Sneaking into SEMA

Hooniverse November 27, 2017 All Things Hoon

I Snuck into SEMA and All I Got Were 3 Shirts, a Bunch of Lanyards, Some Stickers, and Great Memories…

[Editor’s Note: We don’t condone sneaking into SEMA. But… if someone is going to do it, we’ll hear their story. This is one of those stories.]

Every year the auto industry descends on the quaint desert oasis of Las Vegas, Nevada to throw a party disguised as a car show. It’s done in the only way we really know how to do things here — big, excessive, garish, and a little absurd. But at its heart, SEMA is a trade show for the automotive aftermarket, and I’ve even heard claims that business actually happens at the show. But I have no business there. As an enthusiast with a paltry social media following (and a physical therapist by trade), I’m the type of person they’re trying to keep out. I am the final consumer that clogs up the aisles taking pictures and swag. Despite my non-industry status, I’ve managed to find my way in every year since I moved to Las Vegas in 2010… but it is not getting any easier.

Last year, my go-to source of easily acquiring the coveted official badge to enter the show (which I cannot disclose here for obvious reasons) was starting to dry up. I knew I would have to scramble a little this year. My dad asked if I could get an extra pass for him. I was totally confident and jumped at the opportunity to spend a few days hanging out with him and sharing our common passion. Getting a badge to SEMA, however, is a bit like dealing in the black market. You can usually get what you need if you know where to look (and if you can pay). I eventually found someone who said she could get me two passes through her shop, for a price. Things looked promising until about ten days before the show when I was, as the kids say, ghosted.

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Hoonigan Club Days: Currie Enterprise Jeep Fest 2016


[Friend of Hooniverse Josh Ostrander was on hand to help out with the past few Hoonigan Club Day events. Here’s a bit of insight into the most recent one, which featured a whole bunch of Jeeps.]

When going to a Hoonigan Club Day event, there are always three things on which you can count. These are rad builds, burnouts, and dogs. The most recent Saturday club day had all three in spades. Hoonigan partnered with Currie Enterprises and Get Right Offroad to bring you Jeep Fest 2016.

What showed up? We had everything from a nearly stock Cherokee to V8-swapped JK’s. There were full tube-frame chassis race rigs and even a lone defiant Toyota managed to find a spot in the meet. All told, we saw 80 vehicles show up before countless more were turned away due to space constraints. Despite a small issue with the fire department (which later came back to take photos of their own), the meet went off without a hitch.

This was by far the best of the four events put on so far. Don’t get me started on mustang day. There’s a new bar for all Hoonigan Club Days from now on thanks to the awesome people happy to answer questions about their builds or just chat about Jeeping in general.

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Weekend Video Edition: Down to a T with a Ford Model T


[Ed. note: This article has been penned by guest writer, Matt Harvey from mattonmotors.com –Antti ]

Before I get to the main story permit me to get a tiny bit autobiographical. Bear with me, it’s relevant.

When I was 8 I took the exam to win a scholarship to the school my Mum wanted to send me to. I passed and as a reward I was presented with a huge glossy tome full of hundreds of photographs entitled “The Encyclopedia of the Motor Car”. I loved it, treasured it.

One section was devoted to custom stuff. It contained dragsters and Chevy vans with lurid paint jobs and beds in the back for… well, y’know. One image, however, really caught my eye. Some mad bugger had taken a British milk float, a battery powered truck for delivering your daily dose of calcium and vitamins, dropped in a big V8 and given it a purple flake paint job.

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Thursday Submission: 9-2x is a Swede of All Trades

saab 9-2x saabaru road trip
Car enthusiasts are often forced to compromise in certain areas in order to live with the vehicle that they love. Usually those compromises are things like reliability, efficiency, or trunk space. Enthusiast cars tend to be a master at one or two things. This is a story about a jack of all trades, but really, a master of none.
[Reader Stephen Rubke Sends us this story of putting his 9-2x through an automotive triathalon – Ed]

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What the hell is a Honda Formuling?
A Hooniverse Team Investigation

Hooniverse August 31, 2015 All Things Hoon

honda formuling

It all started with a simple email… “Just came across this odd Honda roadster on kijiji.  Claims to be made in Ontario”. There’s a link in the email that goes to a Kijiji listing for a 1979 Honda Formuling. We’ve never heard of it.

This is how we figure out what the hell we’re looking at…

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Happy 4th of July from The Hooniverse

Happy 4th of July from all of us here at Hooniverse. Stay safe, have fun, enjoy your weekend… oh and shred some tires if you have the chance. It’s what George Washington would do.

[Burnout courtesy of our own Jason Connor]

Submission Thursday: Magnificent Seven Ride


[Ed. note: This wonderful Austin Seven was driven by Matthew Harvey.]

It’s the last day in May, just a few weeks from Midsummer’s Day, but here in the wilds of Cumbria the weather is typically British. Summer is officially on strike. The sun is picketed by remorseless grey lumps hogging its warmth like stubborn trades unionists clustered round a brazier, unyielding and unrelenting.

The clouds may not be waving placards but the persistent drizzle is circumventing our collars. It’s dripping down our necks and sending shivers down our spines as Shop Stewards crying “All out!” must have done to British Leyland’s management in the 1970s.

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Submission Thursday: Balkanized, Part 2


[Ed. note: Continuation from Balkanized, Part 1. If you haven’t read the first part by Matt Harvey, I recommend you do that immediately. Photos by Darjan Platinovšek –Antti]

Ivan and his new chums climb away out of sight and the burble of their engines dwindles to nothing. For a few seconds there is silence, not a breath of breeze to sully it as we drink in the landscape. Only a few seconds. We still have a good distance to go before we get to our digs just south of Rijeka with an hour and a half until sunset, just enough time to milk this road dry.

Pulling back onto the tarmac we resume the descent alphabetically, Audi first, BMW second, clear air in third. A few more bends and short straights and Darjan spots another lay-by, this time right on the apex of a sharp left-hander but with the promise of rewarding vistas. I slow as hard as I dare, mindful of the sticky master cylinder a few metres behind before easing the A4 over a lip onto an oval of gravel the size of a tennis court.

Aleš tucks in next to us as we reach for phones and cameras to scan the horizon and the islands in between and capture a few slices of the view. Shunning selfies, Darjan grabs his tripod from the trunk and declares it’s time for a group shot as I realize my right foot is resting on a boulder about 18” high. Rock Woollarding it is then! He sets the timer and jogs over to take position before the shutter clicks…

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Submission Thursday: Balkanized


[The following travelogue is a snapshot from a recent roadtrip in Croatia, and the penmanship and photography is by the inimitable Matt Harvey. Additional photos by Ales Zorko. -Antti]

We leave the highway at Karlovac about twenty minutes outside of Zagreb, taking the road south towards the Plitvička National Park. We’re a ragtag little convoy comprising a Croatian on a Kawasaki ER-6N, a wild, nomadic Finn and a Slovenian in a restored ’89 BMW 325i Touring with yours truly and another Slovenian in a 2004 Audi A4 1.9 TDi that has uprated brakes, suspension, sticky tyres and an engine remap. Like I said – ragtag.

It is the Sunday of the May Day holiday weekend, and so of course the roads are packed. While most of the traffic is heading home and therefore in the opposite direction, it still means overtakes are few and far between. The presence of the nimble bike up front able to radio back to the cars makes little difference; a stubborn native in a red van is slowing us to truly pedestrian speeds except on the straights where he boots it. The bastard.

Mid-afternoon and we pull over in Rastoke, a pretty spot with waterfalls and a bar perched on the edge of the river gorge. We stretch legs and take on fluids. “Don’t worry,” our Croatian host assures us, “It’s going to get better, in a little while.”

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The Perfect European Sports Car: Ford Mustang V6 Convertible


[The intrepid backpacker, Frankiess recently paid a visit to Florida. Here’s his two cents of his (non-Ecoboost, duh) rental vehicle of choice. -Antti]

You’ve heard it all before. Europeans make the only true sports cars. Europe has the best small twisty roads and the best chassis engineers on the planet. And the Nürburgring! Every decent sports car is European.

Americans, on the other hand, build huge landbarges with boat engines, truck chassises and give them the moniker of a “sports car” because it’s a good marketing term.

This is an undeniable fact, and everyone knows this.

.. Right?

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