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Truck Thursday: Two Classic Jeeps – ’51 Willys and ’75 CJ-5

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I recently attended a local media event where Jeep showed off the new 2015 Renegade. The presentation was very nice, and as decor Jeep provided two classic models from a local enthusiast/collector. The silver-gray one is a 1951 Willys and the red one is a 1975 CJ-5. They are not 100% original, few things are these days, but both have been built and/or restored by their passionate owner.

Check out the pics after the jump.

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What Is Behind the Name of Your Car?

Kamil Kaluski August 27, 2014 All Things Hoon

mojo motos behind car name

The folks at Mojo Motors came up with another interesting infographic which deals with car model names. Specifically, they grouped many car model names in groups of: Location, Adventure, Nature, Cultural, Transportation, Power, Futuristic, Versatility, Speed, Musical, Human Names, and Technology.

Did they get them right? Is the Honda Prelude a musical or futuristic name? What about the Chevy Trailblazer, speed or adventure? Check out the full info image after the jump.

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Make this awesome Jeep bed!

Kamil Kaluski August 27, 2014 All Things Hoon

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Kid’s car beds have been around for a while and they vary from crap to awesome. This one seems to be push the needle toward the awesome side. Unfortunately you cannot buy it, but you can buy the instructions on how to make it!

Make a child’s off-road dreams come true with these Jeep bed plans. Includes 62 pages of detailed step-by-step instructions. Photos are of previously completed Jeep beds and a sample page from the instructions.

Designed for a twin sized mattress, this easy to build bed requires around $250 in material to make.

Sample of the directions is after the jump. My two year old son loves Jeeps, “peeps” as he calls them, and I’d love to have this for him. Unfortunately, I lack the skill to make it, but if someone wants to volunteer their mad wood working services to me, please, I’ll take on in military green.

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Wagon Wednesday: 1977 Polski Fiat 125p Kombi 4×4 Prototype

Kamil Kaluski August 27, 2014 Wagon Wednesday

Fiat 125p kombi 4x4 front

The problem with Eastern Bloc cars was not the lack of creativity or the skill of the their designers but rather political red tape. There were no budgets, no tooling, no R&D, no nothing. The engineers were told by clueless politicians to do this and that, and that was it. That didn’t stop those engineers from being creative and make lemonade from the rotten lemons that they had. While there were not many exciting new production vehicles, Poland’s FSO did have a few interesting prototypes, such as the above pictured 4×4 wagon.

FSO was making the Polski Fiat 125p kombi (wagon). Somehow, some way, the Warsaw factory managed to get a new Soviet Lada Niva, or at least parts thereof. Being that the Niva is based on a Fiat chassis, bolting up Niva’s 4×4 drivetrain was something that was probably rather simple. The end result was this awesome 4×4 wagon, an AMC Eagle-like creature. To say that I love this would be an understatement. Hit the jump for more pics.

All images came from Facebook’s Eastern Bloc cars group. Make to check it out and join.

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2015 Volvo XC90 – Square is Pretty

Kamil Kaluski August 26, 2014 The News!

2015 Volvo xc90 front

Volvo has been hyping up its new 2015 XC90 for quite some time, and with good reason as it is the first all-new vehicle from this maker in decades under its new Chinese owners. Furthermore, like the MDX for the Acura brand and countless other automakers who rely on their SUVs for daily bread and butter, this vehicle is extremely important to them, and they had to get it right.

Designing a proper CUV/SUV or a minivan is a lot more difficult than a sportcars, in my opinion. Simplify and add lightness does not really apply here (but it helps); comfort, space, access, functionality, maneuverability, economy, and cost are huge factors. And it has to look right, too! It has to look imposing but not offending, strong but not vulgar, it has to appeal to women and not repel men. To say that designing a modern SUV is challenging is an understatement. So, did Volvo get the XC90 right?

[Image source: Autoblog.nl]

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Phantom Z – the Datsun 240Z Shooting Brake

Kamil Kaluski August 25, 2014 All Things Hoon

ZCon2014-104_Datsun-240Z-Sport-Wagon

Yoshihiko Matsuo penned the first Datsun 240Z. What many don’t know was that he designed a whole series of Z cars, one of them being the above pictured 240Z Shooting Brake. The shooting brake obviously never made production but recently a ” Z restoration expert and owner of JDM Car Parts” created this custom car based on the original design.

Here at Hooniverse we love old Zs, as demonstrated by Rob’s project and Jeff’s cross-country drive. This vehicle, despite being a longroof, has some of scratching our heads. Thoughts? Opinions?

Source: Japanese Nostalgic Car

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VIDEO: Drifting M drifts Ms

Kamil Kaluski August 25, 2014 All Things Hoon

Drifiting M4

BMWs new M3s and M4s are now on sale. While neither Jeff nor I have not managed to get our grubby hands on one, we hear that they are amazing. In order to promote the car to its very specific market target, the enthusiasts, BMW has put out this little video. The making video included inviting current M owners and their cars for the very atypical video shoot. The results are amazing.

Related question: being that BMW is a multi-billion dollar company, and that the insurance and wavers were signed, would you still put your beloved car into potential harm’s way?

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Soviet Cars Living and Dying in Poland

russian cars living and dying in poland

World War II started on September 1st, 1939 with the German invasion of Poland, everyone remembers that from their high school World History class. What many may not remember is that in addition to the attack from the west, Poland was also invaded by the Soviet Union, under the direction of  Joseph Stalin, from the east, on September 17th. At the end of that September, Hitler famously said “Poland never will rise again in the form of the Versailles treaty. That is guaranteed not only by Germany, but also… Russia.”

Stalin would soon learn that he shouldn’t be making deals with the devil, as Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. Red-faced Stalin pushed back, switched sides, and in the end help to defeat the Axis Powers. In the process of Stalin’s flip-flops, 40 millions Russian lives were lost and millions of Polish people were either killed or forcibly transferred to effing Siberia. While victorious in the defeat of Germany, the Soviet Union never regained the trust of the western world. The potential of U.S. versus USSR war existed as early as May of 1945 and continued throughout the Cold War. Things are clearly different today (sarcasm).

Following the war, and the division of Europe, Poland fell under the control of the Soviet Union. The signing of the Warsaw Pact (comically called the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation, and Mutual Assistance) between the Russian-controlled Eastern European countries put Poland further behind the Iron Curtain. As if centuries of fighting were not enough, now the people of Poland had to deal with this communist bullshit for almost fifty years. Fed up with it, the fall of communism began in Poland in 1989. The Berlin Wall fell in 1990. The Soviet Union dissolved in 1991.

For those years when Poland was under Soviet control, it was limited to the kind of cars it could produce and import. Of course only cars from other Eastern Bloc countries were imported and sold. Today we look at the Soviet cars that are currently still living and dying on the streets of Poland. As always, all of the pictures were taken recently in Poland by the awesome readers of Zlomnik.pl, a site which them complies them into sort of a monthly V.I.S.I.T. post. Big thanks and much love to them!

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Fantasy Finds Friday: 2003 Unimog U500

Unimog fantasy

In the perfect world I would have a huge condo in a big city, a house on a beach, and another house in the mountains. That mountain house would be close to lakes for the summer, and ski resorts for winter fun. Naturally each house would have its own fleet: the city would have the Tucker, the winter house would have this Unimog, and something for the beach house.

I’ve been told that Unimogs are essentially tractors and I that they drive like them, too. Don’t matter to me, I think they’re super awesome and I have an unexplainable lust for them. It’s not often that one comes up for sale in the United States, so when it does ya gotta act on it. Since I’m a bit short of the $109,500 asking price, I am acting on it by writing this here post.

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New Conversion Vans Are Alive and Well

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The height of the vanning craze was somewhere in the late 1970s. By the late 1980s, like so many automotive trends, it dwindled down to a handful of companies that converted cargo vans into some of the best family vehicles. One of the first vehicles I ever drove on public roads was my family’s a ’91 Dodge Ram B-150 hightop. It served us well for many years, on many trips.

Nowadays families mostly stick to CUVs/SUVs and minivans. However, there is a van revolution going on that is easy to miss. Ford is ditching the E-series in favor of the Euro-flavored Transit, GM is killing of the 1500 vans, Chrysler sells re-badged Fiats as ProMasters, Nissan is in the game with big and small NV-series vans, and there’s everyone’s favorite Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. The few remaining conversion companies and taking notice and are already outfitting the new vans.

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