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The Hella Sweet Tow Rigs of LeMons at Sonoma Raceway

COE Ford car carrierLast weekend I had the pleasure(?) of dispensing justice upon the miscreant drivers of the 24 Hours of LeMons “Good Enough Grand Prix” at Sonoma Raceway. It was a small field comprised of teams that had been wait-listed for December’s Sonoma race mixed with a bunch of die-hards. As a result the BMW count (particularly e30s and e36s) was higher than usual (as these teams tend to be skipped over in favor of Ramblers and Super Snipes). Very Hooniverse builds (like the 440-powered M-B or blown 3800-powered Suzuki/S-10 thing) were few and far between. However, the overall combination of crappy/awesome intrinsic to LeMons tends to extend to tow vehicles as well. I’m sure Murilee Martin’s wrap up will show up at Car and Driver any moment now, but in the meantime let’s take a look at the (as Jay would say) Hella butt awesome tow/camping rigs of LeMons.

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Mid-Engined Rat Rod Pickup Gets an A for Concept, C+ for Execution

1935 mid engine rat rod pickup for saleWe try not to be in the business of too much mockery or negativity here at Hooniverse. It’s not that we’ve got no teeth, but that we do Car Stuff (writing, wrenching, racing, driving, etc) for fun. The world’s a serious place with enough serious business going on; we use Car Stuff as a refuge. When we run out of awesome stuff to talk about we can traffic in outrage and cynicism.

That said, there’s room for commentary and critique. The idea of a mid-engine-ed (sigh…) rat rod pickup is an attractive one. Plenty of room and frame rail to mount up a bitchin’ powertrain for the world to see…or maybe better hide it under a toolbox or something like these guys from this year’s Thunderhill LeMons. With so much room, one could drop in a cool I-8, a gnarly industrial/aircraft/marine powerplant or a unique FWD choice like a Cadillac 472/500. Alas, the (sadly, deceased) builder of this car elected for a more obvious choice: Chevy 350/350 combo on a big box-steel frame attached to a Jag IRS.

But maybe we can salvage it to something a dash more creative. First off, we need to fabricate a functional frunk. There’s ample room up front for luggage or kegs. The radiator’s currently in the grille, but were it relocated to the bed a much more aggressive chop could be taken out of the grille/hood area. That, or replace the grill with a solid “shield” of polished or die-rolled metal or something cool. Out back, we need to lower that IRS some (looks like it’s trying to avoid being kicked in the nuts), ditch those fuel tanks (for a single unit up front?) and fab some semblance of a bed. If you wanted to get really “theme-y” with it, you could add an engine stand/hoist and make it look like it’s hauling its own engine as cargo. Put the radiator in there askew to add to the effect. goofiness aside, this thing could probably be made into a decent performer. Also, can you think of any other vehicle with independent rear, but solid-axle front suspension?

Anyway, the current bid’s $4,000 with the auction ending Friday afternoon.

1935 Rat Rod Mid Engine Pickup for sale – eBay Motors

Truck Thursday: The Naples/Marco AACA Show Edition

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So there this olelongrooffan and TheKenMan were at our third car show of that eventful 8 hour stretch one day last winter. We had already seen some pretty cool ass street rods out at the Seminole Indian Casino in Immokalee (sorry dead batteries and no place close by to get some more AA’s), spent a little time learning some more history about Ford’s Mustang at its birthday party and here at this exquisite show presented by the Naples/Marco Island branch of the Antique Automobile Club of America at the Naples Depot. Now this olelongrooffan must admit I was mistaken when I previously mentioned that no trains had run there since the early 80’s. They still run a kiddie scale train, much like the one TheGentleManFarmer had when I was a teenager, running around the perimeter of the grounds of this now train museum. But enough about that, we are here to chat it up about some trucks. For mere beauty, this 1934 Ford truck was the coolest one we saw there. Click on through to see more of it.

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Truck Thursday: Land Rover Discovery with Vortec Power

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I love Land Rovers, don’t question it, just accept it. The thing is that I’m simply too smart to buy a used one, for obvious reasons, and too dumb to make enough money to afford a new one. Despite that, in an attempt to redefine insanity, I keep looking for a used one. There are unicorns and/or amazing deals out there and this one may be one of those.

 

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Truck Thursday: Nissan “Project Titan” is one awesome expedition truck

Nissan Project Titan

Those of that have been following my ramblings on these pages know that I have a lust for expedition vehicles. Perhaps it is from my father, a geography professor and a Lada Niva owner, or my mother who is a frequent traveler and a Jeep Wrangler owner, or perhaps my six week long African safari during college left an impression on me. Whatever the case, I love the damn things. Unfortunately, in my personal life I have neither the need, the time, the place, or the funds for a proper expedition vehicle, which is why I bore you with them here.

Nissan recently created a crowd-sourced projected which will allow “Iraqi war veterans and Wounded Warrior Project Alumni David Guzman and Kevin McMahon embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure… across the Alaskan landscape, Nissan will document the adventure, with a YouTube series set to launch this fall. The adventure begins today when Guzman and McMahon shift into drive in the Alaskan Frontier. To follow the team’s thrilling journey through the Last Frontier, visit the Nissan Trucks Facebook page: Facebook.com/nissantrucks.”

Cool! A nicely built expedition truck that will actually be used!

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Truck Thursday… Dragster?

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Yes.

The engine is from a semi-truck.

Also, since we love alliteration here (h)at the Hooniverse… This thing has a triple turbo setup. I’m currently trying to figure out how to turn the noise it creates into my new ringtone.

[Source: Reddit]

Truck Thursday: 1941 Chevrolet Pickup Truck

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So, a couple weeks ago this olelongrooffan was out and about just seeing what could be seen in this here upscale south Florida city that I reside in and, lo and behold, I stumbled across this sweet 1941 Chevrolet pickemuptruck. I was down at an automotive repair facility where this olelongrooffan spotted a PMYellow LaSalle a few years ago with my daughter, TheSmartOne. Yeah, Dr. Johnny and his kinfolk always seem to have something pretty sweet on their lot. This one was in fantastic shape and, notwithstanding the late model radials, looked to be in bone stock shape. Click on through, if it pleases my fellow Hoons, to see more of this desirable ride.

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Craigslist: 1991 Ford F-150 is Ready to Take You Back in Time

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For your Truck Thursday enjoyment, I present to you what might be the coolest truck on the internet today.

1991 was a good year for Ford trucks – it was the final year of the 8th-generation F-Series, and with a full range of trim levels on offer, Ford was determined to send it out with a bang. This truck is one of the nicest examples of a top-of-the-line XLT Lariat that I have seen in a long time. Take the jump below and see if you don’t agree.

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Truck Thursday: Two Classic Jeeps – ’51 Willys and ’75 CJ-5

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I recently attended a local media event where Jeep showed off the new 2015 Renegade. The presentation was very nice, and as decor Jeep provided two classic models from a local enthusiast/collector. The silver-gray one is a 1951 Willys and the red one is a 1975 CJ-5. They are not 100% original, few things are these days, but both have been built and/or restored by their passionate owner.

Check out the pics after the jump.

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Classic Skin on a Great Chassis: ’64 Suburban on a ’02 Diesel 2500HD Chassis

1964 suburban diesel swap for saleWhile scheming about my own Wagoneer, my escalations of “if you’re going to fix ______, you might as well upgrade to ______” often end with the idea of transplanting the majority of a modern 4×4 into/under it. This tends to make more sense in the context of swapping a late-’70s, early-’80s chassis under a ’50s-’60s era truck, as they use simpler technology and often mounting points are shared. Today’s example stretches that gap, dropping the body of a ’64 Suburban on an ’02 Chevy 2500HD diesel chassis.

You could spend copious quantities of cash upgrading hardware before you’d have the power, efficiency, steering, brakes and drivetrain beef offered by this swap. Unfortunately, there are a few details I’d do differently. The wheels and tires scream 90s show truck, while some narrower, hub-capped painted steelies would be more period appropriate. Getting a current-gen electronics to play nice with old gauges is no small feat, so I sympathize with the seller’s choice to transplant the new dash into the old truck. Unfortunately, the aesthetics of it need some work; early ’00s GM wasn’t exactly the pinnacle of interior design.

 So…then there’s the price. I’m not sure who the buyer of a $31,000 custom truck is, but that’s well outside my budget for a vehicle that’s still going to be a project no matter how well executed the swap is. He does strong suggest we make any offer, though…

1964 Suburban on 2002 2500HD Diesel Chassis – eBay Motors

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