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Podcast: Episode 80 – Diesel Driving Death March

Myself and Blake Z. Rong head into the Podcast Business Office to prattle on about cars. The main topic of the evening is Rong’s recent participation in the Audi A3 TDI Mileage Challenge. He was tasked with driving from Albuquerque, New Mexico to San Diego… on one tank of diesel fuel. …

Dodge Viper: More charm needed for this snake?

The Dodge Viper returned to the world in 2013 and everyone… kind of went, huh. That’s a bit of a surprise considering the styling is excellent, the V10 makes amazing noise, and the performance capability of the car is higher than that of most drivers that will climb behind the …

2014 MPG Track Day: Driving Impressions

Occasionally, we here at Hooniverse have the privilege of access to some fantastic automobiles. Any time where I am invited to attend an actual track day, and when my real job wife will let me dedicate the time to go, I am all for it. Being the new member to the Hooniverse …

Quick Spin- 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C

This past week a number of your humble hosts attended the Motor Press Guild’s 2014 Track Days event, where we got to wrap our hands around the wheels of some of the coolest cars debuting at the moment. One of the most sought-after rides – one that literally had a …

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It’s Calendar Time Again! The 2015 Hooniverse Calendar!

November pages

Is it possible that another year has slid by again?  Well, not quite, but close.  There are but a precious few pages left in your 2014 Hooniverse Calendar, so that means it’s time to look back over the past year for tasty new photos for the 2015 version.

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Racer pulls fellow driver from overturned sprint car

Eric Rood October 22, 2014 Motorsports

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Earlier this year, Hooniverse took a peek into the world California’s dirt-oval circuit at the King of the West Series race at Calistoga Speedway with the winged 410 sprint cars. Among those we mentioned were some big names in the tight-knit community: the young phenom Rico Abreu, the deeply rooted Kaeding family (whose long-running California shop builds and services some of Abreu’s cars), and veteran racer Jonathan Allard. Last weekend’s Trophy Cup Sprints at the third-mile clay oval at Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California, showed the series at its best and the moment came not from the racing, but from a truly remarkable fraternal racing act.

Shortly after a mid-race restart, Tim Kaeding’s sprint car overturned and flames flashed menacingly; methanol flames are frequently invisible. Rico Abreu—who had started behind Kaeding—was tangled in the crash but stayed upright. As soon as he’d come to a stop, Abreu leapt from his own car to free Kaeding from his racing harness. Allard arrived shortly after as Kaeding rolled onto the dirt to extinguish any potential flames. It’s an incredible sight, captured from two different videos (seen after the jump) and a testament to how racing drivers look after each other. It’s nothing short of heroic.

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Podcast: Episode 80 – Diesel Driving Death March

Podcast-Image-Lead-80

Myself and Blake Z. Rong head into the Podcast Business Office to prattle on about cars. The main topic of the evening is Rong’s recent participation in the Audi A3 TDI Mileage Challenge. He was tasked with driving from Albuquerque, New Mexico to San Diego… on one tank of diesel fuel. That’s 824 miles of driving required. That’s damn near impossible, but two teams managed to pull it off.

From there the talk moves to the recent Motor Press Guild Track Day event, where I got seat time in a variety of vehicles out at Willow Springs.

Click on past the break to listen up…

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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. 

There are many ways to spice up your life. You could do it with actual spice – adding some cayenne to your cornflakes – or you could get yourself a hot car. Not all cars are hot, but there are some that start out dull and then, through the magic of option packages, turn interesting. That’s what we sought last week; exciting editions of dull cars, and let me tell you, I got excited seeing the results. We’ll get to the most adrenalized auto in a sec, but first this week’s quest.

I’ve been thinking of late that the Pontiac Fiero – especially in its final iteration – is a hugely under-valued car. That got me thinking about how many Fieros are presently being sacrificed as underpinnings of faux Lambos and the like. That got me thinking about how the VW Beetle was once the king of kit cars, and that got me thinking about dune buggies, which is what this week’s quarry will be.

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.

Got it? Good, now let’s get exited.

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BaT Auctions: Prepare your wallet for destruction

Jeff Glucker October 22, 2014 For Sale

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Apparently I’ve been under a rock (or have had my head down editing video), because I just found out that Bring-A-Trailer is hosting its own online auctions now. Today sees the ending of timers for a new batch of vehicles and, as you’d expect from BaT, the offerings are excellent. They range in price from “Ooooh crap, maybe I should shift some things around and buy that!” to “Wow, people pay that much for those?!”

Head on over to Bring-A-Trailer to check out the latest batch of vehicles. The list includes the above Mini Cooper, a Ford Falcon Sprint with racing history, a refreshed Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3, and an excellent Buick Skylark with a 500-ci Caddy mill swapped under the hood.

Hooniverse Asks- What’s Your Favorite Hot Rod Wagon?

Robert Emslie October 22, 2014 Hooniverse Asks

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The Station Wagon is named for its originally intended function; the ability to offer enough room to transport passengers and their luggage from the train depot to a final destination such as a vacation hotel. It’s ironic that today the station wagon is a rare commodity, having been replaced for the most part by something called a ‘Sport Utility.’

Now, I would aver that most sport utilities are not very sporty, although I will admit that most offer a good bit of utility. You know what really represents the term sport utility? Why, a hot rod wagon, of course. Now, you know that the longroof already has the utility part down pat, owing to the capacious space behind the seats and typical roof rack for even more getting-it-there ability. But what about the sport part? Well, there have been – and continue to be – high performance versions of your tried and true family haulers, and they hence earn the right to be called true Sport Utilities.

If you think about it, we love fast cars. We are also, for whatever reason, pretty sweet on wagons. Put the two together and we’re all pretty much in hog heaven. Not only that, but we can get those hogs to the bacon-making place PDQ in our hot rod wagons. If you had the need of RPT (Rapid Pig Transport) what would be your preferred ride? What is your favorite hot rod wagon?

Image: Carficianados

Last Call- Angle Iron Edition

Robert Emslie October 21, 2014 Last Call

SHORPY-GN-studebaker-1919-garage-3A

My first thoughts seeing this was that all the fluids were going fluid out of whatever container held them at normal road angles. My second thought was that I wish modern cars were as light as this 1919 Studebaker so they could be worked on with such convenience and ease.

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: Shorpy

A Honda Zoomer….. from 1921? The ČAS Sc.

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The Honda Zoomer, available since 2002 on the Japanese and American market, is recognised by several people I’ve met as an iconic piece of micro-scooter design. I happen to agree with them. Its stripped-down form and the way its vital structural members are laid bare for all to see makes for a refreshingly different take on the oft-cliche’d scooter convention. It’s an expression of High-Tech Architecture on two-wheels.

So, when working my way along the crowded line of motorcycles on permanent exhibition at the National Technical Museum in Prague, I was quite taken aback to see this machine for the first time. It appears to be everything the Honda Zoomer is, yet was built some eighty-one years earlier. It being two-wheel Tuesday, take a closer look after the jump.

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Car Show Review: Aquafest Classic Car Show

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Let’s continue with the summertime car show reviews, shall we? This time we have a show in Lake Stevens for their annual Aquafest, but we’re not interested in food stalls and face paint – we want classic cars. Take the jump below to get your fix. … Continue Reading

Malaise Showdown: Cosworth Vega Vs 4-Speed LeMans

1975 cosworth vega for sale1975 cosworth vega for sale

With six divisions and 50% market market share, GM of Old could afford to offer a variety of flavors of “sporty” cars. The “Colonnade” styling of the A-body midsizers, introduced in 1973, embodies so much of the Malaise Era: overwrought and overweight, housing large but disappointing powerplants, a desperate hollow ploy to hang onto what made the 60s great. Meanwhile, on the communist side of town, the Vega represented the new reality of Diminished Expectations: America was going to have to make due with less. Smaller, lighter and more advanced was the future, and the Vega was here to show us the way.

But if you’re reading Hooniverse you already know all that. The Vega was about 3/4 done when launched and the Colonnades are almost lovable if properly overhauled to be more beefy than porcine. Such is the case today. Our Pontiac’s been blessed with a warmed-over 389 from a ’66 GTO, backed by a four-speed Muncie M22. The interior’s decent (as ’74 Pontiacs go) and the paint’s good. I’d do the details differently: wheels and tires that fill the wells, no hood scoop and probably one four-barrel instead of two. However, overall the package looks like a fun machine for parking lot donuts and some decent drag passes. The reserve’s unmet at $3,150, but I’d guess this is a $7-10k car.

“One Vega for the price of two”, the Cosworth Vega is arguably the more Hooniverse car here, in that it’s a crappy platform that might just have some potential courtesy of some choice upgrades. Wait…I just said that about the Colonnade. Ok, anyway, the Cosworth Vega came equipped with a 2.0L motor checking all the right boxes: all-aluminum, DOHC, EFI, stainless header, and a decent-for-the-time 6500RPM redline. Alas, in production trim it only managed to deliver 110 net horsepower.

Our example’s in damn good shape—from 20 feet away. The paint’s original, faded and rusted in only one spot according to the seller. Otherwise the listing’s pictures show the interior and engine bay to be in great original shape. With a $2499 opener and $3600 buy-it-now, this actually looks like a damn good deal for the Best of the Worst.

Malaise Light or Original Flavor?

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