Last Call- It’s a Jungle Out There Edition

Robert Emslie September 2, 2014 Last Call

Jungle Jim

To be a top racer you need to be larger than life. In the late sixties and early seventies, one of the largest lives was inhabited by “Jungle Jim” Liberman, a major presence on the drag circuit and a racer known for crowd-pleasing smoky burnouts. He was also known for his back-up girl, Pam Hardy, whose looks and track antics were as much part of the show as was the race. Jungle Jim and Jungle Pam offered the kind of over-the-top showmanship that made drag racing great during its heyday. Sadly Jim died in 1977 in an off-track car accident, but Pam continues to keep his memory alive to this day, as well as show her appreciation for her fans’ continued support.

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: firebirdonline

Two-Car Garage- Same Color, Same Era, Two Very Different Cars

Robert Emslie September 2, 2014 Car Shows


Let’s say you have, like many of us, a two-car garage and need to fill it with a pair of cars that would be your only automotive entertainment. Today we’re kicking off an occasional series that seeks to help fill that two-car garage.

Sometimes when I go to car shows I luck out and find two or more cars parked in a row that are of an interesting contrast. Last week we had the Aston Martin DB7 Vantage and Jaguar F-Type to compare in depth, and this week we have what might make one of the coolest two-car garages in town – a 1972 Ferrari 365 GC/4 and a 1972 Datsun 510/Bluebird. Parked slot to slot, these two cars share model year and arresting color, but are otherwise examples from the opposite ends of the automotive scale. What do you think, would these two make for a great pair? If not, with what would you pair each for the ultimate two-car garage?

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

Hooniverse Asks- What Car has the Coolest Oh S#%t handle?

Robert Emslie September 2, 2014 Hooniverse Asks


There’s this song by Toby Keith that’s entitled Get In, Sit Down, Shut up, and Hang On. I’m pretty sure it’s taken from a sticker I once saw on the dashboard of a Mustang, owned by a buddy of mine back in high school. Regardless of the identity of Keith’s creative muse, it’s still damn-good advice, and a lot of car makers are thoughtful enough to oblige the sentiment by providing something solid onto which a passenger may secure themselves.

The Oh S#%t handle as it’s officially known, has a long and storied history, which sadly we don’t have time to go into here. In fact what we’re interested in is which handle really has a handle on doing its job as a handle, and looking absolutely awesome while doing so.

Many an Oh S#%t handle is mounted on the dash. The ’58-’62 Corvette had one built-in to the passenger-side dashboard eyebrow. Other cars place it somewhere in the vicinity of the center console, but I don’t think that’s the best place as flailing hands can get in the way of shifting or grabbing the e-brake for impromptu Rockford moves. A-pillars and doors also serve as locations of choice for some cars.

What do you think is the best location for the Oh S#%t handle? More importantly, what car do you think has the coolest one?

Image: ebaymotorsblog

Last Call- Labor of Love Edition

Robert Emslie September 1, 2014 Last Call


Today being Labor Day here in the States, I thought we’d wrap things up with a picture of a job we could all get behind- the building of Ford’s original Mustang. This remarkable perspective shot is from Ford’s San Jose assembly plant in Milpitas, Calif where Mustang production was added in mid-1964, with the first car rolling off the line on July 10th of that year. Here they’re being checked prior to getting an anti-corrosion bath.

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: 67MustangBlog

Hoonivercinema- Monday Movie Trailer

Speed Zone

You might think that after The Cannonball Run, the Gumball Rally, and a slew of other cross-country mad dash movies, that by the late ’80s the genre would have been played out. You would be only half right in that assessment. There will always be an opportunity for celebrity-studded car chase movies, and there are a slew of B-celebs to fill them once all the top-talent has already had a turn behind the wheel.

Released in 1989, Speed Zone is one of those crazy car race movies – perhaps the last one to date – and it is notable for a number of reasons. First off, it stars not has-beens or wannabes, but a good part of Canada’s SCTV cast, including John freakin’ Candy! It also has Donna Dixon and Brooke Shields if you’re into ’80s actresses or big hair.  Finally, it features Jamie Farr (Klinger from the TV show, M.A.S.H.) as an Arab former racer, making Farr notable for appearing in all three of the titans of this genre. As far as cars go, Speed Zone – which was later renamed Cannonball Fever  - features a fake Countach, a Jag XJS, E32 BMW 7 Series, and a jet aircraft that has trouble with an overpass.

Siskel & Ebert gave the film two thumbs down with Siskel calling it “so venal it doesn’t even try to be good.” You can judge for yourself by watching the trailer right after the jump.

… Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks- Do you really need armrests?

Robert Emslie September 1, 2014 Hooniverse Asks


Thinking back on all the cars I have owned, I’ve come to the realization that the better part of half of them have been so small that they have not offered a place to put my elbows, well, not officially that is. Some, like my Austin Healey go so far as to lack an inner door skin, offering up the inside of the door itself for elbow room, albeit without a place to rest those weary joints.

Armrests are a fairly modern convenience in the automotive world, and like cup holders, they seem to a place where car makers expend a good bit of capital in making them as innovative and convenient as possible. Some center armrests are adjustable for position and height, while others offer a place for your cell phone just an elbow’s length away. Considering that you should be driving with your hands on the wheel at ten and two, and that wheel positioned at almost an arm’s length away, I’m wondering whether we even need armrests at all? Don’t they just serve to perpetuate bad habits?

Here in America, for the longest time the standard driving position wasn’t 10 and 2, it was one elbow on the doorsill and the other in your lap while steering with your hand lightly gripping the bottom of the wheel. This animus for proper positioning is only exacerbated by offering comfy little pillows for your elbows. Plus, they take up valuable room and sometimes get in the way of shifting. What’s your take on armrests, are they a boon, or a bad habit-enabling bust?

Image: The Hogring

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


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