Thunderhill 25 Road Trip

Jim Yu December 9, 2014 Hooniverse Goes To...


On Sunday, I decided to make the two-hour trek up to Thunderhill to check out the 25 hour race put together by NASA. To prepare myself, I studiously listened to Bradley and Eric’s informative podcast on the race and filled up the Volvo’s tank with Venezuela-crushingly cheap gasoline. Make the jump to see the automotive oddities I discovered on the way there and back. … Continue Reading

A Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkey: Rent-A-Wreck Nissan Sentra


It was Thanksgiving, 2009. My wife and I were visiting my mother, who had retired and moved to Maui. Visiting her a couple of times a year, every year, was draining my wallet. Being the financial genius, I decided to save some money and got a rental car from a place similar to Rent-A-Wreck. I ended up with this purple Sentra.The car smelled of cigarette smoke. Salt stains from countless surfers smudged the torn-up cloth upholstery. It was a hot mess, squared. But I was proud of saving $15 a day, compared to a new car from the airport rental place. … Continue Reading

Martini-Liveried Volvo V50 T5


I just added five horsepower to the wagon. As you may recall, I wanted to liven up the appliance white wagon. The good people at Stolzfahren sent me a 20″ long Martini stripe. Make the jump to see the install process.

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Hooniverse Drives over 8 San Francisco Bay Area Bridges in One Day

Jim Yu September 22, 2014 Hooniverse Goes To..., Road Trip


As someone who likes to cross items off of lists, I have always wanted to drive over all eight San Francisco Bay Area bridges in one go. This “accomplishment” is relatively easy to do, but no one has ever gotten in their car to properly document the experience. This is where I come in. Make the jump to see how I spent one weekend morning. … Continue Reading

Hooniverse Goes to Monterey (Day 2): Astons to Zagatos


That there is no mere Maserati Biturbo. It’s a maxi version called the 228. The execs at Maserati, in their infinite wisdom, built 469 of these between 1987 and 1991 to compete with the likes of the Mercedes 300CE, BMW 635CSi, and the Bertone Volvo 780. This being Hooniverse, I focused my Saturday down in Monterey on the unusual, the obscure, the Hoontastic. Make the jump to see the unusual, the obscure, and the Hoontastic. You won’t be disappointed. … Continue Reading

Hooniverse Goes to Monterey (Day 1): Aventador, Jackie Stewart, Laguna Seca


I can report to you that Day 1 of my Monterey jaunt was a smashing success. I got to drive a V12 Lamborghini, saw three-time F1 champion Sir Jackie Stewart, and spotted hundreds of rare and lust-worthy automobiles. It was a perfect day. Make the jump to see why Monterey Car Week is every car nut’s dream destination. … Continue Reading

Shipping Cars to Central Asia and Beyond


Used cars are shipped to other countries. We hold this truth to be self-evident. We all know this happens on a daily basis, but what are the cars being exported, where are they going, and what is the process like? The good people at West Coast Shipping near the Port of Oakland opened their doors and let me take a fascinating peek inside their busy operation. If you are a fan of cars, geopolitics, or freight logistics, then you are in for a treat. Make the jump to see what I saw and learned.

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Our Cars: 2006 Volvo V50 T5 6M

Jim Yu July 7, 2014 All Things Hoon


Finally. After a 14-month carless drought, I finally found a proper ride. Meet my new-to-me 2006 Volvo V50!

After selling my Phaeton, I was looking for a totally different car to replace it. It could not be a gas guzzler. I was in the proverbial doghouse with my green wife when she discovered that I was getting 12 mpg running errands around town in the big VW. We also got a dog, so I wanted a wagon. A manual transmission was not an absolute requirement, but was definitely preferred. Finally, the car had to be rare. Make the jump to see how I came to find this low-mileage Volvo and my initial driving impressions.

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Truck Thursday: The Trucks of Alaska’s Dalton Highway


A couple of weeks ago, I took a van trip up Alaska’s Dalton Highway to the Arctic Ocean. The Dalton, also known as the Haul Road, parallels the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and was made famous by the TV show Ice Road Truckers. I saw many pieces of unusual heavy machinery, like this Euclid B70 dump truck.

My ride was a Ford Econoline E350 with the V10 Triton. It transports people, bicycles, and canoes up and down the Dalton. My round trip fare was $500. Coincidentally, this van burns $500 of fuel for the round trip between Fairbanks and Deadhorse (1,000 miles total). Since the road was mostly gravel (and mostly rough gravel), we rarely exceeded 40 miles per hour. The steepest grade was 12%, at the Atigun Pass.

Make the jump to see more.

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