Dreams of Range Rover Travels

It might be the monotony of my everyday life or the fact that I am very quickly approaching my magical forty year mark on this planet. Perhaps it’s being deeply envious of Zach Bowman’s odyssey or missing my own overland adventures. Whatever the reason, I often find myself dreaming of driving deep into the unknown, and sometimes the known. My choice of vehicles varies on the destination. The other day I wanted to drive a RAM Power Wagon from my home in Boston to Fairbanks, Alaska. My choice of a vehicle to drive from Amsterdam to Siena was a Porsche 911 Targa. And the list goes on.

It turns out that I’m not the only such dreamer – Land Rover people dream, too. This is probably why they hired some renowned photographer named Jonas Bendiksen, gave him a Range Rover Autobiography, and sent him on a road trip from Oslo to the Dovre Mountains and Geiranger fjords. The result is some amazing photography. What I want to point out is that Range Rover is only used as a tool here. The point of this was not to show the vehicle in some nice scenery but rather to show that a vehicle can take us to see such amazing scenery.

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Why is Clarkson wearing ladies’ high heel shoes?

Kamil Kaluski December 6, 2016 All Things Hoon

high-heels, the grand tour, clarkson, conversation street

The cheeky segment of The Grand Tour called Conversation Street starts of with a cute little intro of the three hosts sitting on bar stools, waving their arms around, presumably conversing and making their own pointless points. That is all well and good except for one thing – Jeremy Clarkson’s shoes.

Jeremy, who is 6’5″ tall, is known for wearing flat shoes on the show. Flat shoes likely make driving exotic easier and reduce his height advantage over Hammond. But I can’t help notice that in this intro Clarkson is wearing what look like ladies’ fuck me pumps.

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Video: Lada 2104 with 420HP SR20DET Swap

I am in the middle of preparing (I’m using that word loosely) my Lada 2107 for 24 Hours of Lemons race (I’m using that word loosely). For that reason I am doing a ton of research (I’m using that word loosely) on easy modifications and upgrades.

Today I found this video. It’s a Lada 2104, which is the wagon version of 2105. The difference between 2105 and a 2107, like my own, is the grill and some other interior bullshit. Essentially, these are the same vehicles. Except that this wagon has Nissan’s SR20DET swapped in. And then the engine is tuned to healthy 420 horsepower at the rear wheels. In a car that weights 2152 pounds, that a recipe for fun!


The Use of Magnesium in Automobiles – Corvette Fender-Bender Leads to a Meltdown


Pictured above are remains of a sixth generation (2005 – 2013) Chevrolet Corvette Z06. The vehicle was involved in what was described as a minor fender-bender on I-90, also known as the Massachusetts Turnpike, in Newton, Massachusetts, on June 13, 2016. No one was hurt and the other car had trim damage and was drivable. Likewise, the Corvette seemed to have sustained just minor damage until its owner noticed an under-hood fire.

In design of the C6 Z06 several weight saving measures were taken to lower its curb weight, most significantly a switch to an aluminum frame. Floors were made of balsa wood and carbon-fiber composite. Under the hood, the Z06 had a huge 7.0-liter LS7 engine with a dry-sump oiling system. To lower the weight in the front of the vehicle, under the engine, the front sub-frame was made out of magnesium.

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Video: Why So Many American Wrecks Are Exported

Kamil Kaluski November 25, 2016 All Things Hoon

A number of auto repair videos like this one have recently gone viral. They’re made by man in Eastern Europe, I assume Lithuania but I could be wrong. He seems to be able to pull off all kinds of auto body repair miracles. The videos are really interesting and some of the before and after transformations are truly amazing.

Many of the cars seen in these videos seem to be purchased in North America and send to eastern Europe for repairs and eventual sale. This is fairly common in Poland, too. American dealers buy wrecked, salvaged titled, cars in the U.S. and then ship them for repairs and sale in eastern Europe. The cars come out looking really good and most buyers wouldn’t know that they were wrecked if they’re not told so. Given the fact that the repaired cars sell for much less money that their domestic market never-wrecked counterparts, it makes financial sense that a lot of people buy them.

But there is a major problem here. The video shows clear damage of many integral parts: floor, sub-frames, firewall, rocker panels, sub-frame, roof, and roof pillars. The front right impact transferred the energy throughout the vehicle, all the way to left rear, via the floor and the roof. Because of that, the whole chassis is twisted as the repair video shows. In other words, this car was fucked and should have been scrapped.

The repair video shows how all of the chassis parts were pulled, straightened, and re-welded. The passenger-side shock tower and the lower portion of the A-pillar came from a donor vehicle, which itself was wrecked but presumably beyond repair. The floor and the roof are hammered out flat. In the end, body panels off another wrecked 2-series are installed. The video concludes by saying that all panels are installed and properly aligned. The vehicle is in clear need of an engine, interior, and a ton of trim.

Automakers design their vehicles to absorb and dissipate the energy from an impact. This is why there are so many parts on this car that were bent and twisted. The problem here is that this vehicle will never again have that the same strength and ability to absorb this energy again. Automakers design their vehicle for a single impact, with all priority going to protect the occupants. Pulling bent steel parts to their original shape greatly reduces their strength. Adding on new material or welding it in the wrong places may cause other issues.

In North America and in western Europe, a vehicle wrecked like this would never be allowed back on the road and with good reason. It is simply wrecked beyond the point of a safe and proper repair. The cars being sold in the U.S. with a salvage titles are probably marked that way with a good reason, and yes, there are many exceptions. But this bimmer? Well, would you put your family in it?

Turkey Quick Spin: 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT


When the small, three-cylinder, Mitsubishi Mirage was introduced in 2014 it got mixed reviews. Some hated it, others said that it was exactly what was expected – a basic, low priced, and fuel efficient automobile. The biggest thing the Mirage had going for it was the fact that it was a brand new car, with warranty, priced under $13,000 and actually selling for a lot less than that.

For reasons unknown, the Mirage took model year 2016 off – it simply was not available. Despite that, its sales have remained steady, which is shocking. The vehicle underwent some surgery and came back refreshed for 2017 with new trims and a sedan brother known as Mirage G4.

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The Grand Tour Premiers Tonight!

Kamil Kaluski November 17, 2016 All Things Hoon


The day has come, and for reasons we cannot possibly comprehend, it came one day early. Tonight at 7:00pm eastern time and even earlier on the west coast, at 4:00pm pacific time, The Grand Tour premiers on Amazon Prime Video, as reported by Jalopnik. Clarkson, May, and Hammond are back!

It was March 8th, 2015 that we last saw these three idiots together. Following much drama and speculation, the trio reunited with their producer from Top Gear, Andy Wilman. Given what seems line an unlimited budget and a comfortable schedule, the show is sure to be good and not at all like Top Gear.

Last night I made sure that I was properly logged into my Amazon Prime Video account on my smart-ish TV. By coincidence the cable guy was over to upgrade my cable box and modem and check all the connections. I informed my wife that right after the kids go to bed, around 8:30pm, I need an hour free of any interruptions. No conversations, no discussions, no planning, no cleaning, no laundry, no budgeting, no nothing, not even sweet sexy time. NOTHING! All I asked for was fucking hour! In fact I told her that it would be best if she wasn’t home.

Knowing life I’ll get to watch this show around midnight, but damn it, it will be just me, a cold beverage, and some snacks.

So, how are you going to watch it?

British Cars Living and Dying in Poland


It’s been a while, but it is time for another episode of cars that are living and dying in Poland. Many things have happened since the last updated. Abandoned cars are actively being removed from neighborhoods. Poland plans on implementing huge import fees for vehicles, especially ones with large displacement engines, because polar bears. Think of this as their version of cash-for-clunkers, which means that soon there will be fewer older and interesting cars on the road there. We should then enjoy them while they’re still around.

British cars have never been really popular in Poland. The biggest issue was the fact that most of those imports came directly from the U.K., where the steering wheels are mounted on the wrong side. I am not sure what the current laws are, but some time ago they had to be converted to left hand drive, unless they were over some years old. The secondary issue is that a lot of the British cars are pricey and the cheaper British cars had always had German versions, for instance Opel and Vauxhall.

All pictures, as always, came from zlomnik.pl, and were sent in by that site’s readers. The site has been since redone and now focuses on obscure cars.

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Diverging Diamond Interchanges Are Here

Kamil Kaluski November 16, 2016 All Things Hoon

The Diverging Diamond Interchange might be old news to some, as it was named one of Popular Science’s best innovations for 2009, but it’s new to us here at Hooniverse, as most things are. The DDI model is a way to redesign existing highway overpasses for a faster and safer traffic flow. Please watch the above video which, in a Simpson-esque way, will explain everything. Go to 1:15 to get the juicy details of how it works.

Any questions?

The DDI its utilizes the existing overpass, making it inexpensive to implement. While it has a lot of benefits, there are some downsides, too. The first is that fact that the traffic pattern is very unusual – vehicles are required to drive on the left side of the road, like Brits with bad teeth. It also prevents same-direction traffic from re-entering the highway: think over-sized trucks, accidents or construction detours.

The concept seems very interesting. There are currently more than sixty of these interchanges in the United States. Has anyone driven on one and is willing to share their thoughts or experiences?

Autonomous Trailer Brings Racecar To Track

Kamil Kaluski November 15, 2016 All Things Hoon

With all this talk about autonomous, or self-driving, cars, here is an idea – a self driving trailer.

Imagine this: you want to drive or race your car on the track but the track is several hundred miles away. It’s a tedious task to haul your racecar all the way there in your big F-350 crew cab, which everyone needs to bring a 2700-pound car to a track.

Wouldn’t you rather be in your self-driving Tesla, drinking a latte and binge watch your favorite show on the way to the track? Sure, we all would, because we don’t really want to drive to the track, we just want to drive on the track.

Here is the solution – autonomous trailers. Just load your track hooptie on, set the destination via your latest smartphone, and meet your car at the track. Viola!

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