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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: OE Trunk Racks

Tanshanomi September 15, 2014 Encyclopedia Hoonatica


Welcome to your weekly opportunity to geek out on arcane automobilia, in which Encyclopedia Hoonatica seeks your help in listing a list, compiling a compilation, compending a compendium of cars that have a specific and usually fairly meaningless trait in common.

Today (thanks to an awesome suggestion by regular Hooniverse reader Krautwursten), the common trait we want to definitively list is original equipment, trunk-mounted luggage racks. Now, we’re not talking about roof racks (which are so common on SUVs and station wagons as to be tedious and uninteresting to list). We are also not interested in accessory racks. We want to know about vehicles that were available new with a luggage rack mounted on the trunk lid (or “boot” if you’re an unyankee’d Hainingite.) This DOES include racks that were offered as a factory-authorized accessory, since these were commonly a dealer-installed option.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: NOT Available At Your Local Dealer

Once a manufacturer goes through the time, effort and expense to construct a new car design, the idea is usually to sell all they can, through every sales channel available. The majority of sales (as Tesla has recently discovered) is almost always through their franchised dealer network. But car makers also sell to fleets, rental car companies, and other non-retail buyers. Sometimes they offer these “buy-‘em-by-the-dozen” customers specially-equipped models that regular dealers don’t get to sell. Today’s Encylcopedia Hoonatica entry seeks these not-available-at-your-local-dealer offerings, whether they are end-of-life, previous generation designs that few private individuals would want to purchase anyway or really, really cool vehicles that gearheads must impatiently watch to show up used on Joe Bob’s Corner Car Lot.

DIFFICULTY: Get your low-hanging fruit early.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: “Euro-Warts”

Car makers must adapt cars sold worldwide to meet the specific requirements of different markets. One way that Eurozone and North American regulations differ is the ECE requirement for “side repeaters,” which are turn signal lamps mounted on the front fender behind the front axle. North American cars have no such requirement. Sometimes, manufacturers install the repeater lamp, which is allowable as a non-required option. In other cases, they stamp different fenders with and without the repeater hole (mostly true of domestic American cars). But it’s often cheapest and most efficient to simply replace the lamp with a dummy plug that snaps into the existing hole — a “Euro-wart.” These can masquerade as an intentionally designed emblem quite convincingly (I’m thinking of one captive import in particular), other times they look like, well, an obvious plastic filler plug.

So, prepare to take up your position as a braincell in the commentariat hivemind. Today’s Encyclopedia Hoonatica task is to come up with all the North American cars that have worn these useless fillers badges of overseas exploits. (For those of you residing beyond our continental shores, feel free to point out examples where far-far-away-spec hardware was kludgily deleted for your home market — or anywhere else for that matter.)  Remember, the list is first-come-first-served; read through the existing comments before posting and refrain from making duplicate entries.

DIFFICULTY: I fear you are underestimating the sneakiness, Sir.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Single & Double Cam


This week’s Encyclopedia Hoonatica entry changes things up a bit: we’re not looking for cars, we’re looking for engines. Specifically, we want motors that were available in both single-cam and twin-cam versions, either concurrently or a design that was revised over time. What we don’t want are engine designs that were simply replaced with a different one of similar size from the same manufacturer. These should be different versions of the same basic architecture.

As always, remember to read the existing comments first. Duplicate mentions are bad form.

DIFFICULTY: Some low hanging fruit, but overall one for the gear geeks. 40,000 points for naming an engine with OHV (cam-in-block) and DOHC versions.

IMAGE SOURCES: Wikipedia, hotrod.com

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Both Sealed Beam & Aero Headlights


For nearly half a century, cars in the United States were required by law to have sealed beam headlights. Automobile designers were restricted to the use of no more than four rigidly prescribed, standard headlight configurations. But in other parts of the world, car makers were free to get all freaky and aerodynamic with so-called “architectural” headlight shapes that could be custom-shaped for each individual model. Then, in 1984, Ford convinced the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to chuck the outdated U.S. restrictions, and we yanks were soon enjoying a flood of freshly sculpted aero facades.

Your assigned task for today is to list all the cars that were available with both aero and sealed beam headlamps. This could be cars that had either different versions for American and overseas markets prior to 1984, or USDM cars that got a mid-cycle aero refresh for once the aero prohibition ended. (Just to be clear, we want two versions of the same actual platform, not just a common model name.)

Remember, read the comments first, because posting duplicates is a most distasteful breech of hoonetiquette.

DIFFICULTY: Low. Tumble Dry, Do Not Iron.

Image sources:

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Unusual Spare Tire Placement


Cars typically stow their spare tires under the floor of the trunk. On wagons and hatchbacks, that location ends up below the cargo floor. If an SUV’s big tire won’t fit in the wayback, it usually hangs on the rear tailgate. A pickup truck’s spare is probably trussed up under the bed on a cable, or if the truck’s old enough, bolted to one side of the bed between the cab and rear fender. But some design teams go their own way and put the spare tire someplace else, someplace nobody else would have considered. Maybe it’s with an eye toward convenience, or greater packaging efficiency, or maybe the dang thing just wouldn’t fit anywhere else. Today, Encyclopedia Hoonatica is looking for all the non-standard spare tire locations the commentariat hivemind can come up with.

Remember, read the previous comments first and don’t post duplicates.

DIFFICULTY: Semi-sweet (55% cacao)
[Actually, this one is super easy. If your favorite example has been taken, there have been several previous Hooniverse Asks posts you can mine for ideas.]

Image sources:
BringATrailer.com (again)

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Contrasting Greenhouse Paint

A convertible’s cloth top by necessity breaks up the horizontal lines of a car, contrasting the cloth top with the steel below the beltline. On some cars, this looks strikingly good. Vinyl tops were originally designed to mimic that look without the fresh-air option. While vinyl tops are largely derided by Hooniverse readers, it’s not the only way to get that contrast. Over the years, car makers have used contrasting paint on the greenhouse to get the same effect, with some really great results, and a few not-so-great.

For today’s Encyclopedia Hoonatica entry, we want you to list all the production vehicles that were available from the manufacturer with two-tone paint jobs that accentuated the vinyl/convertible look.

Remember, E.H. is first come, first served, so read through the comments first so you don’t clutter the list with duplicates.


Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Side Opening Hatches


NOTE: This post inadvertently went live for a short time yesterday morning [thanks to the WordPress mobile app's oh-so-intuitive interface—grrr!]. My apologies to those who began commenting only to have the article disappear, and to those whose best suggestion has already been taken by a cybersooner.

Last Thursday, Jim’s review of the Caravan C/V caused me to remember that Dodge offered a full-width, one-piece rear door for many years on their B-Series vans, but unlike the upward-hinged liftgate typical of today’s minivans and sport-utes, the big B’s barn door opened to the side. That always seemed slightly odd and impractical to me, though it did remove the big rear window split that two separate cargo doors caused. Obviously, some designers do like the concept, because there are a number of vehicles that use it.

So, today, I want you to list all the vehicles the Hooniverse hivemind can come up with that have a single, side opening rear hatch.

And, yes, school buses would technically count (even though those are more emergency exits than cargo hatches). Now that I’ve covered that, let’s not list individual manufacturers and models. Likewise, we want a single, side opening rear door, so don’t get smart-alecky and post an Isetta.

DIFFICULTY: 3.5 – 4.5 on the Mohs scale, or until golden brown.

Image Sources:

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Differing Ride Heights


Last Wednesday’s Hooniverse Asks question about low cars vs. high cars caused me think about models that were available both as a low car and a high car. I want you to list cars that were simultaneously available in different versions that had significant and deliberate variations in ride height.

This entry is NOT about cars whose ride height changed only slightly, or over multiple years of production, because that list could go on forever. Let’s also skip different heights of 2WD/4WD pickup versions, because they’re pretty predictable and obvious (and frankly, a list of them all would be rather uninteresting).

On the other hand, feel free to vigorously debate whether the US and foreign market rubber-bumper MGBs constitute two discrete models, and whether the US version’s 1-inch lift was “significant” or “deliberate.”

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Fair to partly cloudy.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Zombie Cars


Encyclopedia Hoonatica originally appeared as a daily feature here on the ‘verse for a few months the fall of 2010, but has only popped up sporadically since. Well, today marks its return to the regular Hooniverse schedule as a weekly feature to brighten your Mondays. For those of you unfamilar with how this works, I’ll toss out a specific characteristic or odd quirk that differentiates certain cars, and your job is to fill the comment stream with all the examples the Hooniverse hive-mind can generate. (However, please do us the courtesy of reading through the existing comments first, so we don’t clutter up the list with needless duplicate entries.)

Just as this feature has seemingly returned from the dead, our encyclopedia entry today is Zombie Cars: vehicles that went out of production only to be revived later (in original or modified form) by a subsequent company or brand, or just some lone crackpot who bought stamping dies from a bankruptcy auction.

As a caution, here are some instances that would NOT belong on this list:

  • Vehicles that outlived the original production run due to being licensed to a secondary manufacturer during production, such as the Willys Interlagos and Hindustan Ambassador.
  • Vehicles that changed marques but never really went out of production, such as the Bertone X1/9 and Pininfarina Spider.
  • Totally new vehicles that were reborn in name only, such as the Mini Cooper and the . . . well, we really don’t need a second example of that one, do we?

But part of what makes Encyclopedia Hoonatica facinating is that your job is also to help define our entries: What about vehicles whose cancellation was announced, then rescinded by the maker? Should those be included here? One such example was BMW’s R100RS motorcycle*, which was ceremonially put to death amidst great fanfare in 1984, only to reappear three years later with few changes other than a single-sided swingarm. Is this a Zombie?

* for the purposes of Encyclopedia Hoonatica, “cars” includes motorcycles and trucks and any other close cousins to automobiles, unless specified otherwise or simply nonsensical for inclusion.


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