Bikes You Should Know: Honda’s GP Sixes, 1965-’67


Bikes You Should Know appears weekly 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.

Anybody who wishes to claim any knowledge of motorcycle development in the twentieth century has to know what “The Six” is. There have been a fair number of six-cylinder motorcycles from various makers over the years, but in much the same way as the Isle of Man is “the island” and the Roman Catholic church is “the church,” THE Six refers to Honda’s FIM Grand Prix race bikes of 1965-1967. Yes, that’s correct — “bikes,” plural. The Six was actually four different models. But the cumulative bitch-slap they gave to the face of the motorcycling establishment was a singularly shocking wake-up call.
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V.I.S.I.T. – Them’s factory graffics?


I saw this in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Ava, Missouri. I wasn’t sure whether or not it was one of those desirable 4×4 trucks, until I took a closer look. I can now definitely confirm that it was. And in the process, reenforce every stereotype there is about Wal-Mart shoppers, Ozark hillbilly culture, and pickup truck owners.

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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Contrasting Greenhouse Paint

A convertible’s cloth top by necessity breaks up the horizontal lines of a car, contrasting the cloth top with the steel below the beltline. On some cars, this looks strikingly good. Vinyl tops were originally designed to mimic that look without the fresh-air option. While vinyl tops are largely derided by Hooniverse readers, it’s not the only way to get that contrast. Over the years, car makers have used contrasting paint on the greenhouse to get the same effect, with some really great results, and a few not-so-great.

For today’s Encyclopedia Hoonatica entry, we want you to list all the production vehicles that were available from the manufacturer with two-tone paint jobs that accentuated the vinyl/convertible look.

Remember, E.H. is first come, first served, so read through the comments first so you don’t clutter the list with duplicates.


MGTD Kit Car With Limo Stretch Is Horrible, Yet Oddly Intriguing


The MG-TD was and is a very desirable vehicle. That’s why Fiberfab and other kit car companies successfully sold knockoffs that could be easily bolted to a VW floorplan. Today, those VW-powered kit replicas are largely considered to be, um, “less desirable.” So, what would make it better? The same answer as any other car: a limo stretch! American Eagle Motors in Virginia is offering this “one of a kind” custom stretched Fiberfab TD replica for an undisclosed sum. The price is listed as “Call Us”, so maybe they’re so desperately lonely they’ll give you car just for calling and talking a while. More pics and details after the jump.

Would you want your bride or prom date to show up in this?

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Bikes You Should Know: 1987 Yamaha FZR1000


Bikes You Should Know appears weekly 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.

If you want to know where the modern sport bike era started, it was 1987, with the bike on which you are currently gazing. Period.

The FZR1000 was the first machine to possess all the basic pieces of the modern sportbike architecture we still see on showroom floors today. Motor vehicle development is evolutionary, and most parts of the configuration had been tried here and there, but the big FZR was the first to assemble them all and hang them on a truly modern motorcycle frame. Oh, what a mighty, gorgeous, remarkable frame.

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Quick Shifts: Hyundinky

Tanshanomi July 21, 2014 Quick Shifts


This is what you do when you find yourself with two totalled Hyundais and an automotive body shop at your disposal. The owner of Richard’s Collision Center in Grandview, Missouri truly did find himself with two nearly identical cars, one smashed in the front, the other smashed in the back. He did the only logical thing; he cut the away damaged sections and recombined what was left into this little curiosity. It may not be what you’d call lustworthy, but he ended up with a fun, quirky attention-getter for pocket change.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Side Opening Hatches


NOTE: This post inadvertently went live for a short time yesterday morning [thanks to the WordPress mobile app's oh-so-intuitive interface—grrr!]. My apologies to those who began commenting only to have the article disappear, and to those whose best suggestion has already been taken by a cybersooner.

Last Thursday, Jim’s review of the Caravan C/V caused me to remember that Dodge offered a full-width, one-piece rear door for many years on their B-Series vans, but unlike the upward-hinged liftgate typical of today’s minivans and sport-utes, the big B’s barn door opened to the side. That always seemed slightly odd and impractical to me, though it did remove the big rear window split that two separate cargo doors caused. Obviously, some designers do like the concept, because there are a number of vehicles that use it.

So, today, I want you to list all the vehicles the Hooniverse hivemind can come up with that have a single, side opening rear hatch.

And, yes, school buses would technically count (even though those are more emergency exits than cargo hatches). Now that I’ve covered that, let’s not list individual manufacturers and models. Likewise, we want a single, side opening rear door, so don’t get smart-alecky and post an Isetta.

DIFFICULTY: 3.5 – 4.5 on the Mohs scale, or until golden brown.

Image Sources:

Project Car SOTU: Bultakenstein & The Honda CL125S

Tanshanomi July 16, 2014 Project Cars


My custom Bultaco roadster project, which I began in earnest over 2-1/2 years ago, is still not quite a roller. Readers familiar with the project would be excused for thinking that things have stalled, however “stalled” isn’t really an applicable term to this project, given its nearly glacial development. Like one of NASA’s crawler-transporters headed toward the launch pad, things are steadily crawling forward, albeit at an extremely slow, careful pace. I knew it would take years to complete when I started it, so that’s okay.

Now on the other hand, I bought the CL125S to ride, not wrench on eternally. And yet, despite buying it in nominally running condition, I have not ridden it a full mile so far. That’s kind of a bummer. …And the bad news keeps on coming.

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Bikes You Should Know: Norton Commando


Bikes You Should Know appears weekly 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.

The Norton Commando is thought by many to be the ultimate expression of the classic Britbike, the high water mark of Britain’s original motorcycle industry. In fact, in a survey of readers by Old Bike Journal magazine in the early 1990s, the Norton Commando was voted THE single most desirable of all classic production motorcycles from anywhere in the world.

Even though I was a Triumph Bonneville man myself, I am unable to refute that reputation; by any objective measure it was bigger, faster, racier, more sophisticated, more popular, and more steeped in mythology than just about anything else England produced prior to the disintegration of that country’s manufacturing sector in the mid-1970s. Perhaps more than any other bike, to ride a late-model Commando is to understand why even today generations of riders still wax lyrical about the magic of big British twins.
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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Differing Ride Heights


Last Wednesday’s Hooniverse Asks question about low cars vs. high cars caused me think about models that were available both as a low car and a high car. I want you to list cars that were simultaneously available in different versions that had significant and deliberate variations in ride height.

This entry is NOT about cars whose ride height changed only slightly, or over multiple years of production, because that list could go on forever. Let’s also skip different heights of 2WD/4WD pickup versions, because they’re pretty predictable and obvious (and frankly, a list of them all would be rather uninteresting).

On the other hand, feel free to vigorously debate whether the US and foreign market rubber-bumper MGBs constitute two discrete models, and whether the US version’s 1-inch lift was “significant” or “deliberate.”

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Fair to partly cloudy.


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