Last year, our HCOTY winner was a car that could’ve probably won this year’s award as well. We’re talking about Pete’s ZomBee, and that car is very nearly the damn poster child for Hooniverse. Still, it already won and there are plenty of other deserving vehicles that gained our attention in 2012. In fact, we have 16 nominations for you to vote on, which is six more than last year.
This has quickly become one of our favorite times of year just because we enjoy reminiscing over everything automotive that we’ve loved in the prior year. Also, we start thinking about what might make the jump to being crowned the Hooniverse Car of the Year for the next period of calendar flipping fun. We’ve already got our eye on a few gems in the works, so be sure to stay tuned throughout 2013 – aka The Year of Hooniverse Domination, as was foretold by the Mayans. What, no one saw the other part of their calendar?
Enough babbling… make the jump to see the nominees and cast your vote!
First up is the 1990 Utilimaster Aeromate, nominated by Scott Ith. He’s a … well, he’s a nut job, because he nominated a damn van. Still, this is no ordinary van, as it’s Ray Lindenburgs very own Aeromate, and it was intended to handle road trip duty.
It failed wonderfully, and the story is equally wonderful. The original purpose of the van was to load it up with scooters and meet other folks who love scooters. Maybe someday Ray…
Next up is a car that, while not necessarily possessing anything special about it, is here because of the way in which it was being sold. This is a reader submission courtesy of Hooniverse workhorse Marcal, and it’s the 1995 Pontiac Grand Am GT that became an instant Internet legend thanks to its Craigslist ad.
We love every word used in that ad. THAT is how you sell a car…
This ole Longroofian found Hooniversal Joy by way of reader Ralstig. An accountant by day, Ralstig is a hoon by night… and day too, really. He found a Spec Miata for sale on the list of Craigs, bought it, picked it up, and immediately took it racing.
How long did it take him to go from picking up the car to racing it?
HCOTY nominee indeed.
Our The News! Man Greg Kacha-, Kachda-, Greg Smith weighed in with a HCOTY 2012 nominee. It’s the Lockhead Lakester, and it’s filled with all sorts of Hoon-worthy excellence.
This machine is built from what used to be a fuel tank plucked from beneath the wings of a Lockhead Super Constellation. Under the
hood tube sits a turbocharged four-cylinder HEMI, and it sits in the space that used to be occupied by 700 gallons of aviation grade fuel. No longer used to transport a cool-looking plane, it’s now used to transport cool people.
This vehicle is… interesting. And by interesting, I mean so friggin’ awesome that I’d punch baby seals in their smug faces just to spend a weekend with it. It’s called the Wothahellizat (sound it out), and it’s the glorious creation of Australian Rob Gray.
Not content with the available adventure vehicles on the market, Gray took a retired Fire Tanker and built his own dream machine. The result is a monster mobile complete with a 6.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine, six-wheel-drive, a rear porch, an internal motorcycle garage, and a living space.
Oh, it also has an 1,100-mile range. It’s… scrumtrulescent.
You knew this was coming.
It’s the ’62 International/TruckCar thing, which is clearly the result of a methlab explosion. The fiery inferno trashed two vehicles, but the resulting heat fused together the body panels to create a new hybrid machine.
Once the “builder” came to his senses (that never actually happened), he (you know a man made this) figured it was time to share the truckcar with the world.
Kamil fell in love with it for some reason, and it’s certainly a deserving vehicle for a HCOTY 2012 nomination. If it wins, I’ll find and kill everyone of you.
Oh mama… This is a true beast, and I’m wildly jealous of our man Jim Yu who got to drive it. It’s a Ford Falcon XB, and it’s not in Australia but rather right here in the United States. In fact, it’s holed up in CARB-loving California.
This is the car that dreams (well… my dreams) are made of. I mean, MAD MAX drove one of these for chrissake. If I would punch baby seals to drive the Wothahellizat, I’d skin them alive with my teeth to drive this one.
It comes to be a nominee in a crowded year, but I predict a strong showing for the Ford Falcon XB.
(Did I mention Mad Max drove one?)
This nomination comes from yours truly, and it’s a car that instantly captured my attention in 2012. In fact, I kept finding myself thinking about it, and figuring out a way to emulate it.
It’s a 1972 Chevrolet Nova, that hides a super sleeper secret. Owner Dru Diesner wanted some extra forward motivation under the hood, and what he wound up with is quite intoxicating. This car is powered by a twin-supercharged LS2 V8 that produces 1,162 horspower.
This car, which comes courtesy of Big Muscle, might just be the devil inCARnate… get it? Wokka wokka!
If there’s one thing Bradley Brownell knows, it’s Porsches. It should come as no surprise then that his HCOTY 2012 nominee hails from a Germanic origin.
It’s called the Frankfurt Flyer, and it’s one mans nod to the classic
Glucker Glockler Series I racing machine from 1950. Owner and builder Chris Runge used that vehicle as inspiration, and his own car is something rather special. It’s a homebrewed street stunner that mixes classic looks with well-engineered precision.
It looks as if it belongs in a Porsche museum, but Chris drives it hard and loves owning it… and it shows.
Our weekend man, Mr. Jim Brennan, stepped to the plate with a particular delightful HCOTY 2012 nomination. It’s a 1961 Mercury Colony Park wagon, and despite the glorious patina, there’s a bit more going on underneath the sun-marked skin.
Under the hood sits a 4.6-liter V8 plucked from betwixt the fenders of a 1998 Lincoln Mark VIII. Instead of keeping it modern, the fuel injection system was ripped out and a carburetor was fashioned so that a four-barrel unit could be plunked down on top. There’s even more going on with this build, and it certainly deserves a spot here.
Everything about this story is fantastic.
Antti Kautonen, our man in Finland, discovered the saga of one special Subaru. It’s a 1996 Legacy, and there shouldn’t be anything special about that.
This one, however, plunged through a lake during an ice-fishing trip. Three months passed before the lake turned back from ice to water, and the Subie was located.
It was pulled from its watery grave, given quite maintenance, and… fired to life on the first try. All hail the Scubaru!
El Presidente himself picked this vehicle as his choice for HCOTY 2012. It’s the vehicular result of Scott Ith’s mind, and it’s oh-so terrific.
Starting with a Midget kit car and a run-down golf kart, Ith took both and created one very special little machine. The EV Midget is an electric car that runs silent, looks fantastic, and shows what can be done with some time, knowledge, and skill.
Since its creation, the EV Midget has taken a turn as a LeMons pit vehicle and it’s also made its way out onto the salt at Bonneville.
Seriously… the contest might be over before it started.
Hooniverse needs a man down under, and part-time newbie Joel Strickland fills that bill quite nicely. His nomination comes from his country, and it’s a modern car that certainly fits the mold of a Hooniverse hero machine.
It’s the Ford Performance Vehicles GT RSPEC.
Great name, great engine, and great power. Joel lists it as having 335kW, which translates to nearly 450 horsepower up here in right-side-Upville.
I know we’re more in love with all things old, but as a lover of shiny and new it’s nice to see some modern metal here. (It doesn’t have a chance though… sorry Joel!)
Pencils almost down… reader Michael Sliczniak squeeze one in before we called time. Thankfully, his email arrived with enough time to get this one in. It’s called the Fire Engine Rustoleum Roadster, and the story behind it is an excellent one.
If you didn’t click the link above to read it, you’re clearly a very important person with not a lot of time. (jerk)
Here’s the TL;DR…
A vehicle that has been a part of a family for generations, went through a literal trial by fire, and is still rolling down the road with its happy family in tow.
One is the No Style Corolla, which Leo treated us to earlier in the year. It’s a very custom Toyota that houses a supercharged 4.0-liter Lexus V8 under its hood. The supercharger, by the way, comes from a 2003-2004 Mustang Cobra.
The other vehicle is the 1988 Mercedes-Benz Unimog that Deartháir reviewed in June of 2012. This is a rugged machine that belongs in the dream car garage of nearly every reader on the site… and Mitch got to drive one. Great story, great vehicle, we would be remiss to not have it here for voting.
So there you have it, 16 machines vying for the most precious, important, relevant title in all of motoring. This is your field for the 2012 Hooniverse Car of the Year, and it’s now time for you to vote. Do your thing, world! [Poland… we’re watching you]
Which vehicle is the Hooniverse Car of the Year for 2012?
- EV Midget (35%, 259 Votes)
- 1988 Mercedes-Benz Unimog (22%, 162 Votes)
- 1972 Chevrolet Nova Super Sleeper (7%, 49 Votes)
- No Style Corolla (5%, 40 Votes)
- SCUBARU! (5%, 34 Votes)
- Wothahellizat (5%, 34 Votes)
- 1961 Mercury Colony Park Wagon (4%, 27 Votes)
- The Frankfurt Flyer (4%, 27 Votes)
- '62 International Truck/Car thing (3%, 23 Votes)
- The Fire Engine Rustoleum Roadster (3%, 22 Votes)
- The Lockhead Lakester (3%, 19 Votes)
- Ford Falcon XB (2%, 13 Votes)
- 1995 Pontiac Grand Am GT from Craigslist (2%, 12 Votes)
- 1990 Utilimaster Aeromate (1%, 11 Votes)
- Ford Performance Vehicles GT RSPEC (1%, 10 Votes)
- Ralstig's Spec Miata (1%, 8 Votes)
Total Voters: 748