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Hooniverse Drives to Berlin – via Checkpoints A–B–C–D

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I spent my 30th birthday in Germany. A little bit more than a month later, I was back in Germany, for a New Year’s Eve in The Netherlands. Huh? Well, in Central Europe it doesn’t take long to drive from a country to another, so naturally it would make sense to fly to Düsseldorf, drive to the Limburg region beyond the Dutch border, and then to do a day trip to Berlin after New Year’s. It’s all logical, until you take into account you have to sit in a Peugeot wagon for hours on end…

But there was a Suzuki engine in Berlin, and there was room in the Peugeot. So I woke myself up with a cup of coffee and hopped in. There would be sights along the way.

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Polygons ahoy: Some MS-DOS racing games worth a try on Archive.org

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If you’re around my age (and probably a few years older), you came of age around the time when home computing was similarly coming of age. And if you’re like me, you spent an inordinate amount of time tinkering with polygonal and/or text-based MS-DOS games. While many of these games have fallen into the Abandonware file (although still runnable in Windows with a DOS emulator like DOSBOX), that’s always been just annoying enough to keep my attention.

However, the wonderful Archive.org recently teamed up with DOSBOX to provide a forum that lets nostalgic types like myself play old DOS games from the comfort of their preferred web browser. You can find that DOS games archive/in-browser emulator here. There are enough nerdy types here on Hooniverse to discuss and debate the merits of the myriad of games (Oregon Trail vs. Wolfenstein 3D: In which game do you shoot more? Go.), but let’s instead discuss some good automotive-related games I found worth my time.

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Diecast Delights:- A 1961 E-Type (And how it all started)

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Last week we looked at a Plymouth Roadrunner model from about twenty years ago. Today we look at what I imagine is one of the most commonly found 1:18th scale models in the world. Bburago’s evergreen ’61 Jaguar E-Type.

You probably know somebody who owns one of these. It has been a stalwart of the Bburago range since, I believe, the early ’80s. At this time the scope of their large-scale range was a lot more narrow than it is now. In fact, the face of 1:18 scale modelling itself has changed massively in the time that this model has been around. Back in the ’80s Bburago were pretty much the go-to brand for anybody who wanted to go beyond toy cars and onto proper models.  Let’s take a look at what is now a vintage model.

As usual, click the pics to make ‘em bigger, and please, being that it’s Christmas, indulge me as I take a trip into the past.

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Two-Wheel Tuesday: Victorian “Geared Facile” Replica Build is Workshop Porn

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A spectacularly talented craftsman from New Zealand (who goes by the catchy nom-de-web “Bob”) scratch-built this mesmerizing, handcrafted replica of an 1880s Geared Facile bicycle. And when I say “scratch-built,” I really do mean scratch-effin’-built. From making his own rolling dies to form his own oval tubing and machining his own bearing races to the painting and pinstriping, he did everything. And he did everything jaw-droppingly, meticulously, unnecessarily, gut-tighteningly well.

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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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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

DesignSchool Bookshelf:- RetroFuturism; The Car Design of J Mays.

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“When he sets out to design a particular car he considers, in order of importance, proportion, line and shape”

Mind blowing stuff. If only all designers were open to such radical thinking as J Mays.

The “well, duh” nature of that line immediately disgusted me when I initially picked this book up. Consequently I flicked through its highly-stylised pages, growing increasingly disinterested, before condemning it to a slot in the lower reaches of my bookcase. I hated it this book. And that was before I noticed the impossibly tacky silver-foil rear-view mirror on the reverse cover. Bleuurgh.

Several months later, out of morbid intrigue, I dipped into it for a second time, and, well…..an education was forthcoming.

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Death In The Family: A fond farewell to the Ka.

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Back in the late 20th century, a family walked out a small, local Ford dealership having placed a deposit down on two cars, a Ford Mondeo V6 and a Ford Ka. Six years later the Mondeo moved aside in favour of a BMW, but the Ka remained and would do for ages yet. Or, in fact, until this week.

The family I mention is my family, and it’s not without a few tears flowing that the Ka is leaving us. If you will, please take the jump to join me as I pay my last respects.

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Jan Anderle and The Dálník: Blurring the line between Bike and Car.

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Repulsive, isn’t it? A gargoyle among the sirens of steel and rubber that make up the historic motorcycle collection of the National Technical Museum, Prague. It may be redolent of the kind of creature that lurks at the bottom of the ocean’s deepest trenches, but it also happens to be one of the more interesting footnotes in European transportation development in the 20th century.

I covered the way-ahead-of-its-time ČAS Sc quite recently, and this, the Dálník 250 prototype is even more extreme in its concept. Find out more about it and what it led to after the jump.

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A Honda Zoomer….. from 1921? The ČAS Sc.

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The Honda Zoomer, available since 2002 on the Japanese and American market, is recognised by several people I’ve met as an iconic piece of micro-scooter design. I happen to agree with them. Its stripped-down form and the way its vital structural members are laid bare for all to see makes for a refreshingly different take on the oft-cliche’d scooter convention. It’s an expression of High-Tech Architecture on two-wheels.

So, when working my way along the crowded line of motorcycles on permanent exhibition at the National Technical Museum in Prague, I was quite taken aback to see this machine for the first time. It appears to be everything the Honda Zoomer is, yet was built some eighty-one years earlier. It being two-wheel Tuesday, take a closer look after the jump.

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