Last Call- Shopping Spree Edition

Robert Emslie October 22, 2014 Last Call


While at my local Target last week to pick up some work socks and wrapping paper, I was frustrated to see that I had been one-upped in the parking lot by a Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe replica. That is of course, the perfect choice for a bargain-shopping excursion.

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. 

There are many ways to spice up your life. You could do it with actual spice – adding some cayenne to your cornflakes – or you could get yourself a hot car. Not all cars are hot, but there are some that start out dull and then, through the magic of option packages, turn interesting. That’s what we sought last week; exciting editions of dull cars, and let me tell you, I got excited seeing the results. We’ll get to the most adrenalized auto in a sec, but first this week’s quest.

I’ve been thinking of late that the Pontiac Fiero – especially in its final iteration – is a hugely under-valued car. That got me thinking about how many Fieros are presently being sacrificed as underpinnings of faux Lambos and the like. That got me thinking about how the VW Beetle was once the king of kit cars, and that got me thinking about dune buggies, which is what this week’s quarry will be.

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.

Got it? Good, now let’s get exited.

… Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks- What’s Your Favorite Hot Rod Wagon?

Robert Emslie October 22, 2014 Hooniverse Asks


The Station Wagon is named for its originally intended function; the ability to offer enough room to transport passengers and their luggage from the train depot to a final destination such as a vacation hotel. It’s ironic that today the station wagon is a rare commodity, having been replaced for the most part by something called a ‘Sport Utility.’

Now, I would aver that most sport utilities are not very sporty, although I will admit that most offer a good bit of utility. You know what really represents the term sport utility? Why, a hot rod wagon, of course. Now, you know that the longroof already has the utility part down pat, owing to the capacious space behind the seats and typical roof rack for even more getting-it-there ability. But what about the sport part? Well, there have been – and continue to be – high performance versions of your tried and true family haulers, and they hence earn the right to be called true Sport Utilities.

If you think about it, we love fast cars. We are also, for whatever reason, pretty sweet on wagons. Put the two together and we’re all pretty much in hog heaven. Not only that, but we can get those hogs to the bacon-making place PDQ in our hot rod wagons. If you had the need of RPT (Rapid Pig Transport) what would be your preferred ride? What is your favorite hot rod wagon?

Image: Carficianados

Last Call- Angle Iron Edition

Robert Emslie October 21, 2014 Last Call


My first thoughts seeing this was that all the fluids were going fluid out of whatever container held them at normal road angles. My second thought was that I wish modern cars were as light as this 1919 Studebaker so they could be worked on with such convenience and ease.

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

Hooniverse Asks- What is Your car’s Achille’s Heel?

Robert Emslie October 21, 2014 Hooniverse Asks


Stephen Wright has this bit where he says that in school they told him that practice makes perfect, and then later that nobody is perfect. This led Wright to stop practicing. It’s true that even the best of us have our foibles, and when it comes to cars and trucks, there can often be one particular negative aspect that can make you facepalm out of frustration for its singular spoilage of an otherwise competent ride.

Consider if you will the Mazda Miata. It’s the perfect car, right? Well, did you know that the MX5 Miata can’t hold a pair of golf bags in its trunk? It’s true. It can carry two golfers in its tight but capable passenger compartment, but that trunk, totally incapable of letting them bring both their bags along. How Mazda allowed such a glaring oversight is beyond comprehension.

That’s just one instance of a car with impeccable bonafides suffering from a singular flaw, an Achille’s heel as it were. What we’d like to hear today is other instances – you Miata owners can sit this one out as we already feel your shame – of cars and trucks that likewise have a flaw or missing feature that casts a pall over an otherwise enjoyable ride. It’s time to open up and get personal, and tell us, what is your car’s Achille’s heel?

Image: betterlivingthroughbeowolf

Last Call- Funnel Fun Edition

Robert Emslie October 20, 2014 Last Call


This is the DOHC V8 of a 1954 Pegaso Z-102. It’s a thing of beauty, what with its staggered carbs and crinkle finished cam covers. It’s not the engine however that I’d like to point out in this picture. Instead, I’d like you to notice the silver funnel that sits just to the left of the generator and below the hood latch. That’s there because the scoop in the hood ramps down from its leading edge, and any precipitation that might find its way down that ramp might end up dousing the gennie. There’s a catchwall and a tube at the back of the scoop that directs any water down to this funnel, and then through a tube to the ground below. Clever, no?

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

Quick Spin- 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C


This past week a number of your humble hosts attended the Motor Press Guild’s 2014 Track Days event, where we got to wrap our hands around the wheels of some of the coolest cars debuting at the moment. One of the most sought-after rides – one that literally had a waiting list to drive – was the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C, the car that relaunches the venerated Italian brand here in the U.S..

I managed to get on that list and take the car out on the track at the Streets of Willow and I’m now back, with a crazy grin still stuck on my face, to tell you what it was like. … Continue Reading

Hoonivercinema- Monday Movie Trailer

Robert Emslie October 20, 2014 All Things Hoon


Released on June 27, 1990, Days of Thunder is perhaps the last great ’80s movie. It has all the hallmarks of that era, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman in her big hair phase, acid-washed jeans, and direction by Tony Scott, Ridley Scott’s more action-oriented brother. Produced by Simpson/Bruckheimer, it’s shot and edited in that pair’s preferred cocaine cut style.

Cruise of course plays the lead, a cocky stock car racer named Cole Trickle, which sounds exactly like a NASCAR driver’s name because it’s the same as that of the late Dick Trickle. Kidman naturally plays the love interest, a smart woman who’s dumb enough to fall for Cruise’s abrasive character, while the pit boss is played by Robert Duvall. He is probably the best thing going for the film. It’s remarkable in fact to learn that the script for Days of Thunder is co-credited to Robert Towne. He is the writer of such classics as Shampoo, China Town, and another Cruise flick, Mission Impossible. Almost as incongruous is seeing Michael Rooker (the Walking Dead’s Merle Dixon) with hair, here playing a track rival of Trickle’s

The racing genre is always a tough sell and while Cruise is a solid actor, he can’t bring any level of gravitas to this hokey NASCAR soap opera. It’s still worth a look as it is very much a product of its era. You could compare it to the more recent Rush, which, while based on actual events, is a similar story. Catch some Cruise right after the jump. … Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks- What Could be the Next Jeep or Humvee?

Robert Emslie October 20, 2014 Hooniverse Asks


As most of you know, in Jeep nomenclature, CJ stands for Civilian Jeep, denoting the model’s decommissioned status. That switch from wartime tool to farmer’s – and eventually off-road enthusiast’s – weapon of choice is the right way to make peacetime use of war effort hardware. So venerable is the Jeep as an icon of both WWII and its civilian role that when the Humvee entered service a lot of people wondered if it too would also make the leap to civilian duty.

The Humvee (short for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) was originally built by AM General, and that company did market a civilian edition, colloquially known as the Hummer and favored by forest services, fire departments, and Ah-nold. The Hummer’s civilian makeover wasn’t nearly as simple as the Jeep’s, and once GM bought the marque they diluted the brand by adding smaller poseurs until gas prices and competitive forces put the brand out of business.

As they said in Casablanca, we’ll always have the Jeep and that former Army brat, to this day, still seems to have its mojo intact. But that’s not to say we don’t need a new former military man (or woman) in our driveways. Today’s army still rolls on the Humee, but pretenders to its throne are waiting in the wings. There’s Lockheed Martin’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), as well as options from Navistar and the Big Three. Do we need another military-civilian crossover? If so, what do you think would be the best candidate?

Image: Episodes of Army Life in WWII

Last Call- Tease Me, Please Me Edition

Robert Emslie October 17, 2014 Last Call


So this week I got a chance to drive the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C on the track. I’ll have more about the car and that experience next week, but leading up to that, let us know what questions you have about Alfa’s vanguard of their official U.S. return and we’ll try and answer them in the upcoming review.

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


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