Quantcast

Gaming Autonomous Traffic: How You Can Beat Robot Rush Hour

Alan Cesar February 2, 2017 All Things Hoon, Featured

In a world of autonomous cars, the autonomous driver will be king.

We’re all familiar with the image of that one person walking steadfast against the throng of automatons. It’s a delicious visual, especially for the palate of rugged-individualist America. When autonomous cars become affordable for the average person, it’s only a matter of time before there’s enough of them that traffic becomes a smooth-flowing stream of cars free from human error.

That’s the utopian hellscape that car enthusiasts fear, and we cling tightly to our keys and steering wheels as symbols of vehicular freedom. You can have my stickshift when you pry it from my cold, dead fist.

But the daily commute is currently just a miserable chore. In the future, it’s a chance to fully explore your freedom.

… Continue Reading

Justy Little Project Car: Approaching Completion (?)

Alan Cesar January 11, 2017 Featured, Project Cars

justy-engine-install-lead-720

My wife fully gestated and expelled a baby in less time than it’s taken me to finish my engine rebuild. It was September 2015 when I removed the engine from my ’91 Subaru Justy project car. I had it apart shortly after that, pricing out exhaust valves, bearings and machine work to see if a rebuild was financially feasible (and if a motorcycle engine swap was a better idea). By the end of November 2015, the machine work was done and I had most of the parts I’d need, but it wasn’t until this month that I put the engine back in the car.

Now I’m making the final push to get this car mobile so I can let another project gestate in my garage. A Pontiac race car with a due date 10 months out. Read on.

… Continue Reading

Justy Little Project Car: Hurricane Matthew Preparedness Edition

Alan Cesar October 17, 2016 All Things Hoon

justy-hurricane-matthew-garage-prep-720

The week before last, I was battling minor anxiety and major amounts of texts imploring me to get the hell out of Dodge Daytona Beach. Hurricane Matthew threatened to make landfall right on top of us, and, this being my first real hurricane, I was excited to ride it out like the Salt Lifers. I was also reading everything I could find on hurricane prep so I could make a smart decision on whether to leave or not. The Justy played a surprise role in getting the house ready for high-energy winds, but I thankfully didn’t have to call on the canoe.

… Continue Reading

Gymkhana Nine Already? Gymkhana Nine Already

Alan Cesar September 13, 2016 All Things Hoon, Featured

gymkhana1-720

Your favorite burnouts-and-donuts wheelman-turned-shoe-salesman-turned-energy-drink-salesman is now also selling video games. But nevermind that, there are burnouts and donuts and other stuntin-and-splodin to watch. It’s been less than a year since Gymkhana Eight, where Ken Block took a different Focus around scenes at the oil-rich city of Dubai. This series has clearly become a big moneymaker for Block since his first one almost eight years ago. He has since switched from Subaru to Ford, and the automaker has poured support behind these videos.

… Continue Reading

What is this sorcery? Pontiac Sunbird Turbo!

engine-lead-720

When I saw a 1991 Pontiac J-Body on Craigslist with an asking price of $4500, I had to take a closer look to determine the level of crazy involved. It’s weird enough to see a Michigan-plated car listed for sale in Florida without acres and acres of rust, but what caught my eye was the bright red underhood photos and the word “turbo.” It wouldn’t have surprised me so much if the car was boxier and the model year something closer to the mid-’80s, but it’s unusual to see a mass-market car that traipsed into the ’90s before shedding forced induction.

… Continue Reading

Jim’s Proto-SUV could be yours if you can get home from Nebraska

Alan Cesar August 11, 2016 All Things Hoon

lead720

If you ever wanted a reason to visit Lincoln, Nebraska other than the SCCA Solo Nationals and their plethora of pylon puns, a nondescript used-car lot has a Chevy-powered Willys Overland 4×4 Sport Wagon for you. One of their long-time employees, Jim, apparently has quite a collection of cars and they’re helping him sell them off one by one. This not-quite-flat-black two-door Willys wagon caught our attention. It’s got metal everywhere and is purt’near guaranteed to make the 50 mile round-trip to Greenwood, Nebraska. Any further than that and all bets are off. Especially if it rains.

… Continue Reading

Project Car SOTU 2016: Justy Little Project Creep

Alan-SOTU

Making a car look good is hard work. The details make all the difference, and with a project as huge as an engine rebuild, there are a lot of details to tidy up. Little performance improvement options also encourage project creep, especially if they’re cheap on the surface—or worse, if they’ll take Justy little extra time.

… Continue Reading

How to Drive the Tail of the Dragon and Have a Badass Camping Trip

lead-720-mazda5-tail-of-the-dragon-minivan

Unless you’re local to them, the “roads you must drive before you die” regularly featured in listicles don’t often actually merit the expense of a road trip. It’s just not practical to spend a day traveling to some remote road that takes 20 minutes to drive through when you can just pay a couple hundred bucks to run a track day an hour or two away, then sleep in your own bed that night. For those of us of modest means, there’s gotta be something else to do at the destination to make such a trip worthwhile. I found out quite by accident that the Tail of the Dragon is one such place, even if you have a minivan, a toddler, and a wife prone to carsickness.

… Continue Reading

Justy Little Project Car: 10 Percent of the World’s Supply

Alan Cesar May 9, 2016 Project Cars

FB_IMG_1449083153911

When you order OEM car parts from some of these third-party resellers, they’ll ask for a VIN so they can confirm that you’re ordering the right part. After I placed my order, I received an email that said this:

“There is an issue with the VIN # you provided. If this is a US market vehicle, then the number provided is incorrect, please double check it for accuracy. If this is a foreign market vehicle, please be aware we cannot specify parts or check fitment.”

Weird. The steering wheel is on the correct side. All the controls are in English. This has to be a US-market Subaru Justy, right?

… Continue Reading

Lemons at Barber Live Blog

Alan Cesar February 5, 2016 All Things Hoon

knox-vegas-lowballers-smokey-bandit-metro-contour

I’m parked next to what I think is a peanut field alongside U.S. Route 82 in rural Georgia, cutting through the state along slightly more entertaining roads than the wonderful but dull interstate highway system. I stopped here to put together this short update before the day is up, because this weekend, Barber Motorsports Park plays host for the third time to the 24 Hours of LeMons—a series I don’t have to explain to you Hooniversitarianites (or whatever it is we call ourselves).

I’ll be posting live updates from the event throughout the weekend, so check in regularly with this post or follow Hooniverse on Facebook to see the ridiculous cars that show up. Pictured above is the incredible Smokey And The Bandit-themed Geo Metro campaigned by the Knox Vegas Lowballers. It’s got a mid-mounted V6 from a Ford SVT Contour. That’s not this year’s livery, nor is it last year’s, but Knox Vegas has always impressed with their presentation—albeit not always with their car’s reliability. Stay tuned throughout the weekend to see what they and other LeMons teams bring.

… Continue Reading