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Two Wheel Tuesday: Best Kept Secrets – the Scooter Rally

You may have seen our own Longroofian’s post today featuring a photo of a solitary scooter parked in a  lot full of “real” bikes down Florida way.  I’m here to tell you that dismissing a scooter because of its engine displacement is not only motorized bigotry, it’s plain wrong.  Personally, I’ve had more fun at scooter rallies than about any other event I’ve attended.  Why?  Probably a group strengthened by a massive persecution complex.

That, or beer.  Lots of beer.

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Volkswagen Vanagon Fires Slow-Moving First Salvo in Zombie Apocalypse

The vile machine in the middle of its attack on the innocent citizenry of Sandy

The normally calm atmosphere of the upper-middle class Salt Lake suburb of Sandy was shattered Thursday morning in a bizarre incident that can only be regarded as the first movement of a much larger battle to come. Fortunately for the human residents of this tranquil neighborhood, no one was injured and property damage was minimal. Today’s event should surprise no one and rather be taken as a clarion call to defend our homes.

But what could possibly wreak such havoc on a quiet suburban neighborhood? The answer should be as clear as a Sandy summer morning: zombies!

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Two Wheel Tuesday: Old World Craftsmanship

Deep in the heart of Europe lies a quiet little nation of about 10 million inhabitants.  Quiet now at least, but near the center of several major “conflicts” over the past century, either by simple location or political leanings.  Perhaps best known to know-nothing Americans as the home of goulash and the Rubik’s Cube, this nation is Hungary.  But for gearheads, Hungary occupies a more important niche in the development of the internal combustion engine.  See, Hungary is the home of Janos Csonka and Donat Banki, the two inventors of the carburetor

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Mondern Art Monday: A Day at the Museum

Saturday morning dawned bright and cool in Salt Lake City.  To the west, the Bonneville Salt Flats sat quiet and empty, waiting for the focus of Hoons to turn its way come September.  But for now, car enthusiasts’ focus lay squarely on the Utah Museum of Fine Art on the campus of the University of Utah.  Housed inside the modern brick building until just after the conclusion of the World of Speed are 19 of the most beautiful, interesting and historical vehicles to congregate in Utah in quite some time.

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Truck Thursday: A Final Ford Ranger Tribute

Before I was a Hatchtopian, I was a Ford Ranger fan.  From their intro in 1983 to the time I learned to drive in a beast of an F150 (1978 4wd with the 400 ci engine), I always thought the Ranger was “right-sized.”  It was a blocky looking thing to start, then matured into a 90s blob with the rest of us, but in the end, it was a long-in-the tooth relic from a bygone age.  An age where a “truck-like ride” wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Where 4 doors were for grocery-getting sedans.  And where V6s that returned 20 mpg were strictly the realm of the small pickup.

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Two Wheel Tuesday: Moto Monday – Which Happened Yesterday Of Course

Salt Lake City should be a mecca for gearhead culture in the United States: wide, straight streets practically begging for impromptu street drag racing (don’t do this), close proximity to the world famous Bonneville Salt Flats, and more recently, the Miller Motorsports Park

But in the home of conservative politics and even more conservative lifestyles, Utah’s car scene is mostly beige.  For whatever reasons, sadly Salt Lake has failed to develop much of a “scene.”  Sure, there’s car shows, random parking lot get-togethers and other small events.  However, there are a number of small and vibrant underground scenes of hard-core enthusiasts such as the ones I had the pleasure of hanging out with last night. 

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Wagon Wednesday: Dash to Your Nearest Computer and Buy This!

So I don’t have to.

I’ll admit up front – I’ve been a Volkswagen fanboi since long before some idiot decided boy should be intentionally spelled incorrectly in this context.  The year was 1979 and my parents had just purchased a new Rabbit – Alpine White over baby blue (vinyl of course).  There were a few visits to the dealership around that time – test drives, the final purchase, probably a warrantee repair.  I was 4 years old and went along without compliant – it meant I could sit in the cars in the showroom and saw the steering wheel back and forth until I turned it far enough to hit the lock.  

But even as a wee boy, I was an aspirational wheel-lock-activator.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved that new Rabbit, but something far more luxurious caught my eye.  It was the Dasher.  Big.  Powerful.  Tufted vinyl seats.  Cool accordion shift boot.  And the name – Dasher.  It was glorious. … Continue Reading

Fastback Friday: The Golden Age of Hatchbacks

Over at Hatchtopia, I’ve ruminated a number of times on an idea that I have – that there used to be a far greater selection of hatchback vehicles than there are today.  I don’t have any numerical evidence to back that theory, but I know it to be true.  It used to be that a car buyer could walk into nearly any dealership in the United States and find at least one mainstream vehicle available in a hatchback configuration.  I’m not talking about low-volume sports coupes or niche rides, but rather a 4- or 5- seat compact or midsized car with 3- or 5- doors. 

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Trackday Thursday: Miller Motorsports Park

Yesterday, I spent $25 to drive about six and a half miles.

And it was awesome.

Let’s face it, at some point all of us are going to have to pay to drive our cars somewhere – and that’s setting aside the obvious fuel, insurance and car payment bills.  Tolls and other fees are a way of life.  Some aren’t too bad – a couple of bucks for a ferry ride is kinda fun and takes you back to a simpler time  Paying for a parking space in a garage is an annoyance – or a complete ripoff if you happened to pay the equivalent of 30 US dollars for two hours in Melbourne, Australia… could happen, I’m just saying.

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Truck Thursday: Walking Dead Edition: Two Jeeps and a Pinzgauer

Perhaps due to the return of actual zombies in the recent The Walking Dead season finale, or 2012 jitters, it appears that some residents of Salt Lake City have taken the opportunity to outfit themselves with an appropriate escape vehicle.  While on a jaunt through the Avenues neighborhood near downtown, I spotted a number of ex-military and current bad-ass vehicles parked on the street.  Here are a few of the highlights, rendered in an abstract-zombie-comic style.

This military jeep was parked on the street, fully registered and ready for action.  Home-built plywood doors will keep zombies at bay for at least a few minutes if you get into a hairy situation.  This rig has the original all-stamped Utah license plates, so it is among the walking driving dead itself – those plates haven’t been issued since 1982 – making them about as rare as hen’s teeth. 

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