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Last Call- Funnel Fun Edition

Robert Emslie October 20, 2014 Last Call

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This is the DOHC V8 of a 1954 Pegaso Z-102. It’s a thing of beauty, what with its staggered carbs and crinkle finished cam covers. It’s not the engine however that I’d like to point out in this picture. Instead, I’d like you to notice the silver funnel that sits just to the left of the generator and below the hood latch. That’s there because the scoop in the hood ramps down from its leading edge, and any precipitation that might find its way down that ramp might end up dousing the gennie. There’s a catchwall and a tube at the back of the scoop that directs any water down to this funnel, and then through a tube to the ground below. Clever, no?

Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged. 

Image: ©2014 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

Car Show Review: Orphaned and Discontinued Cars

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Do you need some sunshine and steel in your life? Fall rain got you down? I have just the thing. This was a truly great summer for car shows in the Northwest: the weather was excellent this year, there were cars shows all over the place, and there was a good variety of vehicles to be seen. New cars, old trucks, muscle cars, even speed boats were on offer this summer. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to to round up some of my favorite pictures from my favorite shows and share them with all y’all. Take the jump to see more. … Continue Reading

V.I.S.I.T: Czech street scene- Automobily Prahy.

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I’d been looking forward to this trip for ages. There were a number of gravities which pulled us towards the Czech capital; not least the fascinating history that the country has built up having been directed under a number of regimes during the last century. The architecture, too, promised (and delivered) a rich blend of renaissance, gothic, cubist, art-nouveau and brutalist styles to gawp at. Beer too, is in abundance and very cheap.

Of course, I had my camera on standby in case I encountered anything wheeled that was notable. Judge my results for yourself with the photoflood after the jump.

… Continue Reading

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: One-Off Factory Paint Jobs

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Production cars are normally offered in a variety of color choices, but it is not uncommon for limited-edition and specialty versions to be available in a single color. For example, the Pontiac Can-Am was only sold in white. McLaren’s limited-edition F1 LM supercars left the factory wearing Bruce Mclaren’s iconic shade of Papaya Orange. However, it often turns out that one or two cars get spec’d with a different paint job: the original prototype for that special version of the Pontiac Le Mans (which was initally to be called The Judge) was painted Carousel Red, and was revised with “Can-Am” graphics after that became the car’s approved identity. Likewise, two McLaren’s LMs were painted black with custom graphics at the request of the Sultan of Brunei.

What other special-edition cars were available in one color scheme, except for a special one or two outliers that were painted _____?

DIFFICULTY: 890 millibars

Repetitive boilerplate you’re unlikely to read yet again: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Adding photos with standard HTML is good, but shrink the big ones with width="500".

2014 MPG Track Day: Driving Impressions

Occasionally, we here at Hooniverse have the privilege of access to some fantastic automobiles. Any time where I am invited to attend an actual track day, and when my real job wife will let me dedicate the time to go, I am all for it. Being the new member to the Hooniverse team, this was my first major event so I was walking around in a giddy fashion when I saw the list of offerings that were to be given to us.

I packed up my gear and headed from San Diego to Willow Springs Raceway to meet up with Jeff and Rob for this years MPG Track Day. Driving just about everything that was available to us, I will give you my quick impressions of a few of the good and bad about some of the vehicles in attendance.

… Continue Reading

Quick Spin- 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C

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This past week a number of your humble hosts attended the Motor Press Guild’s 2014 Track Days event, where we got to wrap our hands around the wheels of some of the coolest cars debuting at the moment. One of the most sought-after rides – one that literally had a waiting list to drive – was the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C, the car that relaunches the venerated Italian brand here in the U.S..

I managed to get on that list and take the car out on the track at the Streets of Willow and I’m now back, with a crazy grin still stuck on my face, to tell you what it was like. … Continue Reading

Hoonivercinema- Monday Movie Trailer

Robert Emslie October 20, 2014 All Things Hoon

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Released on June 27, 1990, Days of Thunder is perhaps the last great ’80s movie. It has all the hallmarks of that era, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman in her big hair phase, acid-washed jeans, and direction by Tony Scott, Ridley Scott’s more action-oriented brother. Produced by Simpson/Bruckheimer, it’s shot and edited in that pair’s preferred cocaine cut style.

Cruise of course plays the lead, a cocky stock car racer named Cole Trickle, which sounds exactly like a NASCAR driver’s name because it’s the same as that of the late Dick Trickle. Kidman naturally plays the love interest, a smart woman who’s dumb enough to fall for Cruise’s abrasive character, while the pit boss is played by Robert Duvall. He is probably the best thing going for the film. It’s remarkable in fact to learn that the script for Days of Thunder is co-credited to Robert Towne. He is the writer of such classics as Shampoo, China Town, and another Cruise flick, Mission Impossible. Almost as incongruous is seeing Michael Rooker (the Walking Dead’s Merle Dixon) with hair, here playing a track rival of Trickle’s

The racing genre is always a tough sell and while Cruise is a solid actor, he can’t bring any level of gravitas to this hokey NASCAR soap opera. It’s still worth a look as it is very much a product of its era. You could compare it to the more recent Rush, which, while based on actual events, is a similar story. Catch some Cruise right after the jump. … Continue Reading

V.I.S.I.T. – A Pair Of Open Air Porsches

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The other day, we went out for a drive to the farmers market, and I spotted a pair of beautiful Porsches on the way. One was an old 6-pot swapped 914, while the other was a very well cared for 964 Carrera 4 Cabriolet in Porsche Purple Metallic. I’ve seen both cars a number of times around town, but usually while I’m in a hurry or concentrating on driving. The fact that I finally managed to track both of them down and get photos (albeit terrible cell-phone photos) of them on the same day borders on miraculous. Hit the jump for a few more pictures.

… Continue Reading

The Surprising State Ride of Czech President Václav Havel.

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Striving for social status in life can bring many rewards. My 33 years on the planet have seen me ascend to ownership of a 1997 Rover 825si (which I try not to mention too often in case I’m seen as arrogant or aloof). Jeff Glucker, my elder (and better) has a Bugatti EB110 and a fleet of GM EV-1s scattered around the world (and you thought they’d been destroyed….).

But what happens when you suddenly find yourself elected president of a former Communist-controlled land? Czechoslovakia at the end of the ’80s was a country rich with engineering talent, so creating a car fit for a President wouldn’t be a significant challenge. So, after his election after the Velvet Revolution of late 1989, what did Václav Havel drive?

… Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks- What Could be the Next Jeep or Humvee?

Robert Emslie October 20, 2014 Hooniverse Asks

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As most of you know, in Jeep nomenclature, CJ stands for Civilian Jeep, denoting the model’s decommissioned status. That switch from wartime tool to farmer’s – and eventually off-road enthusiast’s – weapon of choice is the right way to make peacetime use of war effort hardware. So venerable is the Jeep as an icon of both WWII and its civilian role that when the Humvee entered service a lot of people wondered if it too would also make the leap to civilian duty.

The Humvee (short for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) was originally built by AM General, and that company did market a civilian edition, colloquially known as the Hummer and favored by forest services, fire departments, and Ah-nold. The Hummer’s civilian makeover wasn’t nearly as simple as the Jeep’s, and once GM bought the marque they diluted the brand by adding smaller poseurs until gas prices and competitive forces put the brand out of business.

As they said in Casablanca, we’ll always have the Jeep and that former Army brat, to this day, still seems to have its mojo intact. But that’s not to say we don’t need a new former military man (or woman) in our driveways. Today’s army still rolls on the Humee, but pretenders to its throne are waiting in the wings. There’s Lockheed Martin’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), as well as options from Navistar and the Big Three. Do we need another military-civilian crossover? If so, what do you think would be the best candidate?

Image: Episodes of Army Life in WWII

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