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No Beach Out Of Reach: Dutton Reef Amphibian

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On Monday’s bonus round of Mystery Car, the unnamed machine was correctly identified as the Amphicar 770, disappointingly quickly. There can’t be many folk in the Hooniverse who haven’t yet learnt of the many limitations and design compromises of the famous ’60s amphibian, its mechanical make-up was limited by the technology of the time, and one of the reasons for its metal construction was that Glass Reinforced Plastic was still only just beginning to become popular in boats, let alone boats which were actually cars.

So it was with genuine excitement and interest that I came across the Dutton stand at this year’s London Boat Show, where the latest release from Tim Dutton’s lovingly operated company was exposed to public gaze for the first time.

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Consider Yourself Warned

Tanshanomi December 16, 2015 Hooniverse Quick Take

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I hopped in the Kizashi for my morning commute with the temperature hovering right around freezing. Air molecules, being the fickle things they are, decided to huddle closer together inside my tires, lowering the tire pressure enough to trigger one or more of the TPMS sensors. You’d think an atomic explosion was imminent. There are no less than four visual warnings: the TMPS icon lights on the speedometer face, “LOW TIRE PRESSURE” appears on the multi-function display, the LCD backlight turns from white to amber, and a flashing master caution light appears above it. Additionally, there’s an audible warning in the form of a chime, which thankfully turns off after a few seconds.

I realize that under-inflated tires wear faster, cost fuel, and can be unsafe. I also know that it’s a maintenance item many car owners chronically ignore. But is going all Captain Insano Mode really necessary? I guess that Suzuki engineers can rest their heads easy at night, knowing that if someone is driving around in a Kizashi with low tires, it’s not out of ignorance.

Sidecar Donuts Make 2015 Awesome

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You already know that my riding buddy Rusty is awesome. Here is how he chose to celebrate New Year’s Day: doing one-handed donuts on his Ural Gear-Up. Note the snow flying from the powered sidecar wheel.

Video credit to his lovely wife, as captured by her smartphone potato from an upstairs window.

Video: Making Lemonade with Snow Tires and a Lotus Seven Clone

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Making the best of a bad situation seems to be the specialty of one Keith Tanner of Grand Junction, CO.  When snow fell on the area recently, Keith saw his miata-based “locost” sitting in the garage, and a set of Nokian Hakkapelliita winter tires mounted to a set of steel wheels sitting next to it, and a little seed of an idea was planted in his head.  Convincing the nearby racetrack to open up for a day and allow a select few motorists to try their hand at a slippery lap wasn’t impossible, and with that the idea grew.  Click through the jump to see some video footage of the exploits of the day. 

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Quick Shots: just sign and drive

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When I first encountered this van, I thought it had been vandalized. After all, seeing anything scrawled on the side of a car is always unexpected, especially when there’s so much of it. Fortunately, we were stopped in traffic, giving me just enough time to whip out my phone and grab a picture. I need to follow olelongrooffan’s idea and keep a cheap point & shoot camera handy.

As it turns out, this family has been travelling across the US of A, and somewhere along the way, decided it would be a good idea for people they meet to sign their big brown van. Sort of a rolling yearbook, you know. You can see some people simply signed their names; others wrote novels, recounting their favorite memories, I suppose. This is certainly one of the more unique vehicles to cross our northern border, and Canadians have interesting taste in vehicles.

It gives a new meaning to a wall post, though, doesn’t it?

[Photo Copyright 2013 Hooniverse/Marcal Eilenstein]

Piloting the Interceptor

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For a short while, one unseasonably hot thursday, I was the coolest man in the entire world, and my grin made me look like a Canadian on South Park.

Now, I’m not a cool person, at all. Even my knees have an outmoded, unfashionable quality to them. But coolness is sometimes a mindset, and sometimes even the deeply sub-hip can have coolness thrust upon them. And that’s what happened to me. I owe everything to the Jensen Interceptor.

And now I have nothing.

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Quick Take: We run into The Smoking Tire crew while filming…

Living in Southern California, one is bound to run into other folks in the automotive industry from time to time. Such was the case when I was out filming the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport during the regional launch event. Another event was taking place at the same time, and it involved the Audi S6, S7, and S8. I wasn’t invited to that party, but our friends from The Smoking Tire were… and our paths happened to cross.

Matt Farah decided it was the perfect opportunity to demonstrate a different type of launch event. There’s no tire smoke or drama though, because the all-new Audi S7 just gets up and gets gone.

See for yourself, after the break.

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Quick Take: The 2013 Ford Fusion; will it chirp?

I’m introducing a new short format video post to you today, and I’m calling it the Hooniverse Quick Take. Occasionally while we are out gallivanting around with various forms of automotive what have you, we wind up with a snippet of footage that winds up on the virtual cutting room floor. If it’s worthy of a chuckle or a smile, we may turn around and flip it into a Hooniverse Quick Take.

Today’s Quick Take involves the 2013 Ford Fusion. While out scouting for usable film locations, I had my hands on the 1.6-liter Fusion equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox. This leads to the inevitable question: can you chirp the tires in between gear shifts?

See for yourself after the break…

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