Craigslist Crapshoot

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 the best deals in Lincolns the classifieds had to offer. That’s a big order as unlike Cadillac, Lincoln has never made any really small cars. We’ll see what turned up in just a sec, but first, this week’s quest.

Okay, I have a weird one for you this week. Instead of looking for ads in which people are trying to unload their iron, we wan’t to see those where they’re just trying to separate someone from their money. That’s right, this week we want to see if we can come up with some scam ads!

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 see some hot… rod… Lincolns, and others! … Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks: What’s History’s Weirdest Car Dealership Mascot?

Cal Worthington is perhaps the Los Angeles area’s most famous car dealer personality. His schtick—having dealerships open until all hours of the night, lots of TV spots targeted at insomniacs, and his own theme song (go see Cal, go see Cal, go see Cal…)—cemented the Stetson-wearing salesman’s place in the pantheon of local color.

One of Worthington’s most enduring ways to grab attention was with the TV spots that featured his dog Spot. What kept people glued to the tube throughout the :30 or :60-second ads was the reveal at the end as to what Spot was going to turn out to be this time. You see, Spot wasn’t a dog, he was alternatively a bear, a camel, a hippo—which Worthington rode through the dealership parking lot—or maybe even a house cat if the zoo was closed that day. 

Worthington passed away in 2013, but his name lives on at Worthington Ford in Long Beach. He wasn’t the only car dealer to use a wacky mascot to drum up business either. I remember a few years back when a local Honda dealer employed a giant push broom—literally like 20-feet  tall with a brush big enough to swallow people whole—that they said was there to sweep up the deals or some such nonsense. In fact, these crazy schemes to get you on the lot, and hopefully into a car, have been part of the dealer modus operandi for decades. Hell, Karl Benz even had his wife pulling a stunt to encourage people to buy his first car. If you’re as big a fan as I am of these kinds of dealer mascots, let us know which ones do you think are history’s best.

Image: Pinterest

Last Call: Insane Clown Posse Edition

Robert Emslie February 28, 2017 Last Call

It recently struck me as I passed one going down the street—the white Toyota 4Runner SR5 TRD Pro is the official car of Juggalos.

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: PBS.org

Track Tuesday: Name That Track

Robert Emslie February 28, 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 short track. Good luck!

Since no one managed to identify last week’s track the answer may be found here.

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

Hooniverse Asks: Automatics Are So Good, Do Manuals Even Matter Any More?

Robert Emslie February 28, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

Have you ever heard of the VW/Porsche Sportomatic transmission? This was an attempt at an automatic/manual gearbox by the German collaborators which effectively added a torque converter and pneumatic clutch actuation to a standard four-speed synchromesh transaxle. The clutch was signaled by a microswitch in the gear knob and the driver still had to shift the gears, only being freed from the necessity of having to coordinate the clutch at the same time. Oh boy, were they terrible.

In fact, almost all automatic transmissions up until about the mid-Eighties were pretty terrible for the sporting enthusiast to use. Sure, they worked okay on the drag strip, but for anything else, they were the weak link in almost any sports car’s drivetrain. This was such an issue that many exotic manufacturers refused to even offer automatics in their cars. Nowadays, the opposite is true, and it’s hard to find a sports car, even an exotic, that offers three pedals and the ability to shift on your own without interference from the car’s computer brain.

The reason for that is that automatic transmissions have gotten better. A lot better. They’re so good in fact that one of the reasons to own a manual, its better fuel economy, has been rendered moot as automatics generally do better at wringing miles out of fuel than you or I could ever hope to do. Argh! This is obviously the first step towards our inevitable overthrow by the machines. Do you think that’s a good thing? If automatics are better at their job than we are, should we just let them do it? We’ve given up a number of automotive running practices to automation over the years—ignition timing, starting, etc—why not give up shifting entirely too?


Image: Craigslist

Last Call: Then and Now Edition

Robert Emslie February 27, 2017 Last Call

It’s hard to picture just how small the original Shelby Cobra is without some sort of contextual comparison. Here’s a slab-side Cobra sitting next to one of the smallest sports cars of the modern era, a second generation Mazda MX-5 Miata. Compare and contrast.

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: ©2017 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

Because it’s Monday: Let’s Have a Summer Affair

The 1971 film Il Sole Nella Pelle (American Title Summer Affair) is notable for two things: its lead, Ornella Muti, whom you might remember as Ming the Merciless’ conniving daughter in the Sci-Fi classic Flash Gordon, and a scene set in the Lamborghini factory, filled with all kinds of equally lovely Lambos.

The plot of the Italian drama is wholly forgettable, involving something to do with Muti’s character running off with a hippie, and eventually ending up shipwrecked on a Mediterranean island where her industrialist father sends the cops to hunt the couple down and bring home the wayward teen. Along the way we get to see this scene which is filled with Miura P400 S, Jarama and Espada cars, as well as a glimpse inside the Sant’Agata Bolognese factory. Thankfully it spares us the rest of the film. Enjoy!

Source: YouTube

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the Longest Trip You’ve Ever Taken By Car?

Robert Emslie February 27, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

I have crossed the Continental United States six times by car, amazingly none of the trips being made in a Lincoln Continental or Porsche Continental Coupe. That lack of ironic connection is my only lament to any of the trips.

The United States is a vast expanse, and some of its States—like California and Texas—are even large enough that you could put in a good half-day of driving and not reach its border. Other geographies present similar grand scales, even if the borders are more tightly packed. I haven’t ever driven from Paris to Rome, but I can imagine it to be a hike.

Despite the distance I made the cross country trip in as little as three days once. That was a blur of a trip, and made with shared driving duties, but still seemed like a long time for two people to be in one little Honda, which was our mount. Do you have a longer stamina for staying in a car?  What is the longest road trip you’ve ever taken, and where did it take you? 

Image: Santa Fe Concorso

Last Call: See What We’ve Become Edition

Robert Emslie February 24, 2017 Last Call

North Carolina likes to have First in Flight on their license plates, touting the Wright Brothers’ work at Kitty Hawk on the state’s outer banks. This Viper is apparently licensed in North Carolina, and I can’t think of anything that could cause a faster flight away from the state than this.

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

Mystery Car

Robert Emslie February 24, 2017 Mystery Car

Poof, and just like that, February is almost all over. Before we say goodbye to the month that never sticks around long enough for us to get to know, let’s give it up for the last Mystery Car for Feb. Make and model of the above if you please.

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