Track Tuesday: Name That Track

Robert Emslie January 17, 2017 Track Tuesday


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 the whole ball of wax. Good luck!

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

Hooniverse Asks: What Is Your Favorite 2017 NAIAS Debut?

Robert Emslie January 17, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

NAIAS Cover Image

Well, I have to say that this year’s Detroit Auto Show, more grandiosely known as the North American International Auto Show was a little light on the excitement this year. Oh sure there was a new Camry, and Kia—Kia!—debuted a new four-door sedan, but to be honest, there wasn’t all that much to get the auto enthusiast all that enthused.

That’s not to say there weren’t some high points to the show. And in fact that’s just what we’re interested in today—the Detroit debuts that did seem to get you all hot and bothered. Or, at least piqued your interest. Did you see anything that really floats your boat? What is your favorite 2017 NAIAS debut?

Last Call: Just In Case You Need a Ford Edition

Robert Emslie January 16, 2017 Last Call

case ford tractor

Here we have a 1948 Case tractor that has been fitted with a very clever 1947 Ford F1 pickup disguise. Oh, and in case you were perplexed, you enter from the rear.

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: Reddit

Because it’s Monday: Let’s Ride Along With This Custom AWD Racer as it Runs a Hillclimb

Robert Emslie January 16, 2017 All Things Hoon

Do you remember the Last Call from this past Friday? It was a Hemi-powered old school dragster with an auxiliary engine powering its roots-type supercharger. Have you been wondering since then just what such a beast might sound like? Well, wonder no more. This is the Mannic-Beattie, a custom-built AWD special sporting a 1.7-litre Cosworth four with enhanced breathing made possible by a small gas turbine.

It was built by racer Nic Mann, and sends its estimated 600-bhp to all four wheels through a proprietary AWD system. How does it go? Like a bat out of hell. Here we can ride that bat along with Mann as he runs the Shelsley Walsh Speed Hillclimb in Worcestershire, England. The whole thing is over in just 25 seconds, but it’s estimated that he’s pulling 2gs off the line and maxed out at 140 miles per hour at the other end. Looks like the work that went into the Mannic-Beattie was well worth the effort.

Source: YouTube

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