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Hooniverse Asks: Would You Not Live on a Street With a Stupid Name?

Robert Emslie February 12, 2016 Hooniverse Asks

Caitie's Crotch Rd

Have you ever heard of the film director Duncan Jones? He’s known for the movies Moon and Source Code. He’s also known for having a birth name that’s a little more flamboyant than Duncan Jones. You see, Duncan’s dad was David Bowie and he named his son Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones. For a long time people just called him Zowie Bowie.

Names mean a lot, and while we have little control over what our parents name us—Bill Lear cruelly named one of his daughters Crystal Shanda—we do have control over where we live. Our home address speaks a lot about us, and having to address correspondence to potential employers, future in-laws, or your probation officer from someplace on Penis Street or at the corner of Inyo and Butte can perhaps reflect poorly on your prospects.

The question for today is whether or not your street name is important to you. Would you turn down a domicile if it was on a street with a stupid name?

Image: Funny Signs

Hooniverse Asks: Are Plastic Headlights a Plus or a Plague?

Robert Emslie February 11, 2016 Hooniverse Asks

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For much of the automotive age, all U.S. car buyers had for road-lighting options were sealed beams. These eventually came in round and rectangular shapes, but they were all as flat and upright as a chest of drawers from Ikea. At the same time, drivers in other nations had headlamps that integrated into the design of the car, rather than the other way around. This provided better aerodynamics and as a result, higher fuel economy.

We can thank Ford for bringing the composite headlamp to America as it was that company that spearheaded the effort to get the Federal Government to (pun intended) see the light. The 1984 Lincoln Mark VII became the first car legally sold in the U.S, with plastic lensed composite lights. It didn’t take long for almost every car and truck sold here to follow.

Now we have headlights that are model-specific, which raises another issue, that being the cost of replacing one should a rock smash the outer lens or time and wear render it so miasmic as to be dangerous. Plastic headlights are the rule not the exception today and that has opened a whole new can of worms that we didn’t have to deal with during the sealed beam days. What do you think, do the benefits of plastic lights—weight savings, aerodynamics—outweigh their downsides?

Image: lamin-x

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the Most Surprisingly Competitive Gymkhana Contender?

Robert Emslie February 10, 2016 Hooniverse Asks

Justy

Have you ever raced… in a parking lot? When cruising through a suburban enclave do you ponder why it’s not defined by orange cones? If you answered yes to either of these questions, boy are you susceptible to suggestion. Not only that, but you might just be an Autocrosser.

Autocross, or Gymkhana to the more syllabically dexterous, is a type of racing series that applauds those who run what they brung. That usually is something that’s been at least marginally adapted for going around a confined course with the minimalist expenditure of time, but sometimes it’s just start it up and let it fly.

Whatever the intent, what we’re interested in today is what contenders might be the most surprisingly successful. What do you think, what do you think would be the most unexpected Gymkhana contender?

Image: VW Vortex Forums

Hooniverse Asks: Will You Miss Scion?

Robert Emslie February 9, 2016 Hooniverse Asks

Scion

As we learned just last week, Scion be dyin.’ This is the latest salvo in Toyota’s reshuffling to get their house in order, and follows the news that the Prius V will also die at the end of its current run, without a replacement to carry the torch. That pretty much puts the kibosh on Japan’s biggest car maker becoming a brand bigger as it was earlier rumored that Toyota would be spinning Prius off too as their ‘hybrid’ line.

It’s pretty clear that won’t be happening, and now Scion, the company’s long-neglected attempt at carving a slice of the millennial scene is also fading away. Why this is happening is pretty obvious; the brand never had a compelling lineup, nor did it really offer anything that Toyota couldn’t have with their existing models. The question is, will anybody care?

Choice is a good thing, and losing yet another brand means that we—as a society—have fewer choices. Are you going to lament the loss of Scion as a choice? Or, for you, are they already dead?

Image: Yelp

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the Greatest Everyman Sports Car of the 1960s?

Robert Emslie February 8, 2016 Hooniverse Asks

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We all know what were the greatest sports cars of the sixties—cars like the Jag E-type, Shelby Cobra, Ferrari 275 GTB/C among them. Yeah, if you were around back when any of those were new, you probably couldn’t have afforded them. Today, they’re all worth a king’s ransom and so you probably still can’t afford them. That doesn’t mean however that there weren’t some great sports cars in the sixties—arguably the genre’s heyday—that weren’t then and perhaps aren’t now out of reach.

What we want to know today is your opinion on which of those was the greatest sports car for the rest of us. From the Midgets, Alpines, 850s, B-GTs, Spitfires, Datsun Fairladys, etc, which do you think was the greatest everyman sports car?

Image: ThingsLooksGood

Hooniverse Asks: What if Ford HAD Bought Ferrari?

Robert Emslie February 5, 2016 Hooniverse Asks

Gran Turismo 5

We all know the story about how Ford responded to an overture to buy Ferrari but was rebuffed when Enzo wanted to keep the part that Ford really wanted, the racing operation. We know that the deal fell through, and ended up with Henry Ford II thrusting his fat Havana in Enzo Ferrari’s face and shouting you’ll be sorry, amico, as il Commendatore is dragged off by his minions while repeatedly brushing his raised chin with the back of his hand. Yeah, that’s how it went down.

The insult to Ford was so great that Henry’s grandson spent untold amounts of corporate cash to beat the Italian upstart at his own game, and that game was Le Mans. It became such an obsession for the Ford CEO that after two unsuccessful years he sent cards to his top people saying only  “You better win, Henry Ford II.” Ford eventually did beat Ferrari, taking the first, second, and third positions at Le Mans in 1966 with the GT40, a car that was born from of the rage between two industry egos.

What however, if that had never happened? What do you think the ’60s would have been like had Ford bought not just Ferrari’s road car business, but the racing arm too? Sure, we wouldn’t have the GT40 and its progeny to lust upon today, but what might we have had in their place? What do you think would have been the result if Ford had actually bought Ferrari?

Image: flickr

Hooniverse Asks: What was the Ultimate Luxury Car of the ’70s?

Robert Emslie February 4, 2016 Hooniverse Asks

lincoln

For car nuts, the Seventies were a dark time. Safety, emissions and fuel economy standards sapped the fun out of most cars sold during the era, as car makers seemingly couldn’t keep up with the times. Today, we look back at many of those rides and frequently decide, I’d rather walk.

The changing social climes of the ’70s may have robbed us of performance, but a lot of car makers tried to make up for that deficit by troweling on the luxury features. That way, even if we were stuck driving cars that were akin to trying to walk on a leg that has fallen asleep, at least we’d be cosseted in fine Corinthian leather or magic eye head lamps.

Now, the Queen Mary II may be today both the fastest and most luxurious ocean liner in the world, but with ’70s cars you can’t have your cake and eat it too. That’s why we’re sticking with the luxury side of things and are asking you today, what was the ultimate luxury car from the ’70s?

Image: The Mustang Source

Hooniverse Asks: What Would Be Your Ultimate Road Trip Ride?

Robert Emslie February 3, 2016 Hooniverse Asks

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I don’t know about you, but when bad weather has me stuck indoors and suffering from cabin fever my thoughts invariably turn to clear skies and the open roads beneath them.

The road trip is a cultural icon that goes back centuries. After all, it was just such a wanderlust that brought Marco Polo to Asia, and Lewis and Clark to the Pacific. Today the road trip is an important rite of passage for many a family and a way for bros to find hijinks outside of their home town where the cops already know their names. Plus, today we have actual roads upon which to take trips.

Seeing as roads and trips require cars, what we want to know today is what would be your ultimate road trip ride? Once you’ve decided, where would it take you?

Image: IMCDB

Hooniverse Asks: How Cheap is Gas in Your Area Right Now?

Robert Emslie February 2, 2016 Hooniverse Asks

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When I was a kid people were saying that everybody better learn the language and the culture of Saudi Arabia because they had all the oil and they were going to rule the word because of that. Now, improving yourself by becoming multilingual and being respectful of other ways of life is something I think we should all strive for. The thing of it is, you needn’t necessarily focus on the Saudis – or the Texans for that matter because as it works out, the folks who hitched their livelihood to pumping crude out of the ground aren’t doing so well these days.

After a short rally in the middle of last week, prices for a barrel of crude once again sank below $30. Not only that but competing producer nations are trying to flood the markets so that they can force less productive nations out of business. Who loses in all this? Well, anybody whose paycheck depends either directly or indirectly on the oil business. Everyone who has ever taken Econ 101 understands the mechanism of supply and demand and as the former increases prices for the latter invariably go down.

That means cheaper gas for us. Hoorah! In fact, in places like Argentina its mere pennies a gallon. Here in the States we’re seeing prices that haven’t in over seven years with the average across the country coming in at around $1.80 a gallon for regular. That’s average, which means it’s higher here, and lower there. What we want to know today – as a sort of irregular check in – is how much you are paying where you are?

Image: asergeev.com

Hooniverse Asks: What Part of Driving Will You Miss the Most When It’s Automated?

Robert Emslie February 1, 2016 Hooniverse Asks

eleccar615

Last Monday we asked you what part of driving you would MOST like to see automated. Today we’re pulling a one-eighty and asking what aspect of driving you will miss most in our automated future. Heck, do you think self-driving cars will be able to do one-eighties? How cool would that be?

Honestly, I will rue the day when some car can do something better than I can. Right now I feel confident that I can do a better job of choosing the right gear for the situation than an automatic. And as far as one touch power windows go – sometimes I only wanted half-way down.  The future can only bring more of that.

What about you, what’s going to be your greatest loss when it comes to automated cars?

Image: The Atlantic