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HCOTY Nominee: The Wagon Wednesday Edition

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So one of the things the Hooniverse Overlords demand of we mere contributors to this wonderful website is that we nominate a Hooniworthy vehicle as the Hooniversal Car Of The Year. In years past, this olelongrooffan has had an easy time based on what I had seen out and about around whatever parts of the Sunshine State I live in. This year living, once again, down in what I call FantasyLand that is Naples, Florida, my choices have been rather slim and I have, until today, been undecided as to what would be nominated.

Yeah round these here parts, the sighting of a Diablo, Maserati, Bentley, Ferrari (I have a client who owns two), Rolls, McLaren Mercedes, you name it they are all here and seen on a daily basis. Thus far we have had some great nominations, but to this olelongrooffan, New Cars, Schmoo Cars, I mean who needs a 700HP sedan when the fastest you can go, unless you are MadScience (there is a link somewhere), is 80+ mph and nearly get away with it, and race trucks-my fellow Hoons, racing trucks have been around since my 2014 nomination was on the showroom floor.

So without further ado, hit the jump and see why this nomination must be your selection for the Hooniveral Car Of The Year choice.

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HCOTY Nominee: Dodge Charger Hellcat

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This the season in which a red sleigh delivers tremendous joy. In this version of the story, I’m the fat man at the helm and my reindeer have been replaced by a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine. Dodge Charger Hellcat with your paint so bright, won’t you ruin some tires tonight.

Yes… yes it will, and I think it deserves a nomination for Hooniverse Car of the Year. Read on to hear why I don’t think it will actually win though… and that’s okay.

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HCOTY Nominee: BlipShift 1975 Volvo C303

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After day one of the 2013 New York Auto Show, Hooniverse and BlipShift had a party at a midtown tavern. We were all tired after a day of aimlessly walking around, taking pictures, sipping cappuccinos, checking out the cars (Jeff is no longer allowed to sit in any of MB’s G-class, Jaguar-Range Rover politely asked me stop referring to myself as James Fucking Bond, bitches), chatting up the product professionals (hi, beautiful Audi babe!), schmoozing with PR pros (“yes, I love the new Scion xB!”), discussing journalistic stuff with our journalists colleagues (“dude, your commenters suck!”), and actually writing stuff for the website (oh, pretty pics).

There, over a few beers, the two awesome dudes from BlipShift asked for suggestions about a promotional vehicle. They envisioned an ex-military off-roader, one that drew a lot of enthusiast attention, could be driven anywhere, and had space for a t-shirt cannon. We discussed the basics: Humvees, Jeeps, Land Rovers, Unimogs, and even Pinzgauers. I became their consultant on this project, whether they linked it or not, and I did pro bono – I had no choice.

Some time later, frequent commenter mzs zsm msz esq suggested that  I buy a eBay Volvo C303 as a replacement for my family Acura MDX. While equally brilliant and unrealistic for my personal use, I sent the link to the BlipShift guys as it was the perfect vehicle for them. They didn’t get the one from that eBay link but later on they found another C303 in Massachusetts on CraigsList. Following the 24 Hours of LeMans Halloween Hooptiefest, a race they finished behind a certain amazing Buick driven by not-so-amazing drivers, they went to look at that C303.

And they bought it!

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HCOTY Nominee: The car in your garage Right Now.

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The European Car Of The Year prize has been awarded to some diabolically undeserving machines over the years. The Chrysler Alpine, for example, was good for nothing much more than having very noisy tappets, understeering acutely and having strange grey-toned plastic bumpers. And rusting spectacularly. Nevertheless, in 1976 it was awarded the Car Of The Year trophy. Hindsight is a marvellous thing.

So, it is with trepidation that I look back over the cars that I’ve driven, seen or read about over the year; I’m mindful that an unwise vote could see me looking really stupid a little while down the line. Suddenly, while mulling over the great cars we’ve learnt about this year, it occurred to me that I’m looking in entirely the wrong direction. This is why I vote YOUR car to be Hooniverse Car Of The Year.

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HCOTY Nominee: Polaris Slingshot

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“Manufacturers only cater to soccer moms.”
“You can’t tell one cookie-cutter car from another.”
“Driving dynamics have taken a back seat to comfort and convenience.”
“Lawyers and bureaucrats have legislated all the fun out of cars.”
“Performance cars are so expensive, most people will never be able to afford them.”

In a world where automotive enthusiasts are constantly complaining about the moribund state of car design, the Polaris Slingshot is a giant, shockingly bold middle finger to the slow decline of the enthusiast automobile. And yes—it is an automobile. It might have one wheel and a thong-sized license plate out back, but you shift with your hand and steer with a wheel. You accelerate, clutch and brake with your feet. It has bucket seats and seat belts. Okay, so it is a three-wheeled car; that particular quirk allows it to slip through some regulatory wormholes on its way to Main Street, but that makes it no less a car.

It’s a car like you thought you’d never again see sold in America, to say nothing of designed and built in America. It’s a car built for one thing: going out and ripping around like a madman solely for the joy of driving. Now, it’s true that the handling limits are quite a bit lower than a four-wheel sports car, but that just means that Joe Average can explore the entire performance envelope out on the road without the sort of velocities that may result in a ride in the back of a Highway Patrol cruiser. And unlike all those other super-exotic, hyperspeed European boutique tuner cars and track day specials, this one is affordable enough that just about anybody who has serious aspirations of insanity can swing the cost.

It’s a mutant Morgan with 21st-century technology spliced into its DNA. That, my friends, is why the Polaris Slingshot is my HCOTY nominee for 2014.

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The 2014 Hooniversal Car of the Year Awards

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It’s that time of year again.

Actually, it’s slightly after that time of year, but in true Hooniverse fashion, this is happening right on the bleeding edge of whenever-we-get-around-to-it. But now that we finally have, it’s time to start this year’s round of nominees for the Hooniversal Car of the Year!

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Announcing the 2013 Hooniversal Car of the Year!

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Today is an historic day indeed. After a hard-fought battle across multiple social media outlets, with campaigners and complainers alike making their cases loud and long to anyone who would listen, the polls closed last night as we all cried “Happy New Year”. Well, as we on the West Coast cried it, and the East-Coasties were crying “Happy 3AM”, but you get the idea.

And, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth, it can safely be announced that we have a tie. When the polls closed at midnight, we had received exactly the same number of votes for SpeedyCop’s Spirit of LeMons and for the Worst Car in the World. I’m disappointed in all of you.

As such, I’m arbitrarily disqualifying everyone except the Bricklin. Hooray!

No? Sigh. Fine then. It is a tie, and for the first — and hopefully only, because we never came up with any rules about what to do in the event of a tie — time, there are two Hooniversal Cars of the Year. I thought we should make the owners battle to the death in a giant vat of pudding, but I believe that would put poor SpeedyCop up against a disturbingly-large K-Car Horde. We need a name for them. They remind me of juggalos.

Unfortunately, there is only one Participant Ribbon Exotic HCoTY Trophy, and when I tried tearing the ribbon trophy in half, it disintegrated into a handful of green threads and gold sparkles. So congratulations to each of you, enjoy your handful of shredded remnants shared trophy!

For everyone who voted… I hope you’re proud of yourselves. Now go to your rooms.

Hooniversal Car of the Year: Vote Early, Vote Honest!

The Prestigious Hooniversal Car of the Year award!

The Prestigious Hooniversal Car of the Year award!

It’s been a busy year for the Hooniversal Car of the Year. We’ve had multiple nominees squeaking in at the last minute, including my own. We’ve had delays by spotty internet, busy work schedules, and dogs eating homework. All of these problems can be blamed on Glucker, and so they shall be. Everyone, point your fingers Gluckerwards, and give him frowny-faces of disapproval.

Okay, he wasn’t actually responsible, but on this side of the fence, it’s his fault anyhow.

If you haven’t already, you really must go back and read through the various nominations. The field is action-packed this year, and even features multiple malaise-era entries to keep the LeMons judges naughty-bits positively a-tingly. And a Subaru! With any luck, that will be the first, last and only time a Subaru ever gets nominated in HCoTY.

Here’s a run-down of the candidates, in case you missed them:

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HCOTY Nominee: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am

DSCN8257 Meet Ken’s 1979 T/A my nominee for 2013 HCOTY. It’s pretty cool, it’s brown, it’s also the first new car he bought out of high school back 34 yerars ago now. This photo is from March of this year, needless to say Ken takes good care of his cars. … Continue Reading

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