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Project Car SOTU 2016: Bultakenstein

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There’s a point in nearly every project where moving forward means holding your breath and jumping in over your head. That could mean expanding the scope of a project to require greater expenditures of time and money than you expected to devote to it, and perhaps well beyond what you can comfortably afford. Or, it might mean taking on a fabrication task that is way beyond your level of skill, at the risk of ruining the whole thing. Or perhaps both. And at that decision point, you have to ether fold up, walk away, and write off your losses, or double-down and say I’m all in. And if you choose the later, what happens next is going to be pretty scary.

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Project Car SOTU 2016: 1974 Honda CL125S

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About two months ago, I took my other project bike on its maiden voyage — a whopping 19 miles to the KC Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club’s Spring Show and back. The bike cruised quite nicely at 45-50 MPH and handled just fine, though the brakes are a whole lot weaker than I remember them being back in high school! The aluminum restrictor cone I made to fit the outlet of the universal muffler brought the exhaust volume down to acceptable levels, but it’s still pretty raspy. My stainless steel heat shield worked well and no parts fell off, so I guess that’s something. Overall it was fun. But…

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False Neutral #22: V Four Variety

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This week, it’s all about the machines. After catching up on some of our project bikes, we get technical, discussing V-4 motors. From pre-war British bikes to Grand Prix Hondas, we explore what makes V-fours so attractive from an engineering point of view, why they don’t always work so well aesthetically, and why we don’t see more of them on the market. We also discuss related issues regarding engine balance, vibration, and blueprinting.


False Neutral – V Four Variety

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Classic Captions – 1925 Dodge Touring Car Edition

1925 Dodge Touring Car

In the words of Monty Python, “And now for something completely different…”

The ad art featured in the Classic Captions series typically dates from the 1950s through ’80s. But in my quest for journalistic excellence novelty, we’re going all the way back to the roaring 20s, when cars were still young and magazine illustrations were still drawn by hand. In this monochromatic depiction from 1925, Ma is tending her flowers when a uniformed boy jumps out of a man’s touring car and runs to her holding a leather bag and a be-ribboned proclamation of some sort. Is her son a recent military school graduate? I can only assume the context of this scene was less inscrutable to the ad’s contemporary audience, but today it could as easily be a delivery boy, notifying her that she’s won American Tourister’s free luggage giveaway. And is the man in the car just dropping him off, or is that Dad? And if so, why is he still behind the wheel? It’s all up to you good people: tell us what you see in this image with a clever caption.
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False Neutral #21: Twin Cams, Part 2 with Cam Vanderhorst

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In our conclusion to Cam Vanderhorst’s visit, he claims to go “FULL LIBERTARIAN” over the Kymco K-pipe recall (although he doesn’t, really—you never go full libertarian). We wade ankle-deep into the world of cyclecars for a bit, then veer into Suzuki cars and why they didn’t make it in the U.S., and finally offer our opinions on which of the Japanese manufacturers is the least reliable. Somehow, we end up talking about the sounds sea mammals make.

NOTE: I’ve checked iTunes “explicit” flag for this episode just to be on the safe side, but I believe we’re free of F-bombs this week. And don’t worry, there are no random sound clips this week.


False Neutral – Twin Cams, Part 2

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Classic Captions — Brazilian Willys Aero Edition

1961 01 Aero Willys 1st Gen Prop

Few people who aren’t car geeks remember what a Willys Aero was, and far fewer know that after being discontinued in the USA in 1955, production resumed in Brazil five years later. In South America, the Aero’s robust nature could shine, far away from the cheaper, flashier compacts coming out of Detroit. And shine it did. Production, with more and more homegrown Brazilian alterations along the way, lasted until 1971. Not a bad run for car that had been declared dead over a decade and a half earlier.

While one might conclude that Brazil’s auto industry was a bit outdated and crude by North American standards in 1961, it would appear that its advertising industry was too, as evidenced by today’s Classic Captions illustration. There is so much in this photograph to riff on, from the oddly posed family to the obviously studio-lit “beach” location, to the artsy backdrop, to the inscrutable inclusion of the pensive lifeguard walking out of frame in the background. What is your witty reaction to all this? Take a shot and leave a clever caption in the comments.
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False Neutral #20: Twin Cams, Part 1 with Cam Vanderhorst


In another triumph of attempt at Hooniverse Podcast Network Corporate Synergisity℠, we are joined by Cam Vanderhorst, one of the hosts of our Hooniverse sister podcast Cammed & Tubbed. Our conversation spilled over into two weeks worth of material, so this is part one of two episodes featuring Cam. (“Twin Cams” — get it? Ahhh, I crack myself up.) In this first go-round, we discuss helmets and hearing protection, scooters, and tweaking Cam’s Sportster. A little ways in, Eric jumps in for the tragic truth about barn finds, and whether there are still any truly bad motorcycles on the market. Rest assured, like nearly every episode, we manage to mention the Yamaha TW200 and Suzuki GT750. We’ve also provided few other aural surprises along the way.

EDIT: This might show up multiple times in peoples’ iTunes feed, as I somehow managed to deactivate the “Explicit” flag, necessitated by Cam’s lone f-bomb in the last five minutes of the podcast.


False Neutral – Twin Cams, Part 1

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Classic Captions – Mazda RX3-SP Edition

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In pursuit of interesting contest fodder, Classic Captions photos tend to skew cheesy, with awkwardly posed people standing around stationary cars. Well, this is foremost an enthusiast site, and sometimes you just got bring out the speed. Here’s a crossed-up, rotary-powered, pre-zoom-zoom ’77 Mazda getting downright rowdy out on a twisty road. Hell yeah badass. But the flame tracks? What’s that about? Other than pointing out that that’s some damn fine pre-Photoshop photographic manipulation, I will leave further interpretation up to the commentariat. What humorous or profound (but most likely just humorous) comment can you come up with to fit this illustration?
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Classic Captions – ’78 GMC Motorhome Edition

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Thanks to Monday’s national celebration of freedom, pyrotechnics and over-consumption, this week’s Classic Captions Contest has been moved to today. To change things up, here’s a very different type of image, looking out from the red velour interior of a ’78 GMC motorhome at a couple outside, gazing off-camera. This photo is probably more open to subtle shades of interpretation than most automotive ad artwork. Who are these people? Do have anything to do with the motorhome, or are they just by-standers who happened to show up at the same scenic overlook? What are they looking at? And what’s in that note on the table?

Hit the jump and let us know what clever take you have on what’s going on here and learn who won last week.
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False Neutral #19: It’s A Small World After All

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This week, it’s only Garrett and me, as “Eric T” (if that’s even his real name) is busy moving into a new home. We discuss my recent turn as a presenting judge at the Art of the Car Concours, which led to a couple of uncommonly coincidental connections. We go on to discuss some of Honda’s late ’80s flops-turned-cult-bikes, and wonder about what future cult favorites we’re ignoring now.


False Neutral – It’s A Small World After All

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