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The Carchive:- The ’64 Plymouth Barracuda

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It’s absolutely miserable outside, so what better to do than lock the doors, pour a warm beverage and snuggle up with a pile of nice, easily digestible car brochures from some dim and distant point in the past?

That’s what I did this weekend, and among them was this somewhat tattered launch brochure for the Plymouth Barracuda. Take the jump to remember just what unique qualities the Other pony car had to offer.

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Diecast Delights:- A ’69 Plymouth Roadrunner in 1/18 scale.

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The last couple of models to have been showcased here have depicted European stuff, which is a bit of an oversight when I consider that Hooniverse radiates its digital rays from North America, perhaps it’s time to redress the balance. From an Italian car which hides its cultured high-revving horsepower beneath a designer suit, let’s look at a blue-collar legend relying on cubes and brute force for motivation. Also one of my favourite cars, as it happens.

It’s one of my favourite models, too. And unlike recent posts (where I admit to a slight eBay addiction that, seriously, needs to be curtailed), this one has been in my possession for something like twenty years. I vividly remember cycling five miles to a toy shop in the next town which sold a few models alongside buckets and spades and other seaside ephemera. I’m pretty sure I paid well over the odds. Who cares. Let’s take a closer look, and as before, click to massivate.

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The Carchive:- The Jaguar 4-Door range of 1976

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It’s that time of the week again where time stops, rewinds and we suddenly find ourselves surrounded by salesmen. Today they’re wearing kipper ties and bell bottoms, and they’ll probably offer me a scotch if I sign on the dotted line for one of their shiny new 1976 cars. Before I can make my decision I have to sit through all their promises and claims. Some things truly never change. Welcome to The Carchive.

Last time around we were driving in middle-class Luxury, Japanese style with the 1979 Nissan Laurel. Today we’re going a little way upmarket and speaking in hushed tones. We’re back in Britain, and we’re in a Jag.

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HCOTY Nominee: The car in your garage Right Now.

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The European Car Of The Year prize has been awarded to some diabolically undeserving machines over the years. The Chrysler Alpine, for example, was good for nothing much more than having very noisy tappets, understeering acutely and having strange grey-toned plastic bumpers. And rusting spectacularly. Nevertheless, in 1976 it was awarded the Car Of The Year trophy. Hindsight is a marvellous thing.

So, it is with trepidation that I look back over the cars that I’ve driven, seen or read about over the year; I’m mindful that an unwise vote could see me looking really stupid a little while down the line. Suddenly, while mulling over the great cars we’ve learnt about this year, it occurred to me that I’m looking in entirely the wrong direction. This is why I vote YOUR car to be Hooniverse Car Of The Year.

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Diecast Delights: The Maserati Quattroporte V in 1:18 scale

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Yeah, I’ve totally lost control. The whole idea of me rebooting the Diecast Delights thing was to make use of the several dozen 1:18th scale models which have been rotting away in various attics across Northeast Essex. Last weeks episode where I covered Maisto’s interpretation of the Morgan Aero 8, was supposed to be a hiccup. That was a model I picked up on eBay within the last fortnight. Well, so’s today’s. And I’ll admit now that I have another two coming. I’m a hopeless addict, but it’s a cheap habit so I’m not going to worry too much.

I bought today’s car, the Hotwheels rendition of the Maserati Quattroporte Mk 5 because that car is, out of all the cars I’ve ever driven, my favourite, despite the Skyhook system letting go dramatically mid roundabout and leaving me sawing at the wheel of what became a wobbly, tail-happy monster. I love that car, (read about the fun I had in it here) but alas in my current position in space, time and economy, a 1:1 scale QP is beyond my means and practicality. There are limited choices in scale model terms, too, and that’s why I ended up with this one. Take a closer look after the jump.

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The Carchive: The 1979 Datsun Laurel

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Welcome to The Carchive, the series in which I take quotations from brochures for cars that you just don’t see on the road any more, and then take photos using a hopeless cameraphone with the white balance set up all wrong. And then, because I’m working to a deadline, I try to use Photoshop to correct things, and usually fail spectacularly.

On our most recent trip down memory lane, we revisited the Australian Ford Falcon, and the photos were pretty much the right colour, but a little underexposed and slightly grainy. Today it’s the turn of the Nissan Laurel. Squint and follow the jump.

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Recollective Review: 2014 Skoda Rapid Sportback 1.2TSi SE

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I drove quite a variety of cars this year. During my drive home after trying a car for the first time I usually think of a number of salient points which I can mention in writing. By the time I’ve reached my house the review has pretty well formed itself in my mind, especially if it’s for something particularly interesting like the VW Golf R or a 1981 C3 Vette.

So, why is it that I tried the new Skoda Rapid 1.2 TSI Sportback five months ago and am only now getting around to a review? Well, the honest answer is that I’d totally forgotten I ever drove it.

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Diecast Delights: Morgan Aero 8 in 1:18 Scale

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eBay is MyEnemy. Just as soon as I begin blowing the dust of a collection that has taken me twenty-six years to accumulate, online auctions have seen me running headlong into a renewed addiction. Today we look at a fresh acquirement, one which only cost a handful of quid, arriving as it did sans box and in slightly playworn condition.

The Aero 8 was launched in 2001 as the first new-from-the-ground-up Morgan since 1948. It was groundbreaking for the Lincolnshire firm in many ways; the first Morgan to use an Aluminium tub; all wood used in the construction was purely for decoration. It also marked a departure from the historically preferred Ford or Rover engines, to using German V8 motivation. Read on to take a close look at a model of what I like to call the Guten Morgan.

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A Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkey: The Triumph TR7

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Ah, Thanksgiving Turkeys. There was a shortlist drawn up and we all took our pick. For me the Triumph TR7 leapt out. British Leyland’s notorious sporting wedge ranks high in the annals of motoring misadventure and a quick and damning hatchet-job should be pretty easy. Out with the knives, gloves off, let the condemnation begin.

But let’s not be too hasty. Before we forever slide the TR7 to the side of our thanksgiving dinner plate as the cold, tough turkey that it may, or may have been, lets have a quick recap on the back story.

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Die-Cast Delights:- Peugeot 205 GTI in 1:18th Scale

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I’ve been up in the attic, fighting my way through the cobwebs, bat shit, old luggage and decorating ephemera (on stand-by until the resumption of operation Make-House-Nice) and I have itches all over thanks to fibreglass insulation penetrating my T-shirt and jeans. And it’s all with the aim of bringing you another exciting instalment in the current series of Die-cast Delights.

Many of the 1:18th scale models I have hoarded, obsessively collected, gathered over the years have now become available second-hand via eBay and, after a quick search and with a little bidding luck, can be yours with very little financial hardship suffered. But, what to buy? I have a load of models and some of them are absolute crap. Maybe, as this series continues, I’ll suggest something that takes your fancy, if last week’s Ford Cougar didn’t already.

Today it’s the turn of Solido’s Peugeot 205 1.9 GTI.

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