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Speed Zone

You might think that after The Cannonball Run, the Gumball Rally, and a slew of other cross-country mad dash movies, that by the late ’80s the genre would have been played out. You would be only half right in that assessment. There will always be an opportunity for celebrity-studded car chase movies, and there are a slew of B-celebs to fill them once all the top-talent has already had a turn behind the wheel.

Released in 1989, Speed Zone is one of those crazy car race movies – perhaps the last one to date – and it is notable for a number of reasons. First off, it stars not has-beens or wannabes, but a good part of Canada’s SCTV cast, including John freakin’ Candy! It also has Donna Dixon and Brooke Shields if you’re into ’80s actresses or big hair.  Finally, it features Jamie Farr (Klinger from the TV show, M.A.S.H.) as an Arab former racer, making Farr notable for appearing in all three of the titans of this genre. As far as cars go, Speed Zone – which was later renamed Cannonball Fever  - features a fake Countach, a Jag XJS, E32 BMW 7 Series, and a jet aircraft that has trouble with an overpass.

Siskel & Ebert gave the film two thumbs down with Siskel calling it “so venal it doesn’t even try to be good.” You can judge for yourself by watching the trailer right after the jump.

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Modern Art Monday – A Last Year Suicide Door Lincoln Continental, now for sale on eBay…

Lincoln Continental 4 Door Sedan with Suicide Doors  eBay - Google Chrome 8312014 91037 PM.bmp

It is the Labor Day Holiday Weekend, and as such, we are running a bit light on posts for your reading pleasure, so I thought I would step in with a Modern Art Monday piece… And look what I found. This is a 1969 Lincoln Continental Sedan that has just been spruced up for a new owner. The Suicide Door Continental Sedans and Convertibles have been quite tasteful in design and execution, though to be truthful, the 1969 version was starting to drift away from the purity of the original design. So, it it elegantly tasteful, or hopelessly overwrought?

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Hooniverse Asks- Do you really need armrests?

Robert Emslie September 1, 2014 Hooniverse Asks


Thinking back on all the cars I have owned, I’ve come to the realization that the better part of half of them have been so small that they have not offered a place to put my elbows, well, not officially that is. Some, like my Austin Healey go so far as to lack an inner door skin, offering up the inside of the door itself for elbow room, albeit without a place to rest those weary joints.

Armrests are a fairly modern convenience in the automotive world, and like cup holders, they seem to a place where car makers expend a good bit of capital in making them as innovative and convenient as possible. Some center armrests are adjustable for position and height, while others offer a place for your cell phone just an elbow’s length away. Considering that you should be driving with your hands on the wheel at ten and two, and that wheel positioned at almost an arm’s length away, I’m wondering whether we even need armrests at all? Don’t they just serve to perpetuate bad habits?

Here in America, for the longest time the standard driving position wasn’t 10 and 2, it was one elbow on the doorsill and the other in your lap while steering with your hand lightly gripping the bottom of the wheel. This animus for proper positioning is only exacerbated by offering comfy little pillows for your elbows. Plus, they take up valuable room and sometimes get in the way of shifting. What’s your take on armrests, are they a boon, or a bad habit-enabling bust?

Image: The Hogring

Weekend Edition Quick Hit – Lets discover this low mileage 1981 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency Coupe…

Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Regency Coupe  eBay - Google Chrome 8312014 40614 PM.bmp

Let us continue with the Labor Day Weekend Edition by checking out this 1981 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency Coupe. This was one of a dying breed, the full-sized 2-door. This was a little larger that the personal luxury cars that were then in production (The Chevrolet Monte Carlo, The Ford Thunderbird, the Chrysler Cordoba, and even the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme) and unlike those cars, this car could feasibly seat six adults. This car has only covered about 26,000 miles, so let’s find out if that makes it desirable or not…

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Weekend Edition Quick Hit – Here is a 1953 Kaiser Traveler DeLuxe Hatchback on Craigslist (of all things…)

1953 Kaiser Traveler Deluxe 4 door hatchback - Google Chrome 8312014 94619 AM.bmp

Of all the cars that could be listed on Craigslist, this particular car is unexpected. OK, so you go to Craigslist to find beaters, and you find dealers who are primarily Buy-Here Pay-Here types of retailers, or you might find some questionable customized vehicles, but for the most part, they are all unremarkable everyday vehicles that appear within the listings… Not this time, as we take a look at a truly rare vehicle from the early 50′s…

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Weekend Edition Quick Hit – Talk about a Time Capsule… A 1977 Ford Granada Ghia with only 7,500 miles!!!

Ford Other Ghia  eBay - Google Chrome 8312014 90016 AM.bmp

It is the Sunday Edition of the Hooniverse Labor Day Weekend, and I thought I would start out with this extremely low mileage 1977 Ford Granada Ghia. For all of our non US readers out there, the Ford Granada that was produced on these shores was nothing like the European version, as it was nothing but a retooled US Ford Falcon (and it also shared the underpinnings of the US Ford Maverick!) complete with rear leaf springs… However, do you think this Granada is at least somewhat desirable?

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Weekend Edition Quick Hit – Let’s take a look at this 1980 Plymouth Arrow Pickup Truck, and tell me it’s not desirable…

1980 Plymouth Arrow Excellent Condition - Google Chrome 8302014 35652 PM.bmp

Continuing on with our labor Day Weekend Edition, and look at what I discovered lurking close by (on Cape Cod no less)… This is a 1980 Plymouth Arrow Pickup, which was a badge engineered version of the Dodge D50 Pickup, which are both derived from the Mitsubishi Forte Pickup at the time. The Arrow Pickup was only available between 1979 and 1982, and many of them have long since turned into Chinese Appliances or Iron Oxide, and not many are left…

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Weekend Edition Quick Hit – This is a 1973 Mazda RX-3 Wagon ready to be “Reborn”…

1973 Mazda Rx3 Wagon. Garage Find!! Stored Since 1997. Must See! - Google Chrome 8302014 104537 AM.bmp

Southern California is a wonderful place that seems to have all kinds of treasures hidden within storage bins and garages. This is a 1973 Mazda RX-3 Wagon that has been in storage for quite a while, but it is not currently running. So, the question of the weekend is this: Is a Rotary Powered Mazda Wagon worth the trouble of getting back on the road for future generations to enjoy, and at what cost?

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Weekend Edition Quick Hit – Here is a Modified Buick Roadmaster “Superbird”…

1995 Buick Roadmaster (Modified) - Google Chrome 8302014 101610 AM.bmp

Welcome to the last weekend of the Summer of 2014, and I thought I would start out with this highly modified Buick Roadmaster currently found on Craigslist. I am not sure what the builder’s vision was, but modifying a Roadmaster into an angular interpretation of a Plymouth Superbird takes… Well, it probably involves a lot of alcohol…

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Last Call- Poor-Man’s Porsche Edition

Robert Emslie August 29, 2014 Last Call


Porsche’s 911 and Fiat’s 500 (the original one) both are rear-engined. I think that’s reason enough to combine the two in a weird cinquecento/novecento undici melding, and that’s just what a Greek enthusiast did, with this as the result. The engine seems to remain the tiny-weeny Fiat four, but then again, it is in the back.

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: Taringa!


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