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Hooniverse 24 Hours of Lemons: Another Season for the Buick

It’s hard to believe that this is the fourth season of our crapcan Buick racer. This year, like for the last two years, we are starting off at Real Hoopties of New Jersey, at New Jersey Motorsports Park. As always, we’re preparing ourselves for a fun weekend of racing and [then] drinking. …

Icelandic Odyssey: The Finest Roads I Have Ever Driven.

It was, by its very nature, a driving holiday. When you have ten days to see as much of an island as you can, it’s going to mean a lot of wheel-time. However, frankly, you don’t hold out much hope for invigoration while piloting an Opel Corsa with an automatic …

The Cammed & Tubbed Podcast: Episode 108 – “What Kinda Sauce You Using?” W/ Pat Hoffstetter

Brad, Cam, and Jason have a guest this week in good ‘ole Pat. He’s been on before, and he always has interesting stuff to discuss, so we had him back. We all had a lot to talk about, and probably could have gone on for another hour if Skype hadn’t …

Podcast: Episode 150 – See Section

Chris and I are joined in the studio by The Smoking Tire’s own Zack Klapman. We talk about the new Clarion Builds Acura NSX, driving the latest Camaro SS, and that Zack and I are going back to Drift School. Also, my wife and I bought a new car. Tune in, listen up, and …

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Last Call: Product Misplacement Edition

Robert Emslie May 2, 2016 Last Call

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At first I was going to do a joke about “keeping your whites their whitest” but then I thought better of it. Instead I thought I would just note the history of Dublin Ireland’s Swastika Laundry and the electric vans they used to pickup and deliver Dubliners’ wearables. The company was founded in 1912, and took its name from an Indian symbol for good luck. They used electric vans owing to their quiet nature and low operating costs. The Brush Electric Van above isn’t an actual Swastika van, but a van from another Dublin laundry company—Darty—painted up for the 1983 RTE television series, Caught in a Free State.

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: AskAboutIreland

Diecast Delights: An MGF Roadster in 1:18 Scale.

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Cars come and cars go, and the majority pass into obscurity without leaving much to remember them by. The MGF was an interesting development in the late history of the Rover group, turning up in the mid ’90s as a mid-engined shock to the rather conservative Rover system. The development process had been a protracted one, involving numerous concept cars including the wondrous MG  EX-E, and the rumours of a “New MG” had been circulating since Noah was a lad, or at least since the MGB had finally bitten the dust in 1980. When it arrived on the market in ’95 the MGF was actually the first all-new, all British car to be launched since the notably less exotic Austin Montego of ’84.

Yet, as far as the wider world is concerned, it was always of minority interest. Despite the UK rather liking it, it was never really embraced by the rest of the world. Internationally renown diecast manufacturers weren’t exactly clamouring for licensing rights, either, so it was left to an old English name in models to shrink the MGF to portable proportions. That name was Corgi, who in the late ’90s became MG’s appointed maker of miniatures.

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Timing is everything…

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[Quick Pic: My father-in-law and I installed an electronic ignition on the HoonTruck. On first try, we didn’t quite have the timing correct.]

Hooniverse Motorsport News For May 2nd, 2016

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This weekend there was a bunch of racing to keep track of, and I’ve done my best for you. Sports cars, stock cars, open wheelers, and more, on both sides of the Atlantic! There was a NASCAR race, a Formula 1 race, various IMSA races in California, ADAC GT Masters races, VLN racing, plus news, reviews, analysis, commentary from those ‘in the know’, PR releases, and some great race cars for sale! The NASCAR race was apparently a giant mess, so at least read on for that one.

The racing will only continue to get hotter from here, so we’ll do our best to help keep your finger on the pulse. Just be aware of the fact that this post is filled with spoilers. Giant carbon-fiber, multi-element, DRS-equipped, Gurney-flapped, Spoilers!

NASCAR Blows Up In Alabama

In Soviet Russia, Formula 1 Races You!

IMSA Heads To The Dry Lake

MX5 Cup Returns In California

McLaughlin Fills In For Swedish Touring Car Race

VLN Race 2 At N-Ring

ADAC GT Masters Heads To Sachsenring

SO MUCH ANALYSIS!

Ex-Schumacher Benetton Selling For Peanuts In Monaco

Celebrating Senna On The 22nd Anniversary Of His Accident

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Hooniverse 24 Hours of Lemons: Another Season for the Buick

Buick hooniverse 24 lemons 2016

It’s hard to believe that this is the fourth season of our crapcan Buick racer. This year, like for the last two years, we are starting off at Real Hoopties of New Jersey, at New Jersey Motorsports Park. As always, we’re preparing ourselves for a fun weekend of racing and [then] drinking. We never attempt to be the fastest or best in class, but we try our best. We want to drive as much as possible, avoid track-side repairs as much as we want to avoid penalties. This is why few weeks before each race we gather together to go over the car, plan stuff, and decide what food to bring.

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Throwback Monday: Famous Factories

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Welcome to Throwback Monday where we take a look at how things once were, or at least how certain famous cars were once built. This week we’re looking at how the Porsche 356 came together.

Porsche entered the sports car market in 1948 with the introduction of the 356. The series’ rear-engine and flat four layout was taken directly from Ferdinand Porsche’s work on the pre-war Volkswagen, or People’s Car. The 356 however, was intended to be built in far smaller numbers than the Volkswagen, and that afforded the company to take a very different and far more labor intensive production process. … Continue Reading

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Center-Mounted Headlights

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Mounting a headlight along the center-line of the vehicle is one of those recurrent ideas that seem offer plausible advantages with a minimum of technical difficulty, but for some reason simply don’t become popular, either with the public or with designers. But there have been a number of production cars that have tried it, and they are subject of our encyclopedia entry for today. We want your help compiling a list of all the cars with a center-mounted headlight.

The Caveats (there are always caveats):

  • Single-headlight cyclopes or third-eye overachievers are both allowable.
  • “Headlight” means “headlight.” It can be auxiliary in nature, but it must be something intended primarily to provide forward illumination, not just a marker/position light or glowing hood ornament.
  • Likewise, it needs to be conspicuously in the center of the vehicle: in other words, lighty-uppy stuff that’s only vaguely centralized and multiple element light bars that uniformly traverse the whole front of the vehicle don’t count, even if there is technically a point of illumination along the center-line.
  • Production cars only. No concept cars, one-offs, customs or race cars.
  • Original equipment only. No aftermarket accessories.
  • Trucks, both light and heavy-duty, are allowed, as long as they are road-legal. No construction machinery, mining equipment, or lawn mowers.
  • As far as motorcycles go, you know that chuckle-then-slap animated GIF? It’s just waiting for YOU, pal.

Difficulty: Medium Rare. For some of you, the low-hanging fruit on this one is already out of reach.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates! Bonus points for adding photos.

Image Sources: wikipedia.org & bbc.com.

Hooniverse Asks: Are Fancy Automatic Targa Roofs Missing the Point?

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Driving a convertible is a unique experience. It at once brings you closer to the feeling of speed and the exhilaration of the sights and sounds around you, while at the same time doing a poorer job of  managing that experience than its stiffer closed-cabin siblings. Floppier, heavier, and sometimes woefully more awkward in the visuals department when the top is up, convertibles are still pretty popular.

One way that manufacturers have tried to let us have our cake and eat it too has been with the Targa roof, a design that affords much of the benefit of a full convertible, but still with a good bit of the structural integrity of a coupe, and at a similar weight. Porsche once embraced this design for both their 911 and 914 lines, and it’s been used by Fiat (X1/9), Ferrari (308, 348, etc), Pontiac (Solstice), the Corvette from the C4 onward, as well as others. A manually removable soft or hard section above the driver and passenger seat can instantly transform a car from a quiet coupe into a fresh air fiend’s best friend. And the structure isn’t much heavier than the coupe base. It’s a win-win right?

Well, these days, I don’t know how much win there is with the current crop of Targa-roofed cars. Porsche has reintroduced the model to their 911 lineup while Mazda has expanded the new MX-5 line to include a retractible hardtop model. These seem at first glance to embody the benefits of the targa roof lifestyle, but on closer examination are in fact as complicated, if not more so, than their fully convertible counterparts. For the Porsche, that Targa roof adds a hefty 10% weight penalty over the coupe. I’m all for making things easier to do, but even I have my limits. What about you, do you think these new automated Targas miss the point of their purpose?

Image: YouTube

Last Call: This Way Out Edition

Robert Emslie April 29, 2016 Last Call

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It’s the end of the work day… strike that, end of the work week, and now it’s time to cut loose. Your ride into the weekend? A wire wheeled Aston Martin DBS V8. Your destination? Well, that’s totally up to you.

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: Tumblr (NSFW)

Icelandic Odyssey: The Finest Roads I Have Ever Driven.

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It was, by its very nature, a driving holiday. When you have ten days to see as much of an island as you can, it’s going to mean a lot of wheel-time. However, frankly, you don’t hold out much hope for invigoration while piloting an Opel Corsa with an automatic gearbox.

However, sometimes the stars align and you find yourself in a position of automotive ecstasy when you least expect it.

It happened in Iceland, in a rented car. A grey one.

… Continue Reading