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Shipping Cars to Central Asia and Beyond

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Used cars are shipped to other countries. We hold this truth to be self-evident. We all know this happens on a daily basis, but what are the cars being exported, where are they going, and what is the process like? The good people at West Coast Shipping near the Port of Oakland opened their doors and let me take a fascinating peek inside their busy operation. If you are a fan of cars, geopolitics, or freight logistics, then you are in for a treat. Make the jump to see what I saw and learned.

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Honda NSX lovin’ at Goodwood 2014

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It must be a terrific asset to have a car like the NSX in your back catalogue, especially when you’re a company typically known for shops-and-back shuttles like, er, the Shuttle.

The NSX is something of a Hooniverse Idol, and quite rightly so. It first appeared in dealers in 1990 on the back of Honda’s very successful contributions to Formula 1 racing, and the Civics and Accords that clogged the world’s asphalt arteries were suddenly bathed in an exciting new, empassioned light.

After a lengthy production run, the right-first-time NSX was finally taken from us in 2005, and there’s been nothing quite like it ever since; Honda badge or not. At this years Goodwood, though, Honda were flying the NSX flag high.

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Goodwood 2014:- 1955 Mercedes Renntransporter

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At the Goodwood Festival Of Speed, the background awesomeness level is cranked so high that you walk past impossibly cool stuff without even registering it. I’m guessing I walked past this, the Legendary (note capital L) Mercedes 300S Renntransporter, four times before I even noticed it was there. To be honest, it was probably mostly obscured by onlookers with their jaws on the floor.

If you’re here, looking at this website, then you’re probably familiar with this unmistakeable machine. It’s been scientifically proven that a typical car-addict thinks about the Renntransporter on average 147 times a day. Take the jump to make that 148.

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Review: 2014 Ford Fiesta EcoBoost 1.0 Powershift. Fun… if you insist.

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I like my cars to be visceral, possibly brutal. I like to feel the car fighting back as I wrestle it around my favourite backroads route. I like to feel as if I’m working as part of a team, the car and myself acting in unison to cover ground as entertainingly as possible. The car doesn’t have to be totally reliant on muscle and it doesn’t have to have racetrack credentials to provide fun, a grunty lightweight like a Z4M or a heavy old horse like a Bentley Turbo R are equally adept at making me grin.

On the face of it, a low-powered Ford Fiesta with an automatic gearbox should be pretty much the opposite of what I love in a car. Take the jump to see whether this really is as miserable  a combination as it sounds.

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Tech Day at The 24 Hours Of LeMons Humidi TT at Sebring International Raceway

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So, on July 4th, 238 years ago our Founding Fathers signed a document that created these United States of America and this olelongrooffan was the lucky recipient of that event by being awarded a rare Friday off work. Alternately, the 24 Hours of LeMons Powers That Be decided to schedule their Tech Day up at the Sebring International Raceway on this very day just so this olelongrooffan could make the 120 mile trek up that way to see what could be seen this day. And I did.

Now as some of my fellow Hoons may remember, back when I was schlepping trailers for a living, this olelongrooffan tried to talk a security dude out at the Daytona International Speedway into letting me park my olebeaterpickemup truck outside the inspection window at that track and I was ultimately denied that opportunity. Well, today, my fellow Hoons, I did not ask permission to park where I did, just off pit road, to gather the above image. Just because I could.

I arose work early, realized that task was not a part of my day this day and rolled over and slept another hour. By the time I got up I was rather restless and got on down (actually up) the various roads between Naples and Sebring and arrived before many of the participants for the Tech Inspection due to start around 1pm EST. As this olelongrooffan was passing by that Security Babe at the entrance, I had my $30 admission price ready to hand to her. (Note To Self…be sure to put the squeeze on the Hooniverse Overlords prior to attendance to any function in the future!) She stated that she thought spectators were not allowed in the paddock area this day. Subconsciously, this olelongrooffan chuckled and thought to myself, “I’ll see what I can do.”

My fellow Hoons are free to make the jump to see the results of whether this olelongrooffan had any luck in gaining admission to that hallowed paddock area this day.

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Goodwood 2014: The Actual Action. Audi Quattro Sport S1 Hillclimb. Etc.

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The 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed finished on Sunday. But not here it didn’t! Hooniverse is going to keep on milking that sucker for all it’s worth.

Central to the appeal of the FOS is the actual hillclimb run found at its geographical centre. It’s along this 1.1 mile tarmac ribbon that some of the all time greats of motoring history are given the chance to strut their mechanical stuff, to the cheers and applause of a grateful gasoline-veined audience. So far, my coverage of this event has been found somewhat wanting in terms of actual footage of the good stuff.

Thankfully, regular contributor and serious fan of fast-moving metal Jason Connor has my back on this. While I’ve been fruitlessly pointing my DSLR at cars on totally inappropriate shutter settings, trying in vain to get a shot as they roar past, Jason has been studiously editing the live stream from Goodwood, slicing it into manageable portions. Step past the jump to enjoy the Audi Sport Quattro being ragged senseless by Hannu Mikkola.

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Stockholm Sightings – Audi 5000S

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Walking around the Kungsholmen island of Stockholm, close to our hostel, I noticed this chrome-laden, seemingly early Audi 5000S parked on the street. The bumpers sprouted out proudly, the sealed-beam headlights added a touch of old-world class to the otherwise aerodynamic design, and the entire car was sparkly clean.

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Goodwood 2014: More Sunday Noise- ’97 Penske Mercedes PC26

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Well, it’s 14:00 Stateside, and this will be my final post for this afternoon. I hope that Hooniverse’s coverage of the Goodwood Festival Of Speed in little old England has been to your liking. Those of you who have enjoyed it will be pleased to know that there will be a veritable deluge of FOS posts during the week as I wade through the various photos and videos that I’ve collected over the weekend and try and string a few descriptive sentences together. Those of you who have hated every single minute of the whole affair will be mortified to hear the same thing.

As a parting gesture, I thought I’d share a properly transatlantic racer with you; built in England, raced in America, powered by Germany and making a right old racket right up in your grill. After the jump.

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Goodwood 2014: A Stroll around the village

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Ever since visiting Disneyworld when I was twelve, theme parks have been ruined for me forever. The immense Orlando complex, with its own sophisticated monorail, constantly swept pavement and ultra-high budget thrill rides, became the standard by which I would judge all subsequent theme park visits by.  If I’d never been to Disneyworld I’d be much better placed to enjoy the regional theme parks of England with their archaic, rusting rollercoasters which couldn’t deliver a thrill even if you were force fed a bag of skittles laced with LSD before boarding.

Likewise, visiting the Tokyo motorshow made the next UK show I attended seem a bit of a damp squib. And now Goodwood is forcing me to recalibrate my motorshow expectations once again.

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Goodwood 2014: Porsche 935, Loud and Naked. (SFW)

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I’ve just been deafened, I have carbon monoxide poisoning, my t-shirt absolutely reeks of petrochemicals. I’ll probably become nauseous soon, and then have to take several days away from work to recuperate.

You, though, get to enjoy a very similar overall experience but without the life-threatening inhalations or eardrum-shattering shrieks, and all from the comfort of your La-Z-Boy. Take the jump to be aurally assaulted.

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