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Podcast: Episode 72 – Peak McQueen

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Zach Bowman is in town ahead of the Monterey Car Week… which took place last week. These podcasts aren’t live, so, you know. Blake Z. Rong runs the show alongside producer Chris Hayes as they, along with guest Bow Man, chat about reaching Peak McQueen, British vehicles, and a whole host of other random crap.

Jump past the break and listen in to the Ginger Fox spin his tales…

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The Bi-Annual Tour of New England to see the family
…this time in an appliance, with upgrades

2014 Toyota Corolla_2

The Northeast corner of this country is comprised of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Collectively, the six states are known as New England. It’s also a corner of the country that I call home, even though I haven’t lived there in 12 years. That’s where my family is, it’s where my wife’s family is, and it’s where many of my closest friends still reside. I try to get back there at least twice per year, and when I do it turns into cannonball-esque blast across the majority of New England’s states as I try to squeeze in as many visits as I can over what’s always not enough time.

Sometimes the trip unfolds from behind the wheel of a luxury car. A sport utility vehicle or two have made the journey, and there’s always the hope of a sports car waiting for me at the airport. For my most recent trip home though, I was given the keys to an appliance.

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Fantasy Finds Friday: a Shifter Kart to live out my Senna dreams

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I’m too fat to race karts… I know this. I need to weigh, um, significantly less than I do now. Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t own one and have an absolutely insane-o, awesome, ridiculous time out on a kart track. I’ll just have to be content watching 12-year-olds blowing by me. I think I’ll be okay with that.

So my Fantasy Find for this Friday is this 2013 Rotax shifter kart that’s complete and ready to go.

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1982 Land Cruiser Receives DIY Forced Induction

Jeff Glucker August 14, 2014 All Things Hoon

turbo landcruiser

We here at Hooniverse love pretty much anything automotive DIY related. That’s why we’re big on the 24 Hours of LeMons, projects cars, and dirty hands. While reading Reddit, I stumbled across a rather interesting thread in the DIY sub-reddit. A man details the build process of adding forced induction to his 1982 Land Cruiser, which is fitted with a painfully slow 3.4-liter four-cylinder diesel engine.

So rather then settle for the pokey mill, he decided to add a turbocharger. For that you need a new exhaust manifold… so he built that himself.

Check out all of the photos here.

Check out the Reddit thread here.

[Source: Reddit... duh]

Podcast: Episode 71 – On the road again: Scotland…

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It’s for another special On The Road Again episode of The Hooniverse podcast.

…alright, this is the one I’ve mentioned a few times, and the one people have been asking to hear on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, by carrier pigeon, and smoke signal.

So here you go, this is the Scotland edition of On The Road Again. Prime your livers and hop the jump…

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Sampling all three flavors of the 2015 Lexus NX
It’s easy to figure out which one we like best

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British Columbia is a beautiful place. From the towering buildings butting up to the water in Vancouver to the snowy expanses lying to the north near Whistler, there’s something beautiful to see nearly everywhere you look.

A good way to break all of that up is by using something that some would describe as “polarizing”. That’s exactly how we’d describe the all-new 2015 Lexus NX. Some folks are going to love it, while others… well, they will let you know what they think.

For us, it boils down to how a car drives, and the NX drives surprisingly well. It’s clear that Akio Toyoda’s mission to make his brands more sporting is paying off. It should be no surprise that our favorite of the three new NX examples is, of course, the F-Sport version.

We touch on both the 300h and the 200t to start things off, but we quickly focus on the most interesting of the three.

[Disclaimer: Lexus flew us to Whistler and put us up in a swank hotel. Also, I cleared customs in like five minutes... I don't know if that had anything to do with Lexus though.]

Newport Pagnell Keeps Aston Martin’s Heritage Alive

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Aston Martin has been producing vehicles for 101 years now. The automaker came to be back in 1913. This means that Aston Martin predates both Bentley and Jaguar. Bentley was founded in 1919 while Jaguar arrived in 1922. That gives Aston Martin a six-year production head start over Bentley and a nine-year advantage over Jaguar. Aston Martin, however, is a small builder of bespoke beauties, and its total production figures might surprise you.

Over the course or 101 years, Aston Martin has produced around 70,000 vehicles… total. Bentley has produced that many in the last nine years. Jaguar could knock out that many vehicles in a year. I don’t tell you this to diminish what Aston Martin has done over its 101 year history, but rather use these data points to show you just how small the automaker really is.

What they are big on, however, is building beautiful machines… and at the Aston Martin Works facility in Newport Pagnell, hand-crafted classics are coming back to life.

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Petrolicious wants your help in rewriting a lame law

Our friends at Petrolicious loves cars just as much as we do. They also have an aching for a bit of the forbidden fruit that currently can’t be imported into the United States. As it stands, you have to wait 25 years to get your hands on cool iron that was never offered up for our market.

Petrolicious wants to change that, and you can help.

Go to Petrolicious to read about their reasoning and motivations for creating a petition to change the DOT/EPA 25-Year Exemption Rule (AKA The Motor Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988). Or if you want to jump straight to the petition to change this to a 15-year rule and add your name to the list, go here: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/repeal-dotepa-%E2%80%9C25-year-rule%E2%80%9D-car-import-ban-15-years-and-allow-importation-non-conforming-cars-and/PhZ4RMgz

Podcast: Episode 70 – Hooniverse Gold Subscription Plan

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Blake Z Rong and I are joined by Matt Farah. You know Farah from The Smoking Tire, /DRIVE, his handful of appearances on this very podcast, and now, /DRIVE+.

We dive right into it to learn about the move to a subscription-based platform for the /DRIVE video series. It’s a fascinating topic right up until we’re interrupted by a rather fascinating person coming into The Smoking Tire offices. Bucky Lasek temporarily stops the proceedings as Blake and I go mega-fanboy for a moment.

Things get back on track and Farah tells us more about the /DRIVE+ move. He has to leave to attend to Mr. Lasek (who is appearing on TST later in the evening), so Blake, myself, and Producer Chris get into their own cars and what they’re driving to finish off the show.

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First Drive: 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish & Rapide S
Finally putting the super in these super cars

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Yes, both the Aston Martin Vanquish and Rapide S are gorgeous machines. They make great noise, and they’re fun to drive. That’s actually a bit of a problem though, the fact I just said “fun” and not amazing, outstanding, or excellent.

Aston Martin knows this.

The automaker has just revised the cars for 2015, and you won’t find the changes on the outside (minus a new color or two and some wheel changes). Instead, the revisions have occurred under the skin in the form of a new eight-speed ZF gearbox, revised suspension geometry, a modified rear subframe, and fatter anti-roll bars. Ast0n Martin has also extended the range between settings of the adaptive damping suspension system so that you can clearly feel the difference between each of the three. Additionally, the front brakes are larger and the braking boost has been adjusted.

Have these changes paid off? Oh yes.

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