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Last Call: A Model Citizen Edition

Robert Emslie May 4, 2016 Last Call

Lotus Model

I don’t know about you, but I think that a Tamiya Super Seven would be just about as rewarding to build as a real Super Seven.

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: MrModels.nz

 

Oh Hell, Opel

Opel-Speedster-2

Is it wrong to lust after an Elise-based Opel Speedster?

Image: OpelCarsWalls

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. 

The rotary engine may not have ever caught on the way Felix Wankel had hoped, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its fans keeping the flame alive and the wankels a-wankelin.’ We’ll see which rotary most got our heads spinning in a sec, but first this week’s challenge.

Hey, how do you roll? If you said old school then we have much to discuss. This week we want to find the best pre-war (that’s WWII to you young-uns) cars and trucks the classifieds have to offer. Now, he only rule here is that we want to stay out of the classic car sites—OldCars.com and the like. They’re great and all, but what’s the challenge in that?

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 hum a few bars.

… Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks: What Was The Most Aesthetically Unsuccessful Factory Paint Color on Any Car?

Mercedes-Benz-A-Class_2016

The color, texture and fabric choices that the automotive industry uses is derived from the fashion industry, and typically follows that category by about five years. That’s why we saw so many brown cars in the late Seventies, a short time after Earth tones had fallen from favor in the halls of haute couture.

We all love brown cars, don’t we? I don’t know why it is but that Gaia-grain looks pretty good on pretty much any car you can so swath. May be it is a race memory, recalling our original evolutionary march out of the dirt.

Whatever the reason, it’s usually a solid choice for a car, although over the years there have been many other hues that have attempted to usurp Brown’s position, and have failed fitfully in doing so. What we want to know today is, which of those do you think was the worst, most abject, failure in a factory color scheme? Hopefully someone won’t offer your choice before you, making you see red, and then be green with envy until you feel blue.

Image: CarsGuide.au

Last Call: Not So Tachy Edition

Robert Emslie May 3, 2016 Last Call

POrsche Tach

Show of hands, who knew that Porsche’s 356 had a 5,000-rpm redline?

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: Gentlemen’s Site

Track Tuesday: Name That Track

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Welcome to Track Tuesday where you are asked to identify a (maybe) famous race or test track from just one closely-cropped aerial image. This week, it’s in black & white. Good luck!

Image: ©2016 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the Most Desirable Tuner Fox Body Mustang?

saleen-mustang-ssc-main

Last week over on Jalopnik I featured a Saleen SSC with just 661 miles on its Fox Body clock. Now, I’ve never driven one of these tuner ‘Stangs, but I’ve heard tell that they were a pretty good drive back in their day, and that makes me wonder how anyone could have successfully fought the temptation to add to that odo count.

Saleen was just one of the tuner names that saw the Foxstang as a blank canvas for their art and proceeded to make a special edition in their own image. The questions for today are, which one of those do you think was the best, and why?

Image: AutoGuide

Last Call: Product Misplacement Edition

Robert Emslie May 2, 2016 Last Call

swastika

At first I was going to do a joke about “keeping your whites their whitest” but then I thought better of it. Instead I thought I would just note the history of Dublin Ireland’s Swastika Laundry and the electric vans they used to pickup and deliver Dubliners’ wearables. The company was founded in 1912, and took its name from an Indian symbol for good luck. They used electric vans owing to their quiet nature and low operating costs. The Brush Electric Van above isn’t an actual Swastika van, but a van from another Dublin laundry company—Darty—painted up for the 1983 RTE television series, Caught in a Free State.

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: AskAboutIreland

Throwback Monday: Famous Factories

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Welcome to Throwback Monday where we take a look at how things once were, or at least how certain famous cars were once built. This week we’re looking at how the Porsche 356 came together.

Porsche entered the sports car market in 1948 with the introduction of the 356. The series’ rear-engine and flat four layout was taken directly from Ferdinand Porsche’s work on the pre-war Volkswagen, or People’s Car. The 356 however, was intended to be built in far smaller numbers than the Volkswagen, and that afforded the company to take a very different and far more labor intensive production process. … Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks: Are Fancy Automatic Targa Roofs Missing the Point?

Targa

Driving a convertible is a unique experience. It at once brings you closer to the feeling of speed and the exhilaration of the sights and sounds around you, while at the same time doing a poorer job of  managing that experience than its stiffer closed-cabin siblings. Floppier, heavier, and sometimes woefully more awkward in the visuals department when the top is up, convertibles are still pretty popular.

One way that manufacturers have tried to let us have our cake and eat it too has been with the Targa roof, a design that affords much of the benefit of a full convertible, but still with a good bit of the structural integrity of a coupe, and at a similar weight. Porsche once embraced this design for both their 911 and 914 lines, and it’s been used by Fiat (X1/9), Ferrari (308, 348, etc), Pontiac (Solstice), the Corvette from the C4 onward, as well as others. A manually removable soft or hard section above the driver and passenger seat can instantly transform a car from a quiet coupe into a fresh air fiend’s best friend. And the structure isn’t much heavier than the coupe base. It’s a win-win right?

Well, these days, I don’t know how much win there is with the current crop of Targa-roofed cars. Porsche has reintroduced the model to their 911 lineup while Mazda has expanded the new MX-5 line to include a retractible hardtop model. These seem at first glance to embody the benefits of the targa roof lifestyle, but on closer examination are in fact as complicated, if not more so, than their fully convertible counterparts. For the Porsche, that Targa roof adds a hefty 10% weight penalty over the coupe. I’m all for making things easier to do, but even I have my limits. What about you, do you think these new automated Targas miss the point of their purpose?

Image: YouTube