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Hooniverse Asks: What’s the Funniest Family Car Name?

Robert Emslie February 21, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

The badge on the boot lid of the 1962-70 Iso Rivolta IR300/340 is, like every other aspect of the car, a thing of beauty. A chrome finished casting made up of two different but decidedly complementary scripts—a heavier italicized cursive for the Iso and a more delicate, almost art deco extrusion for the Rivolta—could be hung on an art gallery wall. Oh yeah, it’s true, the car is called a Rivolta, like in revolting.

Why would you saddle a car with such a name? Well because it’s a family name—Renzo Rivolta was the founder of Iso Autoveicoli S.p.A—and the fact is that the name didn’t have the same context in Italian as it does in English. We English speakers may stifle a giggle at the mere mention, but in Italy they hold Rivolta in great honor not just because of his sixties sports cars but also as the creator of the Isetta bubble car a decade earlier.   

Many a brand has carried the name of its builder or benefactor, and for every Ferrari or Chevrolet, there has been a Bizzarrini or Koenigsegg. Today we want to be a little childish and decide which of those family names has been the funniest ever applied to a car. I think even Porsche applies seeing as how no one can seemingly pronounce it correctly.

Image: DRIVE

Last Call: Drunk Decisions Edition

Robert Emslie February 20, 2017 Last Call

There’s only one acceptable explanation for having bought an old Range Rover…

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

Because it’s Monday: Let’s Watch Motorweek’s Pat Goss Go Rollerskating

The Maxton Rollerskate was the brainchild of Bob Sutherland, the owner of a chain of lumber yards in Colorado, and organizer of the Colorado Grand vintage road rally. Assembling a team—which included auto designer Michael Mate, SCCA race car engineer Ben van der Linden, and suspension builder, Garry Valler—Sutherland set out to build a modern interpretation of a lightweight sports car, something a little more than a Lotus 7, and a little less than that company’s Elan. The result looked like a melding of those two cars, with some Frogeye Sprite thrown in for good measure. Motivation was expected to come from Mazda’s compact rotary motor.

In this vintage clip from Motorweek we miss the avuncular John Davis, but do get master technician and beard aficionado Pat Goss getting a tour of the Rollerskate build process and a bit of time behind the wheel of the company’s prototype. The Rollerskate was a “component car” meaning that, for about twenty-grand Maxton supplied all of the parts for the car, less the engine, and then buyer would then be tasked with its assembly. Maxton rep Dan Ripley claims in the segment that an inexperienced builder could conceivably complete a car in fifty hours. I don’t know if that estimate includes bathroom breaks.

Sadly Maxton closed up shop over financial difficulties after building only about fifty-six component kits. That number included the one Motorweek assembled, and we can see that after the jump. … Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks: What Car Maker is a One-Hit Wonder For You?

Robert Emslie February 20, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

First off, let me apologize for the image of Robert Matthew Van Winkle up there. I know that may trigger some musical PTSDs for some people. I thought it was worth it however, to exemplify the musical genre that we want to extend today to the automotive world, that being one-hit wonders.

If you’re a fan of a particular automotive brand then you most likely admire a number of that marque’s products. You can be in love with Porsche’s various iterations of 911 and still not feel like you’re cheating by having an infatuation for 928s as well. If you’re a Mustang maven then there’s little chance you don’t also like the company’s GT40 too.

The question then arises, is there an auto company that, for you at least, has had only one model worth your love and affection? Are there any car makers out there that you consider to be… one hit wonders?

Image: LIB Magazine

Last Call: And a Card In The Spokes? Edition

Robert Emslie February 17, 2017 Last Call

I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to hear my pilot say over the intercom is “weeeeeeeee!”

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 February 17, 2017 Mystery Car

As if Friday wasn’t already awesome enough, here comes this week’s fantastic fun-time closer, the Mystery Car contest. Make and model of the above cropped contestant if you don’t mind.

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

Hooniverse Asks: Should McLaren Build a GT Car?

Robert Emslie February 17, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

British manufacturer McLaren has gained a reputation as an auteur of the sports car realm.  In less than a decade’s time they have transitioned from a one hit wonder—the amazing and now legendary F1—to a maker of a small line of cars that are held in the same regard as those from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche. That’s quite the achievement, especially as they seem able to sustain their momentum. Have you been taking notes, Lotus?

McLaren’s not calling it quits in the sports car melieu either. Their upcoming 650S replacement, the 720S is rumored to have a 4-litre V8 in its middle that will propel the car to sixty in well less than three-seconds. That’s some eyebrow-raising performance, but it will only be able to be experienced by the car’s driver and a single one that driver’s friends at a time. That’s too bad because it really limits McLaren’s audience to those who appreciate the ultimate in edge cutting. How might that translate into something a little more social?

Ferrari offers both rabid sportsters (witness the new 812 Superfast) and gentlemen GT cars, both designed to eat up the miles, but also both in different ways. If you need to cross a continent what would your preferred mode be—staccato sports car or capable grand tourer? And if Ferrari can capably do both, why can’t McLaren? Wouldn’t they sell the hell out of a GT car? I think so, but I’d like your take on the notion.

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

Last Call: Chequered Flag Edition

Robert Emslie February 16, 2017 Last Call

Just in case you ever wondered what a chequered flag does after a race, he goes home on public transit, just like the rest of us.

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: WarNet

Thursday Trivia

Robert Emslie February 16, 2017 Thursday 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:What two picnic favorites did automotive design legend Brooks Stevens influence?

If you think you know the answer, make the jump and see if you are right! … Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks: What is History’s Most Awesome Political Leader Car or Truck?

Robert Emslie February 16, 2017 All Things Hoon

Theodore Roosevelt was the first U.S. President to ride in an automobile (that’s what they called them back then) while in office. He was also the first sitting President to ride in an aeroplane. Ever since then, world leaders and automobiles have been inexorably linked as cars are generally seen as a status symbol of a nation’s manufacturing prowess.

The leaders of the Soviet Union had their ZILs, while the Brazilian President gets to roll in a ceremonial 1952 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, the lucky bastards. Here in America we cocoon our current Presidents in something called “the Beast” a GMC truck-based conveyance that, owing to its safety accoutrements, looks like a Cadillac drawn by a 4th-grader.

What we’re interested in today is your opinion on which world leader—past or present—got to have the sickest ride. What do you think, what is the most awesome political leader car or truck?

Image: Pinterest