Take Me To Your Special Place

Chris Haining January 7, 2016 All Things Hoon


For us keen drivers, the road is our playground.

Well, this certainly used to be the case, but entirely too many of our former favourites have been ruined and all the fun squeezed out of them, whether it be from nanny state shutting down the party with speed cameras and arcane rulings, or simply because too many “other drivers” have the bare-faced cheek to use your favourite stretch of road at the same time as you.

Let’s celebrate, while we still can, those little slithers of blacktop that we can still have fun on. If you’re up for a bit of crowd participation, I want to see whatever local road you hold dear, on which you know you can still find joy. I’ll show you mine after the jump.

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Operation “SAVE THE PEUGEOT” (Part 2)

When I left off last time we had just nursed my Wife’s beloved Peugeot 306 home having recovered from the scrap line at the back of a faceless body repair centre in an Ipswich industrial complex.

I say nursed it home, in reality it drove absolutely no differently post accident to how it did before; except that the brake pad warning light was illuminated and there was a distinct tang of lining material in the air. Hmm, something else to add to the repair list…. Anyway, read on for the next thrilling instalment of Operation SAVE THE PEUGEOT.

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Diecast Delights: The Audi R8 “Crocodile” in 1:18 Scale


Having gone one and on about the various justifications a collector uses to add to his collection, there’s one big factor that I’ve left out, and this fifteen year old Maisto model is a very good example. I’m talking about when you just have to have something because of its paint job.

I’m not really a collector of racing cars. I have a few, a 911 GT1 and a couple of Mercedes CLK derivations and I have them because they represent the ultimate development or extreme of the car their shape represents. This one, though, the Audi R8 LMP, had no relationship with any road car you could mention. It just looks awesome because it’s been painted up like a crocodile.

No further justification to own needed.

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The Carchive: The Simca 1100


A fortnight ago The Carchive took us back to the early ’70s and a look at the flagship model by Simca of France. When deciding which car to look at this week, I blame subliminal marketing.

Yes, every time one of our award-nominated Podcasts goes live, the ghostly outline of a Simca 1100 sits at the very top of the Redusernab home page, and I can no longer ignore it. As this is the last Carchive of 2016, let’s take a look at what has become a Redusernab icon of sorts.

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Two-Wheel Tuesday: Haining Vs Hoverboard

I carried out an illegal activity on Boxing Day; I on a public road in the UK, when my auntie who operates a successful horse livery and stud farm in Buckinghamshire (which is so cutting edge that they use a Segway to check the stables) brought her hoverboard over.  Of course I had to have a go in the name of research, and I’m very glad I did.

Glad because controlling a hoverboard (stupid, and wrong name, I know) involves a technique which is contrary to any other machine I’ve ever used where my feet have to issue commands. I was reminded just how wondrous the feeling of mastering something new can be, like my first clutchless manual gearchange or my first controlled drift.

It also got me to wondering whether these things will every make it beyond novelty and into being considered as an actual means of transport. Take the jump to ponder whether this is a ridiculous idea or not. … Continue Reading

The Carchive: 1969 Simca 1301 and 1501.

It’s Tuesday, 21:30 local time where I’m sitting, and time to finish the day looking at ancient literature for moribund cars that time has largely forgotten.

On Monday I returned from a potholing expedition into the deepest and least accessible reaches of The Carchive Caves. It was arduous and terrifying at times, but before I ran out of oxygen in one of the smaller chambers I made a grab for this “Auot 1969” publication by the freshly Chryslerised Simca of France.

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Redusernab Asks: What was your “Golden Age” of Motoring Journalism?

Chris Haining December 22, 2015 Redusernab Asks

We live in an era where there is more car-related written content freely available than anybody could possibly take in. The consumer can pick and choose, sample the first paragraph and then move on to the next piece if he determines that he’s reading absolute garbage. So, measured purely on the basis of sheer volume of material, then we do indeed live in a Golden Age right now.

It’s been better, though, I’m sure of it. Back before The Internet had cars spewing out of it uncontrollably, our automotive input came in handy staple-bound papery chunks. It was always changing, too. Writing styles developed from drily descriptive through sardonic to, in some cases, near parody. Photography ranged from formal documentation to breathtaking works of art. We loved it all. But what about nailing perfection down to one precise era?

Today we ask for your favourite period in motoring journalism.

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Diecast Delights: Why Not Create A New Hoon This Christmas?


Almost exactly a year ago to the day I posted about the first proper Diecast I ever recieved, the evergreen Bburago E-Type. Although it undeniably basic by today’s exalted standards, when I unwrapped it I felt that I had somehow matured beyond being given “toys”. The E-Type felt important. Like it mattered. Like something I would keep and cherish for ever and ever, which, of course, I have.

Back in 1987, though, I had no idea just how significant that model would end up being to my life. Today I look at the Maserati before me and contemplate exactly what effect it might have had on me if I was presented it as a six-year-old.

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Car Design in the USA and its Fascinating Journey: Part 2

1983 Ford Thunderbird Folder-02-03

Last week I shared with you an odyssey I’ve been on while spending my lunchbreaks in my car with a copy of Chronicle Of The American Automobile. I was researching for a question which has always intrigued me; “Why have American cars looked so different from those anywhere else on Earth”.

It had seemed that America’s interpretation of the car had developed in parallel with Europe’s ideas since pretty much the beginning; but often with notable differences in scale. However, there were periods when American and European designs seemed to relate more closely, and then there were times when the two markets seemed to shoot off in radically different directions. There was the “jet age” of the late ’50s, of course, where cars sprouted fins to make a Boeing blush before slowly sobering up over the coming decade. Then, twenty years later came a far less glamorous peak in the global design individuality of The American Car with what has been dubbed (by most prominently) .

It was the late ’70s, and upright rooflines and acres of glued-on tat was selling American cars domestically like nobody’s business. Fortunately, things moved on pretty quickly. Join me again after the jump to rejoice.

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Operation “SAVE THE PEUGEOT”: Part 1

My wife has only ever owned one car, she’s had it for ten years. In that time it has been a paragon of virtue. It’s taken her everywhere, provided us with shelter in times of need (literally, when our tent was blown to oblivion during a Cornish vacation). You may have read about it four years ago when it took us on an epic trans-European road trip. It’s become famous (or infamous) among her circle of friends, referred to variously as The Donkey, Baked Beenie, The Heinz Baked Bean Tin, The Old Pug and probably many more less complementary tags besides.

Yet, at this precise moment in time, it’s life hangs in the balance. Take the jump to join me as I fight to keep Donkey off the scrapheap.

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