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Hooniversal Car of the Year: Vote Early, Vote Honest!

Deartháir December 30, 2013 Featured, Hooniversal Car of the Year 79 Comments
The Prestigious Hooniversal Car of the Year award!

The Prestigious Hooniversal Car of the Year award!

It’s been a busy year for the Hooniversal Car of the Year. We’ve had multiple nominees squeaking in at the last minute, including my own. We’ve had delays by spotty internet, busy work schedules, and dogs eating homework. All of these problems can be blamed on Glucker, and so they shall be. Everyone, point your fingers Gluckerwards, and give him frowny-faces of disapproval.

Okay, he wasn’t actually responsible, but on this side of the fence, it’s his fault anyhow.

If you haven’t already, you really must go back and read through the various nominations. The field is action-packed this year, and even features multiple malaise-era entries to keep the LeMons judges naughty-bits positively a-tingly. And a Subaru! With any luck, that will be the first, last and only time a Subaru ever gets nominated in HCoTY.

Here’s a run-down of the candidates, in case you missed them:

  • Antti decided to make everyone else look bad, and jumped in like a keener with the first nomination, and it’s an AMC, a matte-black Rebel from hell. But if it’s a rebel from hell, doesn’t that make it good?
  • Lord Haining followed up soon thereafter, nominating the Queen Mum’s Jaaaaaaaaaaaag, and distinguishing himself by being the only person to use Microsoft Paint in his nomination. Gold star and knighthood for you, sir.
  • Tanshanomi, meanwhile, got clever, nominating Antti’s newly-purchased Polo. Antti wanted to nominate it next year, once he’s learned to work on it, but Mr. Shanomi knew that by then, the car would be scrap. Best to nominate it early.
  • If you didn’t read the LongRoofFan’s nomination of a ‘58 Nomad… go and do so. It may be enough to sway my own vote, that’s all I’m going to say on the matter. Damn, that thing’s pretty.
  • Mr. Ith, meanwhile, took the easy way out and nominated a LeMons racer, the always impressive FX32. There is no doubt it’s an impressive creation, but has the LeMons card been played? Well, that’s for you, the readers, to decide.
  • The Chief Blooger decided to channel his inner Andrew Lloyd Webber in nominating a beautiful Morgan Three-Wheeler. Fortunately, he left out the singing and dancing. This year.
  • In a thumb in the eye of the LeMons Chief Justices, who have labelled it “The Worst Car Of All Time”, Eric Rood nominated the internet-infamous K-It-Forward Racing K-Car.  If the prize were a tactical nuclear strike, I’d totally vote for this car.
  • Kamil’s nomination of SpeedyCop’s Spirit of LeMons Cessna seems almost obvious. Really, the only things working against it are the few dozen other SpeedyCop creations. We might just do better nominating SpeedyCop for a Hoonitarian Sainthood.
  • Bradley Brownell (BB to his friends, not because of his initials) makes a compelling argument for a twin-engined MINI. I just can’t help but wonder if it made an already-amazing car better, or worse?
  • At that point, in a fit of madness, Sajeev and the Saucy Minx nominated a… Cadillac… or something. Look, just scroll down to $kaycog’s comment. That sums it up altogether.
  • Mr. Brennan then threw the gauntlet down with the coolest hearse we’ve ever seen. And it’s based on the old RoadBastard Wagon that I do so dearly love. It’s tough to say no to that…
  • And after that, in a nomination I’m sure we can all agree is clearly the greatest of the lot, I nominated the Bricklin SV-1 that I spent a warm summer afternoon taking from a pile of parts to a running, road-worthy… uh… pile of parts.
  • Phillip must have somehow missed my nomination, and without realizing the futility of the gesture, then tossed his hat in the ring with a Subaru. Go easy on him, he’s young and foolish.
  • And, at the last possible minute, forcing me to postpone the voting post by just a bit, commenter MSZ jumped in to nominate his friend’s Pontiac Trans Am. Even if the car doesn’t deserve the nomination — and I think it does — the story absolutely does.

But all my opinions mean nothing. It’s a short voting period, with the voting closing at the moment 2013 ends here on the Pacific Coast.  And for simplicity, we’re following Wheaton’s Law this year: Don’t Be A Dick. Campaigning is always okay, but when it becomes spam, it’s just not. Simple example from a few years ago: we had a group of enthusiasts jump in in support of one nominee, while an entire nation jumped in for another. That was still fine, right up until people started trying to hack the vote. Hopping through IP addresses to dupe our security, trying to reverse-engineer the blocks. If I see anything that looks questionable, I’ll simply remove that candidate with no warnings whatsoever. So Don’t Be A Dick, and we’ll make it easy.

So, pick your winner:

Who deserves to be named the 2013 Hooniversal Car of the Year?

  • The Lemons-Racing K-Car of Epic Awfulness (29%, 352 Votes)
  • Speedycop's Spirit of LeMons (29%, 350 Votes)
  • The AMS Performance Chevrolet Hearse ("Madness") (8%, 100 Votes)
  • Whitey the '94 Subaru Impreza (5%, 63 Votes)
  • The 1975 Bricklin SV-1 of Awesomeness (5%, 59 Votes)
  • The '58 Nomad Daily Driver (4%, 47 Votes)
  • The LeMons-Racing FX32 (4%, 47 Votes)
  • TWINI the Twin-Engined MINI (4%, 47 Votes)
  • The Theatrical Morgan Three-Wheeler (3%, 41 Votes)
  • Ken's 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (3%, 39 Votes)
  • The Matte Black Rebel from hell (3%, 38 Votes)
  • The Teal-Coloured WTF Cadillac Thing (1%, 16 Votes)
  • The Queen Mum's Jaaaaaag (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Antti's Not-Yet-Broken Polo of Great Potential (1%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,215

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  • Geistkoenig

    My irrational fondness for student-budget Volkswagens rivals that which I have for French cars. (read: Therapy-grade.) Plus the Polo has that ineffable sense of the exotic that comes from it being out of reach of us Yankees.

    Also, enough with friggin' LeMons.

    Go Polo!

    • Chadd

      Spirit of Lemons…. all… day… long.

  • ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

    <img src="http://hooniverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Sidebar-_-Reviews.gif"&gt; I'm not saying, but I'm saying, vote for Gandalf!

  • UDman

    Sigh… I was very late this year with my nomination, and I voted for my own nomination. So, once again, what does that really say about me?

    • UDman!

    • UDman

      This was an especially tough year with so many deserving candidates. As of 10:30 EST, it looks like that abysmal "K" car is leading (and I mean Abysmal is the best possible way…), followed by Speedycop's Cessna. However, what a surprise it is to see that my nomination seems to be in third (again, things could change throughout the day) which is somewhat of a surprise…

      No disrespect to the great Murilee Martin, but I could get behind anything except for WAT DAT TEAL DO CADDY….

  • For some reason I'm all about the American Iron this year. The Rebel, The Nomad and The Trans Am all rose to the top. I had to go with my first love, The Rebel. When I found out there was one in Finland I really wanted to apologize to the whole country, and to any that border it. When it belched a jet of flame into the face of its mechanic I sort of melted a little inside. When I realized the owners were treating it exactly as one should treat a total $^!#box like that… well, my hat came off. It's a proper total $^!#box, not like that Bricklin, and they're getting the most giggles per markka out of it, rather than try and make a LeMons racer that stands out in a crowd of bizarro.

    Here's to you, Finnish AMC Rebel; You're doing just what you were designed and built to do. Show someone what it's like to own a complete and total $^!#box.

  • That Nomad has been wandering the roads for 55 years. Time to welcome it home, here on the 'Verse.

    • It was tugging my heart strings, but a voice came into my head and said, "Hot Rodding is it's own reward."

  • Eye of the Cocca

    Vote K Car or get rammed.

    • Chadd

      Cocca Doug?!

  • Griffer

    Dammit, Rood, the actual voting part is confusing to me. I accidently the black amc, when I wanted the K, obviously.

    🙁 I haz teh dumb.

  • Mike c

    Go k!

  • I came to vote for the FX32 (because I love it so much), but my vote has already been cast for the K car without me ever having had the option. ????

  • buzzboy7

    I didn't get to vote. I come here and it shows me the results. Hmm…

  • psychoboy

    my desktop (firefox) allowed me to vote, my phone (ios) merely showed me the results.

    long live the K!

    • nanoop

      Opera on Android, Chrome on iPad, Firefox on some Debian: thank you for electing the central party, citizen. And people complain that their vote doesn't count!

    • Serves you right, Cheater-boy.

  • zapperdude60

    I voted for the Bricklin, not because it is currently the most hooniversal car here, but because I think the spirit behind the making of it is so optimistic and unique that I have to love it.

  • ninjacoco

    K CAR FTW!


    • Eye of the Cocca

      now THAT'S a handle! What's more powerful than Lee than NINJA LEE!!! YES!

  • I'll go ahead and point out our first post ever was a Bricklin: http://hooniverse.com/2009/10/08/lets-open-with-a

    • MurileeMartin

      The first non-porn thing I ever wrote as Murilee Martin was about the Hindustan Motors Ambassador, a car that rivals the Bricklin for build quality and modern design: http://jalopnik.com/232400/toughness-roominess-se

      • Funny, I just had a dozen tabs of circa-'06 Jalopnik open looking for an old quote from Mister Jalopy. Too bad Gawker's current engine doesn't know what to do with the old content.

        God, that was a long time ago.

  • MurileeMartin

    If that godawful K-car beats the Spirit of LeMons AND the FX32, I'm going to fly out to California and set the fucking thing on fire myself.

    • jeepjeff

      Are you sure that's enough to keep it from showing up at the next race?

      • Nuking it from orbit would be the only way to be sure.

    • Nuclearspork

      another reason to vote K-car

    • Deartháir

      Can we bring back the people's curse for just one vehicle? Please?

      • LeMons HQ is still busy trying to convince people that the curse is gone, so probably not.

        On the other hand, it would only cost Jay $500 to claim it at its next race….

  • MVEilenstein

    Yup, I know how I'm voting. longrooffan knows how to pick em.

  • MVEilenstein

    It has to be said, though, that Rebel is awesome.

  • vwminispeedster

    I haven't visited Hooniverse in like a week (forgive me father for I have sinned) but apparently I already voted for Speedycop. I was going to vote for the FX32 because my Lemonite pals are the best (loaner of stuff for Bonneville in 2012 and loaner of truck and trailer to the terrible K car for Sonoma) but it looks like teh intranetz won't let me. Also, we need to burn the K down at Overzet's house.

    • Eggwich James Dio

      I just clicked through to vote and also was informed by the site that I had already voted for the Speedycop planecar. Sure, it deserves it, but my vote is my vote, so WHAT DAT TEAL DO DOE

      • Speedycop

        No, you didn't vote for me. It seems that whichever vehicle had the last actual vote gets bolded, and IE doesn't wanna let most people vote. They say Firefox works.

        • Eggwich James Dio

          You're correct, it is bolding the last votegetter. Upon this log-in (via Firefox) it's showing the K-car in bold. And seeing how many votes the K-Car is getting, plus your reply to me, you now get my vote! (As soon as I can get it to work.)

          • Eggwich James Dio

            Poll came up for me after a few refreshes, and I was able to vote Speedycop. But may God Bless the four of you voting for the Teal Beast, this next year is going to be great for you all.

            • Speedycop


              • Mike C.

                looks like the K broke the voter thingy…

                • Nuclearspork

                  the mighty power of the K can even break the internet. Fear the K, send it offerings to appease it.

  • wunno sev

    the rebel.

    it makes more noise than heavy metal.

    • wunno sev

      also it's extremely badass.

      the way it looks, the paint, the stickers, the story, the group of scandinavian hoons driving something totally out of place in their neck of the woods. but all that is trying to rationalize what is at heart a visceral appeal. as soon as i saw the nomination there was no other candidate i could vote for.

      there are a lot of good contenders here, but this is the one for me.

  • TiremanJD

    SpeedyCop and Spirit of LeMons

  • Sjalabais

    Great choice, but the Nomad does it for me. Throw in a homemade V16 and add LeMons to the daily grocery and school run, and we can talk HCOTD.

    • I'm with you. Apparently LeMons has more fans than '58 Chevys do. Fortunately, Spirit of LeMons is way better than Driftruck.

      • UDman

        Hey, hey, hey…. watch your mouth.

        I really do try and nominate some rather off the wall vehicles, and looking back over the years, they included:
        – A Dodge Diesel Powered Rat Rod (That I really liked)
        – Yes, the Ratsun Drift Truck (Again, I really Liked it…)
        – My own LeMons Racing Corvair (Again, well liked)
        – A Mercury Colony Park finished in Rust and Vinyl Woodgrain (OK, so this is my least favorite)
        – And this years choice of a Badass Hearse…

        Of the other nominees, I like the plane, the Nomad, the Bricklin, and the FX-32 to round out the top 5…

  • What, no NSX? FOR SHAME.

    • One of these days my friend…
      2014 could be a good year for your favorite ride… that's all I'll say.

    • Scandinavian Flick ★

      I think you just found your New Year's resolution; 2014 HCOTY.

      Buy one that's been wrecked from behind, throw in a driveline and bodywork from a salvaged Corvair, hoon properly, profit!

      I'd probably vote for Muthalovin's Corvenesex.

  • DC Doug

    The K-car transit map pre-Road America/Denver/Sonoma… https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=101521543

  • chance

    What about the BTB1 bosozoku car at CMP. That thing was epic.

  • Guest

    The Spirit of Lemons flies high above all the other rebels!!!

  • wisc47

    Why is it so bad that there's a Subaru? I'm counting TWO Toyotas in one entry alone. Not that it matters because as always, I voted for Kodos:
    [youtube PcAxDgtF8_w http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcAxDgtF8_w youtube]

    • Deartháir

      I just tend to dislike pretty much everything automotive from the Japanese, but I have a particular dislike for Subarus.

  • Mike C.

    it won't let my family vote! it thinks it's me again. Cheeterz!

  • Bob E

    same here, cast a vote and screen goes blank. no message that it was accepted and no idea who's winning thus far. Would almost think someone has already decided on the winner. Is this contest being run by the WWE APP. ??

  • gruffere===D


  • It comes to this point in the year again, the time of remembrance and revelry in all the things that have happened over the last year, and also cars. I have heard people talk about the dilation of time as one marches onward in life, gracefully aging and wisening in years. This year for me has been an interesting one, as I have had the pleasure of experiencing some months of real world dissociation, where I did things and stuff, but was off in my own world, and felt like Rip Van Finkle when I got back. So it seems way too soon for HCOTY, and I feel like I missed a lot of the Hooniverse this year, because, well, I did miss it! Reading through these submissions seems to be a decent way of catching up, and I am enjoying myself! Mr. Áir's deadline is really crunching me this year and my goal to award my vote in a carefully thought out manner, but I am still going to try!

    I have noticed about myself and my year-end opinions that I tend to look at the topics and the writers and make generalities about which ones I am going to discount off hand and which ones I think will be the front runners to be decided between. Then I start reading. That is when I remember how awesome this place is, and how much my feelings on what it means to be a Hoon seem to mesh with the rest of ya'll, and I remember how great the stories are, and how they intertwine machines and men (and women, that messes up my alliteration a little though, I mean men in the general humanity sense, you know?) and triumph over adversity, even if that adversity might just be normal life, and so I realize all that all over again and it gets hard to vote. So I'll first just say thanks to everyone who writes over here, and everyone working to make this happen, and all the commenters that make this an awesome place to be, still, no decline through years of faithful service, I still enjoy coming around here and I thank all of everyone for that.

    I feel like I should point out, these are all great cars, and the margin between them is slimmer than the speed bump clearance on that SLAB. My opinions are also colored by my feelings that while money can build some incredible cars, the personal connection is what makes some cars more than the sum of their parts, and the icing on that cake is a further connection with the writer, and them sharing that with us. Here's my list, culminating with the car and writer combo that win my coveted single vote for the year:

    14. TWINI the Mini, because while I love twin engined things and this pusher-puller racing machine is bad ass, if I am honest with myself I rank it down here because the money involved in this level of sport and build makes it something more fitting for Jay Leno's Garage than Hooniverse's Portable Carport out in the front yard.

    13. Ken's Trans Am, which I really feel like kicking myself for ranking it low on the list, but I felt like I just was missing some little something, it's impressive that he held onto the car, but–I think if I keep the honest Gabe thing going, I am jealous of someone who kept their first dream TA, when I wish I had my not-first car but first awesome car Firebird I miss and wish I had again (although it is in a great home with a family member that knows better than to sell it back!).

    12. AMS Hearse, another one I don't really want to leave on down the list, especially since I <3 Jim (UDMan!), but it is a showcase project that wins Guinness fame, and now that I type that it seems silly that could somehow be a negative, but it goes in the money category for me, and, well, hearses kind of creep me out.

    11. Rebel Yell, sweet overseas hooning an American orphan, but I am overly critical of 4 door cars with no wagon-ocity.

    10. Antti Polo, any car that brings some to step beyond their known ability and start wrenching definitely belongs in the top ten, I am looking forward to seeing more!

    9. Royal Jaguar, Mr. MyEnemy, great write-up of an intriguing auto, the only thing missing was you helping a couple of those big hat guards push start it.

    8. Captain Morgan, these three wheelers have captivated me since I was given a tiny black and white taken by a Brownie at a long ago car show, and I love that they can be bought again, but that's what it is, buying one.

    • 7. Spirit of LeMons, I love the series and the stories out of it and the people who play this racing game seem like the sort I would enjoy having a beer and swapping and engine with, but this particular SpeedyCop creation actually doesn't fire me up quite as much as that 8 wheeled thing.

      6. FX32, twice the LeMons fun!

      5. K-Car, terrible car, fantastic story, the power of people working with people to make cars do what they do, I lump these cars sort of together, all these LeMons racers, cool, but not hitting my peak.

      4. Whitey the Subie, because it is a racecar to get people into racing, and that rocks.

      3. Teal SLAB, not my thing, but I appreciate the Saucy Minx for bringing this tiny, strange and glorious corner of the automotive world to our attention, it took vision, and skill to build, and I dig the hater hating message in the the trunk!

      2. Bricklin, a car that is quirky and terrible, yet awesome, and the fact that our own Deartháir and a bunch of other guys helped a guy with enough money to pay someone else to fix his car instead do it themselves, just fantastic!

      1. The Nomad, with a bullet, my number one, the recipient of my one true vote, because it is a wagon, a wonderful wagon, driven for years, but its over the top bit, the for the win, is that those kind folks took time out of their day to talk to our olelongrooffan and tell the car's story and their story and to me that is the Hooniverse, that is HCOTY, and that is why I read and comment and count you all as friends.

      • "My opinions are also colored by my feelings that while money can build some incredible cars, the personal connection is what makes some cars more than the sum of their parts, and the icing on that cake is a further connection with the writer, and them sharing that with us."

        While technically, the cool ass Mom shared her experiences with my brother, Bus-Plunge, this is exactly what I believe makes the Hooniverse the fantastic blog it is.

        And know this HycoSpeed, I'm gonna keep looking out for these type experiences as that is the way I Celebrate Life.

        Happy 2014 and this olelongrooffan hopes you have a bit more time to check in round these here parts this years.

  • UDman

    Holy Crap, a tie. Is this the first time that has happened?

  • 68 rebels

    It between the Rebel and the 58 Chevy but the Rebel is rare so it gets the nod. And my parents had 2 68's when we were kids……they weren't bad cars. Except for.carb issues and a mystery vaccim leak on one.(found after the head was redone). They didn't rust like the 74 hornet we replace one with.

  • My Polo nom came in dead last. 🙁

  • Heather


  • Wow, people are actually voting for my nomination!

    Must have clicked the wrong button.

  • Hugh Talman

    Spirit of Lemons