It’s become a common theme in recent years that the Hooniversal Car of the Year voting inevitably gets hijacked by some fanbase or another. Think DRIFT TRUCK! NASCARLO! LeMons! POLAND! MOTORCYCLES!?
In any case, we have decided that the editors and contributors would like to have a say in awarding our favorite thing of the year without taking over the voting process or altering the voting in some way.
HCOTY is still a thing, and we’ll continue with it going forward, as it’s a ton of fun to administer. We simply want to have our voices heard and commend one car/person/thing or another for their efforts in 2016. For the first year, I’ve repurposed one of my old SCCA trophies with a piece of scratch paper tacked on to let you know it’s the inaugural HOON’S CHOISE (sic) trophy. We think you know where this is going. Don’t even think of this as being related to HCOTY, this is a damn Lifetime Achievement Award.
Go ahead and click through.
Sat in second place among the votes for the 2016 HCOTY is Zach Bowman’s Dodge Truck, the Odyssey Rig. Having been invaded by motorcycle fanatics and the votes cast in the direction of the BMW Alpha motorcycle project, we were really hopeful that Zach’s fanbase would also step in and override those votes. Alas, we could not stir up enough to get him the victory in the HCOTY vote, losing by just 30 tickets in the ballot box. After the votes had been tallied, everyone at Hooniverse agreed that he deserved some kind of award for his efforts over the course of 2016.
In case you’re not aware, this dumb son-of-a-bitch quit his writing job, sold everything he owned (house, motorcycles, cars, trucks, an International Pickup, etc.) and took off to drive thousands of miles across the United States for a whole year in this Camper-On-A-Truck rig. Eschewing the workaday lifestyle we’re all ostensibly slaves to, Zach headed for nowhere and everywhere with his wife and young child in tow. Spending time together as a family, sleeping in new locations seemingly every day, visiting friends and family instead of putting it off for some time in the future like the rest of us, that’s been his 2016. He made it in one piece, and his family survived. Maybe he’s not so dumb after all…
While there were downsides to the adventure, The Bowmans were taking life as it came, determined to take a chance on everything. This was no small undertaking, in fact we’ll call it an epic feat. Most of the adventure, a years worth of it, was published on TheDrive.com, and the rest of the adventure continues on their own chronicled site. If you haven’t read any of Zach’s glorious prose, you should start with that. The Odyssey has been some of the best automotive writing we have ever read, and we all owe it to ourselves to go back and re-read every entry, maybe once a year. As has been said before on these pages, some publishing company needs to turn his words into a book. He’s the best damn writer of our generation, he’s made us laugh and cry and think more than anyone else has this year. We have enjoyed every goddamn minute of it. If you make it through the entire Odyssey and you’re still looking for more, his previous work at Road&Track is also worth a read, or his Autoblog work prior to that, or just read this.
The Hoon’s Choice Award For Lifetime Achievement goes not to Zach’s Truck, but to Zach himself. Zach, if you ever get a fixed address, let us know and we’ll send you this silly plastic piece of trash trophy. For now, you just have our deepest respect. Well done!