Hooniverse Asks: What’s the most iconic wagon of all time?

Jeff Glucker February 21, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

It’s Wednesday. The holy day in the middle of the week when we praise the longroof. In thinking about wagons, I was curious as to which of all the greats might we consider to be the most iconic? 

In the modern era, it’s likely to be a Mercedes-AMG E63 or the Audi RS6 Avant. Back a few decades, we’d say it’s the Volvo 245. You can step back along the Volvo family lines even further, however, and arrive at the 1800ES and the Amazon.

In the more American side of things, we have the Country Squire and Country Sedan. There are others of course, but the Fords stand out most fresh in my mind.

Of all the wagons, which is the one that stands out as the most iconic machine to wear the longer roof? This is a tough question with many answers, so I look forward to seeing what arrives in the comments below.

Hooniverse Asks: What’s your Powerball-paid-for fantasy island car?

Jeff Glucker February 20, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

I was just on vacation with my wife and daughter. We went to an island. I can’t afford to live there, but I can certainly day dream about what that might be like if I could. In this fantasy world, I’d need to vehicle to get around the island and I know exactly what that would be.

Basically, I’d roam my new island home in my Dodge Charger set atop a Pro2 (or maybe Pro4) trophy truck chassis. Inside, the cabin would be reworked so as to provide some minimal level of creature comfort but not too much. I’d be able to drive… anywhere, and I’d also still be able to say I was driving a muscle car (of sorts).

If you were to win the Powerball jackpot, what sort of fantasy island car would you drive? Yes, Fantasy Island car but I expect other answers besides a chopped up Plymouth Volare. Okay, some other answers… this is Hooniverse, so that answer definitely still works here too.

First Drive: Jaguar E-Pace

Crossovers are currently where all the cash sits. Car buyers want them, and automakers keep cranking them out. That’s how we wind up with a vehicle like the all-new Jaguar E-Pace.

It’s the baby of the Jaguar crossover bunch, but that doesn’t mean it’s simply an entry-level cash grab. Okay, it’s sort of that… but it’s actually pretty good as well.

We trekked to Corsica to sample the new smaller Jag not-a-wagon, and we were more than pleasantly surprised. Under the hood is a healthy Ingenium four-cylinder engine that cranks out 300 horsepower when you get the P300 model.

On-road and even off-road, there’s clearly some Jaguar and Land Rover DNA to be found. While we’d prefer an XE wagon, we’re not getting a lame duck with the E-Pace.

This one might surprise you… it certainly did that for us.

[DisclaimerJaguar put us on a plane to Corsica and then put us up in two amazing hotels. There was food and drink as well. Somehow, they also made the weather act all “British-y”.]

Hooniverse Asks: What is the best rap/hip-hop car of all time?

Jeff Glucker February 16, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

One of my favorite songs of all time is Gz and Hustlas by Snoop Dogg. The beat epitomizes everything perfect about early 90’s West Coast hip-hop. Snoop crushes the track with his signature flow, and the entire album has sold well over 11,000,000 copies to this day.

During the song, there’s one line that always sticks with me. It’s when Snoop mentions his ride; a ’78 Coupe DeVille. The car itself wasn’t anything special, but to Snoop it was the shit at that point and time in his life. Hell, it still might be to this day. Regardless, the car fits the song and the time period perfectly.

What is the greatest rap or hip-hop car of all time though? I don’t think it’s the ’78 DeVille, even if it’s a part of one of my personal favorite songs. The ’64 Impala is definitely on the list somewhere. Modern rap and hip-hop love flashier machines, but I’m not sure a current Rolls-Royce really deserves a nod here.

What say you? Sound off with your favorite featured vehicle in a rap or hip-hop song.

Truck Central: Dodge stuffs the 6.4L Hemi in the Durango SRT
and it’s real real good

Jeff Glucker February 15, 2018 Featured, Hoonivercinema

I’ve been reviewing trucks for a new YouTube channel called, appropriately, Truck Central. Recently I spent some time with the new Dodge Durango SRT. The FCA folks seem content to Hellcat everything, but the Durango hasn’t received that love just yet. What it has received, however is the 392. That would be the 6.4-liter HEMI and here it’s cranking out 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque.

That transforms the Durango into a three-row SUV capable of blasting from 0-60 miles per hour in just 4.9 seconds. You can rip through the quarter mile in about 12.9 seconds as well. It’s not cheap. It’s definitely loud.

It’s absolutely a hilarious hot-rod of a sport utility vehicle.

Hooniverse Asks: What vehicle should the Super Bowl MVP receive?

Jeff Glucker February 5, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

For more than a decade, the most valuable player during the Super Bowl received a car as a prize for earning the MVP status. That was when General Motors was a major sponsor of the season-capping football game. Now that Hyundai has taken over that spot, the MVP ride has gone away.

Let’s pretend, for a moment, that there wasn’t an automaker sponsor but instead that Hooniverse won Powerball and we got to choose the vehicle. What would the Super Bowl MVP receive if Hooniverse could choose?

Since I’m a Patriots fan, I’d probably give Nick Foles a Versa Note. I will note that the Eagles deserved that win though, and Foles was most certainly the MVP of the winning squad.

So to which vehicle does the MVP key belong?

Podcast: Episode 236 – Ride along in a 2018 Mustang with Engineering Explained’s Jason Fenske

Jason Fenske is the man behind the popular Engineering Explained YouTube channel. He and I are shuttling out to a driving event in Palm Springs, and I took the opportunity to fire up a GoPro and record a conversation. We’ll learn a bit about Jason’s Honda S2000 and Subaru Crosstrek, how he started the channel, and where he see it all going down the road.

…as we roll on down the road in the 2018 Mustang.

Hooniverse – Ride along in a 2018 Mustang with Engineering Explained’s Jason Fenske

Podcast: Episode 235 – Sitting solo in a Mustang

Time to send out a solo episode, and this one comes to you from the cabin of a 2018 Ford Mustang. I’m sitting in my garage talking to myself while a Zoom H6 records my dulcet tones.

Topics for today include; the aforementioned Mustang, driving the new Subaru WRX STI Type RA and BRZ tS, and heading off to Corsica to sample the Jaguar E-Pace. There’s also some news on my 74 Benz and a plea for help on the Wombat. After that it’s time for some questions from our Patreon peeps. 

Hooniverse – Sitting solo in a Mustang

Goodwood posts a touching tribute to Dan Gurney

Jeff Glucker January 24, 2018 All Things Hoon

Dan Gurney left an indelible mark on the world of motorsport. One of his biggest fans is a man by the name of Charles Gordon Lennox. You probably know him better by his royal title of Lord March. Yes, that Lord March that owns Goodwood. 

Lord March had his video crew drum up a touching tribute to the recently passed Dan Gurney. It’s five minutes of your time, and it’s basically required viewing. So sit back, tell your boss to shove off for a bit, and click play.

This hero drives his 1991 Jaguar XJR-15 on the street

At the tail-end of the 1980s, Tom Walkinshaw was dreaming up ways in which he could go to Le Mans and claim victory. He wanted to do so with his Jaguar Sport partners, and he wanted to do so in a Jaguar vehicle. In 1988, the Jaguar XJR-9 was born and it set out to slap other Group C racing teams right across their faces.

In its inaugural season, the XJR-9 took its gorgeous Silk Cut livery and won six out of the 11 races of the World Sports Prototype Championship series. These were races won at places like Monza, Silverstone, Fuji, and Jarama. Most importantly though, this includes a victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Using the XJR-9 as a sort of mold, Tom Walkinshaw Racing produced a road version which was called the XJR-15. The cockpit was made a bit wider and the roof was raised up so normal wealthy humans could sit inside in relative comfort compared to the race car. Still, there sits a 6.0-liter V12 engine out back, which is good for 450 horsepower. And it’s all metered out to the rear wheels by way of an unsynchronized six-speed manual gearbox.

The mighty XJ220 came later and it broke on through the 200 mile-per-hour mark. But the XJR-15 before it was the first road car to wear a full carbon-fiber body. With its V12 howling, it would rip from a stop to 60 miles per hour in under four seconds and could continue on to a top speed of just over 190 miles per hour. This was in 1991, mind you.

Today, there’s one on the road owned by a man named Jasbir Dhillon. He drives it. He takes it to read the morning paper, and he takes it to get some coffee. The wonderful Mr Dhillon drives his road-legal race car on the streets around Nashville, and he does so with a smile on his face.

This man is a hero.