24 Hours of LeMons: A triumphant trio of rotting American iron race in Michigan

Eric Rood April 13, 2015 All Things Hoon


It’s generally no surprise that imported cars tend to make up the bulk of the field at 24 Hours of LeMons races because most Japanese and even some German cars depreciate into $500 territory. If you’re somehow unfamiliar with irreverent low-dollar endurance racing series, the basic premise is: Bring a $500 car to go endurance racing for 14 to 24 hours over two days. The hooptier the better, so long as it meets fairly stringent (and budget-exempt) safety requirements. If you imagine most races to be made up of beater Hondas and long-depreciated BMWs, you’d be right.

But race organizers and racers get giddy when big American iron rolls onto the racetrack. and what better venue is there than Michigan’s Gingerman Raceway—almost equidistant between the Motor City and Chicago—to display the road racing (in)capabilities of two forgettable cheap Mopar personal luxury barges and surprisingly competent piece of General Motors machinery? At Gingerman last fall, these three V8 machines reanimated and stole the show from whatever piece of precision German engineering won, because, truly, winning a LeMons race is overrated and style matters. Follow the jump for details on these three behemoths, at least two of which should be returning to Gingerman in just over 10 days, when this correspondent heads up there to cover the race.

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Motorsports Weekend Guide: April 10 to April 12

Eric Rood April 10, 2015 Motorsports


The weekend is rapidly (or perhaps not-so-rapidly) approaching, which means it’s time for Hooniverse to look ahead to the coming weekend in racing. This weekend, coming on the heels of Easter, seems to mark the real beginning of the racing season rush, where something like 20 major racing series hold events every weekend for the next several months. This weekend finds some of the biggest series all racing around the globe, from the kick-off of international endurance-racing season to two-wheelers invading America to big rigs racing on two continents. Read about those and more after the jump.

Want more information on a series mentioned below? Click here for Hooniverse’s Massively Oversized Guide to Motorsports 2015, which will tell you all you need to know (and then some).

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RXSpeed.com wants to write a better prescription for parts shopping


Car enthusiasts buy car parts. That’s likely the most obvious statement ever made on Hooniverse, but as we discovered just a couple months ago here (before IntenseDebate ate the site’s comments section), enthusiasts buy their parts from a myriad of places for a similar myriad of reasons. Not least among those reasons is that there’s no convenient way to shop for a part among a variety of suppliers, but RXSpeed.com may very well change that.

Not unlike VintageWheels.com that we featured on this site, RXSpeed.com (RX as in “prescription,” get it?) aggregates listings from dozens of retailers, meaning you can compare prices for exactly what you’re looking for. If you’ve ever used Orbitz or Kayak to shop for airfares and/or hotels, the idea is similar: Give the car parts consumer the most information possible to make an intelligent purchase.

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Motorsports Weekend Guide: April 3 to April 5

Eric Rood April 1, 2015 All Things Hoon


Welcome to a holiday edition of the Motorsports Weekend Guide. For the most part, there’s little racing in the U.S. because this weekend is the holiday of Easter, where a bunny comes back from a three-day chocolate binge and has to hand out its remaining candy to get over the bump. It’s something like that, anyway; feel free to fill me in on the details in the Comments section, which is after the jump. Also after the jump: Electric racing goes to California, NASCAR (pretty much) gets a week off, and every British series in the world goes racing because they hate and fear rabbits.

Want more information on a series mentioned below? Click here for Hooniverse’s Massively Oversized Guide to Motorsports 2015, which will tell you all you need to know (and then some).

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American racer Mike Skeen is the “Ginger Stig”

Eric Rood April 1, 2015 All Things Hoon


Professional racecar driver and red-haired human being Mike Skeen has launched a new personal website, www.gingerstig.com, on the heels of a podium performance at Pirelli World Challenge’s round in St. Petersburg in, fittingly, a bright-orange Audi R8 LMS GT3. Skeen, an exciting-to-watch racer, is well known for his ability to come up to speed quickly in any car he races, his terrier-like tenacity, and the ginger hair atop his melon.

Through his new site, the “Ginger Stig” attributed his race success to orange soda and especially generic cheese puffs:

“It’s like I have a cheese reactor in my stomach. It’s just something I was born knowing how to do.”

Skeen, who has bright orange hair, added that he’s in talks to sponsor future races like the Redheads Aren’t That Scary 250 and the Cheese Crackers Three Hours of Orange County Powered by Freckles.

[Source: GingerStig.com]


[Author’s note: GingerStig.com is, of course, an April Fool’s joke executed by some of Skeen’s racing friends. Go to MikeSkeen.com for the non-April Fool’s version.]

Found on CraigsList: Holman-Moody’s 1967 Ford F100 Ranger shop truck

Eric Rood March 27, 2015 For Sale

Unless you don’t have a pulse, you are probably enamored with Jeff’s HoonTruck, a sweet Ford F100 with a 390 V8. And unless you really don’t have a pulse, you should be salivating over the above image of what was—the CraigsList seller claims—the shop mule for legendary North Carolina racing shop Holman-Moody. It’s a 1967 Ford F100 Ranger, which means that the shop obtained it in the midst of Le Mans podium-sweeping Ford GT40 production and NASCAR domination with innovative Fords.

The F100 comes with a nifty, top-trim 352 V8 and a three-speed manual on the column. The interior looks clean and the white paint looks original with the hand-painted Holman-Moody logos a bit faded. They could use some sprucing, one might suggest, but if I were buying it, I’d sure preserve everything about it. The truck is, of course, modified and upgraded as you’d expect from a racing shop and you can click on the ad for the laundry list of new and upgraded parts, including the glovebox door signed by former Holman-Moody president Lee Holman.

Is a piece of original history like this worth $14,000? To the right NASCAR fan (or driver, even), I bet it is.

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Motorsports Weekend Guide: March 27 to March 29

Eric Rood March 26, 2015 Motorsports


Thanks for reading this weekly edition of Hooniverse’s guide to racing for the upcoming weekend. The coming days bring the opening of two big series, one highly anticipated with series changes and the other highly anticipated to see if a young phenom can match his performance last year. In addition, the F1 and NASCAR seasons roll on while Down Under visits one of this author’s favorite circuits. Read about those and more after the jump.

Want more information on a series mentioned below? Click here for Hooniverse’s Massively Oversized Guide to Motorsports 2015, which will tell you all you need to know (and then some).

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Found on CraigsList: A four-cylinder, daily-driven Mercury Comet

Eric Rood March 25, 2015 For Sale


As odd as it seems, this automotive writer has never really had a dream car. I have enthusiasm for a variety of makes and models, but none have ever struck me as a “must-own.” Instead, I typically fancy a car for a few weeks or months and then file it away to my dream garage for when I have a few thousand-dollar bills laying around. Lately, the early 1960s Mercury Comet has been the car of my fancy; I love the Ford Falcon (its platform mate) lines blended with a vestigial 1950s fin and, for whatever reason, the crosshairs on the front fenders complete the look.

In my mind, I’d love a nice driver in teal with the original Ford 170 six-cylinder engine, but a recent CraigsList search turned up a primer gray 1962 Comet in North Carolina. I like that look just fine, actually, but the interesting part is (allegedly) under the hood: The seller—who is apparently trying to gauge interest—has swapped in the fuel-injected Ford Lima 2.3-liter engine and five-speed transmission from a Ford Ranger along with the 8-inch rear end from a Ford Maverick. The Lima is a robust and durable mill and, according to the seller who claims to daily drive it, the four-banger Comet will get gas mileage in the high 20s, making this a surprisingly practical 53-year-old car.

The ad lists the car for $7,000, which seems a bit much without showing the mechanical bits of the car, but I kind of love the idea of this car. Am I crazy? Is this automotive travesty or triumph? And here is perhaps a bigger question: What kind of cars should someone who loves the idea of this car consider a “must-own?”

Full text for posterity:

Just seeing if anyone might be interested in this. I don’t want to sell, but have found another project I want. This is a daily driven car. It has a 2.3 fuel injected engine and 5 speed manual out of a 93 ranger. Has front disk brakes and an 8 inch rear out of a 71 maverick. Gets close to 30 mpg . Body is in great shape and is primered gray. No trades unless they include a 5 speed truck and cash .

[Asheville CraigsList]

Hooniverse’s Massively Oversized Guide to Motorsports, 2015

Eric Rood March 23, 2015 Featured, Motorsports


Every week, Hooniverse gives you a simple weekly guide to the looming weekend in motorsport. Racing in those previews runs the gamut from the unobtainium-grade engineering of Formula 1 to the duct-tape-and-beer-can-aluminum garage necesseering of the 24 Hours of LeMons. However, in a quest to simplify those previews and create less work for the person who writes them by omitting explaining what each series is every week, we offer a guide to the racing series covered in the Motorsports Weekend Guide. Follow the jump for the Guide to our Weekly Guides.

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Motorsports Weekend Guide: March 20 to March 22

Eric Rood March 18, 2015 Motorsports


Welcome to another 24-carrot edition of Hooniverse’s weekly guide to who is racing what and where this weekend. This weekend finds the oldest-running American sports car race holding its 63rd annual edition while California hosts a broad swath of racing on the country’s other side. There’s plenty of amateur racing of note and, if you live south of the Equator, you can enjoy your weird-looking stock cars, too.

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