Last Call- The Sincerest Form of Flattery Edition

Robert Emslie April 23, 2014 Last Call


Peugeot decided to bring one major show stopper to the Bejing Auto Show. Fortunately that car – the Exalt – has taken the styling tropes from at least five other cars and called them its own. See if you can find any more.

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 source: crisvr6 via The Car Lounge


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. 

Last week we went cheap exotics, which are cars that let you wear an expensive label at an outlet price. We’ll see the biggest brand buster after the jump, but first lets go the other way .

Have you ever put on airs? Ever hobnob with your betters? Yeah, dressing up and going out someplace fancy can be fun. You know what else is fun? Finding middle class cars that have gotten all fancy-pants, that’s what, and that’s just what we’re looking for this week. That’s right we want to find all the fancy cars for sale that are based on cheap wheels. That means Nova-based Sevilles, Fairmont-sourced Granadas and Versailles and pretty much every K-car sold with a padded vinyl roof.

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
Craigslist Crapshoot doesn’t work if your candidates don’t get seen, so hopefully following one of these options will ensure that the floodgates of crap are fully open. Make the jump to see how low you can go.

Hooniverse Asks- Are Backup Cameras a Good Idea?


This time we mean it! That’s what the Feds here in the U.S. are saying concerning the upcoming automotive backup camera mandate. That requirement is supposed to go into effect with the 2015 model year, but it has to date been postponed four times. Some safety regulations make a lot of sense – seat belts, and steering columns that won’t impale you being notable examples – while others can be real head scratchers.

I’ve always wondered if the stats ever really proved that the center high-mounted brake light that was required starting in 1985 has made that much difference as far as accidents are concerned. Likely they do. Usually when the government oversteps its bounds in the name of car safety – say like with the 85 MPH speedo reg – saner heads eventually prevail. That brings us to the question of backup cameras, which as we all know are quite expensive bits of kit and could conceivably end up causing more harm than good, training people to rely on a dash-mounted TV screen rather than checking the view out the windows.

Still, according to some government statistic somewhere these back-end video devices do save lives. Have you had much experience with these things, and if so, do you find them valuable? Or, do you think this is yet another nanny that’s going to do little more than dull drivers’ senses to what’s really going on around them? What’s your take, are backup cameras really a good idea?

Image source: Imgur

Last Call- Swamp Thing Edition

Robert Emslie April 22, 2014 Last Call

Swamp Thing

I don’t know what it is about the Lada Niva that makes me like them so much. I mean, the Ruskie Trucklodyte is little more than just a poorer quality Suzuki Samurai without the stigma of that car’s ready parts availability. Maybe it’s the cheeky turn signal eyebrows that does it. This Niva is certainly doing it and this shot is available as a desktop wallpaper for all your computer background enjoyment. Find it embiggened here.

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 source: desktopwallpaperz

Car Shows- Some Things To Do This Weekend in L.A.

Robert Emslie April 22, 2014 Car Shows


Hey angelinos – or even near-by-erinos – what have you got on tap this weekend? Well, if your answer was nuttinmuch then here’s a couple of shows that you should think about attending. On Saturday the Z Store is holding their Z Bash, which they describe as ‘a one-day celebration of the Z-Car and the loyal fans of the West Coast Nationals.’ If you’re into Nissan’s venerated sports car and can make the trek to the City of Orange, then this is a can’t miss opportunity to see every generation, from S30 to Z34, and pick up some parts if that’s also a need. The Z Store is located at 1139 West Collins Avenue, Orange, CA 92867. More info may be had at their site, and a map to the locale can be found here.

If your interests are less Land of the Rising Sun and more aligned with the empire upon which the sun supposedly never sets then you’ll want to attend Sunday’s parking in the park event, The Queen’s English Cars Show and Auto Jumble at Van Nuys’ Woodley Park. Running from 9 am until 4 pm, the annual oiling of the grass as I like to call it is an excellent opportunity to take in both the common – MGB, TR3, XKE, etc – and the obscure. And all of it was built in Jolly Olde! If you’d like to bring your own old Brit to show, check out the cost and entry info here. Maps and directions to the park are available here.

I’m going to try and be at both shows, Saturday in my S30 and Sunday with the Jaguar Owner’s Club catting up the place in the morning. These are both typically great events, and the Queen’s English is one of the best opportunities in L.A. to see the best of Britain so I highly recommend that one if you’re in the area.

UPDATE: Here’s yet another great event coming up this Saturday. The San Gabriel Valley Region chapter of the Porsche Club of America will be holding a Concours d’ Elegance at the Art Center College of Design which is located at 1700 Lida Street in Pasadena. Car placement starts at 7:30 and judging at 9:30. The Art Center Cafeteria will be open for lunch and tours of the Gallery will be offered starting at 1:00. For more info, click here.

Image sources: The Z Store, ©2014 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

Hooniverse Asks- How Slow is Too Slow?


The picture above shows part of the May 1975 Road & Track cover, and teases an article within the issue that’s a grand-mal test of nine small cars available in the U.S. that year. Why was R&T, noted for their affinity for string-back driving gloves and European sports cars, lowering themselves to such depths? Well, at the time the U.S. was facing a crude oil supply constrained by certain members of OPEC for our country’s support of Israel.

That ‘Gas Crisis’ as it was known made fuel economy a far more important attribute than acceleration, and while many of these cars get decent gas mileage, their zero to sixty times are jaw-droppingly slow when compared to even the most lethargic of modern rides. The quickest of the bunch, the VW Rabbit was timed by the magazine to make that dash in 12.7 seconds, which is snail-like by today’s standards. At the other end of the spectrum the Beetle, coming from the same company, took a glacial 18.1 seconds. Less than a second ahead of that at 17.3 and 17.7 were the Datsun B210 and Renault 12.

Now you’ll have to keep in mind that even sports cars were slower back then. The 49-state Triumph TR7 tested in the same issue could only manage 11.3 seconds to reach sixty, and a contemporary Ferrari 308 GT4 could barely break 8 seconds. The point of all this is that the cars of today are hugely more competent than those of the past, but are they too much more competent? If a modern Fit or Spark can hit sixty in around 11 seconds, is that too slow? Alternatively, if most cars are able to knock off freeway speed in under 8 seconds, is that too fast and would they be more efficient with a few fewer ponies (hearsay, I know) at the gain of a few more MPG and a cheaper price tag? Would they then become more dangerous to drive in modern traffic, or would traffic benefit from the more languid pace? What do you think, how slow is too slow?

Image source: May 1975 Road & Track Magazine

Last Call- Rat-A-Tat-Tat Edition

Robert Emslie April 21, 2014 Last Call


The hot rodder’s maxim is that loud pipes save lives. I don’t know how that jives with the machine gun-style straight pipes on this military themed hot rod pickup truck. Of course I guess, the life you save just might be your own.

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

Hoonivercinema- Monday Music Video

monday music video 21-04-14

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like had the Beastie Boys been raised in the South instead of New York City? Well, we’ll have to leave that to the philosophers to postulate but for a possible example of funky punkounrty music, look no further than Georgia’s Family Force 5.

Yes, this is a Christian rock band, but you’ll find none of that in this video for Kountry Gentleman. Instead you get the General Lee, the world’s most comically stupid drag race, and girls in crop tops. There’s nothing wrong with that, now is there? One thing I’d like to point out is that the Dukes of Hazzard’s car is woefully over-used when it comes to signifying southern comfort. Seriously folks, you don’t need to drag out the orange Charger to let us know you are from the South. We can usually tell right away just by how polite y’all are.

Check out the Charger, as well as some other cool old iron in this video, right after the jump.

… Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks- What Forbidden Fruit Do You Most Wish You Could Sample?


It’s a sad truth that many car makers don’t sell their entire product line in every country in which they ply their wares. That has meant situations like Lotus keeping the hottest editions of their Elise and Evora models from U.S. buyers, and whole lines of cars from certain makers left in their home market while eager buyers elsewhere are denied. 

Check out the Ford Everest concept above. It’s debuting at the Bejing Auto Show this week, along with a small Ford that resurrects the Escort nameplate. Both the 7-passenger Everest, and the cheap seats Escort are good looking cars, and both will most likely be constrained to the Chinese market. And those aren’t all! Did you know that in South Africa you could get the modern equivalent of the Eurovan Westfalia Synchro called the California Beach? Who wouldn’t want do drive a minivan called the California Beach?

There are so many cars and trucks out there that whose makers have decided that you should be denied. And they didn’t even ask you! Oh sure, they may be completely terrible, and wholly inappropriate for your particular market and use, but shouldn’t you be the one to decide that? Which car or truck do you see as the most desirable forbidden fruit?

Image source: Ford Media

Last Call- Out of Charge Edition

Robert Emslie April 18, 2014 Last Call


The New York International Auto Show saw a number if significant debuts this week, including the latest iteration of Dodge’s retro-four door rocker, the Charger. The media kit shows that the car still  has a ton of retro styling cues and if that wan’t enough, they also show the infotainment system with some retro rock on the screen. I don’t know if Kick Start My Heart off of Motley Crüe’s Greatest Hits album says fresh new design or not, but I guess it could have been worse. What do you think would be some other appropriate songs for the other show debuts?

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 source: Chrysler Media


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