NASCAR, From the Paddock to the Showroom

camry nascar not stock car

NASCAR is one of the most popular sports in the United States, not just motorsports, but all sports. Millions of people watch it on television and thousands attend each race. But for most people attending those races is a lot more than something akin to an evening ballgame. People travel from afar, whole families with their RVs and campers, to spend a long weekend trackside. There a lot more here than just a race, it’s an experience.

Last weekend NASCAR came to New Hampshire Motor Speedway, what I would call my home track, about a 90 minute drive from Boston. Knowing that, the nice people from Toyota invited me to track for Friday’s practice and qualifying. They give me a rather unscheduled tour of the NASCAR world on a race weekend from their perspective, and the race. You may have seen me post some pictures from there to the Hooniverse Facebook page.

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Truck Thursday: 1987 Cadillac Cad Amino

cad amino rear

We all love El Caminos here at Hooniverse and many of us still cry over the 2010 Pontiac G8 ST pickup that could have been. Like the Solstice, hundreds of people would bought and it and easily pull GM out of a bind. But no, GM decided to kill Pontiac and the modern El Camino with it. They did not attempt to badge it as a Chevy, which it should have been from the beginning, and the whole thing died a quick death.

Thankfully there are numerous people out there who share our El Camino fetish and those people properly convert boring sedans into cool male dork symbols. This Caddy happens to be a great example of such car.

Thanks for the tip, Larry!

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Project CARS Virtual Reality Racing

I’ve stopped paying attention to videogames years ago. I have a dust-covered PlayStation3 which I use to rarely play whatever the latest version of Gran Turismo is, and that’s it. I blame this on my general lack of interest in videogames as well as my adult life that focuses on my kids, job, and automotive obsession. The fact that I get to drive some cool cars in real reality also helps.

And then I found this video of some dude racing Project CARS in virtual reality. And now I’m ready to quit everything and take a mental time travel to being twenty-two again. He is using the HTC Vive VR headset, which sells for over a grand. This means that the whole system has the price of decent LeMons car but the engine will never blow and it won’t need new pads and tires before every race.

Damn, we’ve come a long way since the original Gran Turismo, which, you know, was like totally mind blowing at the time.


24 Hours of Lemons NJMP 2016 Wrap Up Video

By now you heave read about our performance at the 2014 Real Hoopties of New Jersey 24 Hours of Lemons race. Now from the Lemons HQ comes the wrap-up video. I was wondering why it took them so long and as soon as I saw the video I knew why – special effects and research into Tom and Jerry cartoons. Watch and see.

We’re not mentioned in the video, which could be perceived as good and/or bad, but surprisingly neither is the class C winning and really dominating  Rally Baby AMC Hornet.



Maximum Speed Limits Around The World

max speeds

Should you hoons find yourselves on the road this summer, keep this little guide of world speed limits handy. Here we have the maximum road speed limits all around the world on each places’s fastest roads. This is not an excuse to drive at those speeds everywhere and saying to the local law enforcement “but sir, I saw this thing posted on this awesome car website so it must be true” won’t work. Trust us, we have tried it.

Source: joemonster.org


Ariel Nomad Tactical: Pictures and Details

Kamil Kaluski June 6, 2016 Featured


Some time ago we showed you some pictures, specifications, and a quick video of the US-market Ariel Nomad. Since then those pictures and video have gone kind of viral: Autoblog, Carbuzz, Road & Track, Motor1, and a handful of others. Today we have a dozen more pictures of the Ariel Nomad Tactical and we go into some design elements. We will look at specific components used in this vehicle and the differences between it and Ariel Atom.

This July we will drive one of the first production Ariel Nomad Tacticals on the beaches of Nantucket. In the mean time, enjoy the pictures and share them with others.

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1957 Fiat 500 with Subaru STI power

Kamil Kaluski June 2, 2016 For Sale

fiat 1957 500 subaru sti

To many, the classic Fiat 500 might seem under-powered. It had a two-cylinder, 479CC, air-cooled engine that made twelve horsepower. Yes, only twelve horsepower. This was not much even in 1957. That is why companies such as Abarth had their way with the 500 and installed engines that made as much as 50 horsepower.

But here we are, many decades later. We are still hungry for power but in the mean time we have developed engines with substantially more horsepower per displacement. We’re all turbo-happy now because there is replacement for displacement, and it whistles. Now days one has many options of powering a classic such as the Fiat 500, with high output motorcycle engine probably making the most sense.

And yet here is a tiny Fiat 500 powered by a 300hp+ Subaru WRX STI engine. This is be beyond insane and it’s bordering on suicidal.

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Hooniverse 24 Hours of Lemons: Buick takes eighth in class at NJMP

njmp 2016 lemons buick hooniverse rainy

Someone once said, I have no idea who, it may have even been me, which makes this kind of dumb, that in order to go faster, one needs to go slower. I guess it is supposed to be some kind of rabbit-versus-hare analogy which may or may not work in racing. Whatever the case with it, it is the ideology that we have applied in our last few races, each time changing nothing, expecting better results, but always finishing short of podium.

That doesn’t really matter because we’re not doing this to win a shity trophy or for bragging rights. Worst case scenario for us would be to win Class B and get automatically bumped into Class A. Fortunately or not, that didn’t happen at the 2016 24 Hours of Lemons, Real Hoopties of New Jersey. We are racing for the fun of it and that’s how we like it, but damn it, a shity trophy would be a fun thing to get.

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Quick Visit: Wayne Carini’s F40 Motorsports

wayne carini f40 motorsports shop outside 2016

Chasing Classic Cars is one of the more popular shows on Discovery’s Velocity channel. Wayne Carini is the host and his now famous F40 Motorsports restoration shop is located Portland, CT. The good news for viewers is that Chasing Classic Car just extended their contract with Discovery for two more years.

Over the years I have met Wayne many times at various local press events. He has invited me to his shop as many times, offering a private tour, and all I had to do was email him to see if he was available. Despite the fact that I drive between Boston and New York City often, the timing to visit F40 Motorsports is never right; I was either with my family, driving at night, or in a hurry. Except for a few weeks ago on a recent Friday, when I was driving from Boston to New Jersey Motorsport Park for the Lemons race. I was early, alone, annoyed by traffic, and in the middle of the day.

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Truck Thursday: 1991 Range Rover Classic 2-Door

Range Rover Classic 2-door

The original CJs, Blazers, 4Runners, Land Cruisers, Broncos and many other old off-road capable vehicles had many things in common, including the fact that they all had two doors. It wasn’t until later on in the SUV evolution that people realized that those off-roaders do a great job of getting kids to school when there is a chance of flurries, and that they supposedly perform better in accidents than a ’74 Pinto. And so the four-door SUV era began and all the two-door SUVs went away, with the exception of the Wrangler.

I personally didn’t even know that Land Rover still made the 2-door Range Rover in the 1990’s, along the 4-door model which came in two wheelbase choices, but here it is. This 2-door was recently imported from Spain and our friend B.Z. Rong basically told me that I need this in my life. And he is right.

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