Revelations in Fiberglass and Aluminum

Redusernab November 10, 2010 All Things Hoon


When I was ten years old, my father took me to see Star Wars. As we walked out of the theater into the blinding sun, he asked me what I thought of the film. I couldn’t answer him; I was literally speechless. I had no words to convey how radically my world had just changed.

A decade later, I drove an Elise for the first time. When my long-suffering and equally gearheaded roommate asked me how it was, all I could manage was a strangled “Good.” My entire automotive paradigm had just been shattered. Before that day, I had considered the E46 M3 and S2000 CR the most accomplished automobiles made. They were absurdly fast, telepathically precise, and utterly without flaw. In a single afternoon they had been totally superceded by a car that, by any objective standard, wasn’t actually very good.

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I am Engine Block Shredder, Destroyer of Worlds

Redusernab November 8, 2010 In General

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

When an engine comes to the end of its useful life, there are two things you can do with it: you can fashion it into , or you can dump it in a bayou somewhere (note: please don’t do this).

These appear to be aluminum engine blocks, with a couple inline sixes: maybe some dead have bit the dust? Powerful industrial shredders can . An engine block is much more solid than sheetmetal, but as heavy and powerful as it is, it’s gratifying to know that there’s a machine out there that can still put it in its place.

Wreaking Havoc in the Land of Beige

Redusernab November 5, 2010 All Things Hoon
STI from behind a tree

Photo Credit: Istargazer/Albert Lynn on flickr

[Reader Andrew Simmons sent us this great tale of what happens when someone lets a total hoonmobile onto a Lexus lot – Ed]

Just visible above a stone wall, it caught my attention from the road below. A delicate arch of blue, darker than the autumn sky above it and more menacing than anything so graceful should be. The sign ahead said Lexus, but the wing proclaimed Subaru.

On impulse, I turned into the lot. I’d just come from the Aston Martin dealer down the road, who had, quite rightly but somewhat surprisingly, refused me a test drive in a V8 Vantage. I was on a supercar kick, having scored seat time in a pair of Ferraris and a highly modified 996 Turbo earlier in the month, but the siren song of Fuji Heavy Industry’s finest called out and drew me in.

It sat in the last row, impossibly wide and low, all gaping front-mount intercooler and flared arches, not remotely stock. Surrounded by ES350s it was evil, alien; a hammerhead shark in the kiddie pool. The cars on either side seemed to lean away from it, straining on their springs and parking brakes to escape.

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Redusernab Truck Thursday: A Diamond T in the Rough

Redusernab November 4, 2010 In General

Here’s a bonafide classic that’s not for sale (at least visibly) and probably not even mobile (because I haven’t seen it move in at least 6 years, if not longer).    Another find along a lonely central Kentucky back road, this beautifully wretched Diamond T  just oozes awesome as it clamors for attention, and proves some things just get better with age.

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Last Call – Here Comes the Beer Truck!

Special delivery!

It’s Friday. Have a beer.

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Billetproof NorCal, Part Two

Going back to September’s Billetproof car show in Antioch, CA, we showed you afew custom classics like a convertible two door Kaiser and a Chevy truck propelledby a ’98 Camaro LS1. Today we’re kicking it off with Terrence Lee Martin’s ’44 Chevy truck.

Martin is a metal artist from Sacramento, CA, and spends his time making metal art structures similar to those seen at Burning Man. I even asked him if he’d been to Burning Man before, and as we were talking another Burner happened to walk by and suggest the same thing. Martin makes art, but loves cars. It’s his passion. Martin keeps himself busy by either working on his art or one of his eleven project cars scattered around his garage.

[After running Part One some time ago, this has been sitting in the queue for an embarrassingly long time. My apologies on the delay. – Ed]

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Last Call – Now THAT’S a Car Chase Edition

Redusernab October 15, 2010 Last Call

See, it’s tactics like this that make Robocop feel underappreciated.


Taurus SHO Race Car May Induce Weepy-Eyed Nostalgia

Redusernab October 13, 2010 For Sale

I had a few words on nostalgia a couple of days ago, as well as on the subject of old Fords. Our family’s 1986 Taurus was a good example of the two. There’s no reason why any sane man would get weepy-eyed at the sight of a Taurus; but alas, I am blinded by nostalgia for the 1986 example my family used to own, and that I spent almost my entire childhood in: riding to piano recitals, kicking in the rear seats on a family trip to St. Louis, vomiting on the center console after a night at Applebee’s.

I am also not a sane man. You may have assumed this already.

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I. Blame. Dad…How I Became the Hoonette I am Today

Redusernab October 12, 2010 Meet Your Hoons

That's me in back. Never did figure out why my cousin was dressed like that pretzel guy or why I allowed my mom to put me in a dress.

I remember it like yesterday.  Six years old, grease-stained pink dress, hair in pigtails, smudges on my chin from leaning against the dirty shirt covering the radiator.  As always, dad was working on someone’s car in the driveway.  I remember saying, “Daddy, what’s that?  Is that hot? Why are you saying that bad word? MOMMY! DADDY CUT HIS FINGER AGAIN!” and off to the emergency room we went – dad had stabbed himself with a screwdriver, again.
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The Car, The Storyteller

Redusernab October 12, 2010 Meet Your Hoons

I could be this guy if my head weren't so damn square.

The Hoons o’ the Verse are incredible in that most everyone brings serious cred to the table:  turning wrenches on classics and race cars; building and restoring from naught but scratch and sweat; toiling within in the industry (or impersonating en saunter toward the open bar); mastering the Elements of Style that make a most contemptible econo-rental blind all snarkers with its majestic lack of merit.   And then there’s me: bringing nothing more than my own misguided Charlie Brown perspective, because the best parts of my formative years were spent in the back seat of a ’79 2-door Ford Granada.   The crappy North American one, not the cult-classic Euro version.   Yeah, that’s surely telling you something, and it’s surely not good.  In my defense, the backseat armrest was an awesome jump-ramp for HotWheels, and their superior Matchbox and Yatming cousins.

So let me elaborate on how I overcame this.  Said Granada self-grenaded at the neglect of my family and 13 salty Chicago winters of the halcyon, pre-Gorebal warming era.   My dad’s retort was a comical dance of maraca-based technicolor, and what began as a reasonably elegant white and red car eventually became a Peter Max-meets-Carrot Top macaroni art tragedy.    With industrial fish-scale epoxy paint.   And the aural signature of a wounded Cessna.   By which you could calibrate a watch via the time elapsed from first hearing it a half-mile away to when it pulled in front of the house and backfired on cue.   Needless to say, I adored that car.   Even if its disco “Opera Twindow” obscured passing vistas with a prison bar, it was my window to the madcap world and its mechanical inhabitants – and the people who looked after them (or not, as the case may be).

That fascination still holds today to bear this singular truth: regardless of its purpose, the merits of its design, its present condition, or station in life:  A car always has a story to tell, about people as much as itself.  Always.   Here are a few of mine.

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