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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Oughts Cars That Have Appreciated In Value

EH-NADA-appreciatedWe’d all like to make money on the cars we buy. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, “things that get used, get used up.” Automotive depreciation is a fact of life for most vehicles we spend money on. But there are those special vehicles that become worth more used than they were new. Of course, if you wait long enough, nearly any car will appreciate in value simply due to the combination of monetary inflation and the general rarity of antique cars over a certain age. I’m talking cars that appreciate in value fairly rapidly—say, a decade old, give or take five years. Therefore, today’s Hoonatic task is to list cars from the Oughts* that are worth more now than they were new.

*Just to be clear, the Oughts encompass the 2000–2009 model years, fer all you young whippersnappers!

BUT WAIT! I am sure you’re aware that there are always caveats, and today’s is a real doozy! Since any discussion of car values is likely to be rife with subjective opinion and groundless speculation, and the Encyclopedia is about objective lists, we must nail things down with hard, impartial, third-party data. Therefore, today’s assignment is to go the National Automobile Dealers Association used car price guide [NADAguides.com], find a MY 2000–09 vehicle whose current AVERAGE RETAIL value is greater than the listed ORIGINAL MSRP value, and then post a link to that page in the comments below. Of course, including a photo is worth extra cred points and always much appreciated, but the important thing today is the NADA values.

Difficulty: As hard as finding a kitten in a thunderstorm. (Yeah, I’ve never known what the heck that means, either.)

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.

Image Source: Screenshot from NADAguides.com …duh.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Hatchbacks with Dramatically Curved Rear Quarter Glass

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Quite out of the blue, Mrs. Tanshanomi suggested that my weekly adventure in pedantry should task all of you with naming hatchbacks that had, “those wraparound rear windows — you know, like the AMC Pacer.” Why that? I asked. [Actually, it was more like, “Huh?…Why?…What?”] “Because,” she explained, “you never see those sort of curved side windows on hatchbacks nowadays. It was cool, and it’s gone.” The fact that that specific thought popped into her head unprompted made me realize how incredibly lucky I am. But, in any case, here we are. I have no idea what we’ll end up with, but SWMBO is being obeyed; today’s entry in the Canon of Hoonatic Lore requires you to name hatchbacks with dramatically curved rear quarter glass. Is that bit of styling really gone, or can you name one among current or recent cars? Or perhaps your favorite vintage ride? Was it ever really here?

The Caveats (there are always caveats):

  • H-A-T-C-H-B-A-C-K. Not sedan, coupe or pickup truck. If it doesn’t have a hatch out back, it’s a no-go. Got it?
  • We are talking specifically about the windows on either side of the hatch, not the part that lifts up. One-piece glass hatches don’t count.
  • The line between hatchbacks and wagons — and wagons and SUVs — can be a bit of a judgement call. So you can go there, as long as the rear door is hinged upwards, like a hatchback’s. [Yes, I know there are potentially a metric bunchload of old ’40s–’50s wagons that fit the description, but they’re cool, so what could it hurt to list them all. See? I’m feeling generous today.]
  • Customs, kit cars, concept cars, etc. are fair game, but they should be at least moderately cool and interesting. Duh.

Difficulty: Maximum 4 lb. test (6 lb. test for fluorocarbon)

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.

Image Source: AMC press photo via oppositelock.kinja.com.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Cars Named For Tracks – That Aren’t Also Cities.

silverstone-brooklands

Two Mondays ago, when I asked you all to name Cars Named For Cities, some of the comments understandably strayed from cars that were intentionally named after cities to the many cars actually named after racing circuits, but which got in on the technicality of just happening to share the the name of the city they’re in. [“Really? There’s a race track in that happenin’ town of Talladega?” said no Ford marketing man ever.]

Since people seemed so eager to explore the car model/race track naming connection, let’s do that. I’m all about giving the people what they want. However, I am also about making you slackers think, and drawing out the obscure references that result. So, since you’ve already had a chance to mine the deep well of city-based car names just fourteen days ago, I am going to make it interesting by specifying only cars that are named for racing venues that are not named for the city they reside in. In other words, Daytona and Le Mans are verboten today. However, if you’re aware of some car maker introducing the Circuit Paul Ricard SportWagon Brougham, then step right up.

I can already hear somebody say something along the lines of “What about Mulsanne — part of a track named for part of a city; can I post that?” My answer has three parts:

  1. Stop being pedantic; that’s my job here.
  2. You know you’re going to post it anyway, so why are you asking?
  3. This whole series is just clever comment bait. You really need to repeat Hodgson’s Law to yourself a few times.

However, there are a few caveats (there are always caveats):

  • The track name has to be part of the model name, not just a descriptor or a nickname (Yeah, I’m lookin’ at you, ‘Ring Taxi).
  • Concept cars and kit cars are okay, but let’s stay away from homebuilt specials and works racers, which tend to have somewhat indistinct “official” naming.

Difficulty: 1/3 cup sugar per 1/2 gallon of vinegar.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.

Image Source: parkwayspecialistcars.co.uk, rrocwa.com.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Slashed Names

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No, not car names that were ruthlessly discontinued, or hacked by a machete-wielding maniac. Today’s automotive quandary involves the slash character. As with the examples shown above, your task is to list all the cars that use one, somewhere in the name.

Here are the caveats (there are always caveats):

  • Vehicles need not be mass produced or street-legal, but they need to be from a real manufacturer or a historically significant builder. (That means no references to some Craigslist gem the current owners christened “The Bob/Edna Special.” It has to be a legit and recognizable name—if only to Dr. Harrell.)
  • The slash character should be part of the car’s name in some official and definitive way. No nicknames, dealer names, component names, or general descriptors.
  • Unlike the examples shown, the slash does NOT have to appear on the vehicle.

Difficulty: Do not try and recall the low-hanging fruit; that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize that there is no low-hanging fruit.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.

Image Source: Tommy’s Car Blog. Second image source unknown.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Cars Named After Cities

EH-citynames

Vehicles named for exotic places are pretty common: racetracks, mountains, deserts, pretty much every place name has been mined for car and truck names. But one of the most popular geographic classifications is city names, and that is your Hoonatica assignment this week.

Today’s entry should be uncommonly clear-cut, so even though there are always caveats, today’s addition the our virtual big book of vehicular knowledge has but one: a city is a city is a city — no state, province, region, tribe, island, ocean, nation or star names, unless they also happen to be a city name…capeesh? If you have any doubts, wiki that sucker.

Difficulty: As difficult as making Ivory soap float.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.

Image Source: hemmings.com & pressroom.toyota.com.

Two-Wheel Tuesday: 5 Days, 8 States* & 1,970 miles

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*Technically, seven states and one Canadian province.

Mrs. Tanshanomi and I just returned from riding the first Smackdab Solstice Ride. Since I’ve previously shared the premise of this dawn-to-dusk ride between Lebanon, KS and Rugby, ND with Hooniverse readers, I’ll simply refer you to the article I’ve linked. But participating in the 675-mile, one-day ride meant making a spectacular five-day, 1970-mile round trip from our home outside Kansas City. The adventure has given us some great memories and a great story to share.

… Continue Reading

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Chrome-Free Cars

Altitude Cherokee fr

A co-worker of mine has a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. We were discussing its appearance one day when he said, “The only thing I hate about it is the Jeep badge on the grille.” Why? I asked. “Because it’s the only thing chrome. It just looks out of place.” Now, I notice it immediately whenever I see a Jeep with chrome letters on the front. And that has led me to study other cars. In this age of body-colored bumpers and carbon accents, it seems that the allure of chrome is still very much alive. Nearly all vehicles have at least a tiny dose of polished or plated brightwork somewhere. Shiny emblems are especially important, it seems. It might be silver or gold, but a shiny metallic finish on the nameplate is virtually required. Perhaps it’s just a thin chrome oval around the outside of it, but it’s nearly always there. I did notice a Jeep Wrangler Polar Edition in a Walgreen’s parking lot a while back that had flat black J-E-E-P letters above the grille. Was this, at last, a truly chrome-less car? Nope, it had shiny chrome “Trail Rated” and “Polar Edition” badges on its flanks. Even the menacing matte black Ford RS500 that JayP posted in the comments the other day has a shiny chrome Ford badge on its face. But if you look at the black Jeep Cherokee Altitude shown above, it appears we finally have a something that’s truly chrome (nickle/polished alloy/mylar) free. (Interestingly, when ordered in white, it gets chrome window surrounds.)

So, your encyclopedic task for today is to help me out by naming all the vehicles you can find that are totally free of brightwork. And I do mean totally. [Before y’all holler “GNX,” Darth’s ride has five tiny chrome letters spelling out “B-U-I-C-K” on its grille.]

Here are the caveats (there are always caveats):

  • Stock, production vehicles only, please — stick to vehicles that anyone could walk into a dealership and buy.
  • Let’s concentrate on road vehicles marketed to the general public for personal use. That means no heavy-duty trucks, forklifts, tractors, mining equipment, tanks, trains, or spacecraft.
  • Post-war vehicles only. (For those of you who flunked History 101, that means 1946 model year and later.) If you go back any further, this gets absurdly easy.
  • Chrome lug nuts, machined alloy wheel rims and headlight reflector buckets get a pass. But bonus points and bragging rights if you can avoid these.

Difficulty: Harder than you’d think, if you really get nit-picky. And I’m feeling really nit-picky on this one.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.

Image Source: Manufacturer’s press kit photo via uautoknow.net.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Native American Names

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I’m on the road this week, and as I was crossing a Sioux reservation in North Dakota, I was thinking about the many Native American names that have become commonly known parts of our lexicon.

Nowadays, corporate use of proper tribal names or even general references to indigenous peoples is rather a touchy subject, and in the past has resulted I some rather cringe-worthy marketing elements. However, the re-introduced Jeep Cherokee shows it is not quite an extinct practice.
Today your task is to name all the vehicles named (generally or specifically) after Native American (First Nations/aboriginal) people.

Difficulty: Super easy; even the low-hanging fruit could feed us all.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.

Two Wheel Tuesday: Tracking Down the Hejira Rotax 500

Hijera-T486Rotax

A few years ago, I wrote a profile of the Rotax Type 486, one of my favorite two-stroke engine designs EVAR. I have long dreamt of what one might be like in a road bike, even more so when I found the above photo of a Type 486-powered Hejira roadracer that was offered for sale in a British E-bay auction a number of years back.

Hejira, for those who don’t know, is a UK-based custom frame builder headed by legendary motorcycle fabricator Derek Chittenden. Since the web page provided no background information about the bike, I contacted Hejira to find out more about it. I told myself to expect a dismissive reply to my query, if any, but I promptly received a detailed message back from John Slenzak at Hejira. He couldn’t positively identify it, but he provided some very interesting background on the bike and its motor.

… Continue Reading

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Aluminum Bumpers

aluminum-bumpers

In the Malaise Era, manufacturers were eager to embrace whatever weight-saving, efficiency-enhancing technology and techniques their engineers could think up. One of those clever moves was lighter-weight aluminum bumpers, which were heralded as the next big thing. Usually, aluminum was only used for the front bumper, but the 1980 Chrysler New Yorker had alloy on the both the front and rear.

As it turns out, aluminum wasn’t an ideal choice for bumpers, for a number of reasons, and they didn’t really make that big an impact. [Ba-doom tish!] Nowadays, you’re much more likely to find a polymer honeycomb behind a non-rigid fascia. But how many different models did come from the factory defended by formed aluminum bash bars? That’s what this installment of Encyclopedia Hoonatica wants to know.

Difficulty: It helps if you’re a giraffe; the low-hanging fruit will quickly get gobbled up.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.

Image Source: Chrysler and GM sales brochures, each scanned by half the people on the Internet.

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