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Hooniverse Asks: What Are Your Automotive Resolutions For 2018?

Robby DeGraff January 3, 2018 Hooniverse Asks 44 Comments


Just like that, we’re off to the start of a new year. A fresh, clean slate. A new opportunity to better ourselves professionally, personally, and for the sake of this post, hobby-ly. Yep, I just coined that term and I’ll take it to the bank for 2018. So as you sit down and write a list of goals, ideas and resolutions for 2018 (because you should), make sure you bullet a few automotive-related ones too.

Are you hoping to finally pay-off that car payment or buff out that irritating scratch on the side of your door that’s been there for years? Maybe you’re anxious to try out a new sport behind the wheel like karting, off-road rallycross or autocross, or perhaps you just really want to step up your video gaming and splurge on the newest Need For Speed, Forza or Gran Turismo. Could this new year be the year for a new toy? If you’ve dreamed about riding a motorcycle, 2018 might be your green light to go and learn how and then buy one.

So what are mine? Ride more, drive less. This past summer, I bought a 1981 Honda CB650 which I adore yet didn’t get enough seat time on it for various mechanical reasons. Once the snow melts, I’m aiming to park my car and throw on my helmet for the majority of my day-to-day getting around. It’s always more fun on two-wheels, especially when your bike gloriously sounds like a grenade being thrown into a volcano. On the four-wheel front, I’m also hoping to get back into partaking in road rallying. For years, I used to slap a bunch of decals on the side of my fourth-gen Camaro or daily-driving champion Saab 9-2x wagon, and time-speed-distance myself across the country or state, all in the name of charity. Organizations like Wisconsin-based Cheese Wheel Inc., Rally North America and Road Rally Charities out of Iowa, hold numerous events throughout the year to raise money for non-profit organizations in need of some extra help. Sounds fun, right? Grabbing a co-driver, prepping your car for an adrenaline filled day (or week) of exploring the open road and competing with up to 100 other cars and teams… all while benefiting a good cause. It’s seriously the most fun you can have behind the wheel.

What resolutions a few of the other writers at Hooniverse looking to make happen this year? Take a read.

Jeff: “I plan to spend more time making my own cars look and run better.”

Ross: “See more cool shit. My main 2017 New Year’s Resolution was to “see cool shit,” and I’m happy to say that, to an extent, I followed through with it. In 2018 I plan to do more of the same, and want much of the exploration that comes with it to be via car and/or truck. Take a little of Bowman and Brownell, spice it up with some 4Runner and more difficult off-roading, and that’s what I’m aiming for. Same goes for car-based trips: I plan on seeing more of the country and enjoying automobiles for what they enable one to do, not just what they themselves can do. Learn to heel-toe-downshift. With knees that point at complete opposite directions, it’s a bit of a difficult task. I’m going to try and get the knack for it. Sell the WRX and replace it with something the likes of an S550 Mustang or ND Miata. Get the MR2 “Someday Race Car” build going. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway and mountain/canyon roads outside LA. Drive to and up Mt. Washington. Spend more time off-roading. Become smoother my inputs while autocrossing.”

Greg: “I want to keep driving new (to me) cars and do more races, car shows, and mountain runs. I’ve also got a few maintenance items planned for my truck to keep it going strong and maybe do something about the faded paint. The biggest thing though is I want a fast car. I’ve been putting off upgrading for years while I get my career going, but now that it looks as if I’m maybe on the right track, I want to pull the trigger. The short list is an E92 M3 or a newer IRS Mustang GT. But who knows, maybe something else will tug at my heartstrings and lead me into making yet another bad decision in life.”

Joel: “My Mazda 3 got to 100k and fell apart. Everything has gone wrong with it. My new year auto resolution is to get rid of it.”

Brad: “I plan to finally get my motorcycle license, and to get my Boxster fitted with safety equipment for track work.”

Oh, and make sure you pour one out for the cars that won’t see light in 2018. I’ll raise a glass in honor to Chevy’s SS, Mitsubishi’s i-Miev (hey I honestly like that car, no shame), the Honda Accord Coupe and Dodge’s legendary Viper.

From all of us at Hooniverese, happy new year.

  • onrails

    A track day or two to keep the rust off and laying out a plan for running One Lap in 2019. Spousal approval gained, gotta save up some budget. It’s a long way away, but it’s good to have something to think about.

  • smalleyxb122

    My resolution is to not buy any vehicles this year. Exceptions made for donor vehicles. I need to spend my time and money getting my current fleet up to snuff.

    I’m also going to try to get the garage straightened up. It’s time for a purge. I have too much “I might find a use for it” that I need to more honestly assess. What am I really going to do with a late ‘70s 305?

    • cap’n fast

      late 70s 305? dual $600 internet turbochargers and FAST EFI. sell turbos after you blow the engine up and repurpose the EFI. that is the fun thing to do. cast iron doesn’t bring crap for scrap. I am looking for an 80 or 81 caprice with a 305 to do that to

  • I resolve not to drag home any more nonoperational vehicles this yea… Well, that resolution lasted until early Monday afternoon.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a975f9b69e2c897b82676881105ee65b9f977837b11fd674a3132f0ae70692d1.jpg

    • OK, what exactly is that?

      • That’s the 2012 UW Formula SAE car.

        And my cat.

        • outback_ute

          It appears the cat is operational at least!

        • Rover 1

          It looks just as suitable for commuter use as any other car you own?

          • No, I’m not prepared to trust something with fuel injection for daily use.

            • Rover 1

              I see below, only 4th in economy.

              You might as well use the Ford.

              • Still, seventh in business places it considerably in advance of most of the manufacturers represented in my fleet.

                • Rover 1

                  IS carmaking an art or a business ? The new model is to not make money, but lose it creatively. Like Tesla. The manufacturers of many of your cars were just ahead of their time. Carmaking was to them an art.

        • Batshitbox

          Your cat does wheelies. Righteous.

      • smalleyxb122
        • We removed the nose for transport but there are several other parts genuinely missing, such as the differential, the pneumatic clutch mechanism, the steering wheel…

          • Also the seat, the front impact attenuator, the shock absorbers, random parts of the brake system, the fluid catch cans…

            • dead_elvis, inc.

              I fail to see the problem here.

              Also, I may have missed the point.

  • Maymar

    I’ll hopefully get out autocrossing again, but otherwise probably won’t be able to do much with my car except maybe spring for a stickier set of tires (since mine are starting to look low anyhow) towards the end of the summer. No need or space to pick up anything new though.
    That said, I should get my motorcycle running again, and at least take it to work a couple days (basically the only place I go by myself).
    Also, my father-in-law has retirement coming up, and I think I have him pretty much talked into one of those exotic car lapping sessions, which would give me a good excuse to go as well.

  • Andrew_theS2kBore

    Firstly, to do more time trial/time attack events, which will hopefully get me motivated for the second resolution, to finish building the aero package for my track car. The main thing holding me back is an irrational aversion to cutting body panels, despite the fact that the car is beat to heck and more scratches and stone chips than paint.

  • I’m curious about Joel’s Mazda3 experience. My 2005 5 door is closing in on 200K and has been generally very reliable. Not Toyota or even Honda level reliable, but generally very good. It got struts at ~125K, control arms a couple of years ago and a new blower motor and an exhaust hanger this year. It’s rusting like a 70’s Camaro stored outside on the coast of Maine, but otherwise has been good.

    My car resolutions are:

    – To finally address some of the leaks and the inoperable power windows in the Thunderbird (same resolution as the past 10 years or so.)
    – Bring the condition of the RSX up a few notches by replacing the driver’s door handle, fixing the floppy wipers, repairing the split seam in the driver’s seat and possibly address the many dings and the slight rust starting on the doors. Otherwise I plan on bouncing it off the rev limiter often.
    – Spend more time with Dad and his old cars. Maybe even drive my Thunderbird up to visit him.
    – Keep all my hoopties running with minimal effort and expense.

  • 0A5599

    Now that my wife commutes with the power of 400+ horses under her right foot, I have a strong urge to harness at least 500 for similar tasks.

  • Get a MIG/MAG welder and practice on sheet metal, so I’ll be ready when I need to weld (which was about last year). Mrs nanoop is on board as long as I don’t produce ugly birds as garden decoration.
    My local P-club has a workshop space now, so I can use that for actual car sizzling (instead of burning down my wooden shack), but I’d have to start and finish any project there, since it’s a queue. No rush, but it can’t just sit for weeks without being worked on.

    • cap’n fast

      hey! harbor freighted a cheap ass MIG for use in the back garage. rewired one of my RV gensets to put out 240vac single phase. very portable poormans welder. got rid of the hateful stick welder. good thing. just love welding tubing for the lincoln’s exhaust and several specialty brackets. going to have to weld rt rear spring perch on the fifth wheel when it warms up here in CO. MIG is da bomb. more flexible in usage than TIG unless your doing aluminum or titanium. good for overhead and vertical.
      line the welding bench area with grey cement sheet rock. almost(!) fireproof. get a BIG fire extinguisher. and a water hose. and welding blankets(aluminized fiberglass blankies). and someone to fire guard you while you are welding under the car near a fuel line. that’s important! it is better to be wet than burned…..

      • cap’n fast

        fix the bloody heater in the lincoln again and replace the 8year old tires. both resolutions i firmly resolve to do nothing about until it warms up here or the tires shred themselves thru no good reason. {UV is the little death for tires}

      • Now that’s proper consumer advice right there, thank you! I’m a paranoid very careful person in a safety obsessed safety conscious society, so I’ll gladly follow your advice.

  • kogashiwa

    I’m not sure yet. I kind of need to replace my IS300. It’s a hail damage insurance write-off so if it ever has another incident no matter how minor it’s classified unrepairable. This makes me very reluctant to put money into it but it’s way overdue for major service. So I’d like to just replace it (I’ve already had it for longer than any other car in my life) but not sure with what. An Altezza is appealing, because I really like the IS300 but turns out a not-too-revvy straight six combined with a dim-witted automatic doesn’t really suit a car like that. But do I really want a JDM car for my only/daily driver. And then I think, I’d really like a wagon, so maybe a Legacy? and then I think, everything is far apart in Manitoba, I really want something comfortable, maybe an LS430 or even splurge on an LS460? and then I think, I’ve never had a new car and I love the current Mazda 3, maybe do that?

    So okay tl;dr I guess my New Years resolution is to make up my mind …

  • Batshitbox

    BUY!
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5f4e8b014748837dff4101e91a3f1ae5e7761e3e216b5e989ccd1226ee54ccbe.jpg

    SELL!
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c03fedf3a1b2671bd399a1adebe78b0b11e7ab8664e78b1b9ff1524ee58427e2.jpg

    BUY!
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c7814aa83b168c11a3051dd99278621710c14cadac972e98d69a61b8c188e891.jpg

    Buy a Triton V8 engined Econoline. Sell my Laverda RGA1000. Buy a 2018 Honda NC750X DCT. Use the van to take my Suzuki DRZ400 adventure camping. Ride the Honda all over California & Washington..

    • Alff

      But not Oregon.

      • Batshitbox

        Right. No, wait… which one’s California’s hat?

        See, this just proves I need to get out and travel around these parts more. Familiarize myself.
        I’m gonna ride in there and pump my own gas into my tank like a boss! Chicks’ll fall all over me.

        • dead_elvis, inc.

          Careful about those chicks falling all over you, esp in Oregon. They’re likely meth-addled former pump-jockeys.
          No euphemisms intended.

          For some reason, I thought you’d already sold the Laverda. I need a new ride, but I’m not sure that’s the one I need for an upcoming coast-to-coast-and-back summer.

        • Alff

          Good luck with that. I had a pump attendant tell the that “one in five Oregonians works at a gas station” but that may no longer be true now that they can find gainful employment in the legal weed industry.

          • cap’n fast

            is it true that only “blue” states have legalized grass?????

            • Alff

              I believe that’s true for recreational use but a whole bunch of states (including some reds) have legalized medical marijuana.

  • outback_ute

    My resolution is to find a new home for my cars, which will involve thinning the herd, plus get 2 back on the road and 2 started down the path for restoration – or get rid of them.

  • Very informative post. thanks for sharing!!!

  • dead_elvis, inc.

    I’m likely to be driving from the Pacific Northwet to Vermont in late spring, and doing a return trip in August-ish, and I’m (semi) resolved to get my ’87 Volvo 240DL in shape for it, since I’d like enclosed transportation while I’m back east.

    But I’ve got an even wafflier inclination to rehab the ’99 Kawasaki ZRX 1100 for the trip, since it’s far more comfortable for long days on the road (hell, the aftermarket seat was more than half the purchase price of the Volvo). HOWEVER: it’s been sitting for the last 5 or 6 years (on stands, so the elderly tires aren’t flat-spotted) but I was a lazy sod & didn’t drain the fuel, so looking at some carb rehab at the very least; complete carb disassembly/cleaning/rebuild, clutch & petcock replacement, and tank lining at the fingers-crossed worst).

    Gas mileage is considerably better on the motorcycle, but there won’t be much pleasure driving on the coast-to-coast routes, just a purposeful drone across I-90 from Seattle to Albany, then another 100 miles or so to my SE VT destination. But there lies the opportunity for a Saddlesore or Bun Burner.

    ETA: so, no real resolutions here, just some opportunities of varied desirability. Even interstate highway travel > air “travel”, IMO. At least when expediency isn’t the highest priority.

    • Batshitbox

      Well, the Laverda did make the trip from Portland, Maine to San Francisco in 1994, but it’s a 30 year old bike now, not a 10 year old bike. I’m sure it would blow a few gaskets nowadays. Your Kwak should be a great bike for it, though. Replace the tires before you go. Six year old rubber will deteriorate rapidly, and you’ll end up replacing them 1000 miles into the trip anyway.

      Late spring may be too early, but I hear the roads through Canada are prettier between Seattle and the Great Lakes than our Interstates. When I rode the Laverda out of Maine, I ran into (massive coincidence) a guy on a Laverda with CA plates headed to Putney, VT. He had come across Canada, said I should check it out sometime.
      Check the El Nino situation, though. One year during the CA drought HoneyBunny tried the Canada route, but Calgary was so flooded the Stampede was cancelled and she got detoured back into the States!

  • Kiefmo

    I need to admit that the Mercedes is going to be with me for a long time, and I should really stop neglecting its care so much and actually fix the things that are wrong with it so I don’t hate daily driving it so much.

  • Rudy™

    2 drivers, 4 cars…need to thin out the herd. The oldest needs transmission work. (Owned it since ’97 when it was new.) It gets stuck in park–something internal in the transmission is hanging up. The next oldest (an ’04 Civic) had a Bosch spark plug shatter inside the cylinder. Now there’s very little compression. So I’ll be pulling the head to see what the problem is. Our other two are “his and hers,” same year, same model, and they’re good for at least another 100k miles each.

    My daughter’s car is the big question mark–it has the troublesome B7XA tranny, and it has acted flaky for months now. Already saving up for that one, and hoping the weather warms quickly so I can get the Civic running and swap cars with her while I get the tranny worked on. She goes to school down in the bowels of Detroit…last thing we want is to have her stranded down there.

    So getting the fleet in order, and thinning the herd, is #1 for me.

    #2 is play time. Looking for a couple of older Metropolitan scooters, something we can putt around the neighborhood in, and use at our local cruise in August. I’m patient, so I’ll wait for any good deals to come along. Hopefully I’ll find them needing some minor work, so I have something to work on.

  • Tony Intrieri

    DRIVERS WANTED – Rally North America is taking on the western side of Route 50 in July of 2018! Be part of a nationally televised, 4 day, 1200 mile, Scavenger Hunt that starts in Pueblo, Colorado and ends 4 days later in Carson City, Nevada.

    Your entry fee includes 2 hours of on track time at both Pueblo Motorsports Park & Western Colorado Dragway, low group rates at select properties, group rate admission prices at attractions, organized downtown starting lines, and one hell of good time. All makes and models are welcome.

    This is a being held to benefit Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) and will be filmed as a part of a six episode television series to be aired nationwide on MAVTV in 2019.

    If you love to drive, want to help families of fallen police officers, like to spend time around other car people, and feel up to the task this event is for you.

    Registration is now open. Message me if you have any questions about the event or Rally North America. Keep in mind we will only take 82 teams and have 32 veteran teams signed up in 30 days at the time of this posting.

    https://www.rallynorthamerica.com/events/route-us50-2-2018/

    If you want a good look at who we are and what we do check out this video shot in 2014 from Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire.

    https://youtu.be/SYutm3hGeVI