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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Modified Wheel Count

reliant-robin-kitten

Vehicles with more or less fewer than four wheels are somewhat rare in the whole scheme of vehiclulardom (well, except for big trucks, I suppose). But vehicles that were modified at some point in the platform’s lifespan to alter the number of wheels are even more rare. The most commonly-known one is probably the Reliant Robin, which begat the Kitten with a new, rubber-donut-enriched front end. You might think the trail goes cold right there, but you’d be wrong. There are a good number of other vehicles that were tweaked to increase or decrease the number of wheels. It’s your job to think of and list them all.

Difficulty: Roughly equivalent to sitting through The Fall of the Roman Empire.

Learn your clichés, they’re your friends: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Adding photos with standard HTML is good, but shrink the big ones with width="500".

Image Sources: kenjonbro’s flicker page, Wikipedia.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Sequel Model Names

1979-IIs

Ford went a little crazy with the sequel naming thing in the 1970s, slapping roman numerals at the end of model names to differentiate the “new and improved” models from the old, outdated original. Or at least, that was the idea.

Movies with a roman numeral at the end of the title rarely turn out to be as good as the original that came before them. Is that equally true for cars? We are fortunately not here to debate the quality of these cars, just the names. We want you, dear readers, to come up with the definitive list of car models that used roman numerals to signify a new or updated iteration.

Difficulty: Somewhere between a II and a III.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Adding photos with standard HTML is good, but shrink the big ones with width="500".

Image Sources: oldcarmanualproject.com, paintref.com

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: TV Anti-Hero Cars

tv-antihero-cars

Television is a great medium for manufacturers to show off production cars through product placement deals. Who can forget the Saint’s Volvo or Jim Rockford’s Firebird? Likewise, prominently featuring fancy exotics (Magnum P.I., Spenser For Hire, Miami Vice, The Mentalist) or wild, customized show cars such as the Batmobile, Monkeemobile, and Mannix Toronado generate enthusiasm for a show and up the characters’ “cool factor”.

But other, more down-to-earth shows sometimes feature a car that is notable, but for the WRONG reasons. For example, Harry O‘s Austin-Healey Sprite was represented in the show as a notoriously unreliable bucket of bolts. On In Plain Sight, U.S. Marshall Mary Shannon and her co-workers often leveled outright contempt toward her worn out, faded purple Ford Probe.

Your encyclopedic task for today is to list cars featured as an ongoing plot device on a TV show, but that were either disliked by the characters who drove them or represented as worthy of ridicule by the audience.

Difficulty: Finally, one that’s as achievable for pop-culture machines and couch potatoes as for hardcore motor geeks.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Adding photos with standard HTML is good, but shrink the big ones with width="500".

Image Sources: davidjanssen.net, IMCDB

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Hidden Glass

F-body-appliques

For today’s Encyclopedia Hoonatica entry, we want our Hooniversal crew to create a comprehensive list of cars with hidden glass. You see, when manufacturers want to refresh the styling an existing platform, they often wish to reshape part of the greenhouse—most typically, the rear quarter windows. Unfortunately, stamping dies are horribly expensive, so actually changing the shape of the window openings in the body panels is rarely economically viable. As a result, they often keep the same glass and simply cover part of the window with solid panels known in the industry as “window appliques.”

The poster child for this technique, as shown above, is Chrysler’s L-body hatchback coupe. The story is that Lee Iacocca was famously critical of the original (rarely seen) profile with pop-out quarter-windows, and the designers overcompensated by coming up with no fewer than five different rear C-pillar/quarter window profiles over the platform’s lifecycle. But this is not the only example of a car that had some (or all?) of its quarter window glass (or some other greenhouse opening) hidden behind solid panels. What other examples can you think of where designers shrunk the effective size of a window with a glass sandwich?

Difficulty: Tougher than many lately. A bit of low-hanging fruit, then the field quickly moves to really obscure ones.

Welcome To The Rock: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Adding photos with standard HTML is good, but shrink the big ones with width="500".

Image Sources: allpar.com, fotosdecarros.com

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: The Name’s The Same

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There are only so many memorable, cool-sounding, or widely known car names, and many have been recycled over the years on different, unrelated models. Many have even been affixed to cars from different manufacturers. But in some cases, a particular car maker has concurrently sold different cars in different markets under the same name. That is what you’re tasked with listing today.

Here are the caveats:

  • The vehicles need to be sold concurrently, or at least in the same decade or so.
  • The vehicles need to be by the same manufacturer (or at least the same industrial conglomerate.) No thieved car names.
  • No “world car” model that happened to be sold in different countries, but was basically the same platform.
  • No race cars or concept cars. We want regular production cars for sale to the public.
  • Sub-lines and trim level names are a gray area. Toss them out only if they are fairly notable and unusual. Nothing generic, such as “Limited Edition” or “Sport.”

Difficulty: As easy as taking candy from a Buddha.

Welcome Newcomers: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Adding photos with standard HTML is good, but shrink the big ones with width="500".

Image Source: Wikipedia

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Multiple C-Pillar Windows…or something.

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Today’s Hoonatica entry was suggested by fellow Hooniverse staffer Kamil Kaluski. who wants to know about “Vehicles with two C-pillar windows. This is tricky, as window usually is a division between the C- and D-pillars.” He included the above photo as an illustration.

Now, if his suggested characteristic is not crystal clear to you, you are not alone, as the resulting staff E-mails indicate. Robert Emslie replied, “Huh? What the hell are you talking about?” Alan Cesar attempted to clarify the question by asking, “Are you talking about the window ahead of and behind the C pillar? That this car is an oddball because it has 2 in that sense? Or do you mean just the little bitty triangle window?” Unfortunately, like the Greek oracle, Kamil’s replied was equally cryptic: “Yes, exactly!” Not a helpful answer to an either/or question, Kamil.

… Continue Reading

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Cars Named For Cats

EH-catcars

Over the years, automobiles have been given names intended to conjure up impressions of forcefulness, danger, precision, maneuverability, speed, beauty, independence or self-confidence. And nearly any feline species epitomizes nearly all those characteristics simultaneously. So, it’s no surprise that cat names are a popular naming choice.

Your task today is to list all the cat-related vehicular nomenclature you can. Since there are only so many feline species out there, feel free to go long: model names, brand names, motorcycles, trucks, military vehicles — if it has an engine and moves on a roadway, it’s fair game.

Difficulty: “They’re not as easy as I thought they’d be, Master.”

Don’t make the cat angry: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Adding photos with standard HTML is good, but shrink the big ones with width="500".

Image Source: mclellansautomotive.com, howstuffworks.com.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Makers of Vehicles and Firearms

EH-GUNSANDCARS

An old friend once told me that there are three topics of conversation in which no teenage male will ever admit ignorance: girls, cars, and guns. While that’s probably not literally true, our encyclopedia entry for today involves two of them (hint: neither is “girls”).

Guns and vehicles do seem go together. From a purely pragmatic standpoint, it makes sense: the various parts of an internal combustion engine and the barrel and frame of a firearm require similar manufacturing skills to cast, forge and efficiently machine moving parts that are highly accurate and metallurgically robust enough to deal with extreme stress during operation. A factory that builds one can probably build the other.

So, your task today is to name all the car (truck, motorcycle, scooter, tractor, etc.) manufacturers that have also dabbled in firearms manufacturing. Or vice versa.

Difficulty: “More than a tickle, less than paying your taxes.”

If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Adding photos with standard HTML is good, but shrink the big ones with width="500".

Image Source: Random web images previously downloaded to my hard drive. Beyond that I have no clue.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Negative Angle Glass

negativeglass

Automotive greenhouses tend to be somewhat pyramid shaped, with glass that angles in toward the top, describing a more-or-less convex curve (or at the very least imitating the sides of an A-frame chalet). If the vehicle is commercial and utilitarian enough, it might have vertical glass. But auto glass that’s leans outward is especially rare, and the topic of our Hoonatica entry today.

It’s an All-Skate! Given the peculiar (perhaps even slightly goofy) nature of this characteristic, anything goes: production cars, trucks, concepts, one-offs, customs, iron-wheeled Soviet-era Russian logging tractors — if you’ve got a picture of it, post it! [Unfortunately, it must have wheels.]

Difficulty: You can’t handle the truth.

The More You Know: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Adding photos with standard HTML is good, but shrink the big ones with width="500".

Image Source: Flickr, Flickr (again), Hooniverse.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Factory Pink Paint Jobs

1972-dodge-challenger-rt-440-panther-pink-7-1
A female co-worker of mine is shopping for a new car, and she loves pink. But wanting a pink car is a bit of an issue. In her words, “I own a pink rifle, a pink boom box, a pink laptop and a pink bicycle; why can’t I buy a pink car?”

The only cars I could think of that arrived on dealers’ lots in pink were the famous 1970 Panther Pink/Moulin Rouge Mopars. So, I turn to you, my fellow Hooniversalist brethren. What other production cars can you name that are/were sold by the manufacturer in some shade of pink?

    Here are the caveats (there are always caveats):

  • Consider the ’70 Mopars covered. We don’t have to list them all, model-by-model.
  • I want regular production cars for sale to the public — that means no concept cars.
  • No Playboy award cars, unless you can somehow document that pink was also offered as a regular production paint option.
  • No aftermarket paint jobs, no matter how noteworthy. [Along this same line, the first one to post a photo of Paris Hilton’s Bentley will be subjected to a good ol’ fashioned, Amish-style shunning.]
  • Even though this should already covered above, let me specifically state that Mary Kay is *NOT* an automobile manufacturer.

Difficulty: Approximately 975,000 banana-equivalent-doses per millifortnight.

Boilerplate de jure: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Adding photos with standard HTML is good, but shrink the big ones with width="500".

Image Source: StockMopar.com

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