Hooniverse Asks- What Usually Un-Hoonworthy Car or Truck Do You Kinda Want to Hoon?

If you’re going to invest in a vehicle for some serious fun, you’re likely to start out with something that’s already got a little hoon in it to begin with. Maybe something like a Miata, or GTI or Mustang, a base upon which it’s easy build. But what about if you wanted to hoon something that’s a less traditional a starting point, is there something out there that feeds your inner freak and that you would totally like to build out a hot version of?
Years ago, a buddy of mine bought a Mazda MPV – one of the rear-drive 929-based ones – for his girlfriend and her kids. As he was up to his armpits in Alfas, he thought he’d  make the Mazda look a little less out of place and affixed an Alfa grille to its nose. It looked so righteous that I thought that someday I’d like to do the same thing, and in fact I’ve been jonesing to go the full alfa on one of the later, front-wheel drive MPVs. I’d do more than the grille, I’d strip off all the Mazda badges and replace them with Alfa shields and cloverleafs. Inside I’d have the seats done up in buttery leather with longitudinal stitching and maybe I’d adjust the panel fit so it’s a little off, just to mess with the experts. The outside would get a stiffer and lower suspension, and a new set of Pirellis would wrap around four magnesium Campagnolos. It’d be a thing of beauty, and to ensure that it also kept up the Alfa traditions of performance and spotty reliability, I’d turbo the six under the hood.
Okay, that’s my secret shame, but what’s yours? Do you dream of a ’74 Coupe DeVille drift car? How about a Camry wagon canyon carver? Years ago Road & Track built a Volvo 245 Express Wagon, long before the era of that swedish make’s turbos and T5s. The magazine’s Henry Manny (one of my favorite automotive journalists of all time) waxed eloquently about what had originally been a brick, and which was now a capable and entertaining sportwagon. At an early age, that proved to me that you could hoon just about anything, and that it wasn’t what you were driving, but but what you did to it that mattered most. So what’s you’re secret hoon, the unexpected car that you’d like to make unexpectedly spectacular?
Image sources: [uberreview.com, automotive.com]

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66 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What Usually Un-Hoonworthy Car or Truck Do You Kinda Want to Hoon?”

  1. P161911 Avatar

    Take a Trailblazer, shorten it to remove the rear doors, add a supercharger to the I-6 to bump it up around 400hp, and swap in a stick shift, tweak the suspension a little.
    I do have the occasional "whoa!" moments swapping back and forth between my two vehicles: a Z3 converted to a M Roadster with tweaked/lowered suspension and a 1988 Ford F-150 long bed extended cab 4.9L I-6 MT5 riding on 31×10.5x15s. The truck just can't take the corners as fast as the Z3.

    1. damnelantra™[!] Avatar

      you want a 95 jimmy 2 door?

      1. P161911 Avatar

        With a slightly newer body, a manual transmission, and a DOHC S/C 4.2L I-6. Yes, a semi-modern Typhoon with a stick shift.

    2. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      We just need a welder and a lift. We can make this happen!

  2. IronBallsMcG Avatar

    A couple days ago I was on JTR's site, and noticed they had motor mounts, etc. for a V-8 Astro conversion. The blurb said it was the easiest of the swaps they support. Makes a guy think.
    While not that odd, a Gremlin with a built 258 always sounds appealing to me.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      Astros share a bunch of parts with the S-10, just transplant a Syclone/Typhoon drive-train.

      1. IronBallsMcG Avatar

        The step-daughter's S-10 was what took me back there in the first place. I know a lot of the parts are interchangable, but for some reason I never thought about a Sy/Ty Astro. That's a hell of a thought. For cost reasons I would probably grab a complete but trashed Silverado/Sierra, but I'm intriuiged with your thinking.

        1. skitter Avatar

          Actually, drag racers tend to drop an AWD Astrovan chassis under an S-10 body along with a forced induction small block.
          Sy/Ty Astro would still be excellent, though.

  3. tonyola Avatar

    I wouldn't mind hooning something like a big '70s Lincoln with a monster engine and beefed-up suspension – slinging that beast around while wallowing in air-conditioned velour and listening to Cheap Trick (when they were still great).
    After all, who wouldn't want to experience some Continental Drift?….

    1. dmilligan Avatar


  4. P161911 Avatar

    I'm pretty sure the Mitsubishi Diamante and the 3000GT share a chassis. I'm not a big fan of Japanese cars in general, but a Diamante wagon with all the 300GT VR4 Twin turbo bits might be interesting.

    1. Festiva_Movemnt Avatar

      I dunno about the Diamante and 3000GT sharing platforms. The Diamante was RWD, while the base model 3000GT / Stealth was FWD.
      I like the idea though!

      1. P161911 Avatar

        Yep, they shared a platform. http://www.carthrottle.com/used-car-buyers-guide-
        US Diamantes were FWD. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_Diamante#

        1. Festiva_Movemnt Avatar

          Man… I had always thought the Diamante's were RWD, thus making them somewhat cool. Wah wahhh…
          Cool to know that they share a platform with the 3000GT though.

  5. Festiva_Movemnt Avatar

    A GM Dustbuster APV (preferably an early Lumina APV), with the engine and suspension deep-sixed, Z06 drivetrain mounted right between where the second row modular seats would have gone, along with Z06 suspension bits and wheels at the corners. It makes no sense, and that's probably why I like the idea.

    1. BlackIce_GTS Avatar

      Taking the 'Dustbuster' nickname and running with it and scissors; I think an F-14 powered TranSport would be really cool/stupid.

    2. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      Funny you should mention that. I'm currently sitting on a 94 Trans Sport. The easy part is the drivetrain – GTP all the way. The hard part is getting the thing to handle and stop. I could just lower it with bags, I suppose, but I'd rather upgrade the suspension with factory stuff if I could. The Internet is failing me on interchangeability though, and I definitely want to get rid of the beam rear axle.

  6. clunkerlove Avatar

    <img src="http://ll.speedhunters.com/u/f/eagames/NFS/speedhunters.com/Images/Mike%20Garrett/The%20101/Vanning/van15.jpg"&gt;
    Initially I thought the hooning question was kinda dumb – then I remembered the *really awesomely cool* Toyota Previas (Estima) when I lived in Japan back in 99-00: ground effects, suspension tweaks, hp mods and much more. As just about everyone there lives with their parents it's pretty darned hard to get laid without shelling out at an expensive "love hotel" – unless – you own one of these. Since I've been back in the U.S. of A. I haven't seen any modded Previas, and I miss that. Might I remind our readership that these could be had from the dealer with AWD and a supercharger?

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Sadly, they're aren't any hop-up parts for Previas here in the U.S. I'd like to have some upgraded struts/shocks, and bigger sway bars for my S/C, but there's nothing available. It's a shame, because they handle pretty damn good even bone stock (they're mid-engined, with a very low center of gravity, as vans go).

  7. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/90/JR-Bus-Kanto-D750-00501-N128-4.jpg&quot; width="500">
    Words can't express how much I wan to Hoon one of these. Tickets please!

    1. skitter Avatar

      And a hook-and-ladder truck, for fans of "team" racing.

    2. Alff Avatar

      Just don't let it go under 50.

  8. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Easy: the Town Cow.

    I imagine it in gloss black, no side moldings, 16″ chrome Torq-Thrusts with 55-series tires all around, a supercharger under a tastefully low Z-28-style cowl-induction hood bulge, rear air springs tossed out in favor of the suspension setup from a P71 with new Bilsteins all around, big anti sway bar, urethane bushings.

    1. Paul_y Avatar

      It would probably end up cheaper than a used Marauder (last I looked, they have stayed relatively expensive), too.

      1. Alff Avatar

        I've never understood the appeal of the Marauder. Unlike it's Impala SS counterpart, it was not particularly fast.

    2. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      This would make the KC Hoon meets very fun indeed.

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        SO…is there ever going to be a KC Hoon Meet?

        1. Alff Avatar

          Jeepy is kind of the long pole in the tent, seeing as he lives out in Larry. I'd be up for a roadtrip to Free State Brewery, however.

          1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
            Peter Tanshanomi

            We should meet at Sadler's indoor racing in Olathe and have a Hoon-off.

          2. Alff Avatar

            I'm game. It's even close to the office.

          3. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

            I'm game, I go to OP for work but start out here in Lawrence, soon to be Eudora. I'm sure I can drive badly around Sadlers yet again.
            Probably when it's not 5000 degrees outside, as I don't think the back room on that place is airconditioned.
            The car show down in Ottawa is coming up in September too…

    3. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      Insanely crappy, utterly hilarious

    4. EscortsForever Avatar

      You know what's Ironic? I bought a '90 (same body but still has the 5.0) a few weeks ago. The only thing I've ridden in that MAYBE handles worse is an early 90's Grand Cherokee with the sways disconnected. And the 5.0 is gutless(150 hp…) but the engine bay is soooo huge. It should be a piece of cake to work on when stuff breaks. When (not if) something with the air suspension goes, it's getting swapped to springs.
      Oh, and you should also add to your list of stuff, a rack and pinion steering rack (newer models have it, not too sure how easy it is to swap in) cause the recirculating ball has pretty much no on center feel.

      1. longrooffan Avatar

        That is a good lookin Hot Rod Lincoln.

        1. njhoon Avatar

          Thinkin about that Hot Rod Lincoln is gonna drive me to drinkin…

    5. njhoon Avatar

      I like your thinking, because I'M thinking the same thing. I was actually searching craigs list for one just to do some math. BTW love the term Town Cow, my friends and call these Town Boats.

  9. skitter Avatar

    Time to get my boring on:
    1994 Oldsmobile Aurora. I always thought Oldsmobile should have lived instead of Buick. They made such an effort to shake their bluehair image. At one point it seemed like Aleros were EVERYWHERE.
    1994 Chrysler LHS, gorgeous, to race against the Aurora.
    1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue with Autobahn Package, always thought they were the best looking of the last Oldsmobiles.
    1998 Fiat Multipla, Multijet Diesel. I always thought these looked a little weird, as opposed to bad, and they're aging quite well. I would rock one.
    2003 or newer Honda Accord Touring diesel. This should need no explanation.
    Rover 75 or MG ZT. Doesn't even have to be a V8.
    Jaguar X-Type, V6 AWD, Roush twin turbos, 6 speed, removable mufflers.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      There's an elderly man down the street with a very cherry 1gen Aurora. I have liked that body since it was first introduced, and feel a bit of a longing for that car.

  10. longrooffan Avatar

    I'd have to say a VW type II but it's already been done. I guess I'll just stick with original equipment.

  11. BlackIce_GTS Avatar

    Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental
    Cadillac Sixteen
    '71 Imperial LeBaron
    Lincoln Town Car limo: with sufficient power it should be quite driftable, although the track would have to be wide enough.
    Rosenbauer Panther 8×8 or Oshkosh Striker. Maybe a Tatra T815, but they don't have water/foam cannons.
    Terex Titan. But where? Anywhere, I guess. What're you going to hit, trees? Buildings? Pffft.
    Daihatsu Midget II: It's mid engined!

  12. Alff Avatar

    Years ago, a friend had a late '60s Coupe DeVille in primer black, lowered, with bull's horns mounted on the hood and a whiskey cask in the trunk which pumped through a tube hidden in the rear armrest when you pushed one of the rear window lift buttons. That'll do.

  13. retro Avatar

    Airtrax Sidewinder Forklift
    <img src="http://ploader.net/files/1f96dc53c33f3c194afc926d8ea606f1.jpg"&gt;

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      So unhoonable…yet so hoonable. Great answer!

      1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

        I've had some fun with a gutless Caterpillar forklift – big knobby solid tyres, propane straight-six, no brakes at the time.

  14. Jo_Schmo Avatar

    I used to have a Mazda B4000 4×4 standard cab. It was a great little truck offroad and small enough to go where all jeeps go but with a longer wheelbase to better get over obstacles. I always dreamed of shortening the bed and plopping an extended cab on (back before quad-cabs were the norm), swapping in a 5.0 with beefier running gear and solid front axle. Currently, I would settle for a 98-04 Dakota quad cab with a hemi-front axle swap.

  15. LTDScott Avatar

    The lead photo reminds me of when I used to work as a tech assistant at a Ford dealer. First week on the job I was told to test drive a customer's Windstar to check for a transmission issue (shocking, I know). I didn't know the area around the dealer very well, but I was in a hilly neighborhood and long story short I accidentally got it airborne over the crest of a steep hill. Amazingly no damage was done.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      As a tire monkey at Goodyear, I was once handed the keys to a ~2 year old BMW 330ci (with a stickshift) and told the customer had a problem with vibrations up around 80-85mph.
      That was a good day.

    2. CptSevere Avatar

      Years ago as a detailer at an RV dealership, I got to hoon a GMC motorhome. I think I was returning it from the glass shop or someplace. I got on the freeway and floored it, tested its limits on the offramp, and remember thinking it was like driving a Buick station wagon, which is pretty good for an RV.

  16. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    <img src="http://image.automotive.com/f/featuredvehicles/1974_1978_mustang/mufp_0403_1976_ford_mustang_ii_stallion/9791153%20pheader/mufp_0403_06_z%201976_ford_mustang_ii_stallion%20right_side.jpg&quot; width="280"> <img src="http://www.nexoautos.com.ar/FotoVehiculo/ABB120_Toyota_Cressida_GL__Foto1.jpg&quot; width="280"><img src="http://storage.canoe.ca/v1/blogs-prod-static/mediam/1983Dodge400.jpg&quot; width="280">
    Mustang II notchback (non-Ghia), 1st Gen Cressida coupe, Dodge 400/600 2.2 turbo convertible…would any of these be considered appropriately un-hoonworthy?

  17. Corvette_Poncho Avatar

    LS6 Spd Subaru Brat. Yes, it must have the mandatory WTF seats in the bed. Preferably with T-Tops.

  18. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    Those shoes are going to make heel-and-toeing way easier.

  19. Hopman Avatar

    One of my "if I won the lottery" rides would start out with an Oldsmobile Shilouette (95-97 would work nice) (one of GM's Dustbuster van triplets). I would then add a 300 hp Northstar and a 6-speed stick. Keep it FWD, add a nice set of wheels (maybe a version of the Corvette turbine wheels), and upgrade the suspension.
    Viola! You have yourself a nice discreet "sleeper."

  20. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    I love the way you think.

  21. Lotte Avatar

    I'm loving the van appreciation here. As for me, I'd want to take a LWB, tall roof Dodge Sprinter and try driving it around a track or something. The height must be frightening.
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a2/2nd_Dodge_Sprinter_2500.jpg/793px-2nd_Dodge_Sprinter_2500.jpg&quot; width="500" >

  22. retro Avatar

    <img src="http://ploader.net/files/9ff090f9ece81369d507dc87efa7e065.jpg&quot; width="80%">
    The wheels are the clue.

    1. nitroracer Avatar


    2. Lotte Avatar

      Haven't got much storage space behind that sliding door now, have ya? 😉

  23. Alff Avatar

    If only I could convince Mrs. Alff that this would be a better dd than the Grand Caravan. Lord knows, I've tried.
    <img src="http://www.roadhaus.com/images/Calendar_2007/All/SyncroAfterCleaning.jpg"&gt;

  24. Bo Darville Avatar
    Bo Darville

    I'd love to take a malaise Rolls Royce, drop in some LS power, and paint it flat black with side pipes. Lowered on wide whitewalls of course.

  25. Platterson Avatar

    CRX. AWD. Coyote V8. Brush guard, mudflaps, rollcage, welded doors, 6-inch lift, and a breadbox on the hood.

  26. MasterKoofy Avatar

    Ford Crown Victoria P71 complete with bull bar, spot light and all.
    Dark blue,
    Light tint all around
    Slightly lowered, Bilsteins
    Wilwood brakes
    Terminator ('03-'04 Cobra) engine tweaked to 500 hp.
    Tremec T56 6-speed transmission.
    3.73 LSD
    Cobra instrument cluster
    Subtle cowl hood to clear blower.
    Black 17" wheels, 315 rubber
    Go hunting for M5s in a hopped up cop car.

  27. SVT2888 Avatar

    Road Racing 89-97 Ford Thunderbird. 😀

  28. Mechanically Inept Avatar
    Mechanically Inept

    "This is a VAG car"
    You really think you could get so much pussy in that thing?

  29. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Neoplan Megaliner. An absolutely incredible machine, often with a Mercedes V10 Diesel. Built in Germany, but they have American engineered ones moving tourists at Kennedy Space Centre. Somehow I see an 8 wheeled double decker that looks like this as being appropriate in the context of space exploration.