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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Two doors, two seats, fixed roof, and no hatch

I’m a big fan of grand touring automobiles. Those are usually luxury large coupes that were designed to swallow up miles while providing the driver and the passenger utmost comfort. Big engines, just enough room for you and yours, and the small amount of stuff two people may need for a weekend at a resort far away from home. 

But, I like my grand touring coupes in a certain specific way. First, I prefer two seats. The small useless rear seats bother me for some reason, I hate them. I also don’t love convertibles. I prefer fixed roof vehicles. And while I love hatches, I don’t want a hatch grand touring coupe. Hatches, while useful, add weight and may reduce structural strength. I also don’t think that they’re very classy. A coupe, by my own definition, is a sedan-like three-box shape but with two doors.

So today we are looking for two-passenger, two-door coupes, with a fixed hard roof, and no hatch. 

The Caveats (there are always caveats):

  • No rear- or mid-engine cars – a coupe, by my own definition, has the engine in the front. 
  • A model with rear seats deleted, such as the Mustang GT350R, doesn’t count. 
  • Just because you think a vehicle shouldn’t have rear seats (BRZ, Camaro) but has them, doesn’t count. 
  • A hatch is a cargo opening that has glass in it and/or hinges above the belt-line of the vehicle. 

Difficulty: 7.8 out of 8, harder than you think, I think. 

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates! Bonus points for adding photos.

Image: hagerty.com

Boston’s Art of the Automobile

Kamil Kaluski May 7, 2018 Car Shows

The Art of the Automobile, which corresponds with the city’s ArtWeek, for the third year in row kicked off New England’s outdoor Car Show Season. Limited to only 110 cars, the idea of this show was to present to the public a little bit from each segment of the whole car culture. Needless to say, if you love cars, there was something there you’d like. 

There were ten specifically procured art vehicles, including the lowest mileage ’48 Pontiac Woody know to exist and Briggs Cunningham’s personal driver Mercedes-Benz 6.3. And then there were the latest exotics, jacked up trucks, slammed and stanced rides, some modern classics, and some true classics. A little bit for everyone, indeed. 

Friend of the Hooniverse, Joshua Sweeney (some of his work here), made the above video. His additional pictures can be seen on the Art of Automobile Facebook page. 

A closer look at the Mitsubishi L300 4×4

Last December I started in a video review of an awful but not awful Fiat Cinquecento Sporting. The host of the video was a Polish automotive journalist Tymon Grabowski, also known as Zlomnik, which long time Hooniverse readers may be more familiar with. Now Mr. Zlomnik has made another video, that of a Mitshubishi L300 4×4. Unfortunately this video is in Polish, and by the request of his viewers, Mr. Grabowski talks as if he is John Moschitta Jr., but that is not how he typically talks. Fortunately, the video is subtitled in English for the rest of us.

The Mitsubishi L300 4×4 doesn’t really need an introduction. It’s a relatively small van with forward controls, mid-mounted engine, and a four wheel drive – a version of the Delica. Part camper, people hauler, and off-roader, this charming van has many of us wanting it. But, like everything, it has some downsides, such as parts availability, rust, speed, and safety. Zlomnik goes into details and then takes it down a dirt road. Enjoy. 

Mystery Car

Let’s mix things up a bit. We’d typically post a piece of a taillight, an odd angle of a hood, or a half broken piece of a fender trim. That was always enough for you hooligans to figure out what car it came off of. But this, this is a bit different. Make and model, please. 

The mystery car from two weeks ago (I had to take a week off) was identified relatively quickly, to my annoyance. See it below. 

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Spy Shots: Jeep Wrangler pickup – The Scrambler!

The new Wrangler is already a runaway success for Jeep. It alone will likely be responsible for keeping the lights on in Alfa Romeo and Fiat dealerships. But Jeep isn’t done with the two- and four-door version of the Wrangler. It is no secret that the Jeep pickup is coming. Even people who work for Jeep, who are trained to never discuss future products, are like “yea, the JL Wrangler pickup is coming for 2019, it will be build at old Toledo Supplier Park once it’s retooled from the JK…”

At this point they might as well just start driving the undisguised prototypes on the road because everyone knows what they will look like. But no, they insist on covering them up in that wanna be camo crap. Fine. Whatever. Here our other awesome spy photographer caught what looks like a Sport, or otherwise more base, model of the upcoming pickup. I am saying that based strictly on the fact that it’s wearing highway tires on black steel wheels. But…

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Quick Spin: 2019 Jeep Cherokee – New Face and New Power

Over the years, decades really, the Jeep Cherokee XJ is has developed a cult following and it is quickly becoming an icon. In a brand that has so many icons, and given its modest unibody setup and family-friendly purpose, that is quite an accomplishment. It’s unlikely that its replacement, the Jeep Liberty, will ever see the same kind of love. I would even bet that the hugely popular Grand Cherokee will never be that loved.

Jeep is aware of that XJ love. That is why they brought the Cherokee name back in 2014. But that new Cherokee didn’t receive the instant love that the brand executives may have been hoping for. In the world full of bubbly CUVs, the Cherokee was a bubbly SUV with a front-end that can be best described as striking. But the sales number, surely helped by the economy, were good, significantly outselling the Liberty.

For 2019 the Cherokee gets a refresh. The Cherokee design goes back from being striking to a more conventional and relaxed design, similar to those of the bigger Grand Cherokee and the new smaller Compass. And it also gets a new turbocharged engine. Will these changes yield more love for the iconic model name?

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Mystery Car

Kamil Kaluski April 20, 2018 Mystery Car

April 20th is an interesting day in history. But because it’s Friday and many of us are just damn tired, let’s ignore history and focus on the important things in life, such as solving today’s Mystery Car. Who needs history anyway, it’s not like the same things happen over and over again. Rules are the same as always, gimme the make and model. The winner gets everyone’s respect for an entire week, that good-happy feeling inside, and a mention in next week’s Mystery Car. 

Last week‘s winner is GTXcellent, who correctly identified the mystery vehicle as a Fiat Jolly. If you’re a long time Hooniverse reader you may remember this car from my Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance post from 2014. 

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Mystery Car

Kamil Kaluski April 13, 2018 Mystery Car

The Monday closest to April 19th is known as Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts, and I guess in Maine, too, as it was once part of Massachusetts. There are parades and the prestigious Boston Marathon is held. To be honest, it’s a good time to get out of state because you can go all the touristy places that are typically filled with tourists, except they’re not because everyone is working. I’ll be in New York City and New Jersey this weekend. 

The Patriots’ Day has absolutely nothing to do with today’s mystery car. I just wanted to brag that I have a day off and you probably don’t. That said, I wouldn’t want to drive today’s mystery car from Boston to New York city – it would be quite a misery. As usual, make and model, perhaps chassis configuration. 

Hit the jump to see what was last week’s mystery car. Some of you came close but no one really got it right. Geez, you people just aren’t that good with new cars. 

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Yakima racks now available at Toyota dealerships

Traveling light isn’t something many people do these days. With two kids and a wife who likes to bring everything where ever we go, I am the guy with the roof pack, bike rack, and the cargo area filled to the roof. But I am not the only one, far from it. Here in downtown Boston, roof packs are not only popular among skiers but many others who use their vehicle as temporary storage. Because now days we drive to places where we bike, as opposed to just going for a bike ride, and because our cars are filled with other crap, bikes racks are equally popular in the summer. Then there are those people who surf, kayak, or canoe. 

Point is, to move all this stuff around it’s best to strap it down onto the car. For years Yakima has been making all kind of roof and hitch mounted racks. Recently they even started making roof-top tents and cute little trailers. Chances are that if you use it, they can strap it down and move it.

But fitting the exact component to your vehicle is still the tricky part. For instance, the original roof pack I wanted did fit nicely on my 4Runner… until I tried to open the hatch. The spoiler thingy of top of the hatch that houses the rear wiper wouldn’t clear the pack. But if I had higher after-market cross-bars, it would work fine. Crazy, right? How many people actually know this?

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Spied! V8-powered AWD Dodge Challenger!

Despite its age, the sales of the Dodge Challenger are great. It frequently outsells its main competitors, the Mustang and Camaro. Combine those sales with the even higher sales of its sedan cousin, the Dodge Charger, and we’re talking about a lot of cars. Contributing to the Challenger’s popularity is the availability of an all-wheel-drive system – it’s the only muscle car such available.

I drove the AWD Challenger several times. First at a snow-covered karting track when it launched, and later on snow-covered streets. Each time I was impressed with its traction and winter handling, despite being shod with all-season tires. Still there was one thing lacking on this muscle car; actual muscle.

The AWD Challenger and Charger (excluding the V8 Charger cop car) are only available with a V6 engine and an eight speed automatic transmission. The Pentastar V6, with its 305 horsepower, is no slouch, but it’s no V8 either. And, damn it, call me old fashion, but I do believe that a proper muscle car must have a damn V8 under its hood.

And now, the V8 all-wheel-drive Challenger may be a thing…

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