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

Last Call: Stone Cold Edition

Robert Emslie January 10, 2017 Last Call


Chris Zernia does custom bikes. He doesn’t do your ordinary custom bikes however as evidenced by this Honda CX500 with bodywork composed of Basalt. Yes, basalt, the stone. It’s a stone motorcycle. Zernia’s bike ended up being a top-three finalist in a contest run by the German magazine Custombike. Way to go Zernia!

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: Highsnobiety

Track Tuesday: Name That Track

Robert Emslie January 10, 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 a kink. Good luck!

If you’re still scratching your head over last week’s track, here’s the answer.

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

Hooniverse Asks: Would You Buy a Built-in Dash Cam Option?

Robert Emslie January 10, 2017 Hooniverse Asks


In this day and age of cheap video cameras and copious storage options, it seems that almost every event is captured in action. That’s bad news when you’re attempting to dislodge a tickley booger while seemingly solo in an elevator, but it’s a boon for those drivers who have fallen victim to attempted insurance fraud.

Dash Cams are de rigueur in places like Russia where such acts are common. It’s as common a driving companion there as is a hunk of lead pipe to settle road rage arguments or a furry hat. In fact, Dash Cams are becoming ubiquitous not just in Russia but across the globe, that it’s pretty surprising that more manufacturers haven’t started offering them as factory options.

GM does do so on the Corvette and Camaro, but the Performance Data Recorder system on those cars is oriented more towards track time analysis and not catching the guy that just reversed into you on the expressway.

That’s a shame because when it comes to car accidents, sometimes it’s a he-said/she said situation where barring physical evidence, you’re likely to get screwed. A dash cam can alleviate the worry that such a situation could present, and so I think it’s about time that car makers started offering it as an option. Hell, we have connected cars, lets make good use of that connectivity by sending our accidents into the cloud! Would you see value in that? Or, does that sound a little too much like Big Brother looking over your shoulder? What do you think, would you pay for a factory dash cam option?

Image: Money at CNN

Last Call: Hella-Good History Edition

Robert Emslie January 9, 2017 Last Call


I know that many of you have been clamoring for a succinct and easy to use guide to Volkswagen tail lamp eras and it turns out that Hella has the answer. You’re welcome.

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: OhioValleyVWs

Because it’s Monday: Let’s Watch a Vintage Ford Training Film With Music by… THE DOORS!

Jim Morrison was never a car guy. In fact, a famous story that we discussed a while back demonstrated that he really didn’t give a rat’s ass about cars or driving. Morrison’s notorious abandoned Mustang isn’t the group’s only FoMoCo connection however, as prior to making it big they made some fast cash adding incidental music to this 1966 Ford dealer training film. No, it doesn’t feature Morrison’s poetry about Falcons and Fairlanes—are they really fair?—but it does portend certain sounds that would appear on future Doors albums.

The film, Love Thy Customer, lacks the etherial acid-trip psychedelia that is generally associated with The Doors’ music, but according to Rolling Stone the band wasn’t at a point where its members could afford such luxuries, or even proper recording facilities:

The Doors piled into a cramped screening room at Los Angeles’ Rampart Studios, where they viewed the 25-minute clip on a small monitor. They composed a soundtrack largely on the spot, jamming live as the scenes flickered past. Fragments of what later became “I Looked at You,” “Build Me a Woman,” and “The Soft Parade” can be heard in the finished product. Though they played only instrumental passages, Morrison is said to have contributed percussion and additional sound effects. The day of work earned them $200.

Their music starts to show up at about 1:30 into the film, actually as part of a movie-within-a-movie as one of the white coated “service employees” starts daydreaming when he should be concentrating on “Total Selling.” Ha! Typical Doors fan.

Source: Rolling Stone

Hooniverse Asks: What’s History’s Greatest Automotive Mascot?

Robert Emslie January 9, 2017 Hooniverse Asks


The purpose of a mascot is to serve as an ambassador or the embodiment of a brand, team or cause. Sometimes they are ill conceived—such as the Purdue Boilermakers’ creepy “Purdue Pete.” Other’s are less nightmare inducing and I would aver those like Smokey the Bear are in fact national icons.

When it comes to cars and trucks there have been a number of mascots that have come and gone. Some of those have been memorable, others forgettable. Some have grown to status similar to that of Smokey, and what we’re interested in today is your opinion as to which of those stands as the greatest of all time. What automotive mascot is the most iconic?

Image: Triadmopar