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Visionary: 1994 Eagle Vision Aerie Concept in an alternative timeline

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Chrysler showcased this enhanced version of the then-fresh Eagle Vision at the 1994 Chicago Auto Show, amidst what seems like bubble wrap. The Eagle Vision Aerie Concept benefited from a pokier development of the 3.5-litre V6 under the hood: the regular, consumer-issue unit had 214 horsepower, but the one in the Aerie was said to produce as much as 274 horses. As well as the improved engine, the Aerie had fancy phone and fax capabilities with an automated emergency call system.

In any case, the Vision was short-lived in Eagle guise, even if the capable FWD platform ended up birthing the even-more-swoopy Chrysler 300M. The Vision nameplate died without siring a son, and there were no latter-day Talons to accompany Mitsubishi Eclipse sales. But looking at the concept’s front end treatment, there’s something unanswered deep inside that can only be brought to the light of day via PhotoShop.

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The Bean Machine: Coffee Vending Done Properly

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So, the Beautiful Days Festival was as much fun as the lineup (featuring House Of Pain, Dropkick Murphys and Gogol Bordello and more) suggested it might be, yet there was no escaping the fact that, if you’re as caffiene dependent as I am it would have been a torturous weekend if there was no decent coffee available.

As you’re aware I’ve made life hard for myself following my boycott of any catering issued from a Citroen “H” van, but happily there were none of those to be seen here. My quest for coffee led me to the far side of the arena, where I encountered The Bean Machine and it so overawed me that I elected it to be my sole supplier of hot drinks for the entirety of the festival.

Click the jump to see why.

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French Cars Living and Dying in Poland

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We start this episode of cars that are living and/or dying in Poland with some bad news. Various government agencies in Poland, especially in big cities, are beginning to remove abandoned cars from the streets. Residents are complaining about these vehicles being the eyesores of their communities and that they are taking up precious parking space. The first ones to go are the cars without license plates or those that have open gas caps. Furthermore, like other European cities, Warsaw is planning on restricting vehicles of certain age from city center due to environmental issues. Enjoy these images now as soon many of these cars will be recycled.

We have seen French cars that are living and dying in Poland twice now, here and here. So many of you love French cars, that we are considering adding a sadomasochism section to Hooniverse. Enjoy the below pictures and just keep in mind that those images are not reprehensive of all of Poland, which is quite beautiful, but rather of cars which look crappy wherever in the world they would be. As usual, all images come courtesy of zlomnik.pl and its readers.

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Hot Hatches You Should Know: Nissan Sunny 305/306 NISMO (B12)

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I’ve found the perfect combination for an absolutely unhindered workflow. This consists of brewing a very large cup of strong black coffee and browsing crystal clear promotional images of Japanese cars while listening to vaporwave music. You’re probably very familiar with the first two, and the third thing is basically slowed down corporate elevator music with effects. It sounds like you’re trapped in a 1990s consumer electronics showroom and everything is plastic and great. This suits the smooth, pastel coloured backdrops of Japanese cars like nothing else.

The result of all this, uh, painstaking research is that I keep uncovering some definitely interesting 1980s cars, featuring combinations of noses and tails and dashboards and seats I have not been aware of. Sure, most everything sporty back then was uniform in colour and had a 16-valve engine, but the trim options are endless. And for obvious, 0-in-the-middle-forbidding Peugeot reasons, the Nissan Sunny 305 and 306 Nismo never made it to European or American shores. Here they are.

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Diecast Delights: An XJ220 in 1:12 Scale. But is Bigger Better?

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In 1993, when I was 12, I visited the Florida Mall, Orlando during my first culturally charged foray into the United States. While I was there, in a branch of Smoke ‘N ‘Snuff, I bought a ludicrously overpriced Maisto model of the Jaguar XJ220 in 1:18th scale. Whether it was a £/$ exchange rate SNAFU, or simply my naivity as to Smoke ‘N Snuff’s pricing policy, I paid about three times as much as I would have in the UK.

I love that car, and I loved that model. I admired it for the rest of my vacation and I fiddled with it on board the Delta L1011-500 which took me home at the end. Then, on returning home, when unloading our suitcases from the cavernous load bay of what would later become my first Rover, my beloved XJ220 tumbled from the parcel shelf onto the rough concrete below, losing a mirror, scuffing the glass and breaking the rear aerofoil in the process. I was heartbroken. My XJ220 ownership experience has been a tarnished one.

Up until now.

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A Hooniverse swan song: Matching your lifestyle with the right Eagle

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This is a long overdue post and a tough one to write. Literally, it’s been difficult to write; I’ve started and revised it dozens of times. Also, notice that I didn’t say “story” or “report.” It’s a post and probably not a very good one and…

Look, I’m just here to say that I very recently accepted an offer to write elsewhere and, at least for me here and now on Hooniverse, things are just like Jeff Beck sang: “This is the end.”

That said, of all the hundreds of things I’ve written here in the last two years, my favorite by far was the Ford Tempo Buyer’s Guide in 2013 and I’ve always meant to follow that up. I struggled to figure out what completely unwanted car should be next and I eventually settled on the full line of Eagle, the orphaned brand caught between the worlds of failing American Motors Corporation and their pseudo-saviors at Chrysler. Follow the jump for the only guide you’ll ever need to buying an Eagle product.

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Weekend Edition: 1995-2001 Fiat Bravo HGT

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Pop quiz: how many hot hatches you remember, that came with an inline-5 engine? Before the second generation Ford Focus ST and the Volvo C30 T5, there was the Fiat Bravo HGT, with the 20-valve, 155-horsepower five.

The HGT never caught the top laurels in 1990s comparison tests, but it was uniquely true to its own concept. Rounded Fiat designs from the period have aged with varying results, and it’s easy to pick the Coupé and the Barchetta as the ones that still appeal to the eye, and still: the Bravo HGT somehow works. Four-spoke wheels and all.

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Weekend Edition: Volkswagen Golf Colour Concept

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Hot on the heels of last weekend’s Polo Harlekin article, here’s another example of dressing a fairly everyday car in a jazzier colour – or several – in an attempt of making it just a little bit cooler, to enable it to stand out on the street. Volkswagen offered a “Colour Concept” trim level of the GTI, the Golf Cabriolet and the Variant wagon, which meant you got the car in either an interesting colour with matching leather seats – or jet black, if you were the kind of person to order a colour concept car in black. Maybe that’s German black humour.

In any case, and in conjunction to the earlier Weekend Edition posts this time around, there was also a possibility of choosing a very 1990s shade of yellow, with yellow seats. It’s my favorite.

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Weekend Edition: 1985-1988 Opel Corsa GT

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This weekend, I’ll be focusing on quirky versions of once-everyday cars, ones that were represented in promotional material in glorious, eye-catching yellow. It’s obviously worked well for a long time: take an otherwise boring, appliance-like car, add some interesting trim, spray it in exciting yellow and the brochure practically writes itself.

The first one to step into the limelight is the Spanish-built Opel Corsa A from 1983, in GT trim. It’s one of the most likeable Opels I’ve discovered in a good while.

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Reader Submission Thur-er, Friday: For the love of the Bullitt

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Arguably, one of the most iconic cars in the history of cinema is the Mustang from the Steve McQueen’s Bullitt. I can’t say for certain when I first became aware of the car or the movie, as it predates me by over a decade, but at some point in my formative automotive years, the dark highland green ’68 fastback was revealed to me. It wasn’t necessarily life changing, but it had a profound impact on my aesthetic tastes in cars going forward.

The genius of McQueen’s alleged design on the Mustang’s appearance represents everything that is right about automotive styling to me. A stark contrast to the cars of the Fast and Furious franchise; the Bullitt Mustang has nothing to prove. It knows what it is. It knows exactly how cool it is and requires validation from no one. Cars with outrageous scoops and wings seem to be projecting an insecurity to me.

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