Diecast Delights: A Porsche Carrera GT in 1:18 Scale.


I just wanted it. There’s no other rhyme or reason. I have the McLaren F1 because it was pivotal in the very genesis of the hypercar as we know it, I have the XJ220 because it combined massive power with massive elegance and, well, massiveness. I have the F40 and F50 because The Best Of The Best… although none of the more recent ultimate Ferraris particularly pique my interests.

The Carrera GT, though. V10, semi-exposed engine, midship configuration. It’s more like their early ’70s Can Am offerings than any Porsche road car. I guess that’s why I like it. It doesn’t matter anywhere near enough for me to spend £££ on the Autoart model of it, though.

Just as well the Maisto offering is so good.

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The Carchive: The 1948 Playboy Convertible


It’s time to open the battered, rusting filing cabinet of time, rummage through the brittle, disorganised hanging files of motoring history and see what obscure moth-eaten gems lie in the bottom of the drawers. It’s been a long day, so lets relax with a short visit to The Carchive.

And obscurity we have in abundance, today. From across the Atlantic – and much of North America fluttered an envelope from Seattle or thereabouts. Sent for care by The Carchive by the inimitable mharrell of this parish (salutations, Mike!) is this brief but absorbing brochure for the 1948 Playboy.

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Parochial Pokemon Parking Pandemonium Persists

Chris Haining September 7, 2016 All Things Hoon


Preamble: Inevitably, the two times I’ve been in the right place at the right time to catch photos of this phenomenon, there have only been a couple of cars parked there, rather undermining the drama of my title, but, I beseech you, stay with me on this one.

Once upon a time people used to flock from miles around to the area you see in the photo above. They come to inspect and marvel at the Mistley Towers, the remaining sections of a once grand Georgian church designed by Robert Adams in the 18th century. Alas, today people park their cars ill-advisedly (considering the busy junction dead opposite) on the road in front, and then sit ignoring the towers in totality, choosing to gaze at a four-inch screen instead.

Which is, like, totally fine. It’s certainly no more misplaced a hobby than, say, reading thirty-year old car brochures. It’s just another fascinating example of the changing use of the car.

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Diecast Delights: The Legendary Bburago Vipers


Today’s post is in honour of the car that started so many 1:18 collections, the humble Bburago Dodge Viper RT/10 and its GTS coupe descendent. Released among a wave of other new offerings from the Italian model-maker in the early 90s, a goodly number of pubescent lads awoke on Christmas or Birthday morning and found one of these lovingly gift-wrapped.

It’s also a great complement to Chrysler that the Dodge Viper should have tripped so many imaginations. A great many young car enthusiasts, previously immune to the charms of 1:18 models, found the bright red roadster irresistible. The model sold by the shipload, and an infinite number languish on eBay, seemingly unsellable at any worthwhile price. But just because it’s not really collectable in the currently accepted sense of the word, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth having.

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The Carchive: The Triumph 2000 /2500


It’s friday night where I am, and I’m putting this together while sipping Glenlivet and watching ancient episodes of NCIS from a DVD procured extremely inexpensively from Amazon. However, both can wait. I’m going to frantically pump up the tyres on the squeaky BMX of discovery, pedal on over to that old dirt track of time and see if I can’t find a little something in the undergrowth of automotive history. Welcome back to The Carchive.

Last week we had a little look at what Citroen could sell a family of air-cooled car fanatics in the early ’70s. Today we’re not moving far in time, but we’re popping across the channel, heading up the M2o from Dover, looping around London on the A604 and heading straight up the M40, next stop Coventry to have a look at Triumph’s big saloon for the ’70s.

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Hooniverse Bookshelf: The Book of the Lamborghini Urraco

Chris Haining August 31, 2016 Reviews, Speed Reads


Immediately before I read last week’s review subject, I whetted my appetite with the similarly weighty, if less cerebral, The Book of the Lamborghini Urraco, by Arnsteim Landsem, an improbable name which feels like an anagram waiting to happen.

He’s eminently qualified to write a book about this most maligned of Sant Agata’n supercars, not only has Landsem owned a Urraco himself, but the car is also the subject of a large tattoo on his arm. Clearly a man of passion, if not necessarily prudent decisions.

Let’s sit on the reading mat together for today’s offering from the Hooniverse Bookshelf.

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Diecast Delights: A 1948 Cheverolet Fleetmaster in 1:18 scale


From last week’s Ferrari Mondial, we’re taking a rather different direction for today’s Diecast Delight. I was going to say something about the irrelevance of money-no-object supercars, but then I found just how much Fleetmaster Woodie station wagons are worth these days.

I was intrigued when I found that Maisto had made a 1:18 of the Fleetmaster, clearly with the American market in mind. My intrigue led to me tossing a casual bid on on on eBay, only to end up ‘winning’ it. Well, stealing it, really. Anyway, it duly showed up on my doorstep, so lets take a look.

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The Carchive: The 1973 Citroen Ami range


It’s Friday afternoon, and coming pretty close to time for downing tools. Let’s take the scenic route home, maybe try the overgrown lane of curiosity, perhaps pausing at the lake of history. Then have a rummage amongst the driftwood on the shoreline of discovery, see you find. Welcome to The Carchive.

The last trip we took into obscurity wasn’t actually in the least bit obscure – we took a fond gawp at the now 21-year old Dodge Avenger. Well, now for something completely different. We’re moving a long way away both geographically and temporally, to France in 1973. It’s the Citroen Ami.

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Pride In the Job: An Object Lesson in Halfarsed-ness

Chris Haining August 25, 2016 All Things Hoon


I had reason to commute into London the other day. My local routes are served by three varieties of train, long distances are taken care of by rakes of coaches towed by electric locomotives, and fast commuter journeys are handled by recently-introduced Siemens electric multiple units. This leaves the high-density, multiple-stop schedule to be filled by the oldest of our rolling stock.

These trains, the 100mph Class 321 electric multiple units, were built from 1989 to 1992 and have been extremely successful, though they are now getting on a bit. Over their long careers they have seen various efforts at refurbishment, and some units are now being rebuilt with air-conditioning and better facilities. The example I travelled in on Tuesday night had obviously experienced a ‘refurbishment’ of sorts, and I was flabbergasted at the sheer magnificence of its ineptitude.

It got me to thinking about the few times I’ve witnessed cars that display shows of owner complacency of this magnitude.

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Diecast Delights: A Ferrari Mondial 8 in 1:18 scale


Ah, the Ferrari Mondial. Often vilified and referred to as “Ferrari’s Porsche”, the Mondial is one of the least loved cars to bear the Prancing Horse emblem. Something about it caused it to be regarded as slightly limp-wristed compared to other Modenese products, perhaps its styling, which had neither the delicate curves nor  exuberant excess of its stablemates.

It’s one of my favourites. And why not? It’s basically a more spacious 308, and there’s nothing much wrong with one of those. Road testers in the buff books tended to agree – few reviewers had anything negative to say about the 2+2 Ferrari.

Compared to other Ferraris it was also largely ignored by model makers. But not totally. Here’s a nice one.

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