Please don’t buy a Porsche 996.

Chris Haining January 18, 2018 All Things Hoon

By all accounts, readers of online automotive blogs are growing tired of endless Porsche 996 investment guides. Pretty much every website is crowing that “The 996 is the last great Porsche investment” as if nobody had thought to say it before.

And now it’s our turn, except I can’t pretend to offer any sage advice in buying one. What I can do, though is explain why the 996 is the only 911 I really lust after, and why you should, too.

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The Carchive: The 1982 Subaru range

Subaru is a name that’s seen considerable peaks and troughs, profile-wise, in the UK. The peaks were undoubtedly while it was selling the world rally-winning Impreza WRX STi. The troughs? Well, somehow the WRX has rather fallen out of the limelight. Perhaps they’ll regain their mojo soon. Who knows.

Way back in 2013 we looked at the third-generation Subaru Leone, and a very popular instalment it was too, if the 26 resultant comments (all victim of the great IntenseDebate implosion of 2016) are any indication. Today we’re looking at its predecessor in this brochure from ’81. Welcome back to The Carchive.

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Baby steps: Our first taste of driving

Chris Haining January 8, 2018 All Things Hoon

Most people, whether they specifically want to or not, will end up driving a car at some point in their life. A smaller percentage, but one that likely includes everybody reading this article, will drive a car for pleasure as well as simple necessity. And of this portion of humanity, a great many will have wanted to get behind the wheel from a very early age.

But just how far back does our love of the car go? I spent a little time in the presence of my three year-old nephew last weekend, and he got me thinking. Oliver is his name, and he likes a lot of things. He’s a fan of 1970s rock music – although his Dad admittedly has a fair bit of influence there – he enjoys Peppa Pig and Thomas The Tank Engine, too. But he’s also recently taken delivery of his first car, which is photographed here in the garage – where it belongs. I can’t vouch for Oliver’s exploits behind the wheel in this bright orange mean machine, but I can hypothesize – because I can recall my own experiences. And I’ll bet you can remember yours.

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The Carchive: The 1979 Coachmen RV range

I reckon I was a tortoise in a previous life, such is my love for taking my home with me on adventures. It’s one reason that I love yachts, and a big part of the reason that I spend an inordinate amount of time under canvas in the “summer”, being pelted with hail and at risk of being blown clean into the sea. Paradise.

Truth is I quite fancy a motor home, but the kind I can afford closely resemble a damp panel van with padded shelves to sleep on. It’s certainly a far cry from the gin palaces that roam North American freeways, in loose processions between Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon, often with somebody of a certain age at the helm.

So after last week’s Alfa Romeo 90, now for something completely different. It’s the 1979 Coachmen RV lineup. Welcome back to The Carchive.

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V.I.S.I.T: A 1990 Nissan Pao

The ‘Pike’ cars from Nissan around the end of the 1980s, were great – there can’t be much doubt if their continuing desirability is any indication. Indeed, the Figaro, S-Cargo and Be-1 were smash hits, and the Figaro in particular has become an inevitable sight on the ‘classic car’ circuit – it offered something approximating vintage style yet its Nissan Micra-based oily bits were far less likely to leak or spontaneously combust than a genuine ’50s collectable.

They’re a bit ignoble, though, and the sight of an immaculately turned-out Pike is increasingly less noteworthy. There’s a healthy industry built on keeping these Japanese imports in A1 condition, and no shortage of agents who specialize in dragging fresh examples over from the land of the rising sun to a nation where said golden orb is permanently obscured by clouds.

It’s far, far rarer to find a Pike that’s lived a hard life.  So I was genuinely excited to find this disheveled Nissan Pike on the streets of Brighton.

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The Carchive: The Alfa Romeo 90

A funny thing about accumulating things, is that you don’t always remember exactly why they came into your possession. I mean, you’ll probably remember when you got them and where they came from, but you might not recall exactly why you wanted them in the first place.

This Alfa Romeo 90 brochure is an exception. It’s a brochure I wanted for absolutely years, for the sole reason that this oft-forgotten car’s dashboard has a built in briefcase.

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HCOTY 2017 Nominee: Ferrari 308 GTB Group B rally car

A great many cars have impressed me this year, some of which I’ve been fortunate enough to drive, and many, many of which I’ve not. Some, including this one, are memorable for doing me actual bodily harm – the dust cloud seen in the image above contained particles of various masses and diameters, from microscopic to massive, the former of which caked my camera – the latter bruised my body.

It was well worth it, though. The photos might be the fluky point ‘n shoot product that betrays a rank amateur, but standing that close to a Ferrari 308 at full chat on a dirt course is something that will stay with me for years. And for this reason, it’s my Redusernab Car Of The Year nomination for 2017. I mean, I know it’s not going to win – my nominees never do – but it’s certainly worth throwing into the ring.

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The Carchive: The 1980 Dodge St. Regis

There are nameplates, like Chevrolet Corvette, that seem destined to be with us forever. Equally, there are those that disappear seemingly overnight, having achieved precious little during their brief stay on planet earth. Last week, we looked at the Jeep Wagoneer, the five-door variant of a car that fitted firmly into the former bracket. Now, though, we’re definitely looking at car that was rather transient in nature.

We’re sticking with North America today, but winding the clock a little forward until we reach the brink of the ’80s. August 1979, in fact, when this brochure for the Dodge St Regis went to print.

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The Truth We the Future and Marketing

Chris Haining December 15, 2017 All Things Hoon

“Everything you can buy from a car dealership today is simply a product. From Mahindra to McLaren, it exists to be sold. To make money.”

The above is a breathtakingly obvious statement, but isn’t one that has troubled me as much before as it does today. This is because the true nature of the industry has become jarringly, egregiously transparent over recent years, placed in sharp focus with the launch of the Lamborghini Urus SUV, the unstoppable (and as far as I can see, unsolicited) march of autonomous cars, and recent changes to BMW’s global website.

In case you’ve not seen it, the core BMW website has moved from information-heavy font of vehicular knowledge to become , eulogizing the wonderful things you can do in a BMW and the colourful, influential personalities who drive them. This is a sign that the storied German marque knows that its cars no longer sell on what they are, but what they mean. And that, I’m afraid, rather sums the decline – not of cars – but of motoring as a whole.

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Diecast Delights: A Porsche 911 Carrera RS in 1:18 scale

Chris Haining December 4, 2017 Diecast Delights

Diecast Delights isn’t everybody’s favourite Redusernab series, but with the season of expenditure upon us, I thought it worth chiming in with another episode. You see, this is the time of year that many parents consider giving a young hoon their first proper model car, and none of the 1:18s featured in Diecast Delights so far will fail to please.

However – this Porsche 911 Carrera RS, by Welly, comes particularly highly recommended, not least because you can find it at very reasonably prices. Firstly – it depicts one of the very most important Porsches in history, and one that every junior car enthusiast needs to know about. Secondly – it looks fantastic.

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