HCOTY – The Beast of Turin Fiat S76

[Source image: Stefan Marjoram]

The initial ignition blast torqued the whole chassis as though it were absorbing the impact of a missile. A gentleman revved the engine and made adjustments as sparks shot from its open exhaust ports, dropping deafening sonic assaults upon everyone present. Microphones failed to completely capture the unholy racket. When watching the video, the recording’s audio distortion gives the best indication as to the actual volume and ferocity of this — the word is overused, but nothing is more appropriate here — this monstrous engine. It was the first time the Beast of Turin had belched flame in more than a century.

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Haul American Soil in a Holden Ute

Alan Cesar November 14, 2014 All Things Hoon


Sometimes, when a car and a pickup truck love each other very much, they give birth to a hideous mutant child. At least that’s what my wife says, which means I won’t be buying a Holden Ute anytime soon. Fortunately for those of you without wives (or with wives who are more understanding when you want to spend five figures on a used trucklet with two seats), these Aussie El Caminos are now available in the U.S. through the aftermarket. A Colorado-based company called Left Hand Utes is importing Holdens and converting them, obviously, to drive on the right side of the road. You could have one for as little as $30,000. Hit the jump to see how.

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1991 Subaru Justy Project Car: Practical Unicorn

Alan Cesar October 31, 2014 Project Cars


I had been dissatisfied with my daily driver WRX for quite some time, both in terms of economy and performance. The cargo capacity is fantastic, but fuel consumption is poor and, well, if I wanted a heavy, 200-some-horsepower car that understeers, I could buy a supercharged Pontiac. Being a Ford Escort connoisseur, I had it in mind that I’d inevitably end up in another Escort wagon, its successor Ford Focus ZTW, or distant cousin Mazda Protege5. That was when a friend asked, “Small and compact. AWD or FWD. Hatchback would be a plus. Fun to drive. Must be an automatic. Used, $10k or less. Go!”

Craigslist did not disappoint.

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Did you know Jeff Gordon raced a Mitsubishi Eclipse?


This weekend, on the way home from a racing event hosted by a magazine I used to work for, my teammates and I found a nondescript diner and sat down for breakfast. Gainesville being the epicenter of Florida college football, we weren’t surprised to see Florida Gators banners and other Florida-themed decor around the place. Even the placemats featured a map of Florida with various tourist hot spots emphasized with pictures. What surprised me was the image of choice for Daytona Beach, home of the famed NASCAR and sports car races.

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Budget Review: Headlight Rehab Solutions


You may have seen a number of videos or message board posts touting headlight cleaning techniques that are fast, easy, and use common household items. Toothpaste is the old favorite, but a recent account of using bug spray appears nearly magical. A man applies it to a rag, wipes it on a hazy plastic headlight, and voila! It appears like new. Does it really work? I decided to test this against a headlight restoration kit from 3M. Follow the jump to see which is better.

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Tech Daze: 1989-’91Peugeot 405 Mi16


It’s boxy. It’s French. It barely exists anymore. [Source: ranwhenparked.net | Image: Peugeot]

Forgotten by many and unknown by many more, this French car still has a small, underground fan base–and a strange connection to American agriculture today. A few years ago, the Punisher GP team started racing a pair of these in the 24 Hours of LeMons series. Their cars have been extremely fast, but also prone to dramatic engine failures–culminating in a widely watched video clip from someone else’s in-car camera showing the Pug’s connecting rod cap hitting their windshield. In speaking with them and trying to learn about these cars, we discovered that it’s potentially very quick, but with explosive engine internals and that strange link to crops.

Follow the jump for (paraphrased) tips from experienced owners on how to shop for, maintain, and improve these cars.

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24 Hours of LeMons: ‘Humidi TT’ recap, or ‘Sebrings in yo Sebring’


Just a couple dozen hoopties, two different Chrysler Sebrings, and one enormous American flag mounted on a Mopar showed up for the first 24 Hours of LeMons race in Sebring, Florida. The World War II-era-airstrip-turned-road-course known as Sebring International Raceway has been forever the home of the 12 Hours of Sebring race, now an annual and historic staple of the televised motorsport season. That makes it a must-drive track for a lot of racing fans. On the weekend of our nation’s birthday, the 24 Hours of LeMons held its first enduro on this so-called hallowed ground.

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Project Car SOTU: An AMC Eagle with Provenance


[Editor’s Note – Say hello to Alan everyone. You’ll immediately be able to tell that he’s in the right place.]

A red, white, and blue logo. An all-iron pushrod engine and four-wheel drive. Designed in Kenosha, Wisconsin (and built in Brampton, Ontario). Formerly the official vehicle of the National Ski Patrol. Its name is shared with this country’s national bird and the lunar module that carried Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins to the moon’s surface. It’s the Eagle, made by the American Motor Company. It’s overtly patriotic, but not quite to the point of being indistinguishable from parody. … Continue Reading