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Thunderhill 25 Road Trip

Jim Yu December 9, 2014 Hooniverse Goes To...

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On Sunday, I decided to make the two-hour trek up to Thunderhill to check out the 25 hour race put together by NASA. To prepare myself, I studiously listened to Bradley and Eric’s informative podcast on the race and filled up the Volvo’s tank with Venezuela-crushingly cheap gasoline. Make the jump to see the automotive oddities I discovered on the way there and back. … Continue Reading

Inside the Classic Remise in Düsseldorf, Germany

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Düsseldorf’s Classic Remise is a great place for anyone who wants to get up close with near-priceless classic metal. A brick building once built for locomotive storage, these days it’s a combination of a classic car dealership, car storage, restoration shop, memorabilia mall and car museum with a really nice restaurant thrown in as a bonus. Admission is free, and it’s one of the best ways to spend a Sunday in Düsseldorf. I especially recommend a Flammkuchen mit Speck with an Altbier as a companion, after a few hours of intensive classic car admiring.

In this photo-heavy post, I’ll show you the Remise as seen through a 50mm “Nifty Fifty” lens.

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Beaterland in Deutschland – Turning 30 in a BMW E30

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As an individual born in late November, 1984, I turned 30 last week. Fanfares, accolades, confetti, all of them successfully softened the blow of reaching my fourth decade. It even gets quite cold and dark here in Finland around this time, so the only hasty choice I could do was to turn back the advancement of autumn just a touch, and book tickets to Germany, as it’s just a touch warmer there. As it happens, they also have legendary racetracks and cheap(er) cars there, along with seriously cheap beer, so it didn’t take a long time for me to jump on the Boeing and make my way to Düsseldorf.

To look at cars, one needs a car. This was the bottom line for my friend Joe, who picked me up in the titular BMW; he’s planning to buy a cheap, frugal runabout or a project Datsun Z or something in between. It’s not clear yet what he’ll be getting, but the actual going-to-look-at-cars will happen in this slightly patinated 1988 BMW 318i saloon. It was loaned to him by the excellent fellow who bought the pea soup coloured Zastava, and as he had also recently bought a gold Subaru wagon the BMW was free to be lent on.

So, there I was, luggage dumped into the steel blue BMW’s trunk, the top of my head touching the headliner of the sunroof-equipped car. This was to be a pretty decent weekend.

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On The Road With This olelongrooffan: Let’s Go To The Folkston Funnel, Shall We?

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So this olelongrooffan is certain my fellow Hoons are trying to figure out what this image of some random rail cars has anything to do with the happenings here in the Hooniverse. Well, as I hope my fellow Hoons have most likely figured out by now, this olelongrooffan ventures out on a regular basis to see if I can find some, what I think is, cool stuff to share with my fellow Hoons. So far, although with some exceptions, all seems to be good. Hope the same can be said today. So if my fellow Hoons don’t mind some longrooffan ramblings and the reason these rail cars are featured “above the fold” feel free to click on through.

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Weekend Edition: 2014 Turkey Rod Run Road Trip: And Out Of Naples

IMG_2644 So one of the perks of my new gig, one that was unknown to this olelongrooffan, is that after six months employment, I was awarded two weeks paid vacation. The caveat is that those days of vacation needed to be used by the end of the calendar year. As I run the customer service division of my company for the new home communities we have in the southwest part of the Sunshine State and the snow birds having been fleeing the northern part of this great country in droves to my part of this world, my skinny white butt has been spread pretty thin. However, last week during my performance evaluation (four exceptional and four outstanding, thank you very much) I was chatting it up with the British monarchy I work for (Charles, Diana and Henry) about my workload for Thanksgiving week and they all agreed that my taking off for this coming week would be a great idea and to have fun. Well as I had planning on spending Thanksgiving weekend at the Turkey Rod Run at the Daytona International Speedway, this olelongrooffan thought I would road trip it up there trying to avoid Eisenhower’s Interstate System. If my fellow Hoons are so inclined, click on through to ride along with me and see some of the sights I saw on Saturday. … Continue Reading

The Street Rod Show: An Image Dump

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Now my fellow Hoons know this olelongrooffan tends to run on with my posts and get all wordy. That ain’t the case this time. I am getting ready to head out on a road trip all around the Sunshine State culminating at the Turkey Rod Run in Daytona Beach next weekend. I just checked my email and it was determined a post was needed for this time slot. Well, this one was in draft form since April and this olelongrooffan determined it was good to go. So click through as see the rest of the stuff I saw while walking around with TheKenMan and Goldie that spring day.

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A Day With TheKenMan: The Roosevelt Edition

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So this olelongrooffan was out at the AACA Naples/Marco Chapter’s show a whiles back and came across some pretty sweet old rides that I didn’t even know about. This was one of them. It is a Roosevelt, as in Teddy Roosevelt, Automobile. Any of my fellow Hoons seen one of these previously?

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Hooniverse Road Trip: Kinsley, Kansas – “Midway USA”

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In 1939, there were two concurrent World’s Fairs being held in the United States: the New York World’s Fair, and the Golden Gate International Exposition a continent away in San Francisco. That April, the cover of an issue of The Saturday Evening Post depicted two cars, each emblazoned with “World’s Fair or Bust,” passing each other in opposite directions under a fictional signpost marking the mid-point between the two cities. As it turns out, that imaginary signpost would have been located on U.S. Highway 50 just outside Kinsley, Kansas. The county seat of Edwards County has been promoting itself as “Midway, USA” ever since, but without managing to attract much national attention.

Fast forward three-quarters of a century. My close friend Rusty — an old co-worker and riding buddy of mine who relocated to Colorado years ago — suggested we get together for a motorcycle ride; the only problem is that he lives 620 miles west of me. I suggested that my wife and I should meet him halfway. A quick check of Google Maps indicated that the halfway point between his house in Pueblo and mine in Kansas City was within three miles of…Kinsley, Kansas. Even living less than 4-1/2 hours away, I had never heard of Kinsley. But once I learned of its long reputation as THE half-way point, kismet demanded we meet there. Not long after, under a cloudy June sky, we did.

What we found there was a quirky, threadworn small town whose acme had long passed without ever quite realizing its potential. But thanks to my equally quirky and optimistic traveling companions and the town’s genuinely sincere citizens, plus the great excuse for plenty of miles on sparsely populated rural roads, it was definitely worth the trip.

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The Surprising State Ride of Czech President Václav Havel.

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Striving for social status in life can bring many rewards. My 33 years on the planet have seen me ascend to ownership of a 1997 Rover 825si (which I try not to mention too often in case I’m seen as arrogant or aloof). Jeff Glucker, my elder (and better) has a Bugatti EB110 and a fleet of GM EV-1s scattered around the world (and you thought they’d been destroyed….).

But what happens when you suddenly find yourself elected president of a former Communist-controlled land? Czechoslovakia at the end of the ’80s was a country rich with engineering talent, so creating a car fit for a President wouldn’t be a significant challenge. So, after his election after the Velvet Revolution of late 1989, what did Václav Havel drive?

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Track Day in Beaterland – Sierra CVH at Ahvenisto

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What do I love most about taking a humble daily driver on a track? Well, there’s just something about it that feels deliciously wrong. Tracks are for track weapons in the purest sense, for purpose-built, caged cars that are driven by people who actually know what they’re doing for most of the time, people who are able to shave seconds off lap times instead of just doing a different series of mistakes on each lap. Instead of a bread and butter conveyance, you get into a machine that’s been painstakingly built into a faster, safer, and yet more disposable vehicle, something that can be driven hard, something that still declares “This isn’t even my final form!” A car that’s been built into a track day car or a racer doesn’t have a way back. This is its life now, roll cage and all.

But for a modest outlay, and as long as you’ve brought your helmet and as long as you’re aware of how your car is doing mechanically, you can enter a track with your grocery-getter and have a brilliant time – in case the premises offer the possibility of tourist drives or booking the place for your usual gang of idiots that form your car camaraderie. Like us, the Finnish part of FinalGear, the guys who sauna the night before and watch Regular Car Reviews and Birgirpall until everyone’s so tired from laughing they don’t know if the helmet fits on the next morning. But as the leaves are falling and the forested track of Ahvenisto looks amazingly beautiful, despite being treacherous under the motivational autumn photo guise, it’s time to wrap up the driving season on the track asphalt with a group of good friends. And now it was the 1990 Ford Sierra‘s turn to earn a couple stickers.

… Continue Reading

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