24 Hours of LeMons Races to be Live-Streamed on RaceCast!

Tim Odell March 3, 2015 All Things Hoon

racecast screen shot

Starting with Sears Pointless on March 21-22nd, you’ll be able to follow race timing and a number of live feeds for 24 Hours of LeMons races, courtesy of RaceCast from RacerConnect. There’s no on-site production video crew (this is LeMons, after all); the feeds are going to come courtesy of a few volunteers’ smartphones.

Keeping up with a LeMons race from off-site can be tricky. This past weekend’s Texas race ended up canceled due to Hoth-like conditions, but I only know that from a few random individual’s Facebook accounts. Given the sheer numbers of cars, teams and paddocks at a LeMons race, this could make for awesome coverage of the thousands of little stories that come out of every weekend.

Check out the demo page here to follow along with footage from January’s Sears race, including a bit of Penalty Box action involving Cookie Monster.


Submission Thursday: Dailies

Tim Odell February 26, 2015 Submission Thursday

aw11 toyota mr2

[Prior Submission Thursday Submitter Andrew Simmons comes back to update us on his latest automotive escapades. He needs to remember to take more pictures for his pieces, though. – Ed.]

It was a frigid 62-degree morning in San Diego, and I found myself on the cusp of being late for a 7am meeting. Normally I’d pray before trying to turn the key, but my MR2 had been unusually well behaved lately, and I left my holy water/glycol mix upstairs. True to its newfound form, it started promptly, and was soon zipping (ok, puttering) down the road to the office, all 112 of Toyota’s finest horsepower present and correct.

The AW11 MR2 had long been a bucket list car of mine, and after returning to San Diego from a disastrous stint with a NASCAR team, I searched high and low for a suitable example. I wanted a car close to daily-driver status, but with enough foibles to be cheap and keep me busy on weekends when I wasn’t racing. It took several weeks and four or five dead ends before I found my car, a cocaine-white 1987 model with 300,000 miles, 30 degrees of free play in the steering, and a distinctive three-cylinder warble. The seller had priced it optimistically, but he consumed an entire six-pack while I was inspecting the car, so I forked over 60% of the asking price and bolted before he changed his mind and/or found his shotgun.

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1987 Cosworth Benz Project is as Horrifying as You Fear

Tim Odell February 26, 2015 eBay Insanity, For Sale

1987 Mercedes benz cosworth 190e for saleAt some point I want to pick up a dreadfully cheap 928, SEL 6.9, or 8-series to revive just to see how bad it’ll be. I love simplicity, but when someone describes a vehicle as hopeless or not worth saving, I just can’t back away from the challenge. This 1987 Mercedes Benz Cosworth 190e 2.3-16V scares even me away, even as a fantasy project with a fantasy garage and fantasy time to work on it.

Approaching it in a fenced lot behind a New Jersey warehouse, we notice the lousy tint and over-sized, newer AMG monoblock wheels, typical of the suspiciously cheap aged luxury vehicle. Alas, under the hood, we’re treated to a quartet of exposed, rusted cylinder bores. Apparently the motor dropped a valve and this block isn’t salvageable. But wait! There’s still hope: the cylinder head was rebuilt and there’s a “good” block included with sale. Except that good block has surface rust and should probably be gone through by a shop. Honestly, I’d just as soon drop an Ecoboost crate motor in and call it a day.

1987 Mercedes benz cosworth 190e engine bay

Fine, the powertrain’s dubious, but hopefully the interior’s serviceable, right? Well, the visible 40% of the seating surfaces look pretty good, but the denuded C-pillar and missing gauge cluster leave an extra tinge of “fnck it” about the whole thing. Exterior? Rust bubbles, missing trim, oxidized paint, the usual. Oh, and those 18″ Monoblocks aren’t included, the factory wheels are and they’ve been spray painted black.

This thing checks all the “string of crappy owners in way over their heads” boxes, and just when you think the seller couldn’t do any better, he signs off with

Looking for Porsche 951. Also interested in E36 M3’s, Alfa GTV6 or similar cars.

Of course he is. Oh yeah, the price: opening at $2800, Buy-it-now of $4500. I apologize in advance for the drink you just spewed on your keyboard.

1987 Mercedes Benz Cosworth 190e 2.3-16V for sale – eBay Motors


What’s up with Comments?

Tim Odell February 22, 2015 All Things Hoon

An update on the comments situation…

UPDATE: Images in comments should now be working!

Update: Disqus is live! Details after the jump…

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This 1979 Fiesta Makes me Happy for No Good Reason

Tim Odell February 17, 2015 All Things Hoon

1979 Ford Fiesta for sale

By now we’re familiar with the standard categories of car listings: the “I pay by the word, better not include any info”, the “I’ve got a burned out shell with numbers stamped on it that once related to valuable MOPAR bits”, the “here’s endless back-story and a Wikipedia copy/paste” and of course the “just needs…” that plays down an infinitude of not-so-minor fixes as though a few good weekends in the garage will have this baby back on the road! It seems, however, that today we’ve discovered a new species of car listing: the grammatically perfect short sentence sprawl.

ford fiesta (2)ford fiesta (3)

Before we go further, let’s all acknowledge this guy’s 1979 Fiesta looks like a lot of fun and a steal for the condition at a mere $1900 Buy-it-Now. It’s well maintained and mildly upgraded. He claims you can just hop in it and drive no matter when/what, and that really seems believable.

However, his listing has an interesting pace. He makes short statements about the car. They’re mostly in logical order. The grammar and spelling are correct. It’s all one paragraph. All the topics follow each other. There are no line breaks. The information is relevant. Though, it’s odd to read…

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Submissions Thursday: Back from the Dead

Tim Odell February 12, 2015 Announcements, Featured

hanzel citroen

Hooniverse‘s all-amateur cast gives us our unique character, but limits us as well. Simply put, we’ve only got so much time for the site. We tend to go with what we know: I’m all about my projects and your future projects, for example. It’s a good mix, but even the tastiest smoothie with the same eight ingredients gets old after a while. That’s where you come in. Maybe you have aspirations of making several dollars as an automotive writer or maybe you went to a cool car show and took some pictures. It’s not uncommon to think you’ve got a whole blog’s worth of writing in your head, but run out after only a few posts. Either way, we’re interested in what you have to share.

…but that doesn’t mean we’ll write up just anything you send in. A few tips:

Car show pictures: get there early for good lighting and fewer people. A bunch of shoulder-height, 10-feet away shots of a cool car with a crowd around it doesn’t quite cut it. Get down on one knee, frame the shot, capture the details and try to talk to the owner about the car.

Skip the rant: we’re not interested in your 1200 word tirade on how BMW’s lost its way or Kids These Days do/don’t care about cars. Framing your rant around some personal anecdote doesn’t change its ultimate destination (falling off the bottom of the inbox, unread).

Builds: Love them. If we had a real budget, I’d do nothing but build awesomely perverse cars all day.

Ownership experiences: Great. Nothing deflates Forum Logic(c) quite like a well-reasoned ownership report from someone who actually owns a car and actually uses it.

I Did a Thing!: This gets tricky. I date myself with the phrase, but we don’t want the car blog equivalent of flipping through someone’s vacation slides. Point is, your coast-to-coast roadtrip might’ve been an incredible experience…but there’s no guarantee reading about it will be. (Presumably) no one’s assigned to read Hooniverse, so be sure to write it up in a way that gives readers a reason to keep reading.

What’s in it for you? A lot of people just love the ego/portfolio boost from having their stuff published. We love those people too. If the intangibles don’t quite do it for you, we’d be happy to throw some swag your way, courtesy of the miscellaneous stuff our PR friends send us or maybe a Hooniverse decal or shirt.

If you’re interested, hit us up at submissions@hooniverse.com

(Picture completely unrelated aside from being awesome. Copyright Daisy Odell/Hooniverse.com)

Progenitor of Junior Comp Motorcycle Engined Dragsters Up for Sale

dave brackett dragster chassis for saleWhen this largely incomplete bike-powered dragster popped up in my standard eBay trawl, all I thought was that a modern Honda 600cc motor plus a small jungle gym would make for great entertainment. Not bad at a $950 Buy-it-Now. Turns out that in addition to maximum fun per dollar (in a straight line, at least), this one’s of historic significance.

Dave Brackett, the builder, built bikes and hot-rods that perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the late 60s and early 70s: dual motor chopper trikes and the like. Dave’s work was unique in that he pushed to use Japanese bikes and motors as much as the standard Harley units of the time. On a whim, he put together a tiny chassis and threw a Honda 750 motor in, resulting in low 10s at 128mph in the quarter. Not a super-high trap speed, but quick as hell. Today’s NHRA Jr classes can trace back to this car (and its ilk).

dave bracket chassis for sale (1)dave bracket chassis for sale (3)

Based on this post, it looks like someone hauled this thing out of a barn in Temecula back in 2012 and spent a couple years cleaning it up. Assuming that’s not just black Krylon and a dead motor sitting in the chassis, $950 seems to be a great starting point for a cool piece of history that’d still make some speedy passes. Auction ends today!

1972 Dave Brackett Motorcycle-Powered Chassis – eBay Motors

1965 Falcon Convertible Parked for 25 Years, How Hard Could it Be?

Tim Odell February 5, 2015 eBay Insanity, For Sale

1965 Ford falcon convertible for saleI probably overuse the world “could”. As in, you could buy a Corvair and you could put a FWD Cadillac 472/500 drivetrain in with relative ease. Some of those “could”s are an afternoon of hands-on work and some Sisyphean. In short, I see the potential for awesomeness in the end result and I’m tempted by relatively low entry prices. Thus, you can image the effect this $1,000 ’65 Falcon Futura convertible with a 289 and four-speed has on me.

Typically a recently de-tarped car sunk to its wheels in a side-yard invokes images of Flinstones-grade floors beneath a moss-garden interior. However, this one’s located in San Bernardino, CA, which gets about 15″ (38cm) of rain per year. The place is crispy dry. That said, the seller hasn’t bothered to open the door or hood to show what we’re up against. The paint’s wonderfully patina-ed and the top’s shot. That’s all we know. Luckily, you could get a top from these guys and you could rebuild the T-10 and 289 with relative ease.

1965 ford falcon convertible (2)1965 ford falcon convertible (3)

It looks like this car’s probably a $15-25k vehicle once “done”, so if you could do everything but the paint/body work yourself, you might come out ahead. Of course, that’d be missing the point. Instead, you could clean the tank, replace every line, hose, belt and seal, throw a Mexico blanket on the seat and go for a drive.

1965 Ford Falcon Futura Convertible for sale – eBay Motors

1964 Studebaker Wagonaire Daytona For Sale Like It’s No Big Deal

Tim Odell February 3, 2015 eBay Insanity, For Sale

1964 studebaker wagonaire for sale

Who wouldn’t love a funky compact wagon with a 289ci V8 up front? Despite what those iconic numbers would suggest, today’s subject hails from South Bend, Indiana, not Dearborn, Michigan. Specifically, we’re looking at a Studebaker Lark Daytona Wagonaire. Daytona = 289 V8 powered model, with power steering and disc brakes; Wagonaire = Studebaker wagon with a sliding section of the rear roof. Despite what GMC might’ve told you, our own Jim’s Envoy XUV didn’t really break any new ground.

1964 studebaker wagonaire for sale (1)1964 studebaker wagonaire for sale (2)1964 studebaker wagonaire for sale (3)1964 studebaker wagonaire for sale (4)

Maybe we’ll admit that the intervening 40 years offered some improvement to the design of the open-top-wagon-thing. Specifically, the Envoy is actually weather tight, with weather-resistant surfaces (aka hard plastic) back there. Our Wagonaire’s headliner appears to be colonized by fungi in the wake of some water ingress. The rough condition continues around the vehicle, but I’m struck by the rough-but-not-awful shape it’s in…kinda like any other four-digit craigslist/ebay classic. Typically when we see rare/unique cars like these, they’re either pristine and crazily priced or utterly wretched. This seems like an example you could drive and use properly (e.g. palm tree or grandfather clock transport) while replacing the worst bits as-needed. The current $5,300 bit puts it about double an equivalent Falcon or Nova in this kind of shape, but the seller doesn’t seem to have ambitions of too crazy pricing, given that the add reads like any other old car ad (minus a giant Wikipedia copy/paste).

1964 Studebaker Wagonaire for sale – eBay Motors

Be sure to soak up the very 1963ness of the Lark Daytona Wagonaire in this old clip:

YouTube Preview Image

This 1971 240Z is Pre-Lightened for LeMons Domination!

For those of us looking to broaden our automotive skill set, the biggest fear is attempting some a first-time job on a car we care about and screwing it up. Some hippy named Janis said “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”, but let’s apply the converse and claim this car’s truly free as it’s got nothing left to lose. Specifically, it’s been sitting since the late ’80s and has severe rust issues. If only there were a way to reinforce that unibody by bracing it with heavy-gauge metal tubing…hmmm. If the thing’s gone so spongy a cage won’t have anything solid to mount to, who’s to stop you from tacking in new sheetmetal as needed? There are no concourse judges in this vehicle’s future.

Mechanically speaking, well, it’s all there. Whether it’s “all there” in a cosmic sense that all the original iron, aluminum and carbon molecules are still present but with their locations more, well, randomized (i.e., scattered about the bottom of the oil pan) or “all there” in a change the oil, plugs and gas for re-ignition sense. It was parked back in the late 80s for a reason, after all.

The seller’s asking $700 obo, which puts it in perfect range of LeMons pricing, particularly once you unload the various OEM trim bits this one won’t need while trading paint/rust with a Cerlist-diesel-powered Fiesta or Slant Six e30. Auction ends Friday afternoon, get on it! (but not too hard; you’ll fall through the floor)

1971 Datsun 240z for sale – eBay Motors


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