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Hooniverse Asks: What Era of the Automotive Age Interests You the Least?

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It’s undeniable that the Automotive age – all 125-years and counting of it – is pretty easily to segment into specific eras. There’s the Brass Age, The Deco Age, Rocket Era, Aero Age, etc. And it further goes without saying that some of these eras are of more interest to some than they are others.

That’s right, being a car enthusiast doesn’t necessarily mean that you love all cars from all eras. It’s okay to think that perhaps you might not be as interested in something with a top speed of 18 miles per hour and brakes that still make it dangerous even at that low speed than you would be about Boss Mustangs. I may be a notable exception to this rule as I have an interest in cars from all eras, however my main enthusiasm for ’60s sports cars does tend to temper the attention I can afford to others.

What about you? Are you like me and have more or less focal challenges when it comes to cars? Or is there a particular automotive era that just plain holds no appeal to you?

Image: South Trail Tire

Hooniverse Asks: What Car or Truck are You Just Tired of Seeing on the Road?

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How many Teslas have you seen on the road? If you live in the L.A. area like I do then it’s a multiple times a day experience. I mean it’s like you can’t swing a dead cat but hit one of the electric wunderkinds out here. I can tell you, they’re starting to get so ubiquitous that their constant presence is also beginning to become kind of annoying.

Some cars are so rare that a sighting is almost an event. I saw a nice arrest-me red Alfa Bertone GTV the other morning and it really made my day. That was of course among all the Camrys, Accords, Focuses and other whatnot that seem to clog the roads and all the senses. If I don’t see another F150 on the freeway, it’ll be too soon.

How about you, is there a particular make or model that you are so done with that you simply try and block them out, or worse, wish their unimaginative owners bad tidings? Is there a car or truck that you’re just completely tired of seeing on the road?

Health-Fitness.com

 

Hooniverse Asks: What Obsolete Automotive Tools do You Still Possess?

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I pretty much never throw anything out. That’s why I still have hanging on my garage wall one of the original – and dented – wheel covers off of my first car, a 1961 Chevrolet Corvair. I replaced it with a solid citizen edition, and put the wounded soldier up on a nail. It’s followed me for years across four moves and a like number of garages.

The detritus of our hobby follows us like Pan’s Shadow, always lurking, almost never useful. Tools occasionally become obsolete too, owing simply to time marching on. Car radios once used vacuum tubes and a number of places – Thrifty Drug being a notable example – used to have testing kiosks for them. Both the tubes and the testers are long since gone.

Those of course didn’t take up room in your garage, but you might just have an oil can spout laying around, even though it’s been years since oil was sold in the once ubiquitous quart cans. Why do you still keep that lying around, and more importantly, what other antiquated tools are you also holding on to? What obsolete automotive tools do you still possess?

Image: Etsy

Hooniverse Asks: Do You Miss Rubstrips?

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Do you regularly park in the hinterlands lest some inconsiderate slob park next to you and dent your door with their own? Or, are you one of those terrible people who takes up two or more parking spaces to ensure your car or truck has enough room around it to prevent even the widest of doors from reaching its pristine sides? No? I didn’t think so.

You know what would save your car from both inconsiderate parkers and being seen as an unconscionable D-bag? That’s right, rubstrips, those handy-dandy auto accessories – or sometimes even standard equipment fare – that once were common on cars, but seem today to have gone the way of the mighty Dodo and necker’s knobs.

Whether for aerodynamics or aesthetics, cars today seem to eschew any sort of protective beading on their doors and fenders. That’s a damn shame because there’s little worse than coming back to your ride in a parking lot and finding that someone has marked it with their door, as though it was their property. That makes me so mad. What about you, do you share my anger towards inconsiderate door openers? Do you further think that – since those jerks aren’t going anywhere – that rubstrips need to make a come-back?

Image: ©2015 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

Hooniverse Asks: What Concept Car From the Past Could Still be a Viable Production Model Now?

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There are generally three kind of show cars that auto manufacturers trot out at the varied Auto Expos. There’s the thinly disguised impending production model, typically devoid of such necessities as functional mirrors, door handles, or non-crazy train thin tires, but otherwise ready to pop off the line. Next there’s the production model that’s decked out in some sort of special use packaging – maybe a Jeep Compass intended to scale Everest, or a Mini Cooper with a fold-out hotdog stand. The last – and this focus of today’s query – are the pure show cars, the concepts that let the designers and engineers stretch their muscles and color, so to speak, outside the lines.

It’s that last group that almost never ever reaches the dealer floor, although your can see many pine for that day. Some actually have translated from show to go, the most notable example being the Dodge Viper, which in first-generation production guise seemed a carbon copy (ask your dad) of its Dais Darling progenitor. That’s one of the few exceptions to the rule, and what we are looking for today is what other show cars from days gone by could still pass for production today. Cars like Pininfarina’s glorious Ferrari Pinin above, or Ford’s frantic attempt to take on the perceived threat the Fiero could have been, the Cobra 230ME. What other concept cars do you think could be pulled out, dusted off, and put into production today?

Image: Vehiclejar

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the Coolest Auto Maker Test Track?

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Before you’re ever given the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a new car, you can bet that its design – the suspension, engine dynamics and wedgie-creating likelihood of its seats – have all been tested on the manufacturer’s test track.

Maybe it was accomplished on the factory roof, as was Fiat’s bent back in the day. Or, perhaps it was wrung out on that go-to track for makers who either want to build bonafides, or just can’t afford their own asphalt; the Nürburgring.

Some car makers have secret tracks, while others have circuits almost as famous as the cars that ply their straights and corners. What we want to know today, is which one of those – secret or well-known – you think is the coolest.

Image: Slate

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the Coolest Auto Industry Off-shoot?

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As I’m sure you are all aware, Henry Ford had a great influence on our Memorial Day activities. No, it was the Model T bringing mobility to the masses, and hence creating traffic jams, it was the scrap material from the T’s wooden frame construction that Henry used to convert into charcoal briquettes. Kingsford was founded by Old Man Henry and his brother-in-law, E.G. Kingsford, and back-yard barbecues were never the same.

That’s just one example of an auto industry off-shoot. Much like the Space Race or American Idol, the auto industry has spun off a ton of ancillary products and benefits in its more than a century of existence. What we want to know today is what you think is the coolest of those offshots. We know its not charcoal, as that’s the hottest (dad joke), but I’m sure you can think of a lot of others that are.

Image: Pinterest

Hooniverse Asks: What Car or Truck has the Coolest Song Written About it?

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Cars and music go way back together, all the way to 1930 when Paul and Joseph Galvin introduced their first Motorola (get it, motor – rola?) radio for cars. The company would eventually make its fortune selling car radios to police departments, thus creating the term ‘Radio Car’ leaving others to fill the consumer hunger for tunes on the road.

Some of those tunes heard in cars, were actually about cars, as the whole genre of hot rod sound exploded across America in the late fifties and early sixties. That wasn’t the only era for odes to automobiles. Even before that people had to get out and get under, get out and get under their automobiles. More recently, the Boss, Bruce Springsteen got us all wanting to find out what you do there in the back of your pink Cadillac.

What we’re interested in today are songs more like the Boss’ which are about a specific type of car. It may be a ’32 Deuce, or a Thunderbird in which Daddy’s girl has fun, fun, fun. What we want to know is which car or truck has enjoyed the greatest tribute in song?

Image: RapGenius

Hooniverse Asks: What Crazy Expensive Used Car Model Do You Just Not Get?

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Porsche’s 914 was for years derided both for its – let’s call it unique – styling, as well as its inability to meet the purist’s definition of what a Porsche should be. I’m guessing that it’s detractors have worked out their issues with the mid-engine targa because both demand and prices have within the last couple of years skyrocketed.

When some cars gain a following, it’s plainly obvious the reason why, whether it be a limited supply or an excess of demand. The thing of it is though, it’s not always obvious what exactly it is that’s generating that demand. Seriously, some old cars seem to command big bucks for no apparent reason other than that you can’t buy a new one any more.

What we want to find out today is what cars and trucks you think are unnecessarily inflated in value. Is there one or more the demand for which you just don’t get?  What expensive car model do you think ought to be tons cheaper?

Image: Yugoparts.com

Hooniverse Asks: What Car has History’s Greatest Hidden Headlights?

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At one time here in the States the Feds required all new vehicles to light their way with sealed beam headlights. That meant two or four round or rectangular units with pretty much flat faces, not the best thing for cheating the wind and eking out that extra MPG. That all changed in the mid-eighties when Ford twisted the Government’s arm and brought American standards into reasonable parity with the rest of the world, allowing for composite headlights that could conform to body shape and cut through the air like you just do care.

Composite lights – in their seemingly infinite iterations – have been the norm ever since, which proved to be one more nail in the coffin of one of auto enthusiast’s most popular car features, the hidden headlight, or pop-up light. The death knell for the now-you-seem-em-now-you-don’t lights was the advent of daytime running lights in some jurisdictions, and the added cost and weight that doors and motors demand. Today, there isn’t a single new car around that offers the opportunity to hide its lights.

Why do we love hidden headlights? Who knows, it’s just a simple fact that they have long seemed special. What we want to know here is, which of those many, many cars with hidden lights you think was the most special. In your mind, what car had history’s greatest hidden lights?

Image: Wikipedia

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