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Quick Shifts: An Impossibly Perfect Car Ad

Tanshanomi August 18, 2014 Quick Shifts

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


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


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.

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Ford Fiesta 1.0-liter EcoBoost Hatches Finally Hitting The Streets

Tanshanomi December 13, 2013 Quick Shifts

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.

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The Way We Whirred

Tanshanomi October 21, 2013 Quick Shifts


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.


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

Chillin’ Ride

Tanshanomi October 17, 2013 Car Shows, Quick Shifts


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!


State-of-the-Art Tach-nology

Tanshanomi October 16, 2013 Quick Shifts


If your car is designed so that the most logical place to mount your tachometer is on top of the intake scoop, you’re doing something very right.

Where Dreams Are Born

Tanshanomi October 10, 2013 Quick Shifts


As adults, it’s not enough to just drive. We need to be driving something special, or somewhere special. We need to be going quicker, faster, farther. But there was a time before you got your license when just sitting behind the wheel of a running vehicle could make you giddy, and moving forward under your own control at any speed felt like flying.

I love this picture because it captures that sheer joie du pilotage.  Even though my niece wasn’t going all that fast when I snapped this photo, the frenzied-looking blur captures the difference between how the moment felt to her and how it looked to me as I stood watching her junior kart go round the 0.2 mile track.

What are your earliest memories of taking the wheel?

Two bad tastes that taste great together

Tanshanomi October 7, 2013 Quick Shifts


Ordinarily, I am not ordinarily a fan of cars on lifted truck chassis. It’s just a dumb concept from the get-go. GM’s plucky little Chevette is perhaps a little higher on my list, but still nothing to write home about. But combine the two and, as the Yours+Mine ad says, “Together, feel them ignite.” The moment I came face to face with this creation, it was obvious that this is the single most perfect thing you can do with a Chevette. The “Vette” badge on the fender is just icing on the cake.

Photo taken at the Louisburg Car Show in Lousiburg, KS.

Put Up or Shut Up

Tanshanomi October 4, 2013 Quick Shifts


On our way to a local car show last Summer, I happened to say to my wife that one of my “bucket list” cars is a ’67-’69 Thunderbird 2-door hardtop, sans vinyl and preferably in black. As soon as we arrived, we ran smack-dab into this beauty. It was (of course) for sale. It was not in 100% concours shape, with creaky doors that sagged a bit and worn carpet, but the body and engine were sound and the price was reasonable.

I don’t even remember the exact figure, however, because it was instantly obvious that I had no business even considering a recreational car purchase, and wouldn’t for the foreseeable future. It was just life’s way of teaching me not to talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk.


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