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Checking out Dutch classic cars: Volvo 480ES, Citroën CX and more

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As we were driving along towards Maastricht from the point where the three countries, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany meet, I did a double take from the back seat of the black turbodiesel Audi A4 in which we were riding. “Hey, a CX! And an old Skoda! Should we turn around and check them out?”

After finding a semi-suitable parking spot, we could ogle at the weirdness. Just how good could a roadside Citroën CX be?

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Hooniverse Drives to Berlin – via Checkpoints A–B–C–D

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I spent my 30th birthday in Germany. A little bit more than a month later, I was back in Germany, for a New Year’s Eve in The Netherlands. Huh? Well, in Central Europe it doesn’t take long to drive from a country to another, so naturally it would make sense to fly to Düsseldorf, drive to the Limburg region beyond the Dutch border, and then to do a day trip to Berlin after New Year’s. It’s all logical, until you take into account you have to sit in a Peugeot wagon for hours on end…

But there was a Suzuki engine in Berlin, and there was room in the Peugeot. So I woke myself up with a cup of coffee and hopped in. There would be sights along the way.

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Video: Hungarian car gathering for Jalopnik

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We like our Eastern European crapcans over here at Hooniverse. And so do the folks at Jalopnik, as this video right here testifies. As the Jalopnik guys, visiting Budapest, wanted to see a gathering of cars that you don’t usually catch over on the other side of the pond, they got what they asked for – and it being Hungary, a ton of Suzuki Swifts as well. That’s pretty much the national car of Hungary by now.

The first thing you lay your eyes on is an Alfa Romeo Montreal. Then, Matt Hardigree professes his love of the Ford Sierra and the Ford Ka, Tarvis Okulski drives a Tarbant, there’s a Lotus Omega and a Zaporoshets; it’s a pretty cool sortiment of anything that could appear on a random car day. Take a look!

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C’était un Hoonez-vous – BMW 850CiA prowls Dutch streets

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You know C’était un Rendez-vous, right? The amazing French director, Claude Lelouch, strapped a camera onto the front of an unconfirmed car and drove through Paris like a hellhound was on his trail. The resulting ten-minute footage was overdubbed with Ferrari 275 GTB sounds that almost fit the driving, and it’s accepted knowledge that the car in question was a Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 that belonged to the director.

But enough of that 1976 film, and back to modern day. 2015, whoa. What would you use as your ideal camera car for filming a casual blast around some European streets? A friend of mine happens to own a very black and very cool 1994 BMW 850, and the V12 in it is now a 5.4-litre lump instead of the 5.oh with which it was delivered.

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HCOTY 2014 Nominee: 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Blacktop

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[Editor’s Note: Yes, we suck at this. Two new cars this year… we apologize and it won’t happen again. Antti at least has a good reason for this one.]

Having thought long and hard about the car I would be nominating as my personal Hooniversal Car of the Year candidate, I have no other option than to go way back to the last days of May and the first days of June, when I finally set foot on American soil and American tarmac and received the keys to a 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Blacktop, reviewed here.

Granted, it’s not a Hellcat by a long stretch, and the at least 707-horsepower super-Challenger has deservedly become the beacon of insanely powerful Challengers since its unveiling, but for myself the old R/T stands for so much more.

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Inside the Classic Remise in Düsseldorf, Germany

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Düsseldorf’s Classic Remise is a great place for anyone who wants to get up close with near-priceless classic metal. A brick building once built for locomotive storage, these days it’s a combination of a classic car dealership, car storage, restoration shop, memorabilia mall and car museum with a really nice restaurant thrown in as a bonus. Admission is free, and it’s one of the best ways to spend a Sunday in Düsseldorf. I especially recommend a Flammkuchen mit Speck with an Altbier as a companion, after a few hours of intensive classic car admiring.

In this photo-heavy post, I’ll show you the Remise as seen through a 50mm “Nifty Fifty” lens.

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Beaterland in Deutschland – Turning 30 in a BMW E30

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As an individual born in late November, 1984, I turned 30 last week. Fanfares, accolades, confetti, all of them successfully softened the blow of reaching my fourth decade. It even gets quite cold and dark here in Finland around this time, so the only hasty choice I could do was to turn back the advancement of autumn just a touch, and book tickets to Germany, as it’s just a touch warmer there. As it happens, they also have legendary racetracks and cheap(er) cars there, along with seriously cheap beer, so it didn’t take a long time for me to jump on the Boeing and make my way to Düsseldorf.

To look at cars, one needs a car. This was the bottom line for my friend Joe, who picked me up in the titular BMW; he’s planning to buy a cheap, frugal runabout or a project Datsun Z or something in between. It’s not clear yet what he’ll be getting, but the actual going-to-look-at-cars will happen in this slightly patinated 1988 BMW 318i saloon. It was loaned to him by the excellent fellow who bought the pea soup coloured Zastava, and as he had also recently bought a gold Subaru wagon the BMW was free to be lent on.

So, there I was, luggage dumped into the steel blue BMW’s trunk, the top of my head touching the headliner of the sunroof-equipped car. This was to be a pretty decent weekend.

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A Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkey – 2014 Opel Astra ecoFLEX Wagon

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My forays into the world of brand new cars do not come often. I was awaken from my beater status quo by the realization that the current J-generation Opel Astra doesn’t have a long shelf life any more, as it is scheduled to be replaced in 2016-ish.

Right now, the dealers offer attractive deals on already affordable cars: 1,9% financing and even “Bring your road legal penalty box and we’ll value it at 3000 eur” kind of trades, via some networks. Adaptive headlights, 17″ wheels and punchier 140hp engine come into play, with the end price hovering somewhere around 21 000 eur for a five-door version. Since I don’t instantly retreat into the woods when Opel is casually mentioned, I decided to trot over to the local dealer and try out a BROWN MANUAL WAGON. Did I shout that out loud?

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Used Car Reviews – 2004 Daewoo Evanda CDX V200

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Ever since the Daewoo Evanda came out almost fifteen years ago, I’ve been somewhat slightly intrigued by it. There’s something off-beat about the Evanda, as it often appears under a multitude of aliases depending of where it has been sold, and when, but never truly taking a name as its own.

To begin with, it’s most authentically a Daewoo V200, replacing the V100 that was sold under the Leganza name. The V200 was sold as the Daewoo Magnus on its home turf, and when they were shipped to Western European ports, the name Evanda was applied on the trunklids. On North American markets, it was either the American Suzuki Verona or the Canadian Chevrolet Epica, the latter echoing its 2006 replacement (sold as the Daewoo Tosca in South Korea), but as Daewoo was even further integrated under General Motors, the Chevrolet badges were applied on the cars even in Europe.

So, this is what you could have ended up getting in 2004: a Daewoo which says GM Daewoo under the bonnet and has a Daewoo steering wheel, but Chevrolet badges on the outside. It’s an anti-car really, a non-brand, and despite having been designed by Italdesign’s Giorgetto Giugiaro like its predecessor, it appears perfectly anonymous. And that might be the thing I like most about it, there’s no badge burden on it if you just snip off the golden bowties. And since I found a little used ten-year-old example for sale locally, I really wanted to finally try one. Especially since it’s brown.

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Used Car Reviews – 2001 Peugeot 206 GTi

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As an owner of a Peugeot 205, the 206 has always interested me ever since I got my little Pug. I’ve only ever driven a 206 Roland Garros – a posh special edition – and that was when the car was new a decade ago, so I haven’t had a clear comparison to how they stack up next to each other. As this black example of a cheap 206 GTi popped up for sale, I wanted to go over and have a look. Could it capture some of the 205 feel, or would it be an unjust comparison to begin with?

The initial problem with the 206 is that it isn’t a 205. Thing is, no other car than a 205 is a 205. The first two numbers and the “GTi” add-on mean the 206 GTi travels on dangerous ground. Peugeot couldn’t really replace the 205, so they brought in the 106 as a smaller, somewhat overlapping replacement and kept making the 205 as long as it was in any way viable. The 106 grew old and uncompetitive, so another replacement had to be ushered in, and about that time Peugeot’s design language and general demeanour had grown up to favour the more ballooned and stretched look, just like the 307 that followed the ’90s 306. That is an another can of worms that eventually led to the all-face, no-trousers 407, but it’s fairly obvious they couldn’t keep making the 205-306-405 set forever. You know they tried.

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