Thursday, January 9, 2020

Rest in Peace; Hunsbloger 1954-2019

DT E-i-C Vince: It is with some degree of difficulty and much sorrow that I inform you, our readers, of the passing of a DT writer and dear friend.  Hunsbloger has joined those who have flown to the great junk yard in the sky...and he will be missed.  I've known Huns for over 20 years, and in that time I've found him to be a fantastic car builder, a prolific storyteller, a great dad, a dedicated husband, and a wonderful friend.


I first had the pleasure of knowing Hunsbloger when we worked together for a small alternative fuels engine development company in the San Diego area -- I was a fresh faced engineer and he was a veteran salesman.  Wise and wisecracking, he was the kind of the person who could challenge you with a smile and he had the most incredible barn sized garage in an unlikely urban San Diego setting. I think it was a 900 square foot house with an 8 car garage.  Huns was building this restomod 1967 Mustang, long before the Gone in 60 Seconds craze mangled many 67 bodies.  The car was his masterpiece and it had to sit the way he wanted, have no back seat, and it was covered in Honda Odyssey green paint (Huns was very proud of the paint choice from a modern family minivan) with gold stripes.  The car had functioning AC, a Mustang II rack-and-pinion, and a fire-breathing V8 mated to a tremec 5-speed manual.


Our paths continued to cross over the years at BBQs and family activities -- but when I started Daily Turismo in 2012 our friendship became even closer.  Huns wasn't just another reader, he was a fan, an acolyte, and eventually, a writer. He was a constant source of encouragement, excitement, and prolific pedantry with all things automotive and DT.  The thing about Huns is that he wasn't just a one trick pony car guy -- he built that amazing custom 67 Fastback and then sold it when he moved across the country and a few years later picked up the raddest vista window equipped Buick on the block.


The Buick SportWagon is the Vista Window equipped cousin to the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser...and Huns originally wanted a '67 SportWagon, but he ended up buying this Seafoam Green '65 SportWagon with the Deluxe Interior and upgraded Wildcat 355 V8.  Actually Huns originally had a strange obsession with the '57 Buick Cabellero Wagons, but Barrett-Jackson style price speculation pushed them out of reach and Huns went for the '65.  A few years later he sold it to me for a great deal, and now I use it to haul my family around town.


Huns had many cars over the years, including this '65 Corvair ragtop that was in really nice shape and surprisingly quick for what it was.  You can read all about Huns various cars in the DT fleet update here, just scroll half way down the page to see his impressive collection of cars from over the decades. 


I have certain reasonably held opinions about the afterlife, but I can't tell you for certain that there is a place with a magical cloud and that Huns is looking down at us, smiling. But I can say this;  If anybody is polishing wrenches in some heavenly workshop, it is Huns and he is preparing the most insane Opel Manta build that you've ever seen and it will fit his family, his friends, and anyone who cares to join him.  Read Huns' DT articles here, listen to his hour on the DT radio show here, and say a prayer for Huns and his family. Rest in peace Mark "Hunsbloger" Hunsberger 1956-2019.  You are missed, my friend. 


"It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone." -- John Steinbeck

28 comments:

  1. My condolences to the family, friends and all DT staff.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thoroughly enjoyed his contributions to the site. They will live on as one of the many testaments to who he was, what he did and how many he impacted in a positive way. Condolences to his family & friends.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Never met a nicer guy. To my steadily growing list of things I can no longer do without a moment of somber yet joyful reflection, now adding: "see an old station wagon" and "eat surprisingly good plant-based meat". Thank you, Mark, it was an honor to know you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I never met him, but from what I did get from him (via this website) and your heartfelt words here is that he was a car guy's car guy + a genuinely cool dude. Wish I'd known him. Very sorry for the family and friends loss.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm so sorry. I met Huns when I went and looked and drove the Buick. I even took it for an extensive mechanical looksee at a trusted mechanic. Life got in the way and I wasn't brave enough to tackle the roof glass issues. But it is a beautiful car and I love seafoam green. I'm glad it ended up with the DT. Huns was exceedingly cordial and a wealth of knowledge and we both shared an early Porsche love. If there's a better place I hope he found it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Here to pay my respect to Huns. Always enjoyed his writings.

    ReplyDelete
  7. RIP Mark. I will miss your insightful comments on the cars that come across the tip account.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow - thank you for this wonderful tribute to my amazing brother!! This post brought me to tears. And without a doubt, there is a better place - and Mark is enjoying it now! His Christian faith was the centerpiece of his life. I continue to be overwhelmed and inspired by the depth and breadth of his friendships and the positive influence he had on everyone he encountered. Thanks again for this tribute and thank you to all who posted comments - truly remarkable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heidi -- Mark was a good friend and I will miss him -- thanks for sharing your brother with the rest of us. -Vince DT Editor

      Delete
  9. Dude who married his sisterJanuary 9, 2020 at 3:50 PM

    Thanks Vince for such a spot-on dedication to Mark. As you’ve stated, he loved everything about cars and had a diverse background and knowledge in this area. He helped us and many others find and purchase many cars. We miss him deeply. If heaven has a garage (Do cars even breakdown in heaven?) I know that Mark will be there under the lift working on something in one of the (at least) 7 bays or he’ll be track testing a Bullitt Mustang with an endless supply of tires and gas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dude who is Mark's bro in-law; Mark inspired much of my appreciation for cars and I am certain I wouldn't be the mid 60s car nut I am today without his guidance. -Vince

      Delete
  10. Between my uncle Mark and my dad, I was always going to love cars. I remember riding in his black Mustang GT convertible as a kid, and then some years later when he came to visit, him teaching me to drive a manual transmission in my dad's '90 Taurus SHO. He hadn't been a frequent presence in my life the last few years, but his influence on my life, both in terms of his love of cars and his ever present and amazing sense of humor, will never be forgotten.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your uncle was an inspiration to many of us. I don't think I would have ever started this website (DailyTurismo) if I hadn't met Mark and spent so much time with him talking about cars. -Vince

      Delete
  11. Sister who paid for half of the 1968 Pontiac Tempest that Mark drove 99% of the timeJanuary 9, 2020 at 7:35 PM

    Mark was the guy I called when I had car issues or wanted to buy a car ... or to talk me off a patch of ice on a steep downhill slope mere feet away from a very busy Route 9.... I had made it through the worst snow storm to within a mile of my house when I hit a patch of ice on a steep grade. Panicked, I let the car slide into the curb so I wouldn't run headlong into rush hour traffic on the busy intersecting street. Then I did what any self-respecting Hunsberger sister would do ---- I called Mark, who dropped everything and spent about 20 minutes on the phone helping me shift, reverse, clutch, accelerate and brake my way out of the ice patch and safely on my way home. He calmed me down and took me through every step of the process down to how much to accelerate while holding down the clutch. If it weren't for Mark, I'd have had to wait for the spring thaw to get home! So, yeah, he was welcome to drive the Pontiac 99% of the time!! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tempest Sister -- Mark would always take my random car related calls and his ability to understand and debug/diagnose random issues was awesome. -Vince

      Delete
  12. Fleetwood T. BroughamJanuary 10, 2020 at 5:49 AM

    RIP indeed.....I have always enjoyed his contributions to this site and I will miss him.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sincerest condolences... and Godspeed Hunsbloger!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I feel bad to be so late to this post, as I didn't see it go up yesterday. When Vince called me a few days ago to tell me that Mark had passed, I felt like I'd lost a family member, even though I really only hung out with Mark in person a few times.

    In the early days of DT, 2012, 13, 14, Vince, Mark, and I were frantically emailing back & forth behind the scenes. We had very little clue if the site we were building was being well received, or if we were just nutcases talking to an empty room. But Mark always had great insight and guidance and could tell us if we were on the right track; he could read the comments and intuit things that Vince and I missed completely. He could sniff out ads for BS better than any of us and could get into the minds of the seller and show us what was going on. He kept us enthused and feeling like we were building something good here. In a very humble and entertaining way.

    Mark was a great storyteller and I didn't get to hear enough about his antics as a VW salesman, Saab salesman, oil & gas industry expert, enthusiast, mechanic, dad, and family man. But I do appreciate the stories I was lucky enough to hear.

    RIP Mark; when my V8 Volvo 240 wagon finally runs the first thing I'll do is rip a monster burnout in your memory.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Elizabeth, Mark's oldest sisterJanuary 10, 2020 at 7:51 PM

    Reading all of these tributes was really so wonderful. Mark was such a friendly guy! I remember when Mark was in maybe 4th grade and had a paper route. Every single person on our street knew Mark, people none of the rest of the family even knew! They'd call out to him by name--my parents couldn't believe it! One time, when Mark came to visit us, he spied our son (nephew above) in the back yard trying to ride his new bike. Even thought it had been some time since we had seen him, he gave me a quick hello and headed for the back yard. He was in his element, teaching our son to ride his bike! He was a terrific uncle. His loss--way too soon--is devastating. How I wish I could have been with him one last time.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is such a sad loss. My condolences to his family and friends. It's great to hear from both in the previous comments.

    As Vince and many others above have explained above, Huns' knowledge and humor were an integral part of this site. I know that I would read any comment he posted and would specifically click on an article if I saw he had commented, just to get his 2 cents. When DT posted that article that listed all the cars he had owned over the years, I read it and laughed as it kept going and going and going. He got to live the dream we all share, which is to drive as many cars as we can in the short time we've got.

    I personally never met or spoke to Huns (though I think we had a couple of brief conversations through comments in these parts), but I could hear his voice and personality in his writings. I feel the same way about the cast of regulars around here. I don't really know any of you, but at the same time I feel I know you all when it comes to car knowledge, interests, and humor. You're all people I would choose to hang out with, Huns especially included.

    I can't remember when I first started visiting this site, or when I finally started posting comments here (for years as Anonymous, sorry), but it was early on and there weren't many regulars... or irregulars. But in short time I got a sense that I liked the people here and they kept me coming back. I came for the cars and stayed for the people (and the cars, of course).

    We, as a Daily Turismo "family", will not forget Mark as we continue on. I'm sure we'll all occasionally click on an old DT article and stumble across one of his old comments. I look forward to those little reminders of a great friend we all shared.

    Vince and staff, you definitely don't get enough credit for the work you do with this site, but I know we all appreciate it and enjoy the community you've built here. Without you all, most of us wouldn't cross paths. Thank you.

    Can I suggest that now that the holidays are over, you change the DT header/banner to something honoring Huns? Maybe change the photo to one of his cars or the SportWagon?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mega -- yes, that is a fabulous idea for a Hunsbloger header/banner. Let me work on it. -Vince

      Delete
  17. Like many on this site, I only knew Hunsblogger from his posts. Never met him IRL.

    But I felt like we were family. The DT family.

    I will miss his humor, and insights. And posts.

    If there is a garage in the sky, with cars that need wrenching and driving, Huns will be there.

    And he'll be happy.

    -Stan (yeah....*that* Stan...)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Damn. I may have never met him but I know I liked him. He was obviously the kind of person who made easy friends for life. My sincerest condolences to his family and close friends, just knowing him on these pages tells me that his absence will be felt dearly from your lives.

    Though we will never hear from him again, I know that my life was forever enriched by him being a part of it. Funny but not biting, knowledgeable but not pedantic… he was easily one of the coolest dudes I ever got to interact with online. Thanks, DT, for giving him a voice we could all hear.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This little part of the world and the community that he helped will into being is a special place. The more I read from his family and friends the more I wish I had known him better.

    ReplyDelete
  20. It is incredibly touching to take in all that has been expressed on the loss of my favorite car guy. While I'm certainly grieving this blow, I'm also smiling upon recalling how much Mark not only loved every type of moving vehicle, but also his love of the DT family. Vince, and CFlo along with the rest of the DT staff and readers provided Mark with the vehicle (no pun intended) to share his passion for cars and express his true self (read: wit sprinkled with perhaps a few too many dad jokes). This is a community that truly understood and embraced Mark's contributions to it and he appreciated and loved all that it/you had to offer. Thanks again for your outpouring. I'm fairly certain that Mark is finally able to be driving what he always asked me to surprise him with (a '67 marina blue corvette) and is shaking his head in disbelief at your kind words and is humbled by it. With gratitude, Judy (Mrs. Hunsbloger)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks DT for doing this tribute. I fear I'll struggle with anything eloquent to say as I just get emotional every time I think about Mark and his family without him. I have so many fond memories of Mark, one of my favorite people. One story I'll never forget was smoking the clutch in his Corvair while we tried to get his car to get under 10 seconds 0-60 while 5 of us sat in the car weighing it down. I love Mark and miss him. Thanks for this beautiful tribute. Ryan, the proud owner of his beautiful Mustang after him

    ReplyDelete

Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint Eastwood...it don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.