Project Car SOTU: The Benz

This year I added a new machine to my stable. I use the term stable loosely, because there’s not that much in there, and also I don’t own any horses. This is my 1974 Mercedes-Benz 280. It’s a w114 Benz, and it’s thankfully not saddled with a diesel engine. Instead, it gets the delightful inline-six cylinder engine known as the M110.

When new, it was rated at 160 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. That’s not enough juice to get this thing frying the tires at a stoplight, but it will happily cruise at 80 miles per hour on the highway.

I’m not messing with the car much though, as this is a car I’ve acquired as a simple cruiser with a dash of style and personality. Also, my wife gave me the thumbs up to let my daughter ride along in the back seat.

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Podcast: Episode 211 – Automotive Conduct with Ezekiel Wheeler

Our friend Ezekiel Wheeler comes by the show to talk about his fresh take on the car show. It’s a pop-up deal that happens every so often, and there are five featured cars for folks to check out and learn about from their respective owners.

We’ve also got the Audi TT-RS and RS3 to chat about, the Touge California, and then it’s on to your questions.

Hooniverse – Automotive Conduct with Ezekiel Wheeler

Project Car SOTU 2017: Welcome to our misery

It’s that time once again…

Welcome to Project Car SOTU 2017. For those of you just joining us, this is where we’re going to take the next week or so and give you updates on all of the various project cars that appear on the pages of Hooniverse. It’s our State of the Union. We’ve got updates on cars, trucks, and bikes.

Some things have changed, while other things have (sadly) remained stagnant. But that’s the way it goes with project cars. You give love and attention to one, while another might languish in a dirty back lot somewhere in Garden Grove, California. That doesn’t mean you’re giving up, of course it doesn’t… keep your head in the game, this thing is going to happen.

Whoa.. sorry I spaced out for a minute there. Anyway, it’s time to kick of SOTU 2017. 

Shift Happens: The HoonTruck gets a little love

Shift Happens.

It’s time for an update on my 1965 Ford F100. She was at a local shop here in Orange County, and while there they got her running better than she has in awhile. Also, the HoonTruck has fresh front glass and dual electric cooling fans. No more mechanical fan, and no more pitted glass thanks to our friends at LMC Truck.

Let’s take a look at how the truck is doing now…

Ray Evernham just built the best “old” Plymouth out there

Jeff Glucker August 1, 2017 All Things Hoon

A 1964 Plymouth Belvedere is a cool enough car. They only made the 5th-gen cars for a few years, but you could option them with a 383 under the hood. That’s what Ray Evernham has done here… sort of.

He’s taken a ’64 Belvedere body, and dropped it on an actual NASCAR chassis. This chassis has been raced in the Daytona 500. That makes this 100% a race car that happens to be wearing street car clothes.

The engine has been detuned so it’s only producing around 780 horsepower. There’s carbon fiber all over the place, a full roll cage, racing buckets, and a few other tricks.

This is how you properly pay homage to a sport you love (Evernham has been/is a crew chief, team owner, TV commentator, etc). In the world of sleeper cars, this one sits damn near the top of the list of great ones.

[Update: This car is actually for sale right now, and the asking price is steep… but I’m not really sure what a car like this should cost. Check out the listing here at RK Motors.]

An easy style upgrade for the Benz
With a little help from eBay Motors

My 1974 Mercedes-Benz 280 sedan is already dripping with style straight from the factory. It’s a car designed by Bordeaux-born Paul Bracq. He penned automotive lines for BMW, Citroen, and Peugeot in addition to his work at Mercedes. Besides cars, Bracq also had a helping hand in the design work on the then-new TGV high-speed passenger train. His work on my own W114-generation 280 is an exercise in classically cool simplicity.

That begins to fade, however, as the years drag on and automakers are forced to change parts of a given vehicle. In the case of my own Benz, it was required to wear hideous federalized bumpers on the outside. Mercedes-Benz also changed the front doors so they no longer had vented quarter windows. Most egregious on the inside though, was the move from a stunner of a steering wheel that shared across the likes of the W108 and the still-magnificent Pagoda SL, to one devoid of that bygone styling of motoring cool found in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Thankfully for me, however, I can get back some of the displaced good looks on my car. The bumpers will have to wait because that’s not a simple bolt-on swap for the better-looking Euro units. Instead I’ll focus on that aforementioned steering wheel, because the older version and my current version sit on the same steering shaft spline.

It’s off to eBay to hunt down a suitable tiller.

Thank you to eBay Motors for sponsoring this post and helping me find the perfect steering wheel! This post was written by me through an activation with eBay and Hire Influence. Although I received compensation for participating in the campaign, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Hoonigan and Sara Price take on the Mt Washington Auto Road

Hoonigan has been on the search for a driver. They want a young lady that displays talent behind the wheel to rise up and take on the task of racing a car while flying the Hoonigan flag. That lady is Sara Price, and that car is a rally-prepped Fiat 124 Abarth.

Sara won the job after taking on a number of challengers that were handpicked from thousands of entries. She has a background in off-road racing and motocross, but now she is going to be running mostly tarmac with the rally Fiat.

Her first task in the car is a bit of a tall order. She has to compete in the Climb to the Clouds hill climb event. This is the oldest hill climb in the country, and it unfolds on the insanely tight, twisting stretch of tarmac known as the Mt. Washington Auto Road.

There are no guardrails. There are only amazing views, massive drops, and little oxygen waiting at the top. This is a tough event, but Sara is clearly a tough driver ready for the challenge.

Her father’s words for her before she heads up the hill are epic, and Sara does her best to do just that. There was a mechanical issue with the car, but Sara still pressed on and prior to the issue she was running very hard.

Great work Sara, and great effort by all at Hoonigan.

JDM Subaru Forester STI is tantalizingly affordable

I recently got to experience a handful of Japanese hero cars. The story on this is coming out soon, but the short version is that I drove an FC and FD Mazda RX-7, Rotary pickup, and a Eunos Cosmo. To say that I’ve got JDM on the brain would be an understatement. I’ve been browsing for that imaginary machine I’d like to add to my stable but in all honesty I have neither the room or the cash on hand for such a transaction. Still, there are some great deals out there… such as this Subaru Forester STI you see above.

Offered for sale on JDM-Expo, this is a version of the Forester which we never received stateside. Our most potent 2nd-generation Forester was the XT Sports Turbo, which saw 235 horsepower from its turbocharged flat-four engine.

In Japan, you could order up the STI version which took the Impreza WRX STI powertrain and made it its own. Now you have a Forester with 320 horsepower. This one also gets STI body trim bits, the appropriate gold wheels, and it also is full-on JDM inside so that means its RHD. I just wish it was a manual instead of an automatic.

Regardless, it’s for sale and the asking price is just $6,500. The odometer shows just under 67,000 kilometers, which means the car has traveled just over 41,000 miles. 

How much is shipping from Japan and who wants to buy an old pickup truck so I can buy a weird Forester?

BareMetalHW turns a clean car into a Mad Max buggy

BareMetalHW usually takes a crusty old Hot Wheels toy and turns it into fresh look scaled-down awesome. Today, however, we’re moving in the opposite direction. The host takes a Dune Chaser and makes it something that George Millar would be proud to see blasting across a hellish desert landscape.

The Dune Chaser is a metal-on-metal toy so it serves as a good platform to take on the faux weathered beating that it’s about to receive. Panels are beat up, fake rust is applied, and then a pair of guns are added because you need some post-apocalyptic firepower in this universe. The frame is extended and the builder even makes use of a 3D printer to complete his vision.

Click play and drift into an oddly soothing look at this Hot Wheels transformation.

Podcast: Episode 210 – The HoonTruck comes home

The HoonTruck comes home after a brief stint in the shop. It’s running better, has fresh front glass, and the exhaust outlets are now evenly lined up. Meanwhile, the Benz is about to go under the knife for some suspension fixes.

Right now, I’m driving the Chevy Colorado ZR2 so I’ve got a few things to say about that. Coming up later in the week is the Jaguar F-Type R convertible and then it’s off to the East Coast to drive the Audi RS3 and TT-RS at Lime Rock Park.

Finally, we dive into your questions.

Hooniverse – HoonTruck is back in action