2016 Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance

Every year, mid-February, my wife, kids, and I escape the crummy New England weather for the sunny skies of southern Florida. This trip always coincides with the (2014, 2015). While I am not much of a concours person, I have grown to like this show a lot. Yes, it’s a bit snooty, after all it is set at the posh Boca Raton Resort, where just the cars of the resort guests easily surpass most people’s annual income, but I have learned to ignore the fluff and just enjoy the cars in the hot sun.

This year Jay Leno hosted the dinner and auction the night before the show (I didn’t attend that, too broke) and I happened to run into him at the show. We actually have a mutual friend and I felt the need to mention that to him. Other than that, I checked out the cars. This year two things really caught my eye: hood ornaments and the way the dash design changed through the years. The styling of everything is really inspirational, which is one of reasons I go to that show.

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Could the Fiat Abarth 124 Rally be the perfect theme for the Lada?

The 2016 Geneva Auto Show is in full swing, as I have learned through the pictures posted on social media by auto-journalists, writers, bloggers, picture-takers. That’s cool, because cars are cool and I like cars. But then I saw the Fiat Abarth 124 Rally, which is a FIA R-GT spec concept, I guess. And I lost my shit. It’s amazing. We’ll have our typical pointless opinions on everything Geneva soon, so don’t waste your time going anywhere else.

Back to the Abarth 124 Rally. Gawd, just look at it, it’s perfect! And it got me thinking… the 124 Rally is red. My Lada is red. The 124 Rally is a racecar. My Lada is a “racecar”, too. The Abarth 124 Rally is based on the Fiat 124. The Lada Signet/2107 is also based on a Fiat 124!!!

You see where I am going with this? How cool would the Lada look themed as the Abarth 124 Rally?


Video: Lada Lemons, the original build

Kamil Kaluski February 29, 2016 PBR Lada Signet

I blame Murilee Martin, the Saucy Minx, who started it all with this post. Typically with such article, everyone would vote for the more hellish project, results would be posted the next day, everyone had a good laugh, and moved on to the next article. Except for a couple of idiots from Michigan who thought that racing a Lada would be a great idea. They actually went to Canada, bought the Lada, and brought it back to U.S.

Now in the possession of your idiot author, the Lada sits at a friend’s shop near Boston. As I am trying to figure out my plan to get this car into race-ready state, I look back at the for inspiration. The above video is from that build and it’s pretty cool, check it out.

Quick Spin: 2016 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium

2016 subary forester premium side

Each year automakers try to outdo one another in various ways: fastest, roomiest, bestest MPG, best in class this, leading that, and most dynamic. And then there is Subaru who seems to march to the beat of its own drum. They offer honest cars for normal people with a little something for the enthusiasts, too. They have no pickup trucks, no three-row SUVs, and no six-figure halo-car in their fleet. Their spokespeople are dogs and their engines are pancake. Despite that they manage keep setting record sales.

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And the “new” Redusernab 24 Hours of Lemons racer is…

hooniverse lada lemons racer rear


And that is a Canadian-market Lada Signet, also known as the VAZ/Lada 2107 in other parts of the world. And it’s a Lada you may have seen before, as it is a past winner. The car has long history which I will dab into at another time.

Right now this magnificent racecar is being shipped to me from Detroit. It’s previous owner/caretaker/racer is . He graciously donated it to me under two conditions: that I race it and that if I ever choose to part with it, he would have the right of first refusal. That’s more than fair. In return I offered him to be a part of the team on the first race.

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BREAKCLUSIVE! Prototype Mercedes E-Class Pickup Truck!

Kamil Kaluski February 24, 2016 All Things Hoon

mercedes e-class proto 1 pickup

At the risk of losing the only automotive niche that’s currently unfilled to Lexus, Mercedes-Benz started work on their own luxury car-based pickup as soon as they saw our post. MB chose to start with their smaller E-class vehicle as opposed their largest sedan, like Lexus is doing, in order to gain price advantage over the Lexus. While similar, there is much more to Mercedes-Benz’s approach to the design of this pickup than just a smaller-sized vehicle.

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BREAKCLUSIVE! Prototype Lexus Pickup Truck!

Kamil Kaluski February 24, 2016 All Things Hoon

lexus proto 2 pickup

Pickup trucks are currently selling in higher numbers than ever before. They are also available in more trims, configurations, and sizes than ever before. But manufacturers always need to stay a step ahead of the trends. Many automakers are speculating that, much like SUVs that used to be almost exclusively body-on-frame but have crossed-over to become just taller cars, the same thing will happen to pickup trucks. This is why many automakers are beginning to introduce new car-based pickups.

While our beloved El Caminos and similar vehicles all but disappeared, Honda has had the Ridgeline on the market for some time and Hyundai has confirmed its Santa Cruz for production. While Toyota is the import pickup king, they don’t really have a luxury car-based pickup in their fleet. Yes, you read that right, luxury car-based pickup. It’s really the only automotive niche that’s currently unfilled.

Enter Lexus LP 460.

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FOLDAKAR – Cyber Marian is Racing a Folding Bicycle in Dakar Rally!

We have met Cyber Marian, the modern Polish hero, previously when he Wrecked to the Future in an FSO Polonez and was involved in Car Wars, where he helped protect old cars from the environmental, bicycle-riding, Evil Empire. Now Cyber Marian is back and this is a story of how he competed in this year’s Dakar Rally!

Marian being Marian, he has chosen his vehicle carefully – a Polish folding bicycle from communist era!

Marian, like me, apparently grew up in the 1980s, in typical communist block building neighborhood that is present in every city in Poland, as seen in the beginning of the film. Back then every one of us had dreams, dreams of being able to do things that we’ve seen in the movies and on TV. Unfortunately, the Iron Curtain only allowed us a peak at this other world and left the rest of it to our imaginations.

Bikes were popular in Poland but, like everything else, hard to come by. There were about half a dozen popular models in varying sizes, each one of them a folding kind so that it could fit in one’s undersized city apartment. The Wigry 3 bicycle was one of young Cyber Marian’s first vehicles and an obvious choice to compete the grueling rally with.

Here is the amazing part about this film – Cyber Marian and his crew actually traveled to the Dakar Rally in South America with the . The ORLEN team had three vehicles in the race; two MINIS and a Toyota HiLux. Everything was shot on location. Enjoy the film, subtitled for your viewing pleasure.

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Video: Fifty-car pileup in Slovenia

Kamil Kaluski February 2, 2016 The News!

Dense fog. You’re driving, cautiously as you may when suddenly, right in front of you are a bunch of stopped cars due to an accident. You stop, you get the car off the road, what do you do then?

I don’t have an answer to that question, but the people in the video seem to have the right idea. They got out of their cars and go away from the road. The accident occurred in Slovenia where very dense fog and high speeds contributed to this pileup which included over fifty cars, several trucks, and a bus. Unfortunately four people died and 25 were hurt.

Quick Spin: Land Rover Range Rover Sport Td6

2016 land rover range rover td6 diesel front

It is interesting how in a span of a lifetime people change, or don’t change. Four years ago I went to Poland where I met up with my childhood friend. As a child, my friend Paul has always had interest in outdoor and expedition type activities. While he’s not full-on car geek like me, he always preferred 4x4s over conventional cars. Many years ago Paul even bought my father’s old UAZ when he, ahem, upgraded to a Lada Niva.

Fortunately, Paul has done quite well for himself in the post-communist Poland, running a successful construction company. We four years ago, few days before I arrived for a visit, he happened to pick up a brand new Land Rover Discovery 4 (LR4 in U.S.) with the then new turbo-diesel V6 engine. After a few minutes in that vehicle I began wondering about the sanity of Land Rover product managers. Why were they not selling Rovers with this engine in North America?!

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