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Stop the Pressers II: More automotive nincompoopery from Yours Truly

As 2014 draws to a close, I can look back on my motoring year and safely say that no bad idea was every truly turned away. A personal ad on craigslist looking for a Hyundai connection? Did it. Driving a Micra from sea level to the Rockies in a single …

Hooniverse goes to the PRI show in Indianapolis

Last week, I convinced Jeff and Tim that I should represent Hooniverse at the Performance Racing Industry Show in Indianapolis. It was the first time I’ve been to any commercial trade show, so I had little idea quite what to expect. I knew some people who’d be there and had …

Rock and Radio- The Classic Craig Ads of the 1970s

The seventies were the golden age of car stereos. In my neighborhood there were a plethora of stereo stores – including the Federated Group, Leo’s Stereo, Pacific Stereo, and Crystal Sonics, where they offered dashboard dreams to fit any budget. One of the lower-budget options available from these brokers of musical …

Mercedes-Benz E350 Wagon: Long Live the Longroof!

The wagon… It’s fallen out of favor over the course of the last few decades thanks to the rise in popularity of sport and crossover utility vehicles. That’s a shame, because the wagon is the TRUE sport utility vehicle in the market. Case in point is this 2015 Mercedes-Benz E350 …

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Name That Track

Robert Emslie December 22, 2014 All Things Hoon

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Seeing as it’s the holiday season, and things are a little loose goosey this week, I thought I’d try out something new on you and see how you like it. What I’m planning to do is give you an aerial view of a portion of a famous racetrack, as well as a hint of its general location, and see if you can identify the track from those clues. Sound like fun? Okay, here’s the first one, and the locational hint is that it’s in the U.S.. Go to it!

Image: ©2014 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

Diecast Delights:- A 1961 E-Type (And how it all started)

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Last week we looked at a Plymouth Roadrunner model from about twenty years ago. Today we look at what I imagine is one of the most commonly found 1:18th scale models in the world. Bburago’s evergreen ’61 Jaguar E-Type.

You probably know somebody who owns one of these. It has been a stalwart of the Bburago range since, I believe, the early ’80s. At this time the scope of their large-scale range was a lot more narrow than it is now. In fact, the face of 1:18 scale modelling itself has changed massively in the time that this model has been around. Back in the ’80s Bburago were pretty much the go-to brand for anybody who wanted to go beyond toy cars and onto proper models.  Let’s take a look at what is now a vintage model.

As usual, click the pics to make ‘em bigger, and please, being that it’s Christmas, indulge me as I take a trip into the past.

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About Last Week’s Mystery Car

Robert Emslie December 22, 2014 Mystery Car

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So far, nobody has posted the correct answer to last week’s Mystery Car, and because it’s the season of giving, I thought I’d give you yet another chance, and a bigger visual hint. I’m pretty sure from the image above that you’ll be able to ID the car. You can also answer the question: does the reflection in the bumper makes me look fat?

Image: ©2014 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

Hoonivercinema- Monday Movie Trailer

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It’s the holiday season and while this week’s movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles is set during the Thanksgiving holiday, its theme of travel misery is befitting of any time when you’re desperately trying to get someplace and its seems like kismet is working hard to ensure that you do not.

Starring a top of form Steve Martin and the late great John Candy – also top of his game – this John Hughes film from 1987 is one of the funniest, and at the same time most heart-warming movies I’ve ever seen. Martin plays an account manager for a marketing firm, and all he wants to do is get from a client meeting in New York to his home in the Chicago suburbs so he can spend Thanksgiving with his family. Candy plays a sweet but boorish traveling salesman who alternately aids and stymies Martin’s efforts to get home.

One of the coolest things about the film is all the character actors who show up throughout. Those include Martin Ferrreo – who would later get eaten by a dinosaur while sitting on the crapper in Jurassic Park, Spinal Tap’s Michael McKean, and former Nixon speechwriter and master of the monotone, Ben Stein. The movie is really about as perfectly cast as it is scripted. Check out the trailer – and a little extra treat – after the jump, and if you’re traveling this holiday season, try not to talk to any strangers. … Continue Reading

HCOTY – The Beast of Turin Fiat S76

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[Source image: Stefan Marjoram]

The initial ignition blast torqued the whole chassis as though it were absorbing the impact of a missile. A gentleman revved the engine and made adjustments as sparks shot from its open exhaust ports, dropping deafening sonic assaults upon everyone present. Microphones failed to completely capture the unholy racket. When watching the video, the recording’s audio distortion gives the best indication as to the actual volume and ferocity of this — the word is overused, but nothing is more appropriate here — this monstrous engine. It was the first time the Beast of Turin had belched flame in more than a century.

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Hooniverse Asks- What’s the Coolest Classic Cab-Over?

Robert Emslie December 22, 2014 Hooniverse Asks

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Whether it’s a pickup, van, or wagon, the cab-over design is one of the most space efficient in all of automobiledom. Many of the American designs were based on small car frames, but instead of limiting passenger space to between the wheel arches, the Cab-over extends the cabin all the way to the front bumper. The benefits are maximum use of available space, excellent forward visibility, and ease of entry for driver and front passenger owing to the stepped door opening. On the downside were complicated steering mechanisms, a bus-like driving position, and the likelihood that the first thing to go through your mind in a bad frontal collision will be the windshield.

That last item is why we don’t have consumer-grade Cab-overs on the U.S. market any more. Trying to meet modern crash test requirements with so little crush space is a folly destined for failure. Still, we have a ton of cool Cab-overs remaining in the herd, and a lot of them are now reaching classic status, meaning prices for decent ones are heading up the ladder. Trucks like the Corvair Rampside pickup, Dodge A100 wagon, and Ford Econoline all debuted in the sixties, and by the end of the decade, all were gone, replaced by nosier renditions, or in the case of the open-bed editions, discontinued forever.

Only Volkswagen managed to keep the old school Cab-over flame alive here in the states, offering the Bus and then Vanagon. Both of those are now seeing prices rise, and in fact editions of the original Bus now often go for six figures, which is insane. Does that however, make the first generation Type 2 the coolest Cab-over ever? I don’t know about that, as I myself am partial to the Corvair Greenbrier with its crazy front overhang, and that’s ignoring the Japanese offerings of the eighties. What about you, what do you think is the coolest classic Cab-over?

Image: academic.ru

Last Call- Amongst Enemies Edition

Robert Emslie December 19, 2014 Last Call

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You will easy recognize the cars on either end in the picture above, those being the production Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray and Jaguar XKE FHC. The car in the middle might be a little more difficult to place however, as it was a prototype that, while seriously considered for production, never actually made it off the auto show circuit. That is of course Ford’s 1963 show car, the Cougar II with which FoMoCo cruelly teased an adoring public. Based on the AC frame taken from a Cobra, the 260 V8-powered Cougar offered a fiberglass body just like the Corvette.

As you can see, it was substantially smaller than Chevy’s sports car, but possessed similar lines. An interesting aspect of the Ford show car was an automatically opening panel in the tail that would pivot at high speed to relieve air pressure inside, and hence prevent the wrap-around rear window from popping out. Oh what might have been.

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: CarStyling.ru

duPont REGISTRY’s November Cars and Coffee

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The recent November edition of the Cars & Coffee car show at duPont Registry of St Petersburg, Florida was a great mix of classic beauty and in-your-face exotics. Some regulars were recognized from my last trip to the registry back in 2011, along with a few cars that are just now beginning to trickle out of Europe and Japan. … Continue Reading

Noise on Friday:- Goodwood Reloaded

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Every now and again you’ll switch the TV on and, inevitably, the Simpsons is on. On UK channels this usually means a rerun of an episode you’ve seen many, many times before. We all know who shot Mr Burns. we all vividly remember Flanders losing his wife, and there’s no longer any mystery left in the strange night-time goings on in the forest, for which Mulder and Scully’s 2D dopplegangers were called in to investigate. Simpsons re-runs are one thing, and expect them on a daily basis, as sure as the rising of the moon at night. What we don’t like, though, is when a “new” episode is aired and it turns out to be yet another clip show. It is with this in mind that I publish this post, which is, in essence, a clip show. It’s not just an excuse for laziness, though, and it’s definitely not just filler because I couldn’t think of anything else to put out in the 13:30 slot.

The Goodwood Festival Of Speed occurred back in July this year and I was lucky enough to be your reporter-in-the-field. It’s now that time of year where I look back at what I’ve seen, done and experienced as I prepare to exit 2014, and Goodwood still figures strongly among the highlights. Since at 13:30 a number of you are probably enjoying your lunchbreak, join me after the jump, and turn your volume way up high.

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Do You Have A 2015 Calendar Yet?

Ray Lindenburg December 19, 2014 All Things Hoon

 

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And I’m not talking about that electronic watch in your pocket that allows you to look at the Craigslist auto classified without being tracked by your boss.  You need a real calendar – one made of paper and brawn.  Like this one!  We are quite proud of this year’s edition – it’s truly chock full of awesome automotive photography – all provided by Hooniverse contributors and friends of the ‘Verse.

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