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Dodge Challenger Hellcat: Mad Max… the car

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Yes, I know Mad Max drove an old Ford. It Mr. Mad were around in the modern era, there’d be no question about what he would driving; the 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat.

It’s a 707-horsepower, supercharged coupe, and you can have it with either a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic. We’ve got the manual, and we’ve got empty roads to play around on. That means it’s time to get sideways, get silly, and get busy burning off the rear tires.

We apologize to no one… you don’t ever have to apologize to people when you drive a Hellcat.

(It voids the warranty)

[Disclaimer: Dodge tossed me the keys to the Hellcat and included a tank of gas. That fuel didn’t last very long… ]

Project HoonTruck: Let’s take a look at what we’ve got here

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I pulled up to the stoplight.

Third gear was still a mystery to me, but I was working on it. I’ll figure this truck out sooner rather than later, but I was still stuck in the getting to know you phase of our relationship. The brakes were stiff, but I knew that already. Regardless, they worked and the nose of the truck wasn’t 3 feet farther into the intersection than it should be.

The idle was a bit high, but I could fix that now. Besides it was at 1,200 at the moment and not 2,200… I could hear myself think. I could also feel the eyeballs of the car next to me. The lady, who was in her later stages of life, was driving a third generation Ford Explorer. My windows were already rolled down, and she brought hers to the same level.

“What year is it?”
A ’65 I answered back.
“It’s wonderful, are you going to restore it?”
I replied that I was planning on it leaving it pretty much as it looked, and explained as much as one could over the course of a traffic light.
“Well good… because it’s gorgeous as it is.”

My smile lasted four more days…

… Continue Reading

Podcast: Episode 90 – An Al You Minium Adventure

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Chris Hayes and Blake Z Rong decide to take the podcast on the road for Episode 90. The two are stuck together in the cab of a 2015 Ford F-150, and are on the road to go pickup a new engine for Blakes Miata. This will be the third engine… by the way.

Here’s the full description from Producer Chris:

This week Blake and I decided to record an episode inside the 2015 Ford F150 Ecoboost whilst venturing to the wilds of deep Corona California to pick up his freshly built Miata engine. This week we cover the Ford GT, Buick’s lack of direction, chassis stiffening, mid-engine Corvettes, the Mercedes SLS + AMG GT all under the veil of imminent road rage.

Please excuse some tapping noise at the very end of the episode as our microphone mount became loose.


Hooniverse – 2015 F150 now with optional podcas studio.

Please go to iTunes to rate and review our podcast.

Podcast: Episode 89 – The Future of Hot Rodding

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Today we dive into some new car chatter. One of the main topics is the subject of the future of hot rodding, and how I believe it will be about electric cars, coding, and drive-by-wire adjustments.

Additionally, there’s news of a purchase for the Hooniverse family. A new project car is arriving, and you can learn more about it by listening in.

OPEN YOUR EARS AND LET US TAKE THEM!


Hooniverse – The Future Of Hot Rodding

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Volvo V60 Polestar: High Performance Conflict Resolution

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You need a car that can handle the load of your daily life. You also need a car that’s going to make you smile when you drive it. Enter the Volvo V60 Polestar; a premium, compact wagon with a racing background.

It’s limited. It’s packing 350 horsepower. It will run from 0-60 miles per hour in under five seconds. It can do all of this, and it can also transport your family comfortably and safely.

This is another shining example of the awesomeness that is the wagon.

[Disclaimer: Volvo/Polestar tossed me the guys to this bright blue wagon for a few days, and included a tank of gas. I wish they would toss me those keys and let me keep it forever… such a great car.]

Dodge Challenger Scat Pack: A Half-Price Hellcat

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The name isn’t great, even if it’s rooted in history. All is forgotten upon a press of the start button, however, because the Dodge Challenger Scat Pack is a ridiculously fun machine set at half-Hellcat pricing.

Under the hood is a 485-horspower 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine that enjoys ruining any relationship it may have had with its own rear tires. Inside is a cabin that is actually from the 21-st century. Outside is retro styling done right, with a clear nod to the past mixed with modern touches.

It’s not perfect, but that makes it even more of a muscle car, and that’s part of the reason that we love it.

Just know that everywhere you go is now a Smoking Zone…

Podcast: Episode 88 – Assistant to the Regional Curator

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Blake and I are back in the old-school Podcast Palace of Love in this episode, and there’s a lot to talk about. The 2015 Detroit Auto Show just took place and the reveals were pretty awesome. Ford killed it, Buick surprised everyone with a lovely concept, and a handful of other automakers showed some great products.

Beyond the new car news, Blake has a bit of news of his own. He’s got a new gig, and it’s pretty damn perfect for him. Listen up!


Hooniverse – Assistant TO the Regional Curator

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Polygons ahoy: Some MS-DOS racing games worth a try on Archive.org

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If you’re around my age (and probably a few years older), you came of age around the time when home computing was similarly coming of age. And if you’re like me, you spent an inordinate amount of time tinkering with polygonal and/or text-based MS-DOS games. While many of these games have fallen into the Abandonware file (although still runnable in Windows with a DOS emulator like DOSBOX), that’s always been just annoying enough to keep my attention.

However, the wonderful Archive.org recently teamed up with DOSBOX to provide a forum that lets nostalgic types like myself play old DOS games from the comfort of their preferred web browser. You can find that DOS games archive/in-browser emulator here. There are enough nerdy types here on Hooniverse to discuss and debate the merits of the myriad of games (Oregon Trail vs. Wolfenstein 3D: In which game do you shoot more? Go.), but let’s instead discuss some good automotive-related games I found worth my time.

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Podcast: Episode 87 – Back to work

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The holidays are over, which means it’s time to get back to work. I’m joined by producer Chris Hayes to chat about what we’ve been up to. Also, it’s time to dive into some new car news before we take a lookat our own cars.

As you know the Civic Si is gone, and so I talk about what I’m looking to find to replace the Honda. I’m going in quite a different direction.

The new car news ranges from Audi running an autonomous car between San Francisco to Las Vegas before switching to chatter about possible Porsche name changes.

Hooniverse – Back to work

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Precise Figures Unavailable: The Aston Martin 6.3 Liter Wide Body Virage

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“We can’t disclose those figures I’m afraid.”

This was the reply I received to a series of questions from a fellow who should know, Paul Spires, the general manager of Aston Martin Works in Newport-Pagnell, County Buckinghamshire, England.

Situated in the “historic home of Aston Martin” since 1959 – effectively the fifth Aston factory, following earlier stints in London and Middlesex – the AM Works is the keeper of the brand’s historic flame, offering “heritage services” for all late model Aston’s including “heritage upgrades” as well as a menu of other services.

The Works website and company brochures tout Newport-Pagnell as the font of all things AM. “Aston Martin Works is now the largest, best equipped and most knowledgeable heritage restoration center in the world.”

So why can’t the Works general manager “disclose” how many of Aston’s already imposing Virages received the full “Works Service conversion” that resulted in the very rare and lusted-after British muscle car you see here?

Why is Aston Martin unable to divulge how many of the converted cars were right-hand-drive or left-hand-drive or how many were equipped with manual gearboxes?

Three reasons as far as anyone can tell: the plight of Aston Martin in the late 1980s/early 1990s, poor record-keeping and the English penchant for doing rather grand things in convoluted fashion.

… Continue Reading

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