Hooniverse Asks: What Car is Too Cramped For You?

Robert Emslie January 16, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

clown car

When I was but a lad I had the hots to own a sports car. My ride at the time was a Corvair 500 Turtletop four-door and while an excellent conversation starter, it was about as far from a sporting ride as one could get. This led me to visit one of the many small used car lots that once carpeted my neck of the woods to check out a natty Fiat 850 Spider.

It sat there in its fly yellow paint and black vinyl top, gleaming under the buzzing overhead lights. It didn’t matter to me that the engine had but 47 horsepower, or that it sat well behind the rear axle line potentially giving the car all the handling characteristics of a bucket of water swung on the end of rope. No, what mattered was that it had split blade bumpers front and rear, and sugar scoop headlamps, and a top that disappeared behind a hard tonneau, it was sex exemplified.

Then I got in. One thing I perhaps haven’t mentioned is the the Fiat 850 Spider is an incredibly small car. Did I mention that? I didn’t think so. It’s so small in fact, that once I was behind the wheel I found that there was room in the footwell for only one of my feet. I’d be a tough choice which one as I’m pretty attached to both. The problem was of course, the front wheel arch. It encroached significantly into the floor space where your feet should go. It was so tight in that car that the sideview mirror would have to do double duty as the dead pedal. Sadly, my love affair with the 850 was over almost before it started. My next car would be a sporty car rather than a sports car, a 1965 Mustang 289 coupe, and it had room to roam.

What about you, have you ever encountered a car that was just too dang cramped to drive? Was it a sad realization for you too?

Image: JoyReactor

Last Call: Auxiliary League Edition

Robert Emslie January 13, 2017 Last Call

aux super

Take a look at this setup and tell me if you were able to immediately determine what exactly is going on here.  It took me a minute to figure out that the Chrysler Hemi is being fed by a supercharger that is driven by a second, auxiliary motor sitting just next door to the V8. That’s some damn fine Rube Goldberg work right there if you ask me.

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: Imgur

Mystery Car

Robert Emslie January 13, 2017 Mystery Car


You know what, I think Fiat-Chrysler—or whatever it is they’re calling themselves these days—should start prepping for the reintroduction of the Eagle Vision in three years. That way I can buy one and tell everybody I have 2020 Vision.

Until that glorious event transpires however we’ll still need to pass the time, and what better way to do so than with the weekly Mystery Car contest? Make and model while we wait if you please.

Image: ©2017 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

Hooniverse Asks: What Subcompact Would Be The Best Racer Today?

Robert Emslie January 13, 2017 Hooniverse Asks



Back in the ’70s, Car and Driver magazine dropped the gauntlet on its readers—race us in a series of SCCA sanctioned, showroom stock races and see who is the best, reader or writer.  The result was the Car and Driver SS/Sedan Challenge, which was held annually at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. Back then CandD would track test all the contenders prior to picking their ride, and at the time that meant pretty much meant every small sedan—domestic and import—sold in America.

The first of the series, in 1972, was won by a reader driving a Dodge Colt. The following year’s race was taken by Car and Driver executive writer Pat Bedard in an Opel 1900, which tied the series at one each. The following year Car and Driver and Bedard picked a year-old Chevy Vega as their mount of choice and ran away from the competition. The magazine obviously chose wisely from the bevy cars they gathered for their mondo comparo. It’s hard to imagine that a VW Beetle or Renault 12TL could have mustered such an effort.

This history got me thinking about the options to replicate such a race today. Not a LeMons crapfest mind you, but a real SCCA-sanctioned small seean showroom stock race, with the only rule being run whatcha brung, and not modified. If we were to attempt such an event, what would be your weapon of choice?

Image: Car and Driver

Last Call: Squiggles Edition

Robert Emslie January 12, 2017 Last Call


This reminds me that they’ve stopped teaching cursive writing in most schools these days and I think that’s a shame!

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: TheChive

Thursday Trivia

Robert Emslie January 12, 2017 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: Why Did August Horch found Audi, and when he did, why did he call it Audi?

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

Hooniverse Asks: Should We All Be Buying Older VW Diesels Now?

Robert Emslie January 12, 2017 Hooniverse Asks


Absent your major activity for the past two years having been contemplating the underside of a rock, you’re probably aware that Volkswagen has been caught cheating on emissions testing for their diesel cars, and is now paying the price globally via fines, forced buy-backs, and, as was revealed last week, arrests of corporate executives. Who pays the greatest price for this malfeasance? Well, the poor consumers who bought or leased VW’s cars in the good faith that they in fact met the standards the company said they did.

Yep, it seems like its always the little guy that gets screwed, and I’m thinking that the screwing is only going to get worse. What I mean is that people bought VW diesels because they were pretty good cars, ones that got amazing mileage and were still fun to drive. When was the last time you heard of a reasonably-priced hybrid being described as fun to drive?

Here’s the thing: the VW cheating scandal only affects cars built after 2008. VW has been selling diesel cars here since the early ’80s. That means there’s a ton of perfectly legal (as far as we know) fun and frugal cars out there just waiting for a fan to make use of them. Therein lies the rub however, as that pool of VW diesel cars is finite, and as owners of contraband diesels give up their dirty ways that fixed supply will be countered by increasing demand. It’s a truism that once you’ve gotten hooked on a VW diesel it’s hard to climb down off that black pony. That leads me to believe that there’s going to be a huge spike in older VW diesel models within the next year. What do you think, should we all start stocking up in anticipation?

Image: GoMotors.net


Last Call: Campeur Edition

Robert Emslie January 11, 2017 Last Call


Look, if you’re going to be towing a trailer you’re going to be holding up traffic now and again. What the heck, you might as well do it with style.

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: Big Rigs on Tumblr

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 looking for some cool kit cars—and yes those people who think kit cars are cool are a special breed. You still came up with cars that bred some pretty cool discourse. We’ll get to all that in just a minute, but first this week’s quest.

In case you haven’t noticed by the cold temps and hot toddies it’s winter in the northern hemisphere. That’s an especially rough time to be a car, owing to the icy roads, de-icing salts, and in some areas snow that needs to be shoveled off before you can even get out on the road. That’s why it’s a good idea to pack your regular, good-weather car away and pick up what is the object of this week’s attention: a winter beater. Let’s see if we can’t find the best deals in cars to get us through the dark days of winter, and maybe have some fun while we’re doing it. Money is no object.

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 get our kit on! … Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks: Moonroof or no Moonroof?

Robert Emslie January 11, 2017 Hooniverse Asks


Do you remember back when you were a kid and you rode the big yellow bus to school? There were two holes in the roof—emergency exits in case the bus flipped on its side making the regular door inaccessible. If you’re anything like me—and I’m expecting you are—you no doubt imagined the bus doing just that and you wiggling your way out that alternate exit.

A car’s moonroof serves a far different purpose. In its case you might want to use the moonroof for other things, like maybe looking at the moon. You might like to enjoy the breeze through your hair—but not too much breeze! Additionally, you might like to have the sun on your shoulder—but not too much sun! Or maybe you like to have a hole in the roof of your car that you never open but will eventually leak like Victoria Falls every time it rains. Yeah, they sometimes do that too.

Moonroofs have their fans and their detractors—count me among the latter—and what we want to know today is which side of the glass you stand. Do you like your cars with or without a moonroof?

Image: AutosofDallas