I’m just a notch too young to have experienced the contrast between a humble but reliable late-70s Honda and a corpulent, shoddily assembled contemporary Buick. With that in mind, The Best Guy on Craigslist’s fleet of 4 Imperials for $2,000 seems like a recipe for an incredibly successful and classy LeMons squad.

While the early and late cars spring to mind most quickly, we must remember the Imperial name graced the graced one of Chrysler’s last RWD cars until recent times. Sharing a platform with the Dodge Monaco and (non-Corinthian) Chrysler Cordoba, the early-80s Imperial came with a TBI’ed 318 V8, 904 transmission and a ton of cheesy early-80s luxury touches like fake crystal and over-padded velour seats.

While these seem to be run-of-the-mill Imperials, a good theme might be to construct one into each version of the special editions they were available in, most notably the Frank Sinatra SE, which came with a box set of 16 Sinatra tapes.

Check out all the slant-nose glory right here: Four 1981-83 Chrysler Imperials for sale – SF Bay Craigslist

We’ve got one more post from this seller, but that’ll have to wait for Thursday…

Two Wheel Tuesday – Get your GSX-R on Route 66’r

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A good friend, Mikko, decided before this summer that what he needed in his life, along with American cars in various states of functionality, was a fast bike. He proceeced to acquire a 2004 Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K4 without hesitating, and he’s had a great summer riding around the country on the yellow menace. But now, he believes it might be for the greater good to get rid of it. Can you believe?

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Weekend at Beaulieu:- The Museum. Pt 2:- Bikes

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A visit to England’s National Motoring Museum is something that, until last weekend, I’m ashamed to say I’ve never got around to doing. So when I visited the annual International Autojumble hosted there, I made sure I devoted the entire weekend to taking the place in properly.

On Thursday you joined me for a whistle-stop photo-tour of some of the more comment-worthy cars to be found among this immense collection. Today we bring the wheel-count down a notch or two and explore some of Beaulieu’s beautiful bikes.

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