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2015 Honda Fit – Why Jeff is Wrong

Most auto journalists, and Jeff, just love the 2015 Honda Fit, as they should. After all, it is an economical, affordable, reliable, and highly utilitarian vehicle. Completely redesigned for this year, the Fit is extremely important as its buyers are likely to become the future buyers of pricier Honda cars. …

The 2015 Honda Fit is Biggie Smalls

A good compact car is capable of magic. It needs to pretend to be quite small on the outside, but reveal a large interior space once the doors are opened. The 2015 Honda Fit should be named David Copperfield then there’s some serious prestidigitation going on here. By the way, …

Art Center Car Classic 2014 Brings the Cars of the Stars to Pasadena

The theme of this year’s Art Center Car Classic was Street to Screen, and the sculpture garden lawn at the venerated school’s North Campus was filled with not only a number of cars from the movies, but also those that had at one time been owned by film and TV …

Blazing through Baja
Testing the new BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrain tire

The names covering the walls clue me in to the fact that I’m somewhere special. My off-road naivety has me in the dark as to the placement of the actual dot on map that is my location. Still, the names… I recognize them. Walker Evans, Parnelli Jones, Rod Hall, and …

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Mid-Engined Rat Rod Pickup Gets an A for Concept, C+ for Execution

1935 mid engine rat rod pickup for saleWe try not to be in the business of too much mockery or negativity here at Hooniverse. It’s not that we’ve got no teeth, but that we do Car Stuff (writing, wrenching, racing, driving, etc) for fun. The world’s a serious place with enough serious business going on; we use Car Stuff as a refuge. When we run out of awesome stuff to talk about we can traffic in outrage and cynicism.

That said, there’s room for commentary and critique. The idea of a mid-engine-ed (sigh…) rat rod pickup is an attractive one. Plenty of room and frame rail to mount up a bitchin’ powertrain for the world to see…or maybe better hide it under a toolbox or something like these guys from this year’s Thunderhill LeMons. With so much room, one could drop in a cool I-8, a gnarly industrial/aircraft/marine powerplant or a unique FWD choice like a Cadillac 472/500. Alas, the (sadly, deceased) builder of this car elected for a more obvious choice: Chevy 350/350 combo on a big box-steel frame attached to a Jag IRS.

But maybe we can salvage it to something a dash more creative. First off, we need to fabricate a functional frunk. There’s ample room up front for luggage or kegs. The radiator’s currently in the grille, but were it relocated to the bed a much more aggressive chop could be taken out of the grille/hood area. That, or replace the grill with a solid “shield” of polished or die-rolled metal or something cool. Out back, we need to lower that IRS some (looks like it’s trying to avoid being kicked in the nuts), ditch those fuel tanks (for a single unit up front?) and fab some semblance of a bed. If you wanted to get really “theme-y” with it, you could add an engine stand/hoist and make it look like it’s hauling its own engine as cargo. Put the radiator in there askew to add to the effect. goofiness aside, this thing could probably be made into a decent performer. Also, can you think of any other vehicle with independent rear, but solid-axle front suspension?

Anyway, the current bid’s $4,000 with the auction ending Friday afternoon.

1935 Rat Rod Mid Engine Pickup for sale – eBay Motors

Thursday Trivia

Robert Emslie October 30, 2014 Thursday Trivia

Thirsday Trivia

Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars!

This weeks’ question: How did Chevrolet improve the production of French wines?

If you think you know the answer, pop the cork to the next page and see if you are right. … Continue Reading

Motorsports Weekend Guide: October 31 to November 2

Eric Rood October 30, 2014 Motorsports

MWG

Welcome to Hooniverse’s weekly look ahead to who’s racing what and where this weekend.

  •  Formula One’s U.S. date

  •  NASCAR and NHRA “playoff” weekends

  •  The big-buck sports car racers in Shanghai

  •  A ChumpCar tripleheader

  •  More exciting racing, quite a bit of it televised in the U.S.!

… Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks- What Are The Gas Prices in Your Neck of the Woods?

Robert Emslie October 30, 2014 Hooniverse Asks

gas_prices_comic

So I heard T Boone Pickens interviewed on NPR this week and he was lamenting the plummeting price per-barrel of oil, complaining that U.S. producers were drilling too much. You know what I say to that? Boo-freakin’-hoo T. Boone, go blame Tina Fey, because she was the on who was telling everybody to drill-baby-drill.

The truth is that – at least here in ‘Merica – we’re seeing a bit of a respite from ever climbing gas prices. I don’t know if it really is that U.S. producers are pumping an excess out of the ground like Pickens avers, or if the Oil Companies just forgot which way was up, but I appreciate the lesser impact on my meager funds every time I fill up these days. You know it won’t last forever though, so I guess we should all just enjoy it while we can – and maybe all go out and buy Hummers or Lamborghini Diablos or something.

I’m not just interested in my own fill-up financials however, that would be pretty damn selfish of me. No, I’m also eager to learn how you all are faring, and what the price at the pump is in your area. If you’re outside the U.S., have you seen prices decline in the past month or so? And if you’re here, where T. Boone Pickens is pissed he’s not getting more of your money, how much are you spending of late?

Image: US Message-board

Last Call- In Word and Deed Edition

Robert Emslie October 29, 2014 Last Call

Cobra-Powered-by_Ford

In case popping the hood on the Slab-Side in the foreground wasn’t enough evidence, the car carrier in the back let the curious know who provided the means for the Cobra’s heroic performance. I can’t think of a more impressive admonition in the automotive world.

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: TheThrottle

 

Did you know Jeff Gordon raced a Mitsubishi Eclipse?

1901374_10102229179528459_4368963019785275267_n

This weekend, on the way home from a racing event hosted by a magazine I used to work for, my teammates and I found a nondescript diner and sat down for breakfast. Gainesville being the epicenter of Florida college football, we weren’t surprised to see Florida Gators banners and other Florida-themed decor around the place. Even the placemats featured a map of Florida with various tourist hot spots emphasized with pictures. What surprised me was the image of choice for Daytona Beach, home of the famed NASCAR and sports car races.

… Continue Reading

Used Car Reviews – 2004 Daewoo Evanda CDX V200

2004_evanda_9

Ever since the Daewoo Evanda came out almost fifteen years ago, I’ve been somewhat slightly intrigued by it. There’s something off-beat about the Evanda, as it often appears under a multitude of aliases depending of where it has been sold, and when, but never truly taking a name as its own.

To begin with, it’s most authentically a Daewoo V200, replacing the V100 that was sold under the Leganza name. The V200 was sold as the Daewoo Magnus on its home turf, and when they were shipped to Western European ports, the name Evanda was applied on the trunklids. On North American markets, it was either the American Suzuki Verona or the Canadian Chevrolet Epica, the latter echoing its 2006 replacement (sold as the Daewoo Tosca in South Korea), but as Daewoo was even further integrated under General Motors, the Chevrolet badges were applied on the cars even in Europe.

So, this is what you could have ended up getting in 2004: a Daewoo which says GM Daewoo under the bonnet and has a Daewoo steering wheel, but Chevrolet badges on the outside. It’s an anti-car really, a non-brand, and despite having been designed by Italdesign’s Giorgetto Giugiaro like its predecessor, it appears perfectly anonymous. And that might be the thing I like most about it, there’s no badge burden on it if you just snip off the golden bowties. And since I found a little used ten-year-old example for sale locally, I really wanted to finally try one. Especially since it’s brown.

… Continue Reading

2015 Honda Fit – Why Jeff is Wrong

2015 honda fit ex-l front 34 (Custom)

Most auto journalists, and Jeff, just love the 2015 Honda Fit, as they should. After all, it is an economical, affordable, reliable, and highly utilitarian vehicle. Completely redesigned for this year, the Fit is extremely important as its buyers are likely to become the future buyers of pricier Honda cars. But after I spent some time with it, I wasn’t so in love with the Fit.

Allow me to explain.

… Continue Reading

The 2015 Honda Fit is Biggie Smalls

YouTube Preview Image

A good compact car is capable of magic. It needs to pretend to be quite small on the outside, but reveal a large interior space once the doors are opened. The 2015 Honda Fit should be named David Copperfield then there’s some serious prestidigitation going on here. By the way, I spelled prestidigitation right the first time I typed this out… which is some sort of black magic.

Honda engineers have managed to create a interior world that’s deceptively vast. Fold down the rear seats and you basically have the cargo space of a crossover. You have the fuel economy of Honda Fit, however, and that’s a wonderful thing.

[Disclaimer: Honda tossed me the keys to the Fit for a week, and included a tank of gas. I am pretty sure I never needed to fill it up despite putting a good amount of mileage on the tires.]

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. 

Last week’s quest was for dune buggies and the resulting ads offered up everything from what looked to be absconded-with chainlink fences on wheels to fiberglass fantastics that seemed fresh from a sixties Beach Boy song. We’ll get down with the dunes in a sec, but first, I’ll bet you’re interested in what we’re looking for this week.

Today, mini-delivery vans are all the rage here in the U.S.. I see it as just one more Europeanization of our great nation and expect any day now to find here milk sold in stores in bags and nationalized healthcare. Well, maybe not the latter. Before the likes of the Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV200 and its Chevy City Express cousin hit the streets, our smaller urban delivery duties were handled by panel trucks. I want to bring sexy back and so that’s what we want this week: panel cars and trucks, exclusive of vans.

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.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s hit the Dunes.

… Continue Reading

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