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HCOTY 2016 – Vote Early, Vote Often

Bradley Brownell December 31, 2016 Featured, Hooniversal Car of the Year 44 Comments


2016 was a year of pessimism, doubt, fighting, and lunacy. Personally, (while time is a construct and a 365 day period simply a number ascribed meaning by humans) I’m happy to see 2016 walking out the door. Here at Hooniverse, and in our automotive sphere of influence, it’s actually been quite a good year. We love our readers, and we’re ecstatic that you all keep coming back to read our esoteric insights into the modern car landscape. Hooniverse provides a perspective you cannot find anywhere else, bringing you the best mix of news, racing, oddball podcasts, stunning videos, burnouts, inane rantings, and (hopefully) insightful editorial that we know how. We hope you’ve found some solace in 2016 by reading the pages of Hooniverse.com, and if you’re new to the site because one of your friends asked you to vote for their car, you’re welcome too, and we hope you stick around a while.

With a slight change in the rules this year, and a new HCOTY-master (that’d be me), we have another excellent crop of cars, trucks, and motorcycles vying for the HCOTY title. Our editorial staff has compiled a list of their favorite cars (conforming to the following rules) that had something to do with 2016, their choice didn’t have to be something we covered this year, and crapcan racers were ruled out, it couldn’t be something you could buy at a dealership, and it had to be at least as cool as Jeff’s Hoontruck. The rules are flexible and I’m the one who flexes them, so every nomination is eligible for voting. First we’ll do a recap of each nominated car, then we’ll have the poll at the very bottom of the post. Thanks to everyone who participates, both nominations and votes. Happy voting!

Without Further Ado, Here Are Your 2016 HCOTY Nominees:

In order of their postings:

  • Jaguar XKSS: Jag is doing a reboot of the XKSS, so now is as good a time as any to look back on what an awesome car the original was. Cool enough for Steve McQueen, cool enough for your vote.


  • The Bowman Odyssey Rig: Zach loaded up his family into this phenomenal home on wheels and went on an adventure. This kind of inspirational lunacy doesn’t happen every day, and this rig allowed it to. The plaudits are mostly due to Bowman’s phenomenal writing, but the truck served them well, and that’s the most Hooniversal thing possible.


  • A Specific Austin Allegro: This is Haining’s very specific target to get one singular vote in HCOTY 16. It’s a fun story, so go read it regardless.


  • The Thompson Family ‘Challenger 2’: Possibly the most heartwarming motorsport story of 2016, Danny Thompson took his dad’s (Mickey Thompson) land speed racing Challenger II, a wheel-driven streamliner, into the astonishing 400 mph club. The story behind this record is both intensely interesting, and incredibly tragic. If you do nothing else on this New Years Day, please read this post.


  • Toyota GT86 Cup: This car made Patrick fall in love, and he didn’t even get to drive the damn thing! Anything will surely capture your attention if you are taken for a lap around the Nurburgring in it. Check it out.


  • BMW Alpha: This custom bike build is a little bit of crazy and a whole lot of cool. From Concept to Construction across the wide expanses of the internet. Go read the thing!


  • The Keen Project Safari 911: Leh Keen is a badass, and his cars help demonstrate that point. Porsche racing champion Keen has turned his attentions to building off-roading aircooled 911s, and they are just so flippin’ cool.


LS3 Powered Jaguar XJ8 L

  • A Family Connection BMW 315: Kamil found this awesome photograph from 1952 depicting his grandfather and his beloved BMW. A worthy contender, if ever there were one.


  • Porsche’s First Le Mans Winner 356 SL: Porsche has won Le Mans 18 times overall, more than any other manufacturer. This lowly 1300cc aluminum bodied 356 was their first class winner back in 1951. It was recently restored by legendary Porsche guy Rod Emory. He had to build a roof for the thing from scratch. It’s awesome.


  • The Last Ford Falcon: “As Australian as Vegemite and Drop Bears” is one of the best things about this piece. Joel hails from down-undah, and this car means a lot to him. The Falcon is a nameplate that has been around for decades, and being that this is the last of its line, and the last Aussie Ford built, it deserves a vote or two. Check it out, he makes a compelling case.


  • The GT4586: Big engine in a little car, it’s a formula that works, and one we love here at Hooniverse. When people complain that the Toyota GT86 (or Subaru BRZ or Scion FRS for that matter) doesn’t make enough power, Ryan Tuerck decided to shove a Ferrari engine in the front of a GT86 and rip some mad skids.


There you have it, 12 nominees to represent 12 months of 2016. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad year after all. Here’s the poll. It’s interesting to note that we have two Jaguars, two Toyota GT86s, and Two Porsches. 

Which Of These Nominees Is Worthy Of The 2016 HCOTY Title?

  • BMW Alpha (35%, 223 Votes)
  • The Bowman Odyssey Rig (29%, 190 Votes)
  • The Keen Project Safari 911 (6%, 40 Votes)
  • Porsche 356SL Le Mans Winner (6%, 36 Votes)
  • A Specific Austin Allegro (5%, 31 Votes)
  • An LS3-Powered Jaguar XJ8 L (4%, 26 Votes)
  • Ryan Tuerck's GT4586 (4%, 24 Votes)
  • The Final Falcon (4%, 23 Votes)
  • The 'Challenger 2' Land Speed Racer (3%, 18 Votes)
  • Kamil's Grandfather's BMW 315 (2%, 16 Votes)
  • Jaguar XKSS (2%, 16 Votes)
  • Toyota GT86 Cup (0%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 646

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I promise there’s no electoral college to mess with the results. One reader – One vote!

  • casho2015

    Here’s the poll. Where?

    • casho2015

      Ah it’s fixed!

  • Sjalabais

    Second vote for the Allegro. The Hooniverse is probably all things to all people, too, but this, to me, is the perfect story of the unloved oddling, purchased cheap, after a long period of picking daisies, even by a regular. It’s really hard to get closer to the core of what the Hooniverse is to me, and it gets my vote in a strong field of competitors.

    • 1977ChevyTruck

      I couldn’t have said it better myself.

      One of the top Hoons becoming the caretaker of an odd car not sold on his continent, especially a car with few redeeming features?

      Sold on my HCOTY!

      (Which is why I’m the eighth vote for the Allegro).

      • Rover 1

        Hey. The system is only letting me vote once!
        How can I get the Allegro to win?

    • Vairship

      I was trying to decide between the Bowman Odyssey Rig and the Allegro. In my mind, the Bowman Odyssey awesomeness is tied more to the journey than to the vehicle.
      To verify, I did a Gedankenexperiment: If Bowman’s Odyssey had been done with the Allegro instead of the Ram, would that have made the odyssey more awesome or less awesome?
      The answer was obvious… score one for the Allegro!

  • The Last Falcon: this is actually tied to the year 2016, so it made most sense to me.

    • outback_ute

      I nearly voted for this, but a standard factory vehicle is not Hoon-worthy enough IMO.

      • But it’s from 2016, that’s, like, as new as any supercar from 2016!

        Part of the Hooniverse, to me, is the appreciation of cars that are, ahem, “currently bottoming out in value” (read: old cars), so a new car is something noteworthy to me.

        • outback_ute

          It’s not really the 2016 part, more the ‘standard’ part. Mind you if pressed to say what I would modify… Actually that is easy – brake pads as the standard ones will get killed on a race track, but that is true with any car.

  • Victor

    How the mighty have fallen,the Car of the year is a stylish but essentially useless Motorcycle.
    I suspect it is those hackers again.

    • Bradley Brownell

      There’s still a week of voting to go. Tell all your friends.

    • Then get out the vote for your candidate.

  • caltemus

    Between the Bowmanmobile and the Jag sedan for me. Reading his entries from the road make me want to do the same in the future

  • In a transparent attempt to court votes from beyond the Austin community, I’ll post a view of the Allegro’s rear window. I’m equally happy to pander to connoisseurs of MG, Jeep, Volvo, Rover, Land Rover, Triumph, Aberdeen, and Swansea:


  • wunno sev

    i voted for the Jaguar with confidence that the Bowman rig would be winning, as it so clearly deserves to. imagine my surprise to see that it was far behind!

    fortunately, the wrongs have been righted. the truck should absolutely win, but the Jaguar speaks to me in a way that none of the others do, and this is truly its year as i’ve seen it on Smoking Tire, Speedhunters, here, etc.

    • Jeff Glucker

      It’s pretty damn amazing

    • Alff

      Seconding this vote, on the basis of which I would be most likely to buy.

  • Russell Turnbull

    The Bowman Odyssey Rig

  • ptschett

    I had to go with the Challenger 2. A few of the others also qualified for a “because racecar” reasoning but not as well as it did.

    (I’m still of the opinion that the Falcon is sadly but definitely disqualified on account of the “could have bought one somewhere in a dealership in 2016” rule.)

    • “could have bought one somewhere in a dealership in 2016” eliminates most cars on the list, since they are one-ofs (one-offs?), or plain old.

      The only exceptions are, maybe:
      * The Keen Project Safari 911 and Tuerck’s GT4586: I don’t know if Keen and Tuerck have dealerships.
      * Jaguar XKSS – I’m not sure if one could actually test drive at the dealer’s before purchase (“AC delete is lovely, but do you have one in black, too?”)

      • ptschett

        Oops, I wasn’t clear, the rule was that you couldn’t buy an example of the car brand-new at a dealership.

        • I’m totally convinced they’re making up rules as they go, anyway.

          • Bradley Brownell

            I made up the rules, so yes that is completely true.

            I gave Joel a pass on the Falcon because he was forced to read the rules upside-down, being Australian and all…

            • Besides, ignoring rules is part of what we do here at the ‘Verse.

    • 0A5599

      I considered voting for the Allegro, but the rules said no Lemons cars, and we all know it’s just a fender bender and a rollcage away from becoming one.

      The BMW Alpha would be my choice for HMOTY, but that’s not what we’re voting on.

      I voted for Challenger 2 because:

      It has Challenger in the name, even though it isn’t based on a dealership car.
      It did stuff in the 60’s, in the hands of a legend of motorsport.
      It was supposed to do more stuff in the 80’s, until such motorsport legend’s death by homicide.
      It went into obscurity instead of a museum, and sat there for nearly two decades.
      It emerged, had an engine swap (now a hemi at each end instead of Ford) and set a record at over 400 mph, driven by the senior citizen son of the legend.
      The record was set in 2016.

      If only Bowman and his family would have lived in it, then certainly it would be leading the tally.

      • “…it’s just a fender bender and a rollcage away….”

        Not true! It also would need an individual waiver under Rule 2.1, inasmuch as it was not legal for US highway use at the time of its manufacture. I mean, what are the odds that LeMons HQ would want to see an Allegro on track?

        Come to think of it, they were pretty quick in granting a waiver for the Metro….

        • jeepjeff

          I am pretty sure Judge Phil already has that waiver drawn up and on file. Just needs a date next to his signature.

          • The Honorable Ms. Martin may very well already be lobbying for it, but any such waiver must come from the desk of the Chief Perp himself. I understand he has a soft spot for at least some British cars, though:


            • Yes, do you really want to do such a disservice to that poor Allegro? I mean, it’s so clean and…nice.

              • It is surprisingly nice and no, all fooling aside, I don’t want to do that to it. My only disappointment with it is that, as a later example, it isn’t equipped with a quartic steering wheel. Adding one just wouldn’t be right, either.

  • Joey DaVive

    Umm. Polo?

  • Jeff Glucker

    If Bowman doesn’t win, I’m burning this place to the ground…

    • No matter how the voting goes, I’m keeping my Allegro. That’ll show ’em.

    • Um, it’s YOUR place…

      • Jeff Glucker

        I know. I like to blow things up on occasion though. Keep’s things lively.