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Stop the Pressers II: More automotive nincompoopery from Yours Truly

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As 2014 draws to a close, I can look back on my motoring year and safely say that no bad idea was every truly turned away. A personal ad on craigslist looking for a Hyundai connection? Did it. Driving a Micra from sea level to the Rockies in a single day? Did that too. Road trip with a toddler in a base Mini Cooper? Why not?

But never mind the new car stuff. This is the kind of site where even a Hellcat knows there’s essentially no shot at being named Hooniverse Car of the Year. It’s too reliable. It’s too practical. It’s too shiny. Ew.

So, to round out the year I’m adding a few other things I drove or looked at that might be of interest to the Hooniversal reader. Some of them are weird, some are fast, and one of them I completely forgot about last time. Let’s start with that one: Kjelle Qvale’s personal Jensen Interceptor … Continue Reading

Judge Me If You Will

Ray Lindenburg October 13, 2014 Quick Shifts

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Remember when George Costanza bought John Voights car? His claim to fame was to share the same tufted pleather cushion with the actor.  Or, so he thought.  Turns out that the Deliverance star spells his first name just a little differently, and George had an imposter star car.

… Continue Reading

Stop the pressers: a Hoonicopia of Automotive Excellence. And a Hyundai Pony too.

Brendan McAleer September 17, 2014 Featured, Quick Shifts

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Nearly everyone in this business remembers their first presser with fondness, be it ever so humble. A Fit, a Corolla, a Dodge Neon with crank windows – it doesn’t matter what it was, just that you finally had the opportunity to write something useful or incisive or interesting. Mine was a Nissan S-Cargo. That… that explains a lot, actually.

Most importantly, it explains why I spend the bulk of every Monday asking the question: “How can I avoid writing about new cars this week?” Not that there’s anything wrong with new pressers, and Our Blessed Lady of Acceleration knows there are many who would cheerfully roshambo me for the chance to drive the base-engine Sonata that’s in the driveway this week. So, no complaining.

However, life is too short for electric power steering and the same damn thing fifty other people are going to talk about. I like to think I have a nose for sussing out stuff that’s far better – or way, way worse – than your average modern car. This is a clip show, of sorts, of a few things I’ve been up to this year that I thought might appeal to the Hooniversal reader. There’s a Turbo Esprit. There’s a Pony. Strap in.

… Continue Reading

V.I.S.I.T: “Your Forecourt Is Intriguing To Me…”

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The city of Lawrence, home to the University of Kansas, is your typical small, Midwestern college town. As such, there is very little exotic there, and very few businesses that are not oriented toward the needs of cash-strapped college students. Not a great place to find unique old cars. But as I passed through that charming burg Monday afternoon, I glimpsed the distinctive rear end of a very cool old Saab wagon with the equally distinctive butts of two Porsche 928s next to it. As they flashed by, I couldn’t tell what sort of business was there, but these are not the sort of practical, cheap, plentiful vehicles that college kids normally drive. On the return trip, I slowed down enough to see that one of the 928s was be-tarped, there were two Bimmers further down the row, and they were all parked in front of an establishment called Red Ink Racing, Ltd. (Great name!). I still don’t know if these are cars for sale, customer vehicles in for repair, or the owner’s stalled personal projects. But parking these out front as the public face of your business tells me you’re my kind of establishment.

Quick Shifts: An Impossibly Perfect Car Ad

Tanshanomi August 18, 2014 Quick Shifts

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This clever ad popped up in my Facebook feed. What immediately jumped out at me is that the Honda Element SC pictured is available in front-wheel-drive only.

What memorable car ad mistakes stick out in your mind?

Quick Shifts: Hyundinky

Tanshanomi July 21, 2014 Quick Shifts

Hyundinky

This is what you do when you find yourself with two totalled Hyundais and an automotive body shop at your disposal. The owner of Richard’s Collision Center in Grandview, Missouri truly did find himself with two nearly identical cars, one smashed in the front, the other smashed in the back. He did the only logical thing; he cut the away damaged sections and recombined what was left into this little curiosity. It may not be what you’d call lustworthy, but he ended up with a fun, quirky attention-getter for pocket change.

Quick Spin – Checking Out The Smoking Tire’s DeLorean DMC-12

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It’s an uncanny feeling of a circle closing. The very first Hooniverse piece I wrote was a post about a DeLorean DMC-12 residing not far from where I live on the west coast of Finland. Now, after a couple years and a few hundred Hooniverse posts, I was on the west coast of the United States, looking at another DeLorean.

But like two cars ending up on the opposite sides of the planet, they had grown far from each other. The other one, the first DMC-12 I had ever laid eyes on let alone touched or sat in, was a considerably more tired example with black leather and automatic along with the original 133-horsepower setup. The car I saw last week was the flawless pride and joy of Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire fame: a manual car with a light interior, a late build car with only a couple thousand miles on the clock. And the powertrain had been updated to brisker standards, the perceived sluggishness far gone. “This is the best car in the world”, Matt said. I didn’t doubt him.

… Continue Reading

Ford Fiesta 1.0-liter EcoBoost Hatches Finally Hitting The Streets

Tanshanomi December 13, 2013 Quick Shifts
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Photo posted online by FiestaFaction.com forum member “scarewolf.”

It’s no secret that Hooniveralists love the whole slow-car-fast thing, and our mythological figurehead fearless leader Jeff is no exception. When he first drove the turbo’d, 3-cylinder,  123 HP Fiesta 1.0L Ecoboost a year ago, he christened it “the new king of the slow-car fast-fun driving experience.”

Well, after a year-long tease, Ford is finally putting their 1 liter pipe-smoker into the hands of customers. In a thread on FiestaFaction.com, forum member “scarewolf” took the FIRST! by reporting delivery of his “One-Point-Oh” a week ago today (coincidentally, December 6th — one year to the day after Jeff posted his review) and followed that up the next day with several photos of it.

… Continue Reading

The Way We Whirred

Tanshanomi October 21, 2013 Quick Shifts

FESTIVA

This is the only photo of my beloved, deceased ’93 Ford Festiva, which was T-boned by a teenage girl back in 2001. For many years I had no idea this existed. Just recently, I decided (inexplicably) to look through a CD of photos from my years as a middle school teacher. That disc contained this shot, which I’d taken when I was first experimenting with the school’s new Apple QuickTake 100, the first digital camera we purchased.

Why is it so dinky? Because this is the full-size original file. I tended to use the camera’s 320×240 “standard” resolution because at its maximum 640×480 resolution, the camera could only hold eight shots.

Eight.

I still have very fond memories of the Festiva. The QuickTake, not so much.

Chillin’ Ride

Tanshanomi October 17, 2013 Car Shows, Quick Shifts

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I discovered this Crosley-powered custom creation a few years ago at a local microcar show. The boxy look and the side-opening hood are easily explained by the fact that the body was made from an old refrigerator. The trailer is made from a vintage ice chest. Pretty “cool,” huh? Wait, it gets better: it was a Crosley refrigerator!

 

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