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Hooniverse Asks: What’s the Most Incongruous Old Car to Have Skyrocketed in Value?

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The classic car insurer, Hagerty had an article last week about five cars that have increased so much in value over the past half decade that we all should have had the prescience to have bought as many as we could five years back. Yeah, shoulda, coulda, woulda. The vehicles they discuss are the Jensen Interceptor, which only saw a 25% increase; the first-gen Ford Bronco, which we all know are crazy expensive these days; Porsche’s 944 which still looks like it’s doable; the E30 M3, which no longer looks that way; and the ’68-’83 Land Cruiser which apparently was discovered in the last couple of years to have been made from solid gold and uncut cocaine.

That’s an eclectic mix, and one that’s open to debate as to any future increases, but it got me thinking. There are a lot of cars out there that have inexorably climbed the supply/demand curve. Some of those, like Ferrari’s 308 series obviously were undervalued for years and are just adjusting for the present market’s appreciation. Others however, have started climbing the ladder without any obvious rationale. It’s those cars and trucks that we’re interested in today. What do you think are the cars and trucks that have seen the most unexpected – or unwarranted – increase in value?

Image: Hagerty

Hooniverse Asks: What’s Your Opinion of Korean Cars?

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There have been a number of articles written recently that aver that, in certain categories, the Korean car makers are beating the Japanese in quality and value. Now, you may find it realistic that the Koreans offer a better value, after all they certainly embraced the low-priced tier decades ago and seemed – unlike other challengers from Eastern Europe or South America, to make a viable go of it.

However, the Japanese have long been known as the purveyors of the highest quality rides on the planet. I mean, Toyota once advertised the Corolla as being able to have its hood welded shut, so little maintenance was required. Now that crown may have to be handed over. Here’s the thing, another factor in the whole Korean car drama is the recent research that indicates that while the country’s cars and trucks are getting vastly better – perhaps even better than those coming out of Japan in certain cases – public perception of Korean cars has not caught up.

Personally, I still think that Korean cars hold some sort of stigma. That’s even though when someone asks me what’s the best value in a mid-sized sedan I tell them that it’s the Hyundai Sonata, and not just because I love the joke of telling them it’s not-a my car, it sonata your car! Well, maybe I’ll stop doing that. What about you, what’s your opinion about Korean Cars? Do you think they have climbed to the pinnacle of quality and value, displacing their Japanese competitors? Or, do you feel otherwise? Let us know!

Image: honestjohn.co.uk

Hooniverse Asks: What Would it Take to Get You to Buy a New Car Exclusively Online?

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What was the last thing you bought on the Internet and had delivered to your door? For me it was a couple of books and a cell phone car charger that I got to give as a birthday present. I buy a lot of stuff online – so much so that Amazon Prime is actually of value to me, perhaps more so than my annual CostCo membership. Thing is, I’ve never bought an entire car online.

Used cars are bought and sold online everyday, whether through eBay auctions or other intermediary means, but buying a new car, that’s another story. Tesla is presently doing so, and in fact that’s the only way you can get a factory-fresh one, as they are eschewing the whole dealer network deal. That has angered a number of politicians in states where car dealers like to see a return on their lobbying dollars, but it’s only a matter of time before other makers follow suit. Then a new ride will only be a mouse click away. How scary is that?

It once was a pretty scary proposition as buying a car required a complete 360° walk-around and the opening of every door and hatch to ensure you weren’t getting one of the maker’s less-attentive builds. Today cars are generally of such consistently high quality that they have become a commodity and one example of a model is typically just the same as another. That means that buying one should be just as painless as ordering a pizza, right? Well, maybe not. What would it take to get you to buy a car – sight-unseen – online?

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Hooniverse Asks: What’s the Coolest Car Nickname?

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Names are important. Shakespeare averred otherwise in Romeo and Juliet writing that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but what does he know, he’s dead. When it comes to cars there’s frequently two names applied – that which is the formal name given by it maker, and that which is its affectionate nickname, given by its fans. Often times that second sobriquet is a condensed version of the official name, like ‘Vette for Corvette, or ‘Stang for Mustang. On occasion however, cars may gain their nickname based on a notable achievement, unique feature, or historical aspect. Once in a while the nickname actually takes prominence over the official moniker, a prime example of that would be Volkswagen’s “Beetle.”

Can you think of some of your favorite automobile nicknames – either those given to the model as a whole or a specific special example? What do you think is the coolest car nickname?

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Hooniverse Asks: What’s the Weirdest Factory Automotive Finsh?

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Do you remember a couple of years back when BMW released a matte car finish that supposedly you couldn’t get wet? What was that all about? Car finishes have come a long way since having it in any color you want, as long as it’s black, and today you can choose from paint that fades from one color to another, looks like a different color in the daylight than it does at night, or might be white and gold or maybe blue and black. The world is truly your oyster.

Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if some car maker out there is testing a car finish that looks like an oyster. The odd ball finishes, as well as the materials and patterns used for landau roofs and convertible tops are the subject of today’s question. What we want to know is your opinion on what is the weirdest factory automotive finish that has ever been.

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Hooniverse Asks: Would You (Or do You) Hang Out at a Drive-in?

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Yesterday was Al Molinaro’s ninety-sixth birthday. Al played “Al Delveccio,” the put-upon owner of Arnold’s Drive In on the long-running TV show Happy Days. Drive-ins were once a prime social venue in this country, adapted from soda fountains as the nation’s advancing automotive infrastructure changed the way we did pretty much everything. The drive-in was where you could grab some fries and a malt if you could scrape together the coin, shoot the shit with your friends, and maybe, have an opportunity to make some time with a member of the opposite sex. It was where it all was at.

Today all that stuff is done on our phones, even the ordering of the food and beverage as you can do that on the handset and have it ready to go when you get there. And of course that means you don’t need to stay there for any reason. That’s kind of sad, and I know a few rodder groups that shun those modern conveniences of social avoidance, choosing instead to make scheduled meets at local old school spots like Bob’s Big Boy. Even that’s still not the same.

There aren’t that many real drive-ins around any more. Sonic still will bring your food out to the car, but they’re one of the few. Do you think that car enthusiasts could be the catalyst for a renaissance of this social venue of the past? Do you think a drive-in diner could serve as a Friday night destination? Would you, or do you, hang out at a drive-in?

Image: kencurtmcintyre on Photobucket.

Hooniverse Asks: What was the Greatest Car to Ever Fail in the Marketplace?

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Common phrases denoting well intentioned acts not going as expected include “no good deed ever goes unpunished” and “only the good die young.” When it comes to cars, there have been a number of models introduced under a halo of critical praise, only to fail in the marketplace for what’s usually an unfathomable reason.

Good cars getting a bum deal isn’t all that uncommon. It’s usually the case that, while wildly well thought out and on target for a specific market niche, the fact turns out  the targeted niche was an uncommonly small one.

Failure in this case means a lack of sales, which doesn’t mean a car or truck is at all bad, just that it’s not long for this world because not enough people appreciate how good it is. What I’d like to know today is your opinion one what has been history’s greatest car ever to fail in the market. What do you think is the auto industry’s greatest deed to have gone punished by no sales?

Image: mvdexpress

Hooniverse Asks: Is the Isle of Man TT the World’s Most Dangerous Race?

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Thirty two year old Frenchman Franck Petricola died as the result of an accident at Sulby Crossroads this month, during the annual Isle of Man Time Trials. His death adds to the more than 200 that have occurred during the event since its inception in 1910. Petricola had also been involved in an earlier crash at a race in Ireland, which had left him in a coma for several days, but obviously not dead.

You know people use to say that spectators only go to the races in order to see someone crash. I will admit to there being a pulse-heightening moment when cars – or bikes – come together, but I don’t find seeing people get hurt enjoyable at all. I don’t think normal people do, and that’s why, over the years organizers have done almost everything they can, short of having every race category be filled with old diesel Chevettes, to make racing safer. Well, seemingly everywhere but the Isle of Man that is.

The annual competition on the Irish Sea isle has for decades been an uncompromising and unforgiving race on country lanes and shire roads so close to the quaint cobbled buildings that racers can literally touch them. Sometimes they hit them. That’s what make the Time Trials such a trial and that’s why today I want your opinion on whether or not this is in fact the most dangerous motor race on the planet. What do you think, is the Isle of Man TT the word’s most savage race?

Image: YouTube

Hooniverse Asks: Have You Ever Bought a Car and Then Hated it?

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Buyers remorse is the worst kind of remorse you can have, far worse than sharters remorse as it tends to be far more long-lasting. When it comes to cars, being disappointed with the choice one’s made is especially bad as it’s often an expensive proposition to get out of that entanglement.

Still, it happens. You think that perhaps neon green paint on an F150 will liven up your dull life, only to find that now you need sunglasses just to get in the damn thing, even at night. Or, maybe you bought a Mitsubishi because nobody else is and driving one will make you unique. It’s only after the fact that you discover that’s not the kind of uniqueness you necessarily want to embody, and you take it out on the car.

Has that ever happened to you – not either of those specific scenarios but perhaps something similar? What happened then, did you get rid of the ride, or learn to live with your mistake? Have you ever bought a car or truck and then just plain hated it?

Image: CompareTheBox

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the Most Wasteful 4-Seater, and the Most Ludicrously Cramped 5-Seater?

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Absolute truth in advertising is a subjective target, and one man’s cozy is another’s unbearably cramped. That is most evident in many of the back seats of the world’s cars, as no where else is the concept of “second thought” more clearly evident.

At one time your standard family sedan was a six passenger affair; three up front, and three in back. Of course way back then perches in cars were not always clearly defined by seat contouring nor belt number, making finding a place for your buns something of a conquest. Today it’s no longer a free-for-all and car makers are very clear about the number of passengers that their products can hold, and just exactly where they are supposed to hold them.

That has resulted both in cars that express the luxury of excess, featuring expanses of consoles where it’s plainly obvious another seat could be squeezed in, as well as five-seaters equally obviously designed with the two-dimensional beings from the planet Noass in mind. What we want to know today is which cars are the worst offenders in each category. What are the most wasteful 4-seaters, and the most objectionably cramped 5-seaters?

Image: zercustoms

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