Last Call: Ain’t It The Life Edition

Robert Emslie October 2, 2015 Last Call

The '50s

A Grumman G-73 Mallard Seaplane, Mercury Woodie wagon, and mens’ slacks up to here – this image has it all. It’s just further proof that the 1950s truly was a magical time.

Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged. 

Image: GoAwayGarage

Mystery Car

Robert Emslie October 2, 2015 Mystery Car


It’s October, which has traditionally been a big month in the automotive industry, it being the height of the fall new model introductions. In fact, on this very date in 1959 Chevrolet introduced, not just a new model but a whole new idea, the import-fighting Corvair. Car makers no longer hold off introducing new or improved models until the fall, dropping them as they see fit with no seeming concern for the calendar.

Since that makes for a far less exciting October, maybe you can find solace in the weekly Mystery Car contest. That’s almost as good as a new Corvair, right? Make and model, if you please.

Image: 2015 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

Hooniverse Asks: Have You Ever Seen an Actual Traffic Accident Occur?

Robert Emslie October 2, 2015 Hooniverse Asks

a car accident in the snow

A whole lotta’ years ago my then-girlfriend/now-wife and I were sitting in my Spitfire at a curbside spot in Hermosa Beach, having just finished lunch, when immediately to our left a Ford Courier plowed into the back of a Volkswagen Superbeetle convertible. In my entire life, that’s the only accident, of which I wasn’t a party, that I have ever witnessed.

I myself have been involved in four accidents, two of which where my fault. The first was when I misjudged the rain-slicked road and tapped the back of a Triumph TR6, breaking a tail lamp. The second was when I put my ’66 Mustang on someone’s lawn due to an excess of speed in the place of good judgement, while the third was when a girl in a Datsun 610 hit that same Spitfire while she was attempting a left-hand turn. The last (knock on wood) was when I was T-boned by a BMW out near UCLA. The woman driving the black 3-series took off, leaving me with a now one-door Chevy Sprint. Needless to say those last two were NOT my fault, but still I didn’t really get the chance to experience any of them the way I’d like to.

You see, I don’t believe that accidents actually occur. I think they are staged after the fact – maybe by the AAA – just to slow down traffic. In my experience, the events are always something that you happen upon, and never see actually happen. What about you, have you ever seen an accident occur, right before your eyes? What was that like?

Image: WorldinCanada

Last Call: Laugh and the World Laughs With You Edition

Robert Emslie October 1, 2015 Last Call


Dammit, GM, why you always got to make such crappy ca… aww, I can’t stay mad at that face. Come ‘ere you.

Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged. 

Image: AcidCow

Thursday Trivia

Robert Emslie October 1, 2015 Thursday Trivia

Thirsday Trivia

Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars!

This week’s question: What is the origin of the name Aston Martin?

If you think you know the answer, make the jump and see if you are right. … Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the Longest You’ve Spent Behind the Wheel?

Robert Emslie October 1, 2015 Hooniverse Asks


I have driven across the continental United States multiple times, most often at a leisurely pace in trips that stretched to over a week coast to almost coast. A couple of times however I’ve made the trip with the intent to beat the clock, and on those occasions, while spending less time overall, I have spent a lot more time – about 12 hours a day  – behind the wheel. That’s pretty much my limit.

What about you, have you attempted a long distance trip all in one sitting? What is the longest contiguous time you’ve spent behind the wheel?

Image: Kali-Majapahit

Last Call: Kind Of a Drag Edition

Robert Emslie September 30, 2015 Last Call


My wife always gives me a hard time because I like to pronounce “palm frond” as “pomfrong.” It’s just what I do.

This Crown Vic pulled into the grocery store parking lot while I was packing up my shopping conquests, and it was comically dragging said source of pronunciation disagreement – shwish, shwish, shwish. I was going to ask the owner if he’d like me to help in de-pomfrong him, but seeing it was a plain wrap cop car I figured it was something purposefully placed there as part of a clever sting operation.

Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged. 

Image: ©2015 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

Craigslist Crapshoot

Robert Emslie September 30, 2015 Craigslist Crapshoot

The World’s Worst Car Is For Sale On Craigslist

Welcome to Craigslist Crapshoot, our weekly search for the most bizarre, awesome, and/or terrible vehicles that the online classifieds has to offer. 

Alfa Romeo is back, baby! That is, the Italian brand best known for having the most ardent fans disabled on the side of the road has made an auspicious return to the U.S. market. We can now buy new Alfas instead of having to consign our Latin lust to the used car market. Thing of it is, the used Alfas are usually molto cheaper than the new 4C and that’s just what we went looking for the past two weeks (yes, two weeks owing to a glitch in the Matrix) when we sought Alfas for less than five grand. We’ll see the pick of the litter in just a sec. First however, this week’s challenge!

Okay, so Volkswagen is screwed for selling diesels that weren’t as clean as the company promised. Their motive was to sell more cars since the dirty cars were cheaper than ones that actually met emissions standards. It’s not surprising that the company put profits ahead of integrity and the law, but it sure is disappointing. How can we get back at them for lying to us all those years? Well, not-buying VW diesels isn’t quite enough, and to be honest, it’ll be a while until they can sell them again in many markets. No, what we need to do is actually buy other diesels instead of VWs, because that’ll show them! That’s what we want to find this week – non-VW diesels – and since they need to be cheap so VW get’s the message that they’re losing business, let’s keep the prices under $10,000 – that’s about 8,930€ for you €-peans.

As always, we want your finds to go down in infamy and not in the site’s spam filter. Since we’ve changed commenting systems, you may need to update your commenter account. Make sure you have a Disqus account – they’re free and easy to get – and then comment away.

Got that? Good, now let’s go Alfa Prime.

… Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks: Do you Think Your State/Country’s Driver Licensing Requirements are Adequate?

Robert Emslie September 30, 2015 Hooniverse Asks


I don’t go to Costco a lot. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the savings, or buying things in comically large quantities, lord knows I get a kick out that. It’s just that, upon entering the warehouse building, most the shoppers at my neighborhood Costco become hypnotized into thinking they are the only individuals left on the planet. That results in them careening around in search of that last un-sampled free sample without consideration for others. Alternatively, they like to stop the freakishly wide shopping carts in the middle of the aisle so that they might scratch their ass, or maybe ponder how they got there, or just how long a gallon of light sodium soy sauce will last.

I recently came to the horrifying conclusion that this behavior isn’t confined to the bargain hunter’s paradise that is Costco, the people in my neighborhood drive like this too. That has led me to believe that California’s competency requirements for drivers has become sorely lacking, if it ever was anything to be held up as a bastion of greatness. It seems as though everybody gets to drive around here, and ability is not a factor in handing out licenses.

Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now (and yes, I bought it at Costco), as I think I have railed against my area’s standards for driver’s licenses long enough. I’d now like to hear yours. Do you think that your state/prefecture/country has decent standards for who gets allowed on the road? What would you do differently?

Image: emgcartech

Last Call: Ride To Live, Live To Ride Edition

Robert Emslie September 29, 2015 Last Call


This style of handle bar is generally referred to as “ape hangers” owing to the position your arms have to adopt in order to reach the grips. This one, in parts unknown, appears to be the ape-hangy-est, as I’ve never seen bars quite that high.

Years ago when I was working on an ambulance, we picked up a patient who was undergoing a long recovery from a motorcycle accident. He had ape hangers on his bike, and one of the bars had been caught by the sideview mirror of a truck, which scooped up both bike and rider under the truck’s rear wheels. Both of his legs were broken in multiple places, requiring them to be fused at the knees to unsure proper healing.

It was a rough couple of years for him, always confined to a bed, or a gurney for transport. After a while of taking him to his doctor’s appointments I was pleased to see he had been promoted to a wheelchair after he had healed enough for them to re-break his knees and start working on their function. The next time I saw him however, he was back on the gurney.

It seems that the enhanced mobility afforded by a wheelchair had included trips to the bar. One night, on the way back, his drunk friend who was pushing him did so directly into a curb causing him to fall out and re-break both of his legs. The moral kids? Stay in school, make good choices.

Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged. 

Image: AcidCow


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