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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: The Name’s The Same

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There are only so many memorable, cool-sounding, or widely known car names, and many have been recycled over the years on different, unrelated models. Many have even been affixed to cars from different manufacturers. But in some cases, a particular car maker has concurrently sold different cars in different markets under the same name. That is what you’re tasked with listing today.

Here are the caveats:

  • The vehicles need to be sold concurrently, or at least in the same decade or so.
  • The vehicles need to be by the same manufacturer (or at least the same industrial conglomerate.) No thieved car names.
  • No “world car” model that happened to be sold in different countries, but was basically the same platform.
  • No race cars or concept cars. We want regular production cars for sale to the public.
  • Sub-lines and trim level names are a gray area. Toss them out only if they are fairly notable and unusual. Nothing generic, such as “Limited Edition” or “Sport.”

Difficulty: As easy as taking candy from a Buddha.

Welcome Newcomers: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Adding photos with standard HTML is good, but shrink the big ones with width="500".

Image Source: Wikipedia

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Multiple C-Pillar Windows…or something.

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Today’s Hoonatica entry was suggested by fellow Hooniverse staffer Kamil Kaluski. who wants to know about “Vehicles with two C-pillar windows. This is tricky, as window usually is a division between the C- and D-pillars.” He included the above photo as an illustration.

Now, if his suggested characteristic is not crystal clear to you, you are not alone, as the resulting staff E-mails indicate. Robert Emslie replied, “Huh? What the hell are you talking about?” Alan Cesar attempted to clarify the question by asking, “Are you talking about the window ahead of and behind the C pillar? That this car is an oddball because it has 2 in that sense? Or do you mean just the little bitty triangle window?” Unfortunately, like the Greek oracle, Kamil’s replied was equally cryptic: “Yes, exactly!” Not a helpful answer to an either/or question, Kamil.

… Continue Reading

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Cars Named For Cats

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Over the years, automobiles have been given names intended to conjure up impressions of forcefulness, danger, precision, maneuverability, speed, beauty, independence or self-confidence. And nearly any feline species epitomizes nearly all those characteristics simultaneously. So, it’s no surprise that cat names are a popular naming choice.

Your task today is to list all the cat-related vehicular nomenclature you can. Since there are only so many feline species out there, feel free to go long: model names, brand names, motorcycles, trucks, military vehicles — if it has an engine and moves on a roadway, it’s fair game.

Difficulty: “They’re not as easy as I thought they’d be, Master.”

Don’t make the cat angry: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Adding photos with standard HTML is good, but shrink the big ones with width="500".

Image Source: mclellansautomotive.com, howstuffworks.com.

Two Wheel Tuesday: Last Gasp Norton Isolastics

Tanshanomi January 6, 2015 Two-Wheel Tuesday

When I was at the British National Motorcycle Museum a couple of years ago, some of my favorite bikes were the prototypes that were developed as Norton Villiers Triumph was foundering in a sea of red ink in the mid 1970s. With the Bonneville out of the picture and virtually no funds for new R&D or production tooling, they tried pouring all the remaining, outdated assets of BSA, Triumph and Norton into a blender and hitting “puree.” The results were mix-and-match specials, very much like what kids do with a Lego kit the seventh or eighth time they put it together.

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Yes, that says Norton on the tank. The forward-canted 3-cylinder motor in the frame was originally a BSA, then went on to grow an electric starter and become the Triumph Trident T160. In this guise, it has been enlarged and inserted into a frame equipped with Norton’s biggest selling feature, the rubber-mounted Isolastic frame, so naturally it would have been marketed as a Norton product.

A couple more similar experimental Isolastic bikes are featured after the jump.
… Continue Reading

Sidecar Donuts Make 2015 Awesome

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You already know that my riding buddy Rusty is awesome. Here is how he chose to celebrate New Year’s Day: doing one-handed donuts on his Ural Gear-Up. Note the snow flying from the powered sidecar wheel.

Video credit to his lovely wife, as captured by her smartphone potato from an upstairs window.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Makers of Vehicles and Firearms

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An old friend once told me that there are three topics of conversation in which no teenage male will ever admit ignorance: girls, cars, and guns. While that’s probably not literally true, our encyclopedia entry for today involves two of them (hint: neither is “girls”).

Guns and vehicles do seem go together. From a purely pragmatic standpoint, it makes sense: the various parts of an internal combustion engine and the barrel and frame of a firearm require similar manufacturing skills to cast, forge and efficiently machine moving parts that are highly accurate and metallurgically robust enough to deal with extreme stress during operation. A factory that builds one can probably build the other.

So, your task today is to name all the car (truck, motorcycle, scooter, tractor, etc.) manufacturers that have also dabbled in firearms manufacturing. Or vice versa.

Difficulty: “More than a tickle, less than paying your taxes.”

If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Adding photos with standard HTML is good, but shrink the big ones with width="500".

Image Source: Random web images previously downloaded to my hard drive. Beyond that I have no clue.

V.I.S.I.T. – Butchered Buick Is Master of Disaster

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I came across this, um… thing parked outside my local supermarket back in October (notice the pumpkin display and the golden leaves on the trees). I’m not sure what possesses someone to (seemingly) deliberately rip away the roof and rear doors of a defenseless Buick Century, but looking at the myriad other bizarre details, I am guessing illegal chemicals are somehow involved. Evidently, it’s fun and cool to scare children. Two more freakish views after the jump. … Continue Reading

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Negative Angle Glass

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Automotive greenhouses tend to be somewhat pyramid shaped, with glass that angles in toward the top, describing a more-or-less convex curve (or at the very least imitating the sides of an A-frame chalet). If the vehicle is commercial and utilitarian enough, it might have vertical glass. But auto glass that’s leans outward is especially rare, and the topic of our Hoonatica entry today.

It’s an All-Skate! Given the peculiar (perhaps even slightly goofy) nature of this characteristic, anything goes: production cars, trucks, concepts, one-offs, customs, iron-wheeled Soviet-era Russian logging tractors — if you’ve got a picture of it, post it! [Unfortunately, it must have wheels.]

Difficulty: You can’t handle the truth.

The More You Know: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Adding photos with standard HTML is good, but shrink the big ones with width="500".

Image Source: Flickr, Flickr (again), Hooniverse.

Bikes You Should Know: Yamaha TW200

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Bikes You Should Know appears most weeks as part of Two Wheel Tuesdays. Since Hooniverse primarily caters to automotive enthusiasts, this column focuses on historically or culturally significant motorcycles that are likely to interest a non-riding audience.


Some of the bikes I’ve profiled in the Bikes You Should Know series are notable for their remarkable speed, engineering wizardry, or prominence in motoring history, but are not something you are likely to ever likely to personally swing a leg over. And unless you are both an experienced rider and the owner of a very fat wallet, you really shouldn’t want to. While you should know about them, they are movie stars and exotic supermodels, not girls-next-door.

But today’s profile is a bike that is perfect for a novice rider. Approachable, easily manageable, unintimidating — slow, even. On the other hand, it is deeply beloved by riders who have more bikes in their history and more riding miles under their belt than you can imagine. It’s been around for decades, and it’s still available brand new at your local Yamaha dealer at an affordable price ($4,590 MSRP for ’15). It’s the Yamaha TW200, and it’s a bike everybody can love — and nearly all do, once they get to know it.

… Continue Reading

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Factory Pink Paint Jobs

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A female co-worker of mine is shopping for a new car, and she loves pink. But wanting a pink car is a bit of an issue. In her words, “I own a pink rifle, a pink boom box, a pink laptop and a pink bicycle; why can’t I buy a pink car?”

The only cars I could think of that arrived on dealers’ lots in pink were the famous 1970 Panther Pink/Moulin Rouge Mopars. So, I turn to you, my fellow Hooniversalist brethren. What other production cars can you name that are/were sold by the manufacturer in some shade of pink?

    Here are the caveats (there are always caveats):

  • Consider the ’70 Mopars covered. We don’t have to list them all, model-by-model.
  • I want regular production cars for sale to the public — that means no concept cars.
  • No Playboy award cars, unless you can somehow document that pink was also offered as a regular production paint option.
  • No aftermarket paint jobs, no matter how noteworthy. [Along this same line, the first one to post a photo of Paris Hilton’s Bentley will be subjected to a good ol’ fashioned, Amish-style shunning.]
  • Even though this should already covered above, let me specifically state that Mary Kay is *NOT* an automobile manufacturer.

Difficulty: Approximately 975,000 banana-equivalent-doses per millifortnight.

Boilerplate de jure: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Adding photos with standard HTML is good, but shrink the big ones with width="500".

Image Source: StockMopar.com

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