Last Call- Poor-Man’s Porsche Edition

Robert Emslie August 29, 2014 Last Call


Porsche’s 911 and Fiat’s 500 (the original one) both are rear-engined. I think that’s reason enough to combine the two in a weird cinquecento/novecento undici melding, and that’s just what a Greek enthusiast did, with this as the result. The engine seems to remain the tiny-weeny Fiat four, but then again, it is in the back.

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: Taringa!

Mystery Car

Robert Emslie August 29, 2014 Mystery Car


Today is Charles Franklin Kettering’s birthday. The inventor of the automobile electric starter was born on this date in 1876 which would make him today… very, very, old. To celebrate this momentous occasion we’re offering up this week’s Mystery Car contest. That’s because we couldn’t do pin the bumper on the Cadillac since we’re all out of blindfolds.

Remember to include in your answer below the makemodelyear-range, and likely engine under the hood. Kettering would have wanted it that way, and after all it’s his day.

Image: ©2014 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

Hooniverse Asks- Have You Had a Recent “Oh Yeah” Car?

Robert Emslie August 29, 2014 Hooniverse Asks

EOS copy

The other day I was working my way across beautiful downtown Burbank, taking in the sights. This is no mean feat as Burbank California is perhaps the most inscrutably laid-out city in the nation, with rail lines and two major freeways bisecting it. Anyway, the round-about requirements for navigating the city’s streets, along with the unbelievably long traffic signal cycles, gave me lots of time to see those sights and one of those was a Volkswagen EOS. That caused me to utter out loud an, oh yeah, I’d totally forgotten about those.

If you’ve also totally forgotten, then let’s have a quick refresher. The EOS was Volkswagen’s Golf-based hardtop convertible and it came with a particularly clever top that could go full-convertible, while still offering an opening glass moonroof. It was amazing, while the rest of the car was so forgettable that I totally forgot they even existed.

That seems to be the case these days, as there are so many cars available and so many that just seem to blend together as one. Have you had a recent sighting that also made you say, oh yeah? If so, what was the mythical beast that elicited that reaction? What is your most recent oh yeah car?

Image: Autoblog Canada

Last Call- Old School Kool Edition

Robert Emslie August 28, 2014 Last Call


I love old service stations, and the Shorpy Historical Archive has a swell collection of them. This one in particular caught my eye, and not just for the admonition to eat 9 slices of white bread a day but for the awesome name of this gas brand. Snapped in 1937 in Cleveland Ohio, this corner KOOLMOTOR station’s neon sign looms impressively over the four pumps and two bays of its downtown automotive oasis. I’ll bet it must have looked amazing at night. Also, sidewalks back then were so wide !

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: Shorpy

Thursday Trivia

Robert Emslie August 28, 2014 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: Who is history’s only Formula One Drivers’ Champion to have been born in the United States?

If you think you know the answer make the jump and see if you’re right.

… Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks- Do You Think Digital Slow-Down Signs Work?

Robert Emslie August 28, 2014 Hooniverse Asks

Slow Down

Shame, for many, is a great motivator. For some, it has no effect at all – just look all of the scandal-plagued politicians who still rail about the breakdown of family values in society. Actually, don’t look at them as it only encourages them. One place where THE MAN is using shame to keep the rest of us down is through the use of radar-equipped speed signs on the side of the road, where everybody can see how fast you’re going!

I happen to pass three of these signs on a regular basis, and I can tell you that I far prefer passing them on the weekends when they seem to be turned off than Monday – Friday when they tattle on my 35 in a 30 zone. Look, I don’t advocate reckless driving or unnecessary speeding, but geez-louise, a couple over the limit isn’t going to kill anyone. Well, maybe not.

Have you run into these electronic tattle-tellers where you live? Do they affect your pace at all? Do you have no shame whatsoever? What’s your take on everybody knowing you business when it comes to how fast you might be driving?

Image: SteamBoatToday

Last Call- The Bull’s Ear Edition

Robert Emslie August 27, 2014 Last Call


Lamborghini’s revered Miura is beautiful from any angle, of that there is no doubt. There are certain angles however that are not commonly explored, and one of those is the ascending line that defines both the top of the aft-of-the-door scoop and the outer edges of the engine cover. It’s like an animal’s ear, and in this particular vantage the car seems unfamiliar and almost alien. Can you think of another isolated line on the Miura that’s equally as beguiling?

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: ©2014 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

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. 

If you shun alcohol you’re a teetotaler. If you find something that’s especially well suited to your lifestyle then that item might be described as fitting you to a T. Last week we drank in the marvelousness of cars that had both T-roofs and their slightly more open cousins, the Targa. We’ll open up on which one most fit us to a T in a sec, but first this week’s quest.

Fiat has had a bit of rough go of it here in the States as much of the baggage that was packed when the company abandoned the U.S. back in the Eighties has accompanied their return. The 500 is a great car to drive, and the Abarth example sounds like dirty illicit sex, but they still exhibit quality control issues an honestly, the bigger L model is a bit of a dud. They aren’t all that way and in fact they haven’t always ALL been bad. That’s why this week I want you to find old Fiats form the time before they left the U.S. That’s 1983 or older (although we’ll accept the later Bertone X1/9 and Pininfarina Spiders too). It doesn’t matter if the cars are presently offered in the U.S. or elsewhere, we just want to see if they’ve actually made it this far.

As always, we want your finds to go down in infamy and not in the site’s spam filter. Follow any of the following advice and you’re crap will be known far and wide.

  1. Easiest way to not get caught in the spam filters is to create an IntenseDebate account. If you do so and your posts aren’t appearing, let us know at tips@hooniverse.com and we can put you on the whitelist
  2. If you don’t want an IDC account, you can create a wordpress.com account and do the same thing.
  3. If you’re the Ted Kaczynski type and don’t want any kind of account, then try to place only a single link in a comment and just drop any outgoing link in via its raw URL and not as a text link.

If you’re good with that, let’s get on top of last week’s Ts.

… Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks- Do You Ever Drive With a Pet?

Robert Emslie August 27, 2014 Hooniverse Asks

Good Dog-Bad Dog

I have a friend who once made a move, picking up stakes in the LA area and dropping them about 200 miles north in bucolic San Luis Obispo. He sent most of the family’s treasured belongings along in a moving van, but there were certain things that had to be transported personally, and that included 4 travel-phobic felines. As the story was related to me, one of the cats spent the entire journey splayed out on the dashboard, while another two curled up into quivering balls of fur occasionally emanating mournful mews.

The last cat spent the entire trip alternating between my friend’s shoulders and the top of his head leaving him with battle scars from its constant repositioning. Of course chicks dig scars, and cats as well. My dog is far less of a danger in the car, preferring to anoint the window with his snot rather than test out the velcro-like effects of his claws on other passengers. We don’t take him on too many trips as we need a mop after any that are greater than just a couple of miles.

What about you, do you frequently drive with some sort of pet? If so, do you take particular precautions when you do? For many, our pets are like our children and we do need to ensure their safety in the car or truck just like we would any other member of the family. What’s your MO for driving with with one of our furry friends?

Image: Fine Art America

Last Call- Duh-Duh, Duh-Duh,Duh-Duh,Duh-Duh,Duh-Duh Edition

Robert Emslie August 26, 2014 Last Call


Billionaire philanthropist, masked crime-fighter, unashamed tight-wearer, and Triumph owner- Batman was the coolest of dudes. Me, I’d be worried about catching my cape in the spokes.

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: Roller-Mag


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