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Reader Submission: Various Cars and Trucks of Prague

Various Prague cars
Reader and frequent commenter, Sjalabais, recently took a family trip to Prague, and other parts of the Czech Republic. The other day he sent us dozens of pictures from his trip – not of his family but of the really cool cars, and toy cars, he has seen along the way. If you like the …Cars Living and Dying in Poland series, you will like this.

From Sjalabais:

Hey Kamil,
I recently spent a week in Prague with my wife and kids. I promised them not to take too many pictures of cars and/or talk about stuff on wheels all the time. That didn’t go too well. Prague has very colourful streets – proper old machinery, replicas, everything European, new wheels and serious luxury right next to communist remnants. You’ll find a selection (it really is) attached, and it is up to you what you want to do with it…

Some comments to bring some order:

  • Tourists can see the city from the backseat of proper oldtimers such as 1920′s and 30′s Skoda, restomod Fords and Skodas, or replicas. Many of the replicas are made in Poland, such as JAK.
  • The streets of central Prague are dominated by trams, mostly still the standard Tatra T3. It is a simple, even beautiful, and unbelievably reliable piece of machinery I was used to in my childhood days, too. The Wikipedia-article about them is pretty good.
  • A toy museum shows lots and lots of toy cars of interest, not just for your British writer. Skoda appears to have its own, rather expensive, toy car producer, ABREX. Never heard of it before, but these are fine models. On markets, Chinese wooden models dominate where the car-hungry eye lands.

I have never before seen so many Bentleys as in Prague! Without actually counting, I’d guess I saw at least 15 different cars within a very confined area. The Porsche Cayenne is pretty popular, too, as are the newest flashy Audi and BMW. Volvo XC60 and XC90 line the streets in more posh districts, too, but so did old Skoda, Nissan and other appliances. Which is really what makes the streets there – Norway has an egalitarian blend of rational, silver-grey-blackish wagons, while Prague really was colourful. Rear-engined Skoda were plentiful still outside of the old city, but we didn’t see a single one in the more touristy areas.

Hope you enjoy some of these photos, all shot with ..a toaster.. my phone.
Best
Sjalabais

Thank you, sir. All pictures are after the jump. They are in completely random order, which I apologies for.

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Fiat 850 Spider rusting in the weeds

fiat1

John, a.k.a. mac350, writes:

Every day I ride past this abandoned junk yard in NW Arkansas and watch as this old Fiat 850 turns back into the elements. It puzzles me why such a neat little car would wind up in this relatively remote location off the beaten path. Old Fiats are very rare in this neck of the woods. I haven’t seen a running old Fiat since I moved here 7 years ago. This one has 60K on the clock and still has the glass, instruments and even the filler cap. The hub caps are still on the steelies. In fact the body isn’t all that bad. I need to find out who owns the property and make them an offer for some souvenirs.

While we stopped doing the V.I.S.I.T. series where you, hoons, send us the stuff that you see in traffic due to lack of participation, occasionally a good V.I.S.I.T. sighting still pops up in the tips email. This is one of those times; rare car, interesting car, patina (boatload of it in this case), randomly seen in public.

Hit the jump for more pictures.

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V.I.S.I.T. – Lime Rock Park race weekend snapshots

Lime Rock ALMS 2013 parking lot cover

Each Fourth of July weekend there is an American LeMans Series race at Lime Rock Park. While somehow none of the Hoon writers who live in the relative vicinity to the track never manage to make it there, a shame really, Hoon readers often do. A long time commenter, tipster, and all around halfway decent guy, SmokeyBurnout, did make it to the race however, and he decided to share some pictures with us all.

Naturally, these are not beautiful pictures of amazing racecars in action taken with a camera that costs more than our cars. Go somewhere else for those. Here we have snapshots of stuff that is actually interesting to us, with a few proper and improper racecars thrown into the mix. Enjoy and thank Manny, a.k.a. SmokeyBurnout.

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W124 Love – All Things To All Men

 W124 500eford panther platform

In the previous part, we talked about the ubiquity and sheer variety of the Mercedes W124 and its submodels that make it the European counterpart of Panther platform.  In many ways the models are each other’s foil, embodying European and American takes on the long-running universal chassis. Let’s take a closer look now.

[Ed: Today we've got another piece from longtime internet car guy friend Vojta Dobes, a.k.a. Bobash, a.k.a. an awesome guy in the Czech republic with a penchant for American Iron.]

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W124 Love – The Panther of Europe

w124

Our friends at The Truth About Cars write a lot about  The Panther Love – their affection to the greatest example of cheap, bulletproof American large sedan. Although it’s been taken away from us as of 2011, it still lives on the roads and used car lots of America. Whether you’re looking for cheap retired taxi made from retired police cruiser or want to cosset your backside in plush leather seats of the nicest Town Car you can find, the Panther is here for you.

But what about us, poor Europeans? Panthers are scarce here, much more expensive than in US of A, with somewhat limited access to the spare parts supply and knowledgeable mechanics. And most of all, they don’t fit our roads and cities. It’s not to say that you cannot successfully run a Panther here as a daily driver (as a former GM B-body owner and driver, I know something about this). They are still quite affordable and parts are cheap even with the shipping, customs and taxes. But the idea of an omnipresent big car that’s cheap as dirt, will last forever and you can buy parts or have it services almost anywhere, is missing. For us, the Panther is more of an extravagancy than rational choice.

Fortunately, we have our own equivalent of Panther.

[Ed: Today we've got another piece from longtime internet car guy friend Vojta Dobes, a.k.a. Bobash, a.k.a. an awesome guy in the Czech republic with a penchant for American Iron.]

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Are Supercars like Rock’n’roll Stars?

Hooniverse February 21, 2013 Submission Thursday

pagani huayraWhen I was watching the Richard Hammond’s review of Pagani Huayra on TopGear, watched its out-of-this world aerodynamic features, the steam punk interior, obsessive attention to detail and  strangely understated, yet magnificient design, it occurred to me that this it The supercar of our time.

Yes, Richard Hammond said something similar just a few seconds later. He mentioned the “innocence” of Pagani, not owned (yet) by any of the big corporations, enabling it to freely explore the craziest ideas and retain the soul, while others, like Lamborghini or Ferrari, are choked by corporate politics.

But I don’t think he’s only partially right. Even if Lamborghini or Ferrari were totally independent, they would never do anything as groundbreaking like Miura was half a century ago, or like Huayra is now. Because supercars, and their makers, are like rock’n’roll stars. They are loud, obnoxious, born to break the law…and firmly rooted in their times.

[Ed: Today we're resurrecting Submissions Thursday to feature a piece from longtime internet car guy friend Vojta Dobes, a.k.a. Bobash, a.k.a. an awesome guy in the Czech republic with a penchant for American Iron.]

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2012 Rodeo Drive Concours D’Elegance

Held in one of the most famous zip codes in the world, the Rodeo Drive Concours D’Elegance in Beverly Hills, CA is always bound to deliver. This Concours D’Elegance is held every year on Father’s Day on the most famous street in the 90210. It is completely FREE and open to the public; even so it always delivers high quality content. The cars are carefully selected every year by a special committee and it is considered a high honor to be selected to be in this show. Unlike most concours they don’t only focus on vintage and classic automobiles, they also invite Hot Rods, Exotics, Low-riders, and many other special interest automobiles. They try to represent car culture well when selecting the cars that will be celebrated at each year’s show. 

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Getting to know Bill Caswell

By now just about everyone has heard of Bill Caswell, the guy who entered the E30 318is he bought on Craigslist for $500 into some rally and did really well. His claim to the automotive fame was, to say, fast and furious, but as with any public-ish figure rumors start flying around fairly quickly. I personally don’t know much at all about Bill, but I did hear a lot of things, many of which were not so good. Brian Driggs, of gearboxmagazine.com, felt the same but he went right to the source.

Brian conducted a very nice interview with of Bill Caswell. He asked all the questions that everyone else did not. His interview shines a lot of light on Bill and who he really is, a true hoon. Have a read. Some of Brian’s sample questions:

Source: gearboxmagazine.com

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Truck Thursday: Reader Submission: Home Built 5/8 Scale Peterbilt 18-Wheeler

 

Few weeks ago reader Carl Wilson sent in pictures and a brief description of his friend’s Hoonable Forklift. In that email he included the following post script:

“P.S. I have built a 5/8 scale Peterbilt tractor and trailer, it is a diesel with a lot of red and shiny bits.”

I briefly sat motionless and blinked a few times while looking at that sentence. Then I promptly ask Carl for some pictures and more details. 

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The 2011 Keeneland Concours D’Elegance, Featuring The Alfa Romeo Club

SSurfer321 recently visited the Keeneland Horse Race Park in Kentucky for the Concours D’Elegance, and unlike a certain Mr. Thompson, did not find it decadent or depraved. We think. -Blake

Keeneland Horse Race Park, in Lexington, KY is celebrating its 75 Year annicersary. The Bluegrass area of Kentucky is steeped in a rich history of horses and their power, but on this day, they are celebrating a different kind of horsepower. … Continue Reading

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