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Hoonivercinema: Best Motoring Super Battle

I’m a huge Best Motoring fan and I was deeply saddened when they closed their doors in 2011. The variation that the Best Motoring International series offered, from the Track and Touge Battles to Gymkhana runs, was a more enthusiast-minded environment than the comparable fact driven Motorweek.

Of all the battles, the Super Battle from 2006 reigns king. It’s an automotive David vs Goliath with a NSX-R and Murcielago trading places, which is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

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First Drive: 2015 Volkswagen Golf R

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Volkswagen is pretty much cooking up a Golf for everyone on the planet. You have the standard Golf, the diesel TDI, and an all-electric eGolf. Enthusiasts around the globe love the GTI. There’s also a wagon version coming soon called the Golf SportWagen.

This, however, is the one for… us. This is the Volkswagen Golf R, and it’s a turbocharged, all-wheel-drive hot hatch designed to make you a happier person. For just under $40k, you can pilot a nearly 300-horsepower five-door that also happens to have one of the (if not THE) best interior in its class.

Oh and Hans Stuck helped make sure the handling doesn’t suck.

Win-win? You best believe it…

[Disclaimer: Volkswagen invited me down to San Diego and put me up in a hotel for the evening. I took a train down to the location so I could drive a Golf R back and spend even more time with the car. Nice ride down… better ride back.]

Craigslist Crapshoot

The World’s Worst Car Is For Sale On Craigslist

Welcome to Craigslist Crapshoot, our weekly search for the most bizarre, awesome, and/or terrible vehicles that the online classifieds has to offer. 

I’m not sure what went down last week, but it appears that everything from our contest after the jump disappeared into the cornfield. That’s too bad because there was some really pithy feedback and of course the previous week’s winner. Hopefully this week we’ll be able to see the coolest diesel mini truck deal and get thing back to the normals.

This week we’re going to let it ride – not with the diesels but with the theme of mini. I don’t know about you but for me at least, spring is in the air, and that means getting out and shaking off the morass of winter’s long confinement. Maybe I’m a bear? Regardless, let’s prep for that eventual wanderlust and look this week to find the best and worst of mini-motorhomes for sale. Cab-overs, Mini-Winnies, what have you. And like last week, price is no object.

As always, we want your finds to go down in infamy and not in the site’s spam filter. Follow any of the following advice and you’re crap will be known far and wide.

  1. Easiest way to not get caught in the spam filters is to create an IntenseDebate account. If you do so and your posts aren’t appearing, let us know at tips@hooniverse.com and we can put you on the whitelist
  2. If you don’t want an IDC account, you can create a wordpress.com account and do the same thing.
  3. If you’re the Ted Kaczynski type and don’t want any kind of account, then try to place only a single link in a comment and just drop any outgoing link in via its raw URL and not as a text link.

Got that? Good, now fingers crossed, lets look at last week’s winner.

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My Weekend Didn’t Suck

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Last weekend, Mrs. Tanshanomi and I got away for an extended weekend and spent two days snowmobiling in the Arapahoe National Forest with a few friends. The Grand Lake area is a snowmobile mecca, and these three minutes of video demonstrate why. Needless to say, we came back in a very, very good mood.

Living at 1000 feet ASL and much too far south, snowmobiling is not really a practical option for us most of the time, so this sort of activity is something special for us that we only get to do every couple of years. Back in the mid ’80s, I did work in a Twin Cities Yamaha dealer for several seasons and stole demo sleds on the weekends as often as they’d let me. However, as much fun as snowmobiling is in the Midwest, it pales in comparison to the environment and vistas the Continental Divide offers.

Our Polaris 550 Trail Touring sleds were the sort of typically low-spec machine common to rental establishments: an old-style, short-tracked model powered by a fan-cooled 550cc two-stroke twin. It was pleasant enough on the trail, but had neither the lungs nor the track length to venture into anything other than hard-packed snow. Among hardcore ‘bilers, Polaris sleds — especially their two strokes — have a chorus of detractors, but the fact that all of our sleds were in fairly serviceable condition after six years and 12-15K of hard rental use is a testament to the design’s underlying robustness. The only problems we had were a couple of inop electric starters and grip heaters (the latter the victims of obvious crash damage).

This video was taken with the Chinese “Xtreme HD” action camera I’ve been playing with for a couple of years now.

The soundtrack is one I found on Newgrounds, which I’ll give a plug for here because it’s a fantastic community and a great source for Creative Commons licensed works.

Flagship Dealerships of the Champs-Elysees: Renault, Citroen

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Ready for something weird? Really weird? French weird?

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Hooniverse Asks-Rear- or Front-Facing Third Row, What’s Your Preference?

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Most all of us appreciate the utility and inherent good looks afforded by the longroof editions of our favorite sedans. Another plus for cars that extend weather and wind protection over what would normally be the trunk is the ability to put people back there instead of just cargo. Now, I know what you Mafiosos are thinking; people ride in trunks all the time, what’s the big deal? Well, some of us like to enjoy the view when we’re passengers, even when relegated to the rear-most set of perches.

It seems like almost all of today’s SUVs – and of course Minivans – position the third seat facing forward. That’s fine if you want to see where you’re going, but what if you’ve heard that maxim that hindsight is 20/20 and you want to see what that’s all about? Then you’d need to avail yourself of one of the many mid-size station wagons – especially those hailing from Europe, as many of those offered rear-facing third rows.

That of course makes it easier to get in and out of the seat – just pop the hatch and out you go. It even helps a little if mom pulls the car forward suddenly while you’re stepping out. Keeps you on your toes. On the downside, rear-facing seats can be nausea-inducing for those with weak constitutions, and nobody wants to be trapped back there with a spewin’ Stew. I guess you’ve got to take the good with the bad and today I want your take on which is the better form of third row. What’s your preference: front-facing, or back?

Image: E24

Last Call- I Wouldn’t Steer You Wrong Edition

Robert Emslie March 3, 2015 Last Call

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March 15th marks the date of the 20th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, and this year the show will be highlighting “Cars of the Cowboys.” That will include Leo Carrillo’s famous Steer Car, a 1948 Chrysler Town and Country convertible with a longhorn head mounted between the headlights. I find it both amazing and more than a little disturbing.

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: JaxAirNews

The Heritage Cars Of BF Goodrich

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Thanks to BF Goodrich, I am in Phoenix, AZ to test out the new Comp 2 All Season tire (don’t worry, a full review will be coming shortly). Last night, however, there was no driving being done, just an orientation on the tire, a history of the company’s revolutionary and perhaps radical application of technology in racing, some dinner, and a few drinks. As part of that orientation, BF Goodrich trotted out a few of their more important “Rolling Historic” touchstones. I certainly enjoyed being in the same room as a Le Mans winner, a Pikes Peak winner, and a tire innovation watershed car all in the same evening. I only have these questionable phone camera snaps of the cars, but hey, better than nothing, right? Click through the jump to see what else they brought (Don’t worry, it’s well worth your time!)

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Those Little Flourishes That Make You Go “Mmmmmm”.

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I’m as guilty as everybody else. We all coo and wow over every new shiny projectile that shows up in Hooniverse News. We also all salivate over whatever extraordinary artefact Hooniverse dredges up from Craiglist, whether it be an unseen-by-human-eyes-for-decades barnfind or some insane combination of chassis, engine and build-sheet that defies any possible explanation and is all the more awesome because of it.

We love this shit. But I can’t help but feel that we all look a little too far from home to find something to celebrate.

So, I’m laying down a challenge to everbody anybody willing to accept. Your challenge is to go outside, right now, to your daily driver and photograph just one thing that you really, really like about it. If you can’t think of anything right now, the chances are you’re driving the wrong car. But go and take another look and find something. Then come back and show us.

Meanwhile,  to provide inspiration and to show that beauty can be found anywhere, take the jump to see two features I like on a 1997 Rover.

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JuggaLambo: A short tribute to the Pontiac Grand Prix GTP

 

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This is the 1997-2003 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP. It features a supercharged V6, a heads-up display, a gimmicky car information center, a CD player with seven-band equalizer, five-spoke alloy wheels, a trunklid spoiler, so much body cladding, weird lines, acceptable crash test ratings (Take that, Grand Am!), and probably water in the taillights. This is an attainable aspirational vehicle in the downtrodden and depressed parts of the Rust Belt. This is the JuggaLambo.

What then, dear readers, is the JuggaLexus?

 

[Photo: ProductionCars.com]

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