Turning Point: Do you like your Steering Wheel?

Chris Haining October 8, 2015 All Things Hoon


We spend virtually 100% of our driving time looking either at it, through it or past it, yet we often go for days on end before we give it any specific thought. I’m talking about our steering wheel.

The round control in my Rover, with its gargantuan size and grotesquely lumpen airbagged centre boss is so awful I don’t even want to think about it. So I’ll talk about the one in my Audi instead, which is truly one of the finest aspects of the entire car.

How about yours? Good? Bad? Or have you never really considered it?

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Review: Suzuki Vitara 1.6 ALLGRIP SZ5


Do you remember the early nineties? Of course you do. Do you remember wearing a Global Hypercolor T-shirt, perhaps one slightly too tight and cut in such a way that it exposed the dolphin tattoo on your shoulder (girls)? Or perhaps you were proudly rocking your Dr Martens, plaid shirt and curtains hairstyle (guys)? Remember rushing out to buy the new Shamen single on cassette before feverishly slotting it into your ghetto blaster?

Do you remember pleading with your parents to let you go to see the late night screening of, say, Reservoir Dogs?

Perhaps you came home in your friends Suzuki Vitara?

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The Carchive Bike Shed: The Honda Express.


Far be it for me to tread on the toes of Tanshanomi, the Hooniverse guru of all things bi-wheeled, it occurred to me that quite a lot of the documents lurking in The Carchive relate to vehicles with a different wheel-count.

So, I tentatively unveil The Bike Shed. Here, on a Tuesday every now and again I’ll fill a gap in the Hooniverse broadcast schedule with a dusty old bike brochure that we can either meet with giddy enthusiasm or we can condemn noisily. We start with a classic of worthy Japanese engineering; The Honda Express. I think these things are awesome, and judging by the photos in this brochure they held the key to all kinds of fun and games that, frankly, I want to be a part of.

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Diecast Delights: An ’89 Mercedes SL in 1:18 scale


One of the best things about diecast collecting and amassing a collection over the years, is that it becomes possible to forget that you own certain models at all. Then, when you rediscover them, you are transported back to the time you first opened the box.

This Revell Mercedes 500SL was a Christmas present in the early nineties, and aside from the nostalgia, looking at it now gives a fascinating insight into just how far diecast models have come since then. And also, strangely, how little that development actually matters.

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The Carchive:- JDM (C31) Nissan Laurel


It’s a quarter to nine in the evening in the UK right now. I’ve got good strong coffee and chardonnay on ice, Waynes World is on DVD because there’s absolutely nothing on TV, and I have a Japanese language car brochure on my lap. Welcome to The Carchive.

The last couple of times we’ve looked at a brochure from the orient it has been by way of video. This time around we’re doing it the old fashioned way with hopeless lighting and not-quite-high-enough-resolution images. Just the way we like it.

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The Peril of Unwise M-Powerment.

Chris Haining October 1, 2015 All Things Hoon


My Dad is the proud owner of an E39 with the “Sport” package. This means slightly lowered suspension, a cosmetic body kit, 17″ “M” (Style 66) wheels, “M” logos on the kick-strips, an “M” on the the steering wheel. The engine is still the same old M62TUB44 as it ever was.

“I was thinking about putting one of those “M” badges on the bootlid. What do you think?”

I told him that I’d probably never talk to him again if he did, his reply was that he could probably live with that. Fortunately he left it alone. The car remains unblemished by anything other than the badges BMW thought it ought to wear. Phew. But still, every day I see cars of every description wearing all manner of extraneous badging, often hilariously inappropriately.

I just thought I’d mention it.

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Diecast Delights: A Lancia Stratos in 1:18 Scale


What influences you to add something to your model car collection? Well, there are many answers that one could give to that question. Historical significance, technical prowess, physical attractiveness, colour, the list of justifiable reasons is endless.

Why did I add this Lancia Stratos to my collection? Well, I could have cited any of the above, but there was one far more important, over-riding consideration.

Yes, it has pop-up headlamps.

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Motorboat Monday: G-Whiz, A Local Girl.


Today’s maritime masterpiece has been giving me tingly feelings inside since I was ten years old. I first read about her in a 1990 copy of Motor boat & Yachting magazine. I read the story again, and again, and again. I started to doodle sketches of her on my schoolbooks. As you can tell, she made quite an impression on me.

She’s a local lass, too. She was built thirty miles up the road from me in Lowestoft, Suffolk by Brooke Marine in 1989, with design input from some of the greatest names ever to rock the marine architecture scene. And just like last week’s Patrol-Boat based Brave Challenger, G-Whiz is from a very proud lineage.

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The Carchive: Dodge Viper RT/10


It’s Friday afternoon, and NASA have been advised to track our activity as we make our way through the cold, dark, infinite blackness of automotive history in the hope of chancing upon a fascinating wormhole into motoring past. Welcome To The Carchive

Today we’re looking at a brochure for a car which was widely celebrated rather than condemned or pitied, mainly because it was one of the more interesting machines to have come off a North American production line for as long as anybody could remember. The year is 1992, and we’re looking at The Viper.

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The tale of the Volvo P1800 “Whisky Cars”

Chris Haining September 24, 2015 All Things Hoon


Fifty-three years ago, a small group of Americans each put a deposit down on new Volvo P1800 and patiently waited for their Anglo-Swedish coupés to arrive. They were blissfully unaware of the dramatic events occurring on the other side of the Atlantic.

On March 29th 1962,  on the River Thames just outside London, the freighter MS Kassel had just taken on board additional cargo in the form of Scotch Whisky and 29 Volvo P1800 cars to accompany its load of pipes from Germany. It set sail for Houston, Texas, and all was going very well indeed… until she collided with the MS Potaro.

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