Carbon-fiber floor mats are a thing now

Kamil Kaluski October 25, 2018 All Things Hoon

Apparently carbon-fiber floor mats are thing now. Porsche will sell you a set for your 911 for only $1240. This is a fantastic weight-reducing accessory that will surely improve your laps times, just like the carbon-fiber trim around your radio does. And these have leather edging so that they’re both lightweight and tastefully match the leather covered air vent slats ($1200) and the leather covered fuse box cover ($390). 

Let’s think about this. Did someone, somewhere said “I love my floor-mats but the weight of them just kills my laps times, if there was some way of making them lighter?”

If the weight of the floor mats was somehow really an issue, most people would just, you know, remove the damn floor mats. But not Porsche and certainly not the Porsche enthusiasts. They made carbon-fiber floor mats. Floor mats, per their basic design, are suppose to be easily replaceable items, protecting the pricey not-easily-replaceable floor carpeting from whatever is on the bottom of your shoes. I doubt the whole carpet costs as much as these floor mats, even at Porsche prices. 

Build your own Porsche and share other absurd things you find.

Hooniverse Asks: Oil Undercoating?

Kamil Kaluski October 25, 2018 All Things Hoon

I own a Toyota. One issue with Toyotas is that Toyotas seem to rust at an accelerated rate. I happen to live in New England where sometimes we have more salt on the ground than snow. I recently took a gander underneath my 50,000 mile rig and almost regurgitated my muffin and coffee. It looked bad but it didn’t seem structural. Like so many Craigslist ads say, surface rust only. Still, I’m not feeling good about that. 

I have heard some positive things about oil-based undercoating. It’s gets sprayed on and protects the chassis. It’s not permanent, needs annual re-do’s, but doesn’t damage anything no matter where it is sprayed. But most of this came from the companies that do this sort of thing and not from the vehicle owners. Has anyone done this? If so, what were the results? Thanks. 

Image: Oil Undercoating of NH INC

Visiting the Maserati Factory Showroom in Modena

My summer family trip to us to Italy this year. After four days in Rome, we headed north to Tuscany in a rented Fiat van. It’s beautiful there, those that have not been must absolutely go. Ruins, old cities, fantastic landscapes, and some of the most amazing food and wines in the world. If planned carefully and in advance, it isn’t very pricey, either. AirBnB is the key to lodging.

Aside from the Piaggio museum, which I totally missed, there are not many vehicle-related things there. But three hours north, in Bologna, there are a few automotive-related things to see. There are a few museums in the cities of Modena, Maranello, and Sant’Agata Bolognese. There is a fairly known race track, too – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in San Marino.

My idea was to leave Siena, where we resided,with my daughter and my sister-in-law’s boyfriend, at 5:30am. We’d visit all those places, and be back in Siena at a relatively reasonable time. It was an ambitious plan which required careful planning and a tight schedule. And it was almost successful. We made to all the museums but had to skip Autodromo.

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Hooniverse Asks: What’s the first car you’d buy if you won the $1.6B jackpot?

Kamil Kaluski October 24, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

There was one winning ticket sold for last night’s record setting $1,600,000,000.00 Mega Millions lottery jackpot. Congrats to the winner, hopefully it is one of our readers. Our obvious question is, what is the first vehicle you buy when you have that much, or even half of it after taxes, at your disposal? 

Please note, it’s not how many Porsches, which Konnesseigssuit, or which car company. The question is, what is the first vehicle you buy? As in, a daily driver, something to drive to the places where you buy your other hundred crappy cars and potentially have to trailer them back to your new garage warehouse. 

I thought about it a little too long. I’d want something comfortable. Something quick and fun. But I’d want something that’s not ostentatious. Last thing I’d personally would want is additional attention when I have a billion dollars burning a hole in my pocket. My first thought was a Range Rover but then I realized that I’m kind falling out of love with them. The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk would be a damn good choice but it’s getting kinda long in the tooth.

And then it hit me – the Ford Raptor. It’s quick, fun, comfortable, and relatively understated. I totally surprised myself that the first vehicle I’d buy when I got super-rich overnight would be a pickup truck. 

Ford Raptor: The Baja blaster supreme is better than ever

Craigslist: Classic Suburban Camper with LS Power for #OverlandingLife

Kamil Kaluski October 23, 2018 For Sale

I saw the link to this vehicle in one of my #socialmedia feeds. At first I was “meh, another jalopy modified by a stoned hippy who had too many brownies”. Then I took a closer look and was kind of blown away. Right away I started checking the couch cushions for the forty grand I may have accidentally dropped and forgotten about.

Based on a 1990 Suburban 1500, someone integrated an old camper top into the Suburban body. But they seemed to have done it really well. Then, they have spent considerable effort outfitting this contraption. Finally, the rig itself was updated with a modern LSx V8 and proper electrical upgrades. And a lift kit, too. Holy…

If one day I suddenly disappear, don’t worry about me. Know that I am happy because I am driving this vehicle somewhere far away from civilization. It’s not like I have this planned out or anything…

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Hooniverse Asks: Can we stop with retro styling now?

Kamil Kaluski October 19, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

I saw this 2002-ish Thunderbird on my drive this morning. It had the optional hardtop with a port window. I never liked it. It was never fast, it never handled well. It was at a period when Ford was trying to be European but failing. And I always thought it was ugly. There was also the New Beetle, the Mustang, Chevy HHR and SSR, PT Cruier, and a few others. All styled to reflect classic lines of their corporate ancestors and not much else to show for it. 

Can we stop that now? Can we kill this trend? Can we design something that’s new, modern, and elegant without looking all modern bubbly? 

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the one car you love but will never buy?

Kamil Kaluski October 18, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

There are so many cars that I want but that I know better then to actually buy them. The Land Rover LR4 is one of those. I liked it a lot when I reviewed it but I just know that it is a horribly bad idea to buy a used one, especially now when most of them are off warranty. Every time I see one, the want is strong. I can say the same thing about Corvettes, Miatas, large pickups, and many other European cars but for different reasons. I’m old and I’ve learned some things over the years. Yet I have a Lada, go figure. 

So what vehicle would you love to own but you know that you never will?

Settrington Cup – Real Racing(TM) in vintage pedal cars at Goodwood

Kamil Kaluski October 17, 2018 Goodwood

Goodwood is all about cars. But we must recall our younger years when many of us were already car enthusiasts yet we were years away from being able to drive. Some of us wanted to design cars, others to restore or customize them. Others just wanted to race. Settrington Cup is the Goodwood race in vintage pedal cars for children ages six through nine. The starts off with a classic LeMans running start to the cars and then, well, just see for yourself. 

These basic vintage pedal cars can be bought for around £600 in the UK. But racing is never cheap and competitive race-ready vintage pedal cars can reach as much £5000. The fact that Settrington Cup has become hugely popular since its inaugural race in 2012 has driven the prices of these cars up. 

V.I.S.I.T.: Off-roady BMW X5

The annual Topsfield Fair is America’s oldest fair. This year it celebrated its 100th anniversary. There were crappy rides, fatty and sugary foods, interesting shows, and cheap prizes. There was also the biggest pumpkin, livestock, horses, and human cannonball guy. All typical fair stuff. Because I have kids I have to endure this misery every year. 

After an hour of creeping at 0.2mph to a $10 parking spot a mile from the entrance, I spotted the most interesting thing I would see that day. It was a modified BMW X5. But it was modified for the purposes of off-roading. The most unusual thing was the [very] high clearance front bumper with a winch. 

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Hennessey’s Jeep Trackhawk kills the quarter mile in 9.66 seconds

Kamil Kaluski October 15, 2018 All Things Hoon

I drove the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk some time ago and I loved it. It’s a ridiculously powerful SUV and its all-wheel-drive system makes it, in my opinion, the best of the Hellcat vehicles. Bone stock it kills the quarter mile in 11-something seconds – your results may vary. 

Hennessey, known for a lot of things including making cars faster, has made the Trackhawk even faster. They opened the engine are replaced pistons, rods, and the camshaft. They ported the cylinder heads and added long tube stainless steel headers. On top of the block is a huge 4.5L supercharger. On 109 octane unleaded fuel and 22 psi of boost pressure, the HPE1200, as they call it, produces 1003 hp and 892 lb-ft of torque at the wheels. Call it 1200hp at the crank. 

That is enough to send this 4500+ pound SUV, on Nitto 555R drag radial tires on all four wheels, from zero to 60mph in 2.3 seconds. It killed ¼ mile time of 9.66 seconds @ 145 mph. That is brutally fast. It’s borderline hypercar territory. Except this is a comfortable SUV. No word on how fast it would be on pump gas or if it is emissions legal. 

Hennessey is only making 24 of these HPE1200 Trackhawks. The price is $179,000, which includes a new 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. 

Review: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk – The Best Hellcat?