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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Cars Named After Cities

EH-citynames

Vehicles named for exotic places are pretty common: racetracks, mountains, deserts, pretty much every place name has been mined for car and truck names. But one of the most popular geographic classifications is city names, and that is your Hoonatica assignment this week.

Today’s entry should be uncommonly clear-cut, so even though there are always caveats, today’s addition the our virtual big book of vehicular knowledge has but one: a city is a city is a city — no state, province, region, tribe, island, ocean, nation or star names, unless they also happen to be a city name…capeesh? If you have any doubts, wiki that sucker.

Difficulty: As difficult as making Ivory soap float.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.

Image Source: hemmings.com & pressroom.toyota.com.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Chrome-Free Cars

Altitude Cherokee fr

A co-worker of mine has a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. We were discussing its appearance one day when he said, “The only thing I hate about it is the Jeep badge on the grille.” Why? I asked. “Because it’s the only thing chrome. It just looks out of place.” Now, I notice it immediately whenever I see a Jeep with chrome letters on the front. And that has led me to study other cars. In this age of body-colored bumpers and carbon accents, it seems that the allure of chrome is still very much alive. Nearly all vehicles have at least a tiny dose of polished or plated brightwork somewhere. Shiny emblems are especially important, it seems. It might be silver or gold, but a shiny metallic finish on the nameplate is virtually required. Perhaps it’s just a thin chrome oval around the outside of it, but it’s nearly always there. I did notice a Jeep Wrangler Polar Edition in a Walgreen’s parking lot a while back that had flat black J-E-E-P letters above the grille. Was this, at last, a truly chrome-less car? Nope, it had shiny chrome “Trail Rated” and “Polar Edition” badges on its flanks. Even the menacing matte black Ford RS500 that JayP posted in the comments the other day has a shiny chrome Ford badge on its face. But if you look at the black Jeep Cherokee Altitude shown above, it appears we finally have a something that’s truly chrome (nickle/polished alloy/mylar) free. (Interestingly, when ordered in white, it gets chrome window surrounds.)

So, your encyclopedic task for today is to help me out by naming all the vehicles you can find that are totally free of brightwork. And I do mean totally. [Before y’all holler “GNX,” Darth’s ride has five tiny chrome letters spelling out “B-U-I-C-K” on its grille.]

Here are the caveats (there are always caveats):

  • Stock, production vehicles only, please — stick to vehicles that anyone could walk into a dealership and buy.
  • Let’s concentrate on road vehicles marketed to the general public for personal use. That means no heavy-duty trucks, forklifts, tractors, mining equipment, tanks, trains, or spacecraft.
  • Post-war vehicles only. (For those of you who flunked History 101, that means 1946 model year and later.) If you go back any further, this gets absurdly easy.
  • Chrome lug nuts, machined alloy wheel rims and headlight reflector buckets get a pass. But bonus points and bragging rights if you can avoid these.

Difficulty: Harder than you’d think, if you really get nit-picky. And I’m feeling really nit-picky on this one.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.

Image Source: Manufacturer’s press kit photo via uautoknow.net.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Native American Names

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I’m on the road this week, and as I was crossing a Sioux reservation in North Dakota, I was thinking about the many Native American names that have become commonly known parts of our lexicon.

Nowadays, corporate use of proper tribal names or even general references to indigenous peoples is rather a touchy subject, and in the past has resulted I some rather cringe-worthy marketing elements. However, the re-introduced Jeep Cherokee shows it is not quite an extinct practice.
Today your task is to name all the vehicles named (generally or specifically) after Native American (First Nations/aboriginal) people.

Difficulty: Super easy; even the low-hanging fruit could feed us all.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Aluminum Bumpers

aluminum-bumpers

In the Malaise Era, manufacturers were eager to embrace whatever weight-saving, efficiency-enhancing technology and techniques their engineers could think up. One of those clever moves was lighter-weight aluminum bumpers, which were heralded as the next big thing. Usually, aluminum was only used for the front bumper, but the 1980 Chrysler New Yorker had alloy on the both the front and rear.

As it turns out, aluminum wasn’t an ideal choice for bumpers, for a number of reasons, and they didn’t really make that big an impact. [Ba-doom tish!] Nowadays, you’re much more likely to find a polymer honeycomb behind a non-rigid fascia. But how many different models did come from the factory defended by formed aluminum bash bars? That’s what this installment of Encyclopedia Hoonatica wants to know.

Difficulty: It helps if you’re a giraffe; the low-hanging fruit will quickly get gobbled up.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.

Image Source: Chrysler and GM sales brochures, each scanned by half the people on the Internet.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Factory Roof Lights

14TDI_XTmyu037

Roof-mounted lights have been virtually required for off-road racing for many, many years. They have also been a popular modification for 4-wheel-drive vehicles that will never wear a race number, either for off-road exploring, or simply to help achieve that macho, rugged appearance. Vehicle manufacturers have taken notice of this, and have included roof lights in some of their vehicles right from the showroom, such as the Xterra Pro-4X above.

Today’s Encylopedia Hoonatica  is just that: factory roof lights — auxiliary forward lighting mounted to the roof, a roof rack, or a roll bar. But in every case they need to be mounted above the windshield. They can be standard equipment, part of a special equipment package or special edition, a stand-alone option, but they must be offered by the OEM. Dealer installed accessories are permissible ONLY if they are manufacturer-branded parts offered in the manufacturer’s regular dealer accessory catalog. No third party accessories!

This week’s entry was suggested about a month ago by Sjalabais. A hearty thanks, and a reminder that I love getting Encylopedia Hoonatica topic suggestions from readers.

Difficulty: 600,000 scoville units per hectare

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.

Image Source: NissanUSA.com.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Premium-Brand OEM Audio

EH-premium-OE-audio

For many years car radios were manufactured by subsidiaries of the manufactures themselves. The usual Ford or Delco radio, however, has been perceived by much of the buying public as low-end, with sound quality and features not quite as good as aftermarket audio components. To combat this, many manufacturers have begun installing components that wear the logo of third-party audiophile brands. Buick has strongly promoted its association with Bose (though certainly not the only car maker to do so), and Suzuki featured components from boomcar fanbois’ favorite Rockford-Fosgate.

Your encyclopedic task for this Monday is to list all the car brand/audio brand bedfellows you can think of, as well as notable models that made use of that partnership for extra bragging rights.

Difficulty: As easy as taking candy from fish in a barrel.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.

Image Source: Bose Corporation and Kizashiclub.com

[Oh, and the few of you who know what prompted this question today, please don’t spill the beans.]

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Special Editions Named for Females

female-celeb-special-edition

Car manufacturers have produced a lot special/limited edition models with tie-ins to famous people. Oleg Cassini. Eddie Bauer. Frank Sinatra. What do they nearly all have in common? They’re male. It’s actually rather difficult to think of a special edition car badged with the moniker of a famous woman. I know of two, and only one of those officially bore the woman’s name. (And no, it wasn’t a ’75 Cutlass Supreme. I just made that up.) So, after several weeks of lobbing easy ones over the virtual wall of cyberspace, I’m tasking you with a Hoonatica entry where the low-hanging fruit is few and far between. Put on your thinking caps.

The caveats:

  • Production cars only. It needs to be a version sold to the public. Lots of famous women have had a one-off vehicle crafted for them officially or semi-officially by manufacturers; those don’t count.
  • Specifically Named. Being endorsed or promoted by a female spokesperson doesn’t count, it has to be named after her.
  • Named specifically. It’s not enough for the model to be named for women in general (Dodge La Femme) or targeted towards women as a demographic (Suzuki Lapin Chocolat). It has to be named for an individual woman. [I suppose it could be the proper name of a specific group of women, although I have yet to learn of a Spice Girls Edition Protogé or Rylstone, North Yorkshire Women’s Institute Edition Austin Maestro.]

Difficulty: A bit fiendish. Only automotive history wonks need apply.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.

Image Source: Curbside Classic and Clipartbest.com

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Inside & Outside Seating

Outside Seating

Last Thursday, Hooniverse published a pair of posts that featured the Subaru Brat and the Lambo LM002. I was struck by something these two vehicles had in common: enclosed cabins plus uncovered jump seats. Both force certain passengers to ride out in the wind, rain and sun with no option of a convertible top, while the driver sits ensconced in the climate-controlled shade and quiet of an enclosed cabin with a fixed steel roof. How many vehicles have this arrangement?

Well, that’s where the magic of our commenters’ hive mind comes in. As every Monday, your task is to help us construct just such a comprehensive list in the comment section below.

The caveats: NONE! It’s an all-skate. It’s more fun when as many people as possible participate, so I am leaving this one wide open. Any age, any type of vehicle. Just so long as at least one passenger is forced to sit out in the open, and at least one other is in an enclosed, fixed-roof cabin.

Difficulty: See above. A blue run. Not quite a gimmie, but you should make it through without crashing out.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember thanks to Disqus, no HTML is needed: you can simply paste in the image URL.

Image Sources: Hooniverse, last Thursday.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: More or Less than Two Windshield Wipers

EH-windshieldwipers

Modern cars overwhelmingly have two windshield wipers, but that typical arrangement is certainly not the only one. Sometimes more or less than two wipers is a fancy feature (à la Mercedes) or simply a necessity (such as on the FJ Cruiser’s squatty windshield).

Your task today is to catalog for all eternity (or at least as long as Google lasts) all the vehicles that have either a single front windshield wiper, or more than two. (And no, Mr. Clever, rear window wipers don’t count!)

Difficulty: I’m not really sure. There’s more low-hanging fruit out there, but this is just the sort of thing you’re likely to see on obscure and bizarre low-production vehicles, so how deep this well goes is anybody’s guess.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember thanks to Disqus, no HTML is needed: you can simply paste in the image URL.

Image Sources: Reddit.com and YouTube

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Factory White Wheels

EH-white-wheels

Not too long ago in the history of the automobile, wheels were almost universally black steel, or perhaps painted to match the body color of the car, if you bought something really fancy. But white wheels? That would look weird. And indeed, when tried, they did look sort of weird. That didn’t stop white aftermarket wheels from becoming a bona fide trend; nowadays they’re seemingly everywhere on everything from sports cars to stanced hatchbacks that can’t traverse a speed bump.

However, original equipment white wheels from the showroom are not quite as common. Your assignment for today is to fill our virtual tome of arcane knowledge with a list of all the production cars that rolled off the assembly line equipped with white wheels. (Bonus points if the body color is something other than white.)

Difficulty: 3.6-1000 nanofarthings per sidereal year.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember thanks to Disqus, no HTML is needed: you can simply paste in the image URL.

Image Sources: IMCDb.com and General Motors Heritage Center via Hemmings.com

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