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Hooniverse Asks: What Was the Last Console-Less Car?

Robert Emslie November 27, 2015 Hooniverse Asks


Hey there Hoons. Today is Black Friday and part of the Thanksgiving weekend so we’re going to have an extremely light schedule on the site. Since you’re reading this however, it’s likely that you’ve either already returned from your holiday shopping soirée or, more likely are eschewing leaving the house altogether today. That being the case, let’s do a little historical research, shall we?

You know, one of the primary purposes of a FWD drivetrain in a car is the packaging. It allows for a larger passenger compartment in an appreciably more compact size. Part of that is afforded by the lack of need for a transmission tunnel bisecting the interior. Some FWD cars have had completely flat floors. The 1988 Mercury Sable above is an example of a FWD car with only a modest hump, one that’s easily traversed should you need to slide over to the opposite window for a moment or whatever. As it’s a column shift it also lacks any form of console between the seats. Now, compare that to its modern analog, the current Ford Taurus. I know, it’s like going from a bandeau bikini top to a turtle neck?

There are lots of reasons why cars have seemingly all gone to seats split by a massive console – the popularity of floor shifters, available AWD, and the need to properly position passengers for the airbags among them. That’s all well and good, but it got me thinking, when did we lose the foot freedom we once had, and what was the last car to give up the fight? So, if you don’t have anything better to do today – football? pfffft – then let’s go on a hunt and see if we can track down the last car to offer a flat – or nearly flat floor. Are there any still being produced, or when did they last give up the fight?

Image: Spokane Craigslist

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the Coolest Automotive Hidden Feature?

Robert Emslie November 25, 2015 Hooniverse Asks

Chevy Gas Cap

I always loved how the Bat Cave was accessed by a hidden switch under a sculpted head. In fact, I love all kinds of hidden features. That’s probably why I like the video games where you can shimmy shimmy cocoa puff around the map to find secrets squirreled away.

Cars too have hidden features. I’ve given one of the m away with the image above, which shows just how the hell you fill up your fifty-five Chevy. Others include umbrellas in Roll Royce doors and the wiper switch on damn-near every Italian car ever built, mama mia!

Today we want to catalog all the cool hidden features on cars and ask your opinion as to which one is the coolest. What do you think, what is the neatest car feature ever to play hide and seek?

Image: SuperChevy

Hooniverse Asks: What Car Song Has The Least Car Savvy Lyrics?

Robert Emslie November 24, 2015 Hooniverse Asks


The Beach Boys released the single, Little Deuce Coupe in the fall of 1963. That ode to a hot rod stayed on the charts for an amazing 46 weeks and to this day remains one of the most accurate descriptions of a car, in song, ever recorded.

That of course makes it the antithesis of what we’re looking for today. Brian Wilson may have had a remarkable ear and an amazing affinity for accuracy in his car songs, but few other have been so exacting. That’s what we what to discuss today, your opinion on what are the least savvy car song lyrics – those from song writers who most obviously take the bus.

Image: eBay

Hooniverse Asks: What Car Brand Has Been the Most Egregiously Harmed By Selling Out?

Robert Emslie November 23, 2015 Hooniverse Asks


You know that the real money’s not in the selling of the cars, it’s in all the extra crap. In fact, by lending your brand to various other products – T-shirts, umbrellas, cell phones and the like – a manufacturer can in fact extend their label’s money-making ability to those who can’t actually afford the cars. Sometimes that’s a fitting tribute to a worthy name. Other times, it’s selling out.

Many marques have prostituted their names with varying levels of appropriateness and tackiness. As much as you might love to have a Lamborghini in your garage, would you not be embarrassed having one making your latté every morning? How about Jeep-brand condoms? They’re treasure trail rated!

Sure it’s expected, after all it’s seeming all that’s keeping some brands in business – I’m looking at you Lotus – but it does tend to get tedious. That’s exactly what we’re interested in today, your opinion on which brand has been the most harmed by the excessive deprecation of it name.

Image: LamborghiniLounge

Hooniverse Asks: What Car or Truck is the Most Shockingly Priced?

Robert Emslie November 20, 2015 Hooniverse Asks


Walking around the LA Auto Show this week I was struck by just how far off I am in the pricing of many new cars presently on the market. A couple, notably the 2.3 turbo-powered Mustang proved to be a bit cheaper than I had imagined. Others, like the same brand’s Fusion Energi hybrid, almost left me with permanently raised eyebrows of surprise over just how much that mid-sized efficiency expert asks.

I don’t know if I’m just living in the past, after all I haven’t bought or aggressively shopped a new car for more than a decade. Still, I thought I had a good idea of what most cars and trucks should cost. Turns out that on frequent occasion, I’m totally off. What about you, have come across a new car that – either high or low – has shocked you with its price point?

Image: hdwallpaperhub

Hooniverse Asks: Do You Think Hyundai’s Genesis Luxury Brand will be a Success?

Robert Emslie November 19, 2015 Hooniverse Asks

2016 Genesis

General Motors was built on the strategy that each brand represented a stepping stone on the clamber of life. Chevy was for when you’re just starting out, Pontiac for your mid-life crisis, all the way up to Cadillac for when you just don’t give a damn any more. Other companies have attempted to emulate this strategy, by introducing aspirational brands as buyers sought something with a little more gravitas and presence.

The latest marque to move upscale with a new brand is the Korean car maker Hyundai. They have been marketing cars that challenged their current brand’s value-driven messaging for a number of years now, the most notable of which is the Genesis. Now they are spinning that name off into a separate nameplate to compete with the Lexuses, Infinitis and Acuras of the world, among other, longer established marques.

Hyundai has done a remarkable job in changing public perception around their cars from their being terrible crap cans to viable competitors to the best Japan has to offer. The question for today is whether you think they can extend that to truly compete with Lexus, or if they will become another Acura, forgotten, but not gone? What do you think, will Hyundai’s Genesis brand be a success?

Image: Hyundai Motor Company

Hooniverse Asks: Motor Trend’s Camaro COTY- Great Choice or Who Cares?

Robert Emslie November 18, 2015 Hooniverse Asks

2016 Camaro Press Pic

Yesterday, as they do, Motor Trend announced their Car and Truck of the Year awards. This year Chevy tool home both trophies. The TOTY went to Chevy’s 2016 Colorado while the COTY went to the 2016 Camaro. SUV of the Year (who knew such a thing even existed?) was bestowed on Volvo’s excellent XC90. Now, while I wonder if the Colorado is more TOTY-worthy than say, Nissan’s new Cummins-powered Titan, or whether it’s even fair to give the Colorado the nod two years in a row, I’m more interested in their pick of the Camaro as COTY. I mean, there’s a lot of good cars coming out right now.

MT has been handing out their COTY award for decades now, and for the longest time it was a joke. In fact, the late Len Frank was fired from the rag when he noted that it was the Advertising department and not Editorial that made the final decision. Things have supposedly changed since then, but when you consider that the Camaro’s competition this year included the Mercedes AMG GT, Hydrogen-fuel cell powered Toyota Fugly, and the stellar new Mazda MX 5, you kind of have to wonder, do the folks at MT have some sort of chop top fetish?

So, do you think the new Camaro is better than those cars? Could it be better than even the new BMW 7-series, a car that typically goes toe to toe with the Mercedes S-Class for most advanced on the planet? What is your take on Motor Trend’s choices for TOTY and COTY: worthy selections, or worthless awards?

Image: Chevrolet

Hooniverse Asks: What Car Should Lincoln Shamelessly Mimic Next?

Robert Emslie November 17, 2015 Hooniverse Asks


I think that most of us don’t know what we might do with Lincoln should Ford leave it on our metaphorical front steps. Take no never mind however as Ford has no idea either. The company does have a hint of a clue of a notion and that involves building a fairly large FWD sedan that, well, how should I put this… is pretty much a shameless rip off of Bentley’s current design paradigm.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing however, as while Lincoln has build some achingly beautiful automobiles in the past, it never really has developed a visual language of its own. The question now is how does the company keep the ball rolling? The production Continental will be channelling England’s second fanciest marque, but what’s next? After all, the company can’t just rest on someone else’s laurels, they need to have some more models to fill dealers’ lots and the company’s coffers.

The question for today is, if Lincoln is destined to build thinly veiled caricatures of other marque’s designs, which ones should they next pick to emulate? Who should Lincoln next shamelessly mimic?

Image: Road & Track

Hooniverse Asks: Legacy Plates on Modern Cars- Brah! Or Blah?

Robert Emslie November 16, 2015 Hooniverse Asks


California recently started offering legacy license plates in black and yellow, a color pattern that harkens back to the 1960s. The plan is to do the same thing for the blue and yellow plates of the ’70s if the DMV can get enough pre-orders to make the vanity plates economically viable. It shows just how cool California’s DMV is, and how smart they are when it comes to generating incremental revenue. I’m sure other states will follow California’s lead.

The plates make total sense when bolted to an older ride. In fact, I have put down my deposit for a blue and yellow set for my 1971 240Z. They will look loads better than the sunset-topped white and blue plates that were stuck on the car back in the late ’80s. Yuck! The question for today however, is how appropriate these legacy plates – specifically the black and yellow ones which are available today – look when applied to a modern set of wheels. Is that a cool mash up of classic and new, or a total mismatch? What do you think about the use of legacy plates on modern cars, Brah! or Blah?

Image: Camaro5

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the Coolest External Turn Indicator?

Robert Emslie November 13, 2015 Hooniverse Asks


Retro cars and trucks often don’t just emulate a style of a bygone era, but often the neat little features as well. VW’s New Beetle for instance debuted with a little flower vase on its dash. Another almost comical design addition, notable in the Chrysler PT Cruiser and Fiat’s Barchetta, is body-colored panels on the interior. We used to turn up our noses at such aspects as it implied cheapness, but now it’s an add-on totem of the past.

One place where the past is welcome to make a return visit is in the realm of turn indicators. In the sixties and seventies it was not uncommon for fancy cars to have turn signal repeaters in the fender caps, a natural evolution of earlier designs where the external lights were the only indicators. The Mustang added this feature in 1967 and have brought it back for 2016. That’s awesome and good on Ford for that kitschy little nod to the past.

That got me thinking however, about all the other cars that have had turn indicator lights the primary purpose of which was driver notification that they are operating, and exactly what cars were so endowed. If you’re not adverse to jumping in the Wayback machine with me, what do you think was the coolest implementation of that feature? What is the coolest external turn indicator?

Image: themustangsource


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