HCOTY 2017 Nominee: The Land Yacht

Christopher Tracy wants his kids to stop staring at their screens. He’d rather they point their eyes towards the beauty of the world all around them. How is he doing this? By taking road trips with the family in his 1994 Toyota Land Cruiser. A Land Cruiser that’s been given the nickname Land Yacht.

The first order of business was getting the Land Yacht ready for duty. Tracy purchased the vehicle from his uncle, and it lived a busy life under the prior ownership. Chris set to work on the truck though, making sure that it would be up for adventures both on and off-road. And those adventures are already taking place.

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It’s time for the HCOTY 2017 award nominees

Your brain is elsewhere right now, we understand. The work year is almost to a close, you have pending travel to see family on the other side of the country, and the world as we know it is crumbling around us. Still, we here at the Hooniverse want to bring a bit of light into your world before we enter 2018. It’s time to share our nominees for the 2017 edition of the Hooniverse Car of the Year.

All this week we will be sharing our choices for the vehicle we feel deserves this honor. For those of you new to this game, our award doesn’t look at new cars, practical vehicles, or the best hybrids on the market. Instead, we offer up our take on the vehicle that best embodies the spirit of the Hooniverse and was written about on our pages over the course of the prior year.

The list of past winners should provide a bit of insight into our brains:

Nominees for 2017 will begin rolling out after this post has been up for an hour… or maybe a minute, I don’t know. I’ve had a lot of egg nog already.


Hooniverse Asks: What’s your dream winter beater?

Jeff Glucker December 12, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

Let’s play this game with the caveat that money is no object. You can go wild here. You’re on the search for a winter beater, and you have the cash you need to make your snowy-weather dreams come true. My winter beater would wind up being a Land Rover Defender modified by Twisted, which means there’s some manner of LS engine mounted under the hood. I’d go full Bond baddie spec, and I’d run that thing through every snow mound that lay in my path.

I almost went with the Pro-2 Dodge Charger from the Furious franchise, but decided that I need a bit more weather insulation in my winter rig.

What are you going to pick? What’s your ideal winter beater, if the cost factor wasn’t …a factor?

Hooniverse Asks: Which car should get a “continuation” version?

Jeff Glucker December 11, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

Occasionally, an automaker will reach into its well of past production models and bring one back from the dead for a short bit. It’s a special offering of a classic in the modern era. Aston Martin has done that recently with the arrival of its DB4 GT. This is a continuation model, and it’s a glorious reawakening of a proud part of the brand’s past.

Which car do you think deserves such treatment? Personally, I’d love to see a 1968 Dodge Charger given the continuation love. That’s not something that’s likely to happen but I can pray to my scale versions sitting on my desk.

Vintage drifting video shows low horsepower mixing with tremendous fun

Jeff Glucker December 8, 2017 Hoonivercinema

Over on Reddit, a user posted a simple drifting video that shows a driver of a Toyota AE86 working his way down a canyon road. It’s a single shot, mounted in the rear of the passenger side of the car and shows the driver fully in control of his machine. There’s no music. No narration. Just clean clipping of mountain corner after mountain corner.

This is a joy to watch, as this is a master at work. The car may not have a lot of horsepower, but it’s further proof that you don’t need all of that power to have all of the fun.

[Youtube via Reddit/r/Cars]

Hooniverse Asks: What is the most annoying but necessary item in your toolbox?

Jeff Glucker December 7, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

You have lots of tools. Some of them you love. Others, there just taking up space because you might need them. It’s a necessary item for a variety of reasons, but you still hate looking at it every time you open up your toolbox.

Which tool do you find most annoying out of all the ones you own… yet you know you still need to keep it on standby?

Hooniverse Asks: What is the least expensive yet best fix you’ve done on a vehicle?

Jeff Glucker December 6, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

Jalopnik’s Raph Orlove posted a story yesterday that detailed how he took some time to fix his Baja Bug. Specifically, Orlove attacked the aging, sagging suspension under his Volkswagen and installed new shocks. The resulting ride change is remarkable, and the fix itself is relatively easy.

That has me thinking about swapping out the shocks under my 1974 Mercedes-Benz 280. The ride, while cruising down the highway, is comfortable but there’s a lot of dive and roll during braking and turning. I’d like to stiffen that all up, and a fresh set of shocks should accomplish just that.

So now I’m wondering, for all you do it yourselfers reading along, what’s your favorite fix you’ve done on a vehicle? To make it more specific, I’d like to narrow it down to relatively inexpensive fixes. It could be akin to the inexpensive fix shown above, where I stopped my fuel line from leaking, or something similar to Orlove’s suspension swap.

Hooniverse Asks: Can you pick a decade for your preferred car show?

Jeff Glucker December 5, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

Radwood 2 just went down this past weekend and it was, well, quite rad. All manner of machine from the 1980s and 1990s arrived to wow those in attendance. If you were born in the 70s and 80s, this makes Radwood one of the greatest gatherings of vehicles you’re likely to find, at least as it might relate to your sense of nostalgia.

The 80s and 90s, of course, are not for everyone. If you had to pick a decade on which to focus for a car show of your own, which block of years would you pick? What would you call your show?

For me, it would be 1961 – 1970. I think I’d just call the show “Alright Alright…” and sit back and smile while all the awesome machines rumble into the lot.

CAR BROS completely covers all that the LA Auto Show has to offer

Jeff Glucker December 4, 2017 Hoonivercinema

The LA Auto Show is open to the public right now and …you don’t need to go. Why you ask? Well, because the folks at CAR BROS have already covered everything you’re going to want to see there. Reveals, rumors, and non-manufactured controversy are on the menu for today. Eventually though, CAR BROS figures out that the way to really grab ahold of auto show Internet traffic is by creating awards for deserving attributes.

Finally, it’s all capped off with an exclusive First Drive of the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. CAR BROS has made it, because that’s access you dream about.

Can I fix the headlight switch on my W114 Mercedes-Benz?

Short answer: yes I can… this isn’t clickbait, broski and bro-ette-ski.

In the last Shift Happens, I left off attempting to get my 1974 Mercedes-Benz 280 sedan sorted. The W114 four-door suffered a crapped out headlight switch (technical term) and it needed replacing. In the process of removing it, I found it was quite necessary to actually having the car run and drive…

So I ordered a new one and attempted to reinstall it. This is how that went down.