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Magazine Time Machine: Motor Trend July 1963


It’s been a few weeks since I’ve dragged out an issue from my recently purchased collection, and there doesn’t seem to be much news going on these days (what’s the LA Auto Show?) so let’s delve into a bit of the past, shall we? This cover looks like a whole lot of fun. The EMPI Sportster is thrashed about on dirt, while an FJ40 looks on. Full road test of MG’s hydraulic suspended “Sports Sedan”. A NEW CONCEPT in tires; steel belts. And some stock car racing action. This was a great issue to flip through. Click the jump to see some more great photos from the issue.

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Waggin’ Wednesday: Wild Ride Around Fuji In A Nissan R34 GT-R JGTC GT500 Race Car

Bradley Brownell November 18, 2015 Nostalgia
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In a new video from NISMO, pro-racer Alex Buncome takes a GT-R race car (from the GT500 class of the Japanese Grand Touring Car series now known as Super GT) around the Fuji circuit. The video doesn’t feature any talking or music or distractions, just a man and his car and the glorious sounds of straight cut gears and an insanely powerful turbocharged inline-6. Based on the video, I can declare that this car is absolutely mad. Mental. Insane. Even if NISMO offered me the opportunity to drive it, I’d probably have to politely decline, as I wouldn’t want them to have to incur the additional handling fees of shipping a casket back to my wife. Yet somehow Buncome perseveres to set a reasonably quick lap around the famous Japanese circuit. It seems like at anything below 3rd gear, this decade old touring car has trouble with traction, as the thing seems to wag its tail all over the circuit. As a fan of motorsport, this is what I want to see more of in racing these days. Give me a racing series with cars that have too much power, not enough tire or downforce, and still look like cars. It’s a short video, but it’s worth your time. Crank it up and enjoy.

[Video: NISMO on YouTube]

Advanced Active Aero Concepts Of 1950s Mercedes Racing Cars

Bradley Brownell November 17, 2015 Vintage Racing


I’m a huge motorsport nerd. I love all facets of motorsport, but lately I’ve been absolutely enamored with early aerodynamics concepts. I don’t mean the streamliners of the 30s, those are cool, but I’s talking about the post-war stuff when racing really got serious. The 1950s and even through the 1960s, companies that built racing cars really had no idea what they were doing with air. Downforce, as a concept, was for the most part, still largely undiscovered. Aerodynamicists of the day knew little more about how air works than a 15 year old with his hand stuck out the window on a family roadtrip. Knowing what we know now about air, it’s fun to look back at the early days and try to look at things the way engineers then did.

Mercedes had a novel idea that worked, unfortunately they pulled out of motorsport for 30 years and the idea seemingly went away with their program. Here’s a quick overview of the Mercedes Air Brake project. Details after the jump.

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Florida Bug Jam 2015: Bug Wars

Blue Volkswagen bug

Many of you can probably remember when Volkswagen was known more for making small, cheap, ubiquitous cars with character, known as the Beetle, than they were for a diesel emissions controversy. Last Saturday, I was able to travel back to those good old days at the Florida Bug Jam, a family-friendly judged classic Volkswagen car show with a poker run and some dirt track hooning. I don’t think I spotted a single water-cooled VW while I was there, besides the one that I arrived in.  … Continue Reading

What Living With An Electric E30 Conversion Is Really Like

Tanshanomi November 11, 2015 Featured, Old Car Reviews


Currently, you can walk into numerous dealers and buy a truly refined, sophisticated all-electric production car (or walk into a Mitsubishi dealer and buy a rather lame one). But go back further than about 5 years, and owning an electric car meant building one. Or, more accurately, converting one.

John Hansen didn’t convert this 1986 BMW 325ES to electric power, but he has been using it to commute approximately 10,000 miles annually since he bought it almost 2½ years ago, and his experiences with the car are very insightful. Old cars have their challenges. Home-built cars have challenges, too. And all-electric cars have their own unique challenges. Roll them all together and you’d expect the result to be wholly impractical, but John makes this one work well enough. At least for now.

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State of the Garage (and Car Vacations) Address

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It has been a while since I posted on Hooniverse so I thought I would catch you up on what’s going on in the Yu garage. A couple of Germans may soon be added. Plus, I have photos to share from my recent trips to Seattle, Los Angeles, and Japan. … Continue Reading

Back to the Present: On October 21st, 2015, 4:29 PM PST


The minute this post goes live is the exact time the DeLorean DMC-12 converted to a time machine by E. Brown Industries comes into our time from 1985. Or to be more precise, the alternative timeline where everything is a pastel-coloured futuristic version of 1989/1990. I kinda like that idea.

Today’s been jammed full of everything Back to the Future related, and it sort of feels like a New Year’s celebration in October. It’s funny to think that in a way I’ve been waiting for this date for as long as I can remember, from the first time I saw the film on VHS after it was shown on Finnish television in the mid-1990s. I have been fascinated with DeLoreans ever since, and it’s likely that my hobbies, my career and my entire life have been steered into this exact direction after being so enormously inundated by 1980s nostalgia. I haven’t become that guy who fills his apartment with eBay movie memorabilia, but I do have a DeLorean brochure on a shelf somewhere.

The thought that has been with me the whole day is that if the kid I was at the time of seeing the film came here to visit me in 2015, would he like what he sees? Is this the future I thought it would be?

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Mid-Century Suburbia on Display at Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival

1966 Volkswagen Deluxe Bus

The fourteenth annual Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance will soon return to the white sandy beaches of South Carolina with a special exhibition that hits home.

Running from October 31st – November 1st, one of the featured exhibits is called “Life in the Suburbs”. Being a motoring festival, you can guess where this is going. This exhibit will pay tribute to 1940s, 50s, and 60s suburbia with a focus on the cars and trucks that served millions of families in ways that they never had before. Most if not all of those ways are represented in this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition coming to a Hilton Head Island near you.

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The Soul Of Rennsport Reunion V Distilled Into One Video

Bradley Brownell October 15, 2015 Vintage Racing
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Rennsport Reunion is like San Diego Comic Con for Porsche Anoraks like me. It is a festival celebrating all things Porsche motorsport. This event is three days of bright colors, intense sounds, evocative smells, and attention grabbing pieces of history. It is impossible to focus your attention on one single thing for very long, as something different will grumble by in short order. There are many decades of excellence on display, both static and rapidly mobile. Ever since there has been a Porsche, there has been a Porsche motorsport. Racing and Porsche are inextricably linked through the years, as they’ve participated in almost every discipline there is. They’ve won Le Mans 17 times now, they have engineered Formula 1 titles, they have won the Paris-Dakar, they have won countless road rallies and circuit races. Thousands of race victories, millions of kilometers traversed, by some of the best racing cars and racing drivers in history. I took almost 4000 photos while I was at Rennsport Reunion V, and how do you display so many of them? This video attempts to show off some of the frantic and frenetic soul of the event, without making it quite so flashy and noisy and impossible to wrap your head around.

I was already planning to go to Rennsport Reunion on my own time and dime, but for the interest of full disclosure, I was a guest of Porsche at this event through my work with FlatSixes.com. You can see more of my reporting on this event over on that site by clicking here. This video in particular, was created for our Cammed & Tubbed Podcast YouTube channel, where Cam, Jason, and I each post one video per week. You can follow us here. I spent about 9 hours making this video, so I really hope you like it.

Magazine Time Machine: Motor Trend September 1955


Motor Trend recently released their ‘Best Driver’s Car 2015’ video on their YouTube channel, and it was quite entertaining, so I was feeling a bit in the Motor Trend mood this afternoon. Let’s see what they used to write about 60 years ago. The cover design of a circa 1955 MT isn’t exactly compelling, but it is eye catching. Do you remember a time when MT was staple bound? Where the old R&T covers didn’t have any words on them, MT is clearly designed to catch your attention at the news stand. Detroit’s Best Looking Cars? I’ve gotta check that out!

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