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Embracing Fall Driving While You Can


October wraps up next Tuesday and November’s arrival come the following morning to me signals the start of way less than ideal conditions for all-things car hobby. This is especially true for us living in two season states (winter and construction) like Wisconsin. The past few days I’ve been scanning Craigslist and shooting off emails about storage units and reaching out to my insurance to company to put a stop on coverage once that garage door comes slamming down shut. Depressing, yes. Chances are right now, if you peak out your window and gawk at the the nearest tree, its colors have either peaked in hues of gold, copper, yellow and orange, or its leaves have completely dissipated leaving bare branches. Let’s hope the first observation is correct for driving enjoyment’s sake.

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Rotten Rental Car Review: Hyundai Accent SE

I recently returned from a breathtaking backpacking trip in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park and the neighboring Never Summer Wilderness, part of the Arapaho National Forest. It was three, adrenaline-filled, heavenly days of backcountry exploring through deep forests of lodgepole pines and aspens, raging chilly streams and towering snow-capped mountains. Every time I embark on some kind of outdoor adventure, I strive to drive my own car, especially because nothing is more embarrassing, wasteful and foolish than paying for a rental car and then simply parking it for a seventy-two hour period at the trailhead. If only rental car companies could comprehend the idea of pay-by-the-mile, then I’d only have to swipe my credit card for a few hours of driving to-and-from the national park. And, to carry-on with this rash rant, why can’t US-based rental car companies follow suit with international rental car companies and offer manual-transmission cars for a cheaper price? Last year in Iceland, My wallet was heavier in cash when renting a five-speed Suzuki Jimny 4×4 rather than its two-pedal cousin. Keep dreaming.

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Takeaways I Learned From Lowering My Car

Robby DeGraff October 9, 2017 All Things Hoon


After years and years of having friends joking call my fourth-gen Chevrolet Camaro a monster truck, I decided to splurge on a whole bag of new, suspension goodies. The end goal was to lower the ride height close to two-inches all-way around. And do it entirely by myself. To draft a simple timeline before jumping into what happened, heavy cardboard boxes filled to brim with parts arrived at my doorstep back in May… and I finally twisted the handle left on my floor jack to bring the car down to the ground on Labor Day.

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Moto-Fied Cycles is Passion Built on Two-Wheels

A chain-link fence slowly creaks open out front of an old industrial building on Milwaukee’s west side. I pull up next to a red Chevy van with black wheels and an LED lightbar on top. Nick Petterson is there, unloading a towering tank filled with argon and C02 for a new MIG welder he just bought.

He leads me back, down a long narrow hallway and around a corner to a big plywood door with a padlock on it. “Supposedly they used to build stock cars here, back in the day,” he told me.

Nick has been anxious to find a home for his growing custom motorcycle repair and fabrication business: Moto-Fied. Business has been booming, jobs are coming in and when that plywood door swung open, my jaw dropped.
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Rotten Rental Car Review: Mitsubishi Outlander


What do you do when you’re in rural New York, have the keys to a brand-new car and a few hours to kill before a wedding? You drive! And then write about it. I’ve got the keys to a 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander ES for the next three days and similar to other posts, I always try to blog about my impressions.
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2017 Milwaukee World of Wheels!


The cure for winter seasonal depression is a prescription of car shows. Especially in Wisconsin, where days of single-digit temperatures matched with negative windchill gets miserably obnoxious. Thankfully the month of March brings a bit of warm relief to frozen gearheads across the dairy state. We have two car annual car shows on the calendar; the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show and World of Wheels.

While my Camaro currently sits under a one-foot cover of snow (remind to never skimp out on paying for indoor storage during the off-season), a whole fleet of unique and custom machinery rolls into State Fair Park ground in West Allis, a city just a few minutes west of Milwaukee.

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Hooniverse Asks Bonus: How Are You Spending Your Tax Return?

Tax returns are coming! Tax returns are coming! Tax returns are coming! Is anyone else super excited about getting their refund checks in the mail or seeing a few extra numbers boost up your bank account? Sure, we all want to be somewhat financially responsible adults, using some of that bonus cash towards bills, home improvement, whatever you fancy…but obviously we need to dish a few dollars towards purchases that benefit our inner hoon. Maybe you want to add a few more Hot Wheels cars to your massive collection or scoop up an old bike off Craigslist to transform into a flashy café racer. Gosh I miss that green 1982 Honda CM250c I rebuilt in my parents’ garage during my college years. Perhaps you’ll use it towards a down-payment on a new car. Yes, while writing this post, I opened a separate browser window open to realistically determine how much higher my tax return would need to be in order to secure a down-payment on a new Challenger Hellcat. Doesn’t hurt to dream right? Or you’ll just finally buy and install a few go-fast parts on your project car.
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Hooniverse Asks: Does Mitsubishi Need a New Sports Car?


A few days ago while aimlessly swiping down through my Instagram, I saw a post from Mitsubishi with a teaser shot of an upcoming cross-over called the Eclipse Cross. Cool, I thought, already being a big fan of Mitsu’s Outlander Sport, which I piloted across all five mysterious National Parks in Utah a year ago. Yes, it was only a rental but it earned its off-road stripes trekking up steep rocky hills, muddy washes and through a few streams. Not once did it hesitate or let me down. I was very, very impressed with this little SUV’s off-pavement capability.

When I saw this mysteriously partially-revealed car was called the Eclipse Cross, it got me thinking. Would it be like the aforementioned Outlander Sport I love but with more of a sporty, fun pedigree? That would be cool. But then I felt a wave of disappointment, realizing the Eclipse name plate would be brought back in the form of some dorky, cross-over that will probably spend it’s road life clogging the parking lots of shopping malls and McDonald’s drive-thru lanes. Sad face, yes, because I’ve always thought the older Eclipse, you know, the sports car Eclipse, were fun.

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Hooniverse Asks Bonus: What’s the Most Absurd Thing You’ve Done to Improve Fuel Economy?

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I recently went on a few hour-long drives with one of my great friends behind the wheel. Mark’s early 2000s Ford Focus, off the lot was a bit of a fuel-sipper, but that didn’t stop him from hyper-milling even more. With a quick flick motion of the windshield wiper stalk, he goofily locked the car’s  windshield wipers in the up position while on the highway. “Dude isn’t it hard to see with the wipers stuck in front of your face?” I laughingly asked, he turned to me and responded “Better gas mileage, less drag.” Oh lordy.

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2014 Milwaukee World of Wheels!

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Wisconsin; the land of cheese, ridiculous winters, the Green Bay Packers and custard galore. It’s also a hot location and booming hub for all things motoring enthusiast culture. It’s home to legendary race tracks like the Slinger Speedway, Road America and the oldest operating motor speedway in the world: the Milwaukee Mile. Harley-Davidson was born here, so were historic brands like Nash, Rambler, Excalibur, Oshkosh Truck, Kissel and farming equipment manufacturer, Case. The annual World of Wheels classic and custom car show brings out some of the most radical vehicles throughout the badger state.

Autorama’s World of Wheels classic and custom car show arrives at the Wisconsin State Fair Grounds each February, offering the public a chance to feast their eyes on an incredible array of rides and bikes. Looking for some inspiration for a project? Aching to get out of the cold and feel the explosive warmth given off by this showcase of pure automotive art ? You can do that here and you’re bound to find something that just makes you smile. I could write page after page filled with accounts of each sweet car, truck and motorcycle at this show- but I’ll focus on some of the unique highlights. 

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