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HCOTY Nominee: BlipShift 1975 Volvo C303

Volvo C303 Blipshift hcoty 2014

After day one of the 2013 New York Auto Show, Hooniverse and BlipShift had a party at a midtown tavern. We were all tired after a day of aimlessly walking around, taking pictures, sipping cappuccinos, checking out the cars (Jeff is no longer allowed to sit in any of MB’s G-class, Jaguar-Range Rover politely asked me stop referring to myself as James Fucking Bond, bitches), chatting up the product professionals (hi, beautiful Audi babe!), schmoozing with PR pros (“yes, I love the new Scion xB!”), discussing journalistic stuff with our journalists colleagues (“dude, your commenters suck!”), and actually writing stuff for the website (oh, pretty pics).

There, over a few beers, the two awesome dudes from BlipShift asked for suggestions about a promotional vehicle. They envisioned an ex-military off-roader, one that drew a lot of enthusiast attention, could be driven anywhere, and had space for a t-shirt cannon. We discussed the basics: Humvees, Jeeps, Land Rovers, Unimogs, and even Pinzgauers. I became their consultant on this project, whether they linked it or not, and I did pro bono – I had no choice.

Some time later, frequent commenter mzs zsm msz esq suggested that  I buy a eBay Volvo C303 as a replacement for my family Acura MDX. While equally brilliant and unrealistic for my personal use, I sent the link to the BlipShift guys as it was the perfect vehicle for them. They didn’t get the one from that eBay link but later on they found another C303 in Massachusetts on CraigsList. Following the 24 Hours of LeMans Halloween Hooptiefest, a race they finished behind a certain amazing Buick driven by not-so-amazing drivers, they went to look at that C303.

And they bought it!

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Japanese Cars Living and Dying in Poland – Part 2

A japanese cars living dying poland

Welcome to another episode of Cars Living and Dying in Poland, as seen through the eyes of Zlomnik.pl readers. Today we will once again look at Japanese cars. At first Japanese cars become known for being more affordable than their European counterparts, but soon people realized that they were made significantly better and lasted much longer. Their simple designs made them much easier to work on than some over-engineered European cars. Icing on the cake was superior fuel economy.

Before they were sold in Poland, they were imported by individuals, usually one by one for private use. This independent importation is what created such huge variety of Japanese cars on public roads. Because so many different models shared many parts, there was less fear about part availability and maintenance costs. For people who had to put up with unreliable and inefficient Eastern Bloc for decades, the reliable and affordable Japanese cars presented a huge sigh of relief.
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Land Rover Specialist Vehicles

Kamil Kaluski December 3, 2014 All Things Hoon

LR Defender armored

While casually browsing Land Rover’s UK site, I do those sort of things casually, I came upon a section called Specialist Vehicles. That intrigued me because sometimes I like to think/pretend/daydream that I am a specialist in a James Bond sort of way. Sometimes I tell me wife to call me James. I also happen to have thing for purpose built vehicles, even if I have no use for them in my typical 9-5 for life lifestyle.

It turns out that Land Rover cranks out many specialty vehicles right out of the factory, unlike American car companies that make vehicles and chassis which are then outfitted by aftermarket companies. Armored vehicles, ambulances, military/defense, and utility vehicles are just a trip to the dealer away. Everything can be found on this site here, just scroll down a bit.

I would love to have the 130 Chassis Cab Mobile Maintenance Defender as a 24 Hours of LeMons support/tow vehicle. And a narc armored 110 wagon, just because. And a MIL-spec pickup truck. It’s a shame that Land Rover is killing the Defender production. Let’s hope its replacement is half as versatile, if it is even planned.

For Sale: Turner Motorsport BMW M3 GS Racer

Kamil Kaluski December 2, 2014 Motorsports

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Looking for a track worthy bimmer? This one should do.

This Grand Sport racer, in its iconic yellow and blue Turner livery, is for sale. Driven by Bill Auberlen, Paul Dalla Lana, in 2011 it captured drivers’, team and manufacturer’s Championships in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge GS class.

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Craigslist: 1994 Land Rover Defender 90 with Chevy Power

d90 350

It’s Friday afternoon of a really busy/long week. I decided to take a mental break from the world by opened up Craig’s List with the hopes of finding a decently priced something, anything. I typed “land” into the search and viola, another over-priced Land Rover Defender 90 poped up. I’m reading the description and I’m like “Oh, ‘a Chevrolet 350 (5.7L) Vortec has been installed and mated to a NV4500 5 speed transmission’, the hoons need to see this!”

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West German cars living and dying in Poland – Part 2

A feature german cars in poland

The world has recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I cannot think of any single more striking difference between Western Bloc and Eastern Bloc countries than cars. Cars are something everyone sees everyday, they tell of our tastes and finances more than any jewelry, clothing, or home can. Just seeing the contrasts between East German Wartburgs and West German Volkswagen tells you which people are better off.

Today we take another look at West German cars that are presently living and dying in Poland. I included all Fords in this as Ford European HQ are located in Germany, despite the cars being manufactured all over. As always all pictures come courtesy of readers of the awesome Polish Zlomnik.pl website. Enjoy.

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Video: FSO Polonez made from LEGO Technic

FSO Polonez LEGO

Almost three years ago Santa brought me the LEGO Technic Unimog. This absurdly awesome vehicle was absurdly challenging to complete, especially when working with a five six seven year old on it. I still need to finish the crane and the winch on it.

It therefore amazes me when someone is capable of building anything original from LEGO Technic, especially something that resembles an actual vehicle. The above pictured FSO Polonez (early model)  is a lot more than just a pretty face. Its doors, hood, and hatch open, its wheels steer with the steering wheel, it has full suspension, and it has the typical LEGO engine and transmission.

But in addition to all of that, this Polonez is also radio controlled! My gawd, I NEED this!!! The holidays are around the corner and I’ve a good-ish boy, so Santa, if your fat ass is real,… please, pretty please?

See the whole car in detail after the jump.

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Car Talk Special – Ray remembers his brother Tom

Kamil Kaluski November 7, 2014 All Things Hoon

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Tomorrow, Saturday, November 8th 2014, Ray Magliozzi will host a special episode of Car Talk on NPR. In this special one-hour show Ray will remember his brother who passed away last Monday from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. The show will not be a teary farewell to Tom but rather reflection on the funniest parts of Tom’s thirty years of broadcasting.

Regarding the details of how/when to listen, Car Talk Facebook Page says:

Many stations will be airing it in the regular Car Talk time slot, but check your local station listings for a definitive answer. We’ll also be streaming it on our website on Saturday starting around 2pm EST (www.cartalk.com), and a podcast will be available.

 

Adventures in Hooning an FSO Polonez

Kamil Kaluski November 6, 2014 All Things Hoon

IMG_1367 (Custom)

Few weeks back I was in Poland for a few days to visit family and take care of some personal stuff. One day my cousin Darek came to pick me up in his ’98 FSO Polonez Atu to take me to my uncle’s, his father’s, country home for dinner and Darek’s sister’s eighteenth birthday party. Darek, being a handy 27-year-old knows his way around cars and all things mechanical, is keeping the Polonez around not because he needs to but because he wants to – he simply likes it, but he is also dreaming of a used 135i.

Since my visit there three years ago he converted the Polonez to run on gas (LPG? I’m not sure), added fancy BBS wheels, and has been fighting off rust. In the above picture he’s not exactly posing, but rather is covering the rusted door with his body.

Anyway, he picks me up, and like any young-ish man, drives a little too fast. When we get onto one of the new, wide, freeway-like roads that are popping up around Poland these days, he really guns it!

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Tom Magliozzi of Car Talk, dies at the age of 77

Tom Magliozzi

NPR reports that Tom Magliozzi of Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, hosts of the popular radio show Car Talk has passed away at the age of 77 due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Our condolences go out to Magliozzi family and their many close friends.

The Magliozzi brothers have retired in 2012 but their very funny car talk show is still being played on NPR. Please see a very nice tribute piece written by Craig Fitzgerald at Bestride.com. Those that never heard the show, should. It’s funny and entertaining, but the bottom line is that these guys know their stuff and always managed to offer good advise to callers with limited automotive knowledge.

 

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