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HCOTY 2015 – The Votes Are In!

The Prestigious Hooniversal Car of the Year award!

The Prestigious Hooniversal Car of the Year award!

So. That was interesting, wasn’t it? What on earth do we do about this? … Continue Reading

HCOTY 2015 – Let the Voting Commence

356 Peking to Paris

As 2015 winds to a close today, some of us will be glad to see it go. For myself, it’s one of the worst years I can remember, but in the automotive realm here at Hooniverse, things were decidedly more sunny. … Continue Reading

HCOTY Nomination: NASCarlo

NASCarlo

Roadkill does things with cars the rest of us only dream about attempting. There have been many a number of awesome automotive shenanigans dreamed up in the Hot Rod Garage, but it’s the latest one that has me absolutely in love. Say hello to NASCarlo, and what I’m certain will be your top vote getter for the 2015 Hooniverse Car of the Year.

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HCOTY Nominee – 2016 VF Holden Commodore

Australia loves its rear wheel drive v8 powered sedan, but Australian built versions are on the way out. Both local manufacturers Holden and Ford will cease to build the Commodore and the Falcon after 2017.

So my nomination for this years Hooniverse Car of the Year is the 2016 Holden VFII V8 Holden Commodore, because it is the most powerful Holden Commodore ever built and who doesn’t love a company going out on top.

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HCOTY Nomination: 1964 Honda S600 Hot Rod

Aptly described when featured on a webisode of Jay Leno’s Garage “From the more-brains-than-money club comes the car Matt Brown bought without an engine… and rebuilt expressly for California canyon carving.”

This really does peak my interest mainly for my love of vintage Japanese iron but also for working with something unique and not from a common built platform. I love this car, I feel it’s the epitome of what we are about here at Hooniverse. You find something abandoned and give it new life and go properly nuts by mounting a Honda motorcycle engine under the hood.

It’s deserving of our title as the 2015 Hooniversal Car Of The Year for our devotion to a love of all things with wheels and an engine, with this S600 having the heart of two wheels in the spirit of four.

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HCOTY Nominee: Google’s Autonomous Car

Google’s self-driving car isn’t new for 2015. It also isn’t particularly fast: It’s limited to 25 mph. Regardless, it did reach an important milestone this year. The self-driving car got pulled over, and its “passenger” had a chat with a police officer. This happened in Silicon Valley, because of course it did.

This story was trending on November 12, when Zandr Milewski posted it to Facebook. Milewski works at Electric Imp, a tech company in Los Altos, Calif. that specializes in the so-callled Internet of Things. IoT refers to the expanding world of Internet-connected devices, of which the Google Car is likely one. If you think about those thermostats you can control over the Internet using your smartphone, you’ve got the idea. Connected devices can range from thermostats to washing machines to commercial jet engines. In the case of the latter, it’s common for jet engine manufacturers to constantly monitor and collect all kinds of operating data as a plane carries you and 200 other people to your snowbird destination in Boca Raton.

But I digress. Milewski recalls this event:
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HCOTY Nominee: Panoz Esperante GTR-1 Le Mans Homologation Special

panozHCOTY_gimpsucks

“Homologation Specials” are the best. These are very unique and sometimes very odd road-legal cars that only exist to set up their motorsport counterparts for competition.

That brings us to the car staring you right in the face. When Georgia-based Panoz, LLC wanted to compete with the best the world had to offer at Le Mans and elsewhere, they built the radical Esperante GTR-1 – but they needed to build at least one road legal version before it could go racing. Panoz built two to meet homologation requirements and this is the first and only one left in existence.

This homologation special set them up to race with their homemade brand on the world stage. One of America’s most unique racing programs and arguably the only cool thing to come out of Georgia would never have seen the light of day unless this car was built. Without this car, they never would have been able to take on the world and win*.

Fresh out of its six-month restoration is my Hooniversal Car of the Year Nominee – the 1997 Panoz Esperante GTR-1 Le Mans Homologation Special.

*sometimes

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HCOTY Nominee: The 60 Euro Volkswagen Polo Classic ’86

polohcoty

The Mazda MX-5 I bought early in 2015 injected me with a new-found passion for rear-wheel-drive, introduced open-top daily driving into my life and took me to Nordkapp, the northernmost point in mainland Europe that’s reachable by car. It proved itself to be an immensely great buy for very little money, and there’s no doubt it’s my personal favourite car of 2015.

It’s not my Hooniversal Car of the Year, though. The 60 Euro Polo is. It works, finally!

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HCOTY Nominee: 2013 Ferrari 458
The Pinnacle of Italian Natural Aspiration

Now, before I get started, yes, this is a supercar, yes, it is very expensive, but I would be lying if I said anything else was the most amazing car I drove this year. The new Miata was good, but this, the last naturally aspirated V8 Ferrari? Nothing can beat it, and since it has left us this year, we should celebrate it, and give it the credit that it rightfully has earned.  … Continue Reading

HCOTY: Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car

HCOTY2015FormulaE

Look, race cars are not popular with even the general auto enthusiast public and this one is perhaps even less popular than most. In my own head, I imagine this akin to Time Magazine nominating divisive or antagonistic People of the Year not because I dislike the Spark-Renault SRT_01. Rather, I see it as an object of poignant reflection on motorsports’ present and future.

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