Best Wallet Ever Is Made From Car Parts

Kamil Kaluski January 12, 2018 All Things Hoon

It was seven years ago that I read Jack Baruth’s article about a company that made wallets and guitar straps from used automotive fabrics. I thought that was interesting, certainly appropriate for a car enthusiast, and I was in need of a new wallet. I did not know what to expect but I asked my wife for one for my birthday.

My red Couch wallet was made out of real, old, reconditioned, MB-Tex. It was cool and made me instantly miss my ’83 300SD. Other than that, there was nothing really special about it. It was simply a well-designed wallet with four envelope slots for credit cards and a divided cash compartment. It locked with a quality easy-to-use snap. That’s what it was; a good wallet.

But sometimes the most obvious things are not noticed right away…

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Marvelous Malaise on a Medford Street Movie Set

Kamil Kaluski January 10, 2018 All Things Hoon


The new 2018 Jeep Wrangler, besides being damn awesome, is also a time machine. I just travelled to 1986 while listening to Howard Stern.

Posted by Hooniverse on Wednesday, January 10, 2018


I got a text message from my Charlestown friend:

“They are filming a movie on Medford Street, past Jenny’s Pizza. There is a bunch of 80s cars down there. Thought you’d be interested. They’re all parked along the football field”

Oh hell yea! I drove by the place this is what I saw.

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Is this the new Nissan Xterra?

Kamil Kaluski January 8, 2018 The News!

Maybe. Maybe not. This appears to be the new Nissan Terra, a replacement for the Nissan Paladin. But the Nissan Paladin is what was sold as the Nissan Xterra in United States. That Nissan Paladin was in production until 2017 in China. The Terra is supposed to be its replacement. 

What makes this Terra interesting is that it is a three-row, body-on-frame SUV. But Nissan already has three three-row SUVs in in its line-up: Rouge, Pathfinder, and Armada. The last of which is a body-on-frame SUV. So, would a vehicle such as the Terra/Xterra fit into its current link-up?

Image: BurlappCar.com

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Top Gear (UK) Season 25 is Coming…

Kamil Kaluski January 4, 2018 Top Gear

Season 24 of the O.G. Top Gear, the unofficially named Top Gear UK, was pretty good. Gone was Chris Evans and most of the crap that came with him. Three hosts, Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, and Rory Reid, were present and… they worked together better than anyone expected them to. All in all their first season together was pretty damn good.

BBC America now says that season 25, or season 2 of the current cast, is starting soon. They won’t tell us when, but it’s soon. They provided us with this rather short 30-second sneak-peak clip. In it are the three hosts in a Hennessey Mustang, which looks like a supercharged GT350R (which should be a damn crime because that is one of the best naturally aspirated engines I even experienced), Jag F-Type SVR, and some McLaren (c’mon, they all look alike). They are being chased around by cop Ken Block in a Can-Am side-by-side ATV. 

Looks like typical Top Gear shenanigans. Cool. Look for the season to start… well… soon, on BBC America. 

In the mean time, season two of The Grand Tour is much better than season one was. 

HCOTY 2017 Nominee: Dan Grec’s Globetrotting Jeep Wrangler Off-Road Camper

Expedition-ready 4x4s are all the rage now. Everyone seems to be building their own overland vehicles, including automakers themselves. And it isn’t a hard thing to do; add lift kit, bigger tires, some lights, and a roof rack. You’ll think that you too, can drive your brodozer to Africa. But in reality it’s used for driving the kids to school, going shopping, and occasionally to a ski lodge over a snow flurried road.

Still, people buy sports cars not necessarily because they want to go fast. They buy them because they like the idea of going fast. And they buy them because it gives them the ability to go fast. Same thing applies to overland built 4x4s: knowing you can if you wanted to.  

Dan Grec is an author and an explorer. Sometime ago he made a plan to travel extensively throughout Africa. His 80,000 mile trip will take him through 30 countries over roughly two years. For that he needed a proper vehicle. It wouldn’t be something that’s commercially available, because something like that did not exist. It had to designed and built for the sole purpose of Dan’s huge African adventure. 

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Fiat Cinquecento Sporting: Cheap, Awful, and not Sporting

Few weeks ago I traveled to Poland to see my father and spend some time with my extended family and some old friends. I also met up with my auto-jornalist friend Zbigniew Lomnik, also known as Zlomnik, also known by his real name, Tymon Grabowski. I have referenced his site many times on Hooniverse. In addition to running his own website, several Facebook pages, and a YouTube channel, he writes for a major Polish automotive print magazine. 

When I told him that I was coming to Poland he right away said that we’re going to do a video review of a cheap crap car. I immediately opposed to it. I don’t do video. I don’t like the sound of my voice and I don’t like how I look. I get nervous and uncomfortable. No, no way in hell was a doing a video with him. Nope. No video!

So we shot a video review of a Fiat Cinquecento Sporting. It was actually a lot of fun. Except that in addition to not liking how I look or sound, I was very hungover, often lacking the right words. And I didn’t have any coffee that morning. And I was speaking Polish for the days prior; for some reason the transition between the languages makes my voice even worse. 

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Last Call: Christmas Tree Stand Edition

Kamil Kaluski December 20, 2017 Last Call

My grandfather-in-law used to say “when you don’t have the right tool, improvise.” This may just be the best Christmas tree stand ever created, at least function wise. 

Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day.  It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.

Image: Facebook.com/CytrynGumiak

24 Hours of Lemons: NHMS Wrap-Up – we won class C and then “complained” about it

We didn’t complain, as Jay mentions in this video. I emailed Jay and asked if Lemons would be doing anything about the fact that a once competitive class B car can now hardly finish mid-pack of class B. I also asked if minimum pit-stop amount requirement could be a good idea. Speedcreep, as someone called it, is obviously real.

Jay said to get a better car. Fine. Whatever. 

Last Call: Dear Santa Edition

Kamil Kaluski December 18, 2017 Last Call

The world of SUVs needs more proper off-road trims from the factory. With the release of the Land Rover Discovery SVX, the company hinted that other models might get similar treatment. If anyone is still looking for a Christmas present for me, look no further. 

Image source: autoexpress.co.uk


Dashboards: New Honda Accord is Doin’ it Well

Kamil Kaluski December 18, 2017 All Things Hoon

Most of us judge vehicles’ looks by their exteriors. But I was always a bit different. For me, it was always the interior design and its ergonomics that were more important. When I was a little kid I would break apart toy cars just to see what’s inside. I’d sit in the driver’s seat of real cars and carefully press each button, flip each stalk, and turn each knob. I’d draw dash layouts and not whole cars like kids tend to. Perhaps I was weird. Or perhaps I realized early on that most driving time is spent inside the car. 

One of the things I disliked about recent Honda and Acura vehicles were their dashboard designs. At first there were way too many buttons. Then there was a change and there were two screens stacked on top of each other, which was one too many. Those screens had complex and unintuitive menus. And more buttons, everywhere. And then there was a revolution – one screen and no buttons or knobs at all. There were just flat surfaces that reacted to touch. It was maddening. 

About two years ago I met a Honda interior design engineer. Before I was even done with my first sentence he had an answer for me “knobs, there will be knobs, soon…”

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