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Thanksgiving Turkey Leftovers: Aftermarket Fender Flares


My name is Scott and it is on these pages that I wage my lonely battle. The battle, that is, against aftermarket fender flares. Sadly, this may not be a popular opinion, but lets take a look at a couple of examples of vehicles that look better as-produced than they do with random stuff screwed to their sides. (By the way, all vehicles fall into this category.)

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A Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkey – 2014 Opel Astra ecoFLEX Wagon


My forays into the world of brand new cars do not come often. I was awaken from my beater status quo by the realization that the current J-generation Opel Astra doesn’t have a long shelf life any more, as it is scheduled to be replaced in 2016-ish.

Right now, the dealers offer attractive deals on already affordable cars: 1,9% financing and even “Bring your road legal penalty box and we’ll value it at 3000 eur” kind of trades, via some networks. Adaptive headlights, 17″ wheels and punchier 140hp engine come into play, with the end price hovering somewhere around 21 000 eur for a five-door version. Since I don’t instantly retreat into the woods when Opel is casually mentioned, I decided to trot over to the local dealer and try out a BROWN MANUAL WAGON. Did I shout that out loud?

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A Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkey – The LearAvia Lear Fan 2100 Executive Aircraft (aka: The Flying DeLorean)

lear-fan-2100-5-1024x779.jpg (1024×779) - Google Chrome 11252014 43721 PM.bmp

Here at the Hooniverse we write about many diverse forms of transportation, from Motorcycles, to Heavy Duty Trucks. However, I think this is the first time that we have discussed a passenger plane (except for the occasional Last Call Feature), and this particular aircraft is one that was both advanced and yet troubled at the same time. This is the story of the innovative LearAvia Lear Fan 2100 Executive Aircraft, and how this particular venture shares a great deal with another early 80’s innovative venture, the DeLorean. So sit back and relax, and let me tell you about a true Thanksgiving Turkey in the form of an advanced aircraft, and how the British Government was duped into funding this project…

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A Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkey – Miata, A Turkey No More… Or Is It?

Miata with new wheels

When we last left off with my dear roadster, things were looking up. The shifter has been rebuilt, the cam angle sensor was no longer leaking. Just a trip to the alignment rack, and we’d be good to go. Except, with a nearly 20 year old project car, nothing is ever that simple. Follow the jump to see what I’ve been up to this time. … Continue Reading

A Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkey: The Triumph TR7


Ah, Thanksgiving Turkeys. There was a shortlist drawn up and we all took our pick. For me the Triumph TR7 leapt out. British Leyland’s notorious sporting wedge ranks high in the annals of motoring misadventure and a quick and damning hatchet-job should be pretty easy. Out with the knives, gloves off, let the condemnation begin.

But let’s not be too hasty. Before we forever slide the TR7 to the side of our thanksgiving dinner plate as the cold, tough turkey that it may, or may have been, lets have a quick recap on the back story.

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A Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkey: Rent-A-Wreck Nissan Sentra


It was Thanksgiving, 2009. My wife and I were visiting my mother, who had retired and moved to Maui. Visiting her a couple of times a year, every year, was draining my wallet. Being the financial genius, I decided to save some money and got a rental car from a place similar to Rent-A-Wreck. I ended up with this purple Sentra.The car smelled of cigarette smoke. Salt stains from countless surfers smudged the torn-up cloth upholstery. It was a hot mess, squared. But I was proud of saving $15 a day, compared to a new car from the airport rental place. … Continue Reading

A Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkey: The Renault (and Eagle) Medallion


To understand this Thanksgiving Turkey requires a bit of digging and short history lesson, but we’ll get to that soon enough. The American-market Renault was one of the final French-built cars sold in the United States, even though it was sold in its final model year (1989) as the Eagle Medallion. Whatever else you can say about it, the Americanized Renault 21 finished up the French builder’s short stay on this side of the pond with a low note.

Why does any of this matter to me? Because I desperately want to drive one and possibly, sickly, to own one. Their utter awfulness, however, has conspired against me as the Renault Medallion may very well be functionally extinct. I recently found one on Los Angeles’ CraigsList for $375 that was, unsurprisingly, listed as “parts or project car.” It has since disappeared, which leads me to believe someone who wasn’t 2,000 miles away dropped a thin stack of bills on the rare-but-not-valuable merde.

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A Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkey- The 1980-82 Ford Thunderbird


One good bird deserves another, right? Well, Ford’s 1980-82 edition of their long-serving range-topper, the Thunderbird was so bad that it would have ruined nearly any Thanksgiving meal. Ford has dropped the T-bird from its lineup of late, but for decades it served as the brand’s iconic halo car, ironically despite the fact that it never carried the Ford name or logo. Over the course of its life the Thunderbird morphed in size and purpose, but it always carried a sense of presence and panache, well, almost always. … Continue Reading

A Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkey – The 1953-54 Hudson Jet (Or how to kill a Car Company with one model…)

HudsonJetUnveiled.jpg (900×627) - Google Chrome 11252014 41549 PM.bmp

Thanks for checking on Hooniverse during your Thanksgiving Holiday. We know that between the Parades, the Football Games, Thanksgiving Dinner, and of course, Thanksgiving Drinks, we realize that the Hoons that come here during the week might want some automotive frivolity, if only to take a break from their family for a few moments. So, in honor of the Thanksgiving Holiday (and for the fourth year and counting…), we thought we would roll out a few Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkeys, as in Automotive Turkeys…

The Hudson Motor Car Company was founded in 1909 with eight Detroit businessmen that started building the company with capital from Joseph L. Hudson, a Detroit department store entrepreneur and founder of Hudson’s department store. The company was named after Mr. Hudson and hit the ground running on February 20th, with the business plan of producing a motorcar that would sell for less than $1,000. By 1929, Hudson was the third largest U.S.Car Maker behind Ford and Chevrolet. Hudson had many memorable models throughout the years, but they were always just a bit more expensive than comparable makes from both Ford or Chevrolet. This really didn’t matter after the war years of 1942-45 when production resumed with warmed over pre-war designs that all the major car companies were then producing, because demand far outstripped supply.

However, the Hudson Motor Car Company decided to introduce a revolutionary new model in the form of the “Step-Down” Hudson models for the 1948 model year. Basically, these cars were built with the passenger compartment that was built inside the perimeter of the frame. Passengers simply stepped down into the passenger compartment, and was surrounded by the steel superstructure. The results were spectacular as far as handling, ride height, and to some degree, performance. One consequence of the design was the fact that it couldn’t easily be restyled. Factor in the price wars ignited by both General Motors and Ford during the 1952-54 time period, and the smaller independent automakers were struggling, including Hudson. So what did Hudson do at this point? It introduced the Hudson Jet, a compact car looking like a 3/4 scale 1952 Ford sedan, that was short, narrow, yet taller than any of the “Step Down” Hudson models of the period. It was the antithesis of what Hudson was suppose to be, and that’s why I call it my Thanksgiving Turkey…

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A Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkey – Inspection Time in Beaterland


I bought the BMW way back in Oct 2012, relaying the tale of zeroing down on the one exact car in which I wanted to do long-distance driving. As I had completed a good bit of driving and passed the 10 000 mile mark, I noted down the things that had gone wrong or remained wrong with it, not forgetting to mark down the positive things about the cheap E34 with which I had decided to live.

One of the major selling points with the car was the long, valid inspection time the car came with; it was road legal until the end of Nov 2013 or more than a year. As the time has now run out, it’s time to take the car to be evaluated by a man with a crowbar. The car now has 250 000 km on the clock, so it’s due for a service anyway. Having driven down to the local MOT station I’ve decided to favor, the keys to the BMW were handed over and 65 of my euros changed ownership. What would they say?

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