Finnish Line: Extracting the full potential of the Chrysler Neon

I don’t just want to buy a Neon. I require one. Like with my earlier posts featuring mostly unloved cars, there’s solid reasoning behind this realization. I’ve done the Baltic Press Rally a few times now, and part of the excitement is arriving in Latvia or Lithuania in a total underdog car and then doing […]

Finnish Line: On hand-me-downs

You may find yourself behind the wheel of a free automobile. And you may ask yourself “How did I get here?” Hand-me-down cars are probably not a strange concept to Hooniverse writers or readers. Even though there’s certainly pride to be had in paying for a car with your own hard-earned money, there’s often a […]

Finnish Line: We grab a cheap PRV V6 engine

Perhaps you remember my earlier write-up on the Talbot Tagora and its racing history. In it, I detailed a plan that would make it possible to experience at least some of those heady days of Tagora Superproduction racing: acquiring a project Tagora and a PRV V6 engine from a Volvo 760, and then combining those, […]

Online Comparo: Which of these ’80s hatch-coupes is best?

Yesterday, we ran a piece in defence of the original Isuzu Piazza or Impulse, the model name depending of your market region. While the Piazza is relatively obscure by now, it’s not the only slightly oddball car in its class. For every Celica, Supra or 240SX, there are a bunch of weirder coupes that either […]

Finnish Line: You must Impulse buy an Isuzu Piazza

The other day we sat in traffic behind a classically brown, beat up Isuzu pickup truck from the ‘80s, with I S U Z U boldly embossed on the tailgate. “Isuzu”, asked my girlfriend, “Didn’t know that was a brand.” I cannot really blame her for not being aware of Isuzus, as the manufacturer has […]

Dressed for Excess: Peugeot 205 GTi 1.9 vs 205 XS

The fantastic thing about my Peugeot 205 XS ownership is that I’ve driven precious few 205s. I’ve spent 22,000 km behind the wheel of mine after I bought it in 2013, and every other 205 I’ve touched has had less power. That’s why it was so interesting to sample a 205 1.9 GTi after all […]

Finnish Line: Extracting the full potential of the Talbot Tagora

It’s safe to say I’m a big fan of the Talbot Tagora. I don’t know what it is about the Tagora that really appeals to me: either it’s the super-brutalist, slab-sided design, its troubled birth in the hands of Chrysler Europe and Peugeot-Citroën, or the fact the SX variant was the fastest French production sedan […]

The Ferat Vampire RSR is the weirdest Skoda ever

I live in a country where a Skoda is the most normcore vehicle you can think of. A grey new-ish Octavia is pretty much “A Car” and not much more, its normalcy somewhat shadowing the quirkier cars the Czech manufacturer has churned out during its various eras. Luckily there have been some wonderfully weird Skodas over […]

Classic Moments in Rally: Tommi Mäkinen gets an important phone call

One of the best Finnish motorsport clips doesn’t show any driving. I’m talking about the clip showing a taciturn Tommi Mäkinen receiving a surprise phone call at a British hotel lobby in late November, 1998. The 1998 Network Q Rally of Great Britain was the ’98 WRC season-ender, and Mäkinen was still battling for crucial […]

Obituary: Alex Mills, 1984-2019

Alex Mills, also known by his online handle “Viper007Bond”, passed away yesterday after a long illness. He was 34. Alex was a web developer, working for years with WordPress-related things, but for many he was best known for setting up the FinalGear website and forum some 15 years ago. The site, initially meant for sharing […]