Encyclopedia Hoonatica- Non-Traditional Engine Access

There once was the ad for Toyota’s Corolla (little crown) that had the stodgy small car’s owner literally welding the hood shut, the implication being that their reliability made engine visitation unnecessary. While that may have been utter bullschlitz malt liquor, it does bring to mind the fact that most car do have some form of engine access, at least so you can view the black plastic engine armor there. And most of them – like the Corolla – are rear-hinged swing-up affairs. 
Except when they’re not.
For today’s resurrected Encyclopedia Hoonatica what we want are  the exceptions to this rule. Maybe, like Nathan Lane, they swing the other way. Or perhaps instead of swinging they’re just a hatch or a cover. Maybe they’re like the salad bar sneeze guard at Souplantation – letting you look, but not touch.
How many non-standard types of bonnet doffings can you name?
DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy, although a good bit is open to interpretation.
Everything counts, but let’s stick to non-commercial vehicles, if I see that sad cab-over one more time I think I’ll cry. And remember, the weirder the better.

Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Adding photos with standard HTML is good, but shrink the big ones with width=”500″. Your mileage may vary. Taxes and License extra. Encyclopedia Hoonatica does not guarantee hair growth, and any hair growth you experience may be entirely coincidental with its use.

Image Sources: [JustOldCars.comJustAussieExotics.com]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

  1. P161911 Avatar

    I'm pretty sure you have to open a hatch and then remove a cover just to see the top of the engine on a Porsche Cayman. That still doesn't let you actually do anything to it.
    <img src="http://images.europeancarweb.com/images/0701_ec_09_z+porsche_cayman_gtr+engine.jpg"width=500&gt;

    1. Maymar Avatar

      Don't forget the Boxster, which if I'm not mistaken, requires an engine drop to do just about everything.

  2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Making a re-appearance from yesterday's kit car question, I present to you the Fiberfab Aztec 7:
    <img src="http://www.priceofhistoys.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/aztec-7-kit-car-1.jpg&quot; width="500">

  3. tonyola Avatar

    DeTomaso Mangusta.
    <img src="http://i56.tinypic.com/5midqa.jpg&quot; width=500>

    1. dmilligan Avatar

      That's actually pretty cool for engine access. I've never seen that one before.

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        Agreed. It adds to the awesomeness.

  4. P161911 Avatar

    Smart Fortwo, it is in there somewhere.
    <img src="http://img.youtube.com/vi/SRx9Nri5Qmk/0.jpg"width=500&gt;

    1. ZomBee Racer Avatar

      He's got another layer to go through….

  5. Jennings R. Scroggs, Jr. Avatar
    Jennings R. Scroggs, Jr.
    1. Slow Joe Crow Avatar
      Slow Joe Crow

      Snap! the same car and the same picture. That side opening opening hood is engraved in my mind because of the Corgi I had as a kid.
      <img src="http://www.toycollector.com/gallery/Cars-Early-Seventies-Corgi/Lancia_Fulvia_Zagato.jpg"&gt;

    2. austinminiman Avatar

      Ahh… Lancia, "How can we make it different for no apparent reason?"

    1. Alff Avatar

      Alfa Spiders are the same way.

    2. tonyola Avatar

      The C4 Corvette also included much of the front fenders.
      <img src="http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/1984-corvette-4.jpg&quot; width=400>

      1. P161911 Avatar

        Except for that one little piece on the side between the wheel and the door. That has to be removed to replace the battery. I remember that from my 1994.

  6. Alff Avatar

    My favorite for pure absurdity is the front-hinged cabover.
    … or this one, that requires you to go through the basement
    <img src="http://media.mlive.com/grpress/news_impact/photo/truck-crash-housejpg-f2bb60f2c7014e98_large.jpg"&gt;

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Yeah, if you're lucky enough to live where they *have* basements (yeah, I'm jealous).
      And why are some of my posts disappearing?
      Have they fallen somewhere under the hood?

    2. dmilligan Avatar

      On the plus side, you won't need such a long dropcord to see what you're doing.

  7. raphaelinberlin Avatar

    The Citroen SM – it opens a gateway straight into a nightmarish hell for mechanics
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ec/Citroen_SM_Engine_TCE.jpg/800px-Citroen_SM_Engine_TCE.jpgg&quot; width="500">

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Is that a spare can of hydraulic fluid on the right apron? How convenient.

    2. dmilligan Avatar

      That's one of the most frightening things I've ever seen.

      1. raphaelinberlin Avatar


    3. longrooffan Avatar

      It was called a SM for a reason..wink-wink.

  8. P161911 Avatar

    Most of the big FWD GMs of the 1980s had something similar. The only pics I could find are here :http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/4/606/1929/39013464002_large.jpg (the site that won't let you embed photos)

  9. GTXEliminator Avatar

    Hummer H1 is front hinged.

  10. dukeisduke Avatar

    I can't find a picture now, but when the Buick LeSabre and Electra went FWD for 1985, they went all BMW-ish with a pop-the-latch, slide forward, then tilt forward hood. They even had a logo molded in the hood insulator. As Dr. Phil would say, "What the hell were they thinkin'?"

    1. LTDScott Avatar

      Yup, my dad's '86 Park Avenue was like that. I remember it confusing the hell out of a mechanic at a shop one time.

      1. P161911 Avatar

        Especially confusing, because it would raise the first 6-12" like a normal hood and then have to tilt forward.
        "It went up part way and got stuck!"

  11. Tomsk Avatar

    The Toyota Previa had a set of narrow trap doors, one under each front seat (the fluid reservoirs were under the hood, though).
    Left side
    <img src="http://memimage.cardomain.com/member_images/4/web/3088000-3088999/3088456_27_full.jpg&quot; width="500" />
    Right side
    <img src="http://img.youtube.com/vi/oxc1cySUA_s/0.jpg&quot; />

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      That's how mine is. On the passenger side, you pull the jack and tools, their bracket, the seat, and the outer seat support. Then pull back the carpet, and remove 14 (I think) 14mm bolts. You can get to the plugs (factory was platinums), timing cover, PCV valve, injectors, and fuel pressure regulator.

    2. dmilligan Avatar

      Someone needs to give the designers of this a good beating, then make them work on the cars for a year.

      1. dukeisduke Avatar

        I just wish they had made the passenger side panel a little bigger, so that it would be easier to get at the EGR valve. You can get it off (the hardest part is the big nut on the exhaust tube) from the panel under the driver's seat, but it's a PITA and requires a crow's foot wrench.

      2. theeastbaykid Avatar

        My experience with the Previa is that you RARELY need to get in there. Plus, on a tall van like that, it's nice to keep the weight of the engine as low and centered as possible. Also maximizes the interior space. The biggest drawback is that the front passengers sit with their feet essentially on the front wheelwells, and only have a few feet of crush space past that. Not the safest setup.

  12. Feds_II Avatar

    I'll defer to my dearly departed VW Type 3 Fastback.
    The engine, of course, was in the back. Accessing that engine was a 6 step process:
    1: open driver's side door
    2: Slide lever on B pillar toward outside of car, opening rear trunk
    3: Lift rear trunk lid
    4: roll up vinyl trunk cover*
    5: turn Dzus fasteners, releasing enigne cover
    6: remove engine cover
    Illustrations follow showing the results of step 3 and 6
    <img src="http://images.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/11/CC-118-094-800.jpg&quot; width=500>
    <img src="http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attachments/post-war/519954-1967-vw-fastback-restored-ideal.jpg&quot; width=500>
    *Step 4 assumes you are not currently on a road trip, and that the rear trunk is not full of a weekend's worth of luggage that you need to remove from the rear trunk and spread all over the side of the highway.

    1. blueplate Avatar

      Is that the Oil filler? If so, it's the first car I've ever seen where you don't need to open the engine compartment to fill the vehicle with oil.
      Wait, strike that, I can think of just one other. That's a tough trivia question.

  13. dukeisduke Avatar

    Wow, the big Buick brings back memories. When I was a kid, I would occasionally ride to school with a friend down the street. She lived with her grandparents, and they had a '50 Buick Roadmaster sedan. Its straight eight was silent, except for the tick-tick-tick of one of the tappets.

  14. LTDScott Avatar

    Tons of pre-WWII cars such as this Ford Model A had "gullwing" opening hoods. <img src="http://www.usauto.pl/_starewww/galeria/1931%20Ford%20Model%20A%20Deluxe%20Sport%20Roadster-yellow-fVr%20open%20hood=mx=.jpg&quot; width=500>

  15. James@CT Avatar

    How about the R54 Mini Cooper, where the headlights came up with the hood for no reason?
    <img src="http://carpictures.carjunky.com/albums/Mini-Cooper/DSC00212.sized.jpgL&quot; width="600">
    And my personal C900 SPG with it's funky hood. Actually really awesome for working on it, plus the hood comes off with 2 bolts(!) and unlike most hoods, is not a huge pain in the ass to put back on.
    <img src="http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/8687/spg6.jpg&quot; width="600">

    1. James@CT Avatar

      And by R54, I meant R50 and R53 (Cooper/Cooper S MkI). Brain fart, sorry. The new R56-generation Mini leaves the headlights down when the clamshell comes up, which is useless if you want to use your mini to find a cat in a tree at night.

    2. LTDScott Avatar

      The hood is designed to be an integral part of the crash structure. IIRC there are pins at the back of the hood that protrude into the firewall to prevent the hood from popping up on impact.
      I learned this when racing Saab 900s in LeMons back in 2007. The car had suffered some front end damage during the race which crunched in the leading nose of the hood. That pushed the hood back enough that the pins would not clear the firewall and we had to Sawzall them off to get the hood open.

  16. P161911 Avatar

    Would a Corvair Lakewood wagon fit here?
    <img src="http://hooniverse.info/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/040-720×480.jpg"width=500&gt;

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      And the FCs, where you have a little access panel on the back (to get to the oil filler, dipstick, and distributor), and the bolt-on access panel in the bed (on Rampsides/Loadsides), or in the passenger compartment (on Corvans/Greenbriers) to get to everything else.

    2. dmilligan Avatar

      Wow, I haven't seen of those for many, many years.

  17. spacecowboyian Avatar

    <img src="http://www.toyotaclub.org/Toyotafest2008/images/2462724523_2f417804b3_b.jpg&quot; width="500"/>
    1st Generation Toyota Celica.

  18. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    Just one of the many details that made a young kid fall in love…
    <img src="http://www.ohioconcours.com/1999/99-130.jpg&quot; width="500" />

  19. dmilligan Avatar

    Yeah, one of the best things about that model. Sort of removing all of the sheet metal from the front clip, this is my favourite type of engine access.

  20. Syrax Avatar

    I couldn't find any pic with it open but it's a 3-people, 2-days operation:
    <img src="http://www.car-catalog.com/sports_cars/tvr_tuscan.jpg"width="500"&gt;

    1. SSurfer321 Avatar

      I'll see your rear engined F150 and raise you one jet engine
      <img src="http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp180/emawk/Ford/F150/FordF-150jettruck.jpg"&gt;
      IMG from Autotribute.com

      1. $kaycog Avatar

        Hahaha! You win!

  21. chrystlubitshi Avatar

    any full sized american van– ford, dodge, or GM doghouse in between the two front seats/under the middle of the dashboard "console" and of course the FC american vans with the engine between/behind the front seats (or in the back for the corvair)

  22. OA5599 Avatar

    We have liftoff.
    <img src="http://a12mopar.com/yabb/Attachments/hood_props_001_001.jpg&quot; width=500>

  23. AlexiusG55 Avatar

    Volvo PV544 is front-hinged- and looks a bit precarious with that "pointy" hood.
    <img src="http://www.swedishculturalcenter.org/Events/images/2009-6-6%20car%20show%20at%20Swedish%20Cultural%20Center.JPG"&gt;

  24. tonyola Avatar

    What's odd is that the hood became rear-hinged for the redesigned 1992 H-bodies.

    1. BlackIce_GTS Avatar

      I think it was just the LeSabre to begin with, I had an H-body Delta 88, and the hood was rear hinged.

    2. salguod Avatar

      I'm betting it did that dance because the hood wrapped over the fenders. The odd movement kept the shutlines (sorta) tight. A conventionally closing hood would have needed a lot more gap to allow for rebound when it was slammed.

  25. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Domestic, front-engined, forward control vans & pickups.
    <img src="http://www.allpar.com/photos/vans/A100-cab.jpg&quot; width="500">
    <img src="http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/3/2526/3321/31314160003_large.jpg&quot; width="500">

  26. Slow Joe Crow Avatar
    Slow Joe Crow

    The Bedford TK, while it is cabover, the cab is fixed and normal engine access is through the hinged panels behind the doors.
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/85/Bedford_TK.jpg&quot; width="500">

  27. SSurfer321 Avatar

    obligatory low hanging fruit
    <img src="http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2367/13109344/23329301/389152539.jpg"&gt;
    IMG from Prolifik-one.com

  28. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    You gotta admit, this is non-traditional access:
    <img src="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1085/1134367980_7d7d818a99.jpg"&gt;

    1. facelvega Avatar

      What could be more traditional? Here's a Pembleton, the four wheel version with a BMW engine.
      <img src="http://www.kitcarlist.com/images/pembleton-brooklands.jpg"&gt;

  29. smokyburnout Avatar

    <img src="http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/3215/1121/8035560034_large.jpg"&gt;
    Lancia MonteCarlo/Scorpion
    <img src="http://autoweek.com/storyimage/CW/20110214/NHRA/110219923/AR/force-castrol.jpg&quot; width="600"/>
    Hey, it's not a cabover…
    IMGs from CarDomain, AutoWeek

  30. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi
  31. facelvega Avatar

    Fiat X1/9. Right behind the rear window but not extending all the way back.
    <img src="http://www.2e0zak.co.uk/images/Dscf0918.jpg"&gt;

    1. JayP Avatar

      The reason my dad sold mom's X19 was that he couldn't get in there to do anything.
      Bought an MGB I later inherited. I'd been warped if they'd kept the Fiat (more than with the 'B).

  32. austinminiman Avatar

    I also just remembered the Sbarro Golf. It was a first-gen Golf with a 911 power train. They installed the rear sub-frame, hinged the entire body, and hooked it up to hydraulics to raise it. Great access, and they could(and did) drive it with the body raised.
    <img src="http://www.stanceiseverything.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/golfporschedec80C.jpg&quot; width="500">
    <img src="http://sbarro.perso.neuf.fr/voitures/Golfturbo/Sbarro_Golf_turbo_titre.jpg&quot; width="500">
    <img src="http://www.forum-auto.com/uploads/200503/tortor13_1110113455_sbarro_golf_turbo.jpg&quot; width="500">
    Sorry for the glut of photos but it's really cool!

  33. austinminiman Avatar

    Often the generators are mounted in the front on sliding trays, which is kind of cool.

  34. OA5599 Avatar

    Dobbertin J2000 (not a production vehicle)
    <img src="http://www.streetmachinecentral.com/UserFiles/Image/j2000a(1).jpg">
    Mosler Twinstar (a production vehicle)
    <img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_leoGYAeiH44/TL2kxnOB4lI/AAAAAAAAL1U/jt2ZfCRsEL0/s1600/2000_Mosler_TwinstarEldorado1.jpg&quot; width=500>

  35. OA5599 Avatar

    Why is this not posted already? And more importantly, why is this not standard yet?
    <img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2018/1663374453_cd7a2f4ba9.jpg"&gt;

    1. Lotte Avatar

      A ha! That's what it was; after Tonyola posted the Spitfire I swear there was a car that went further then that. And here it is. Thanks; this would've bugged me all week.

  36. lilwillie Avatar

    '58 Edsel line of cars.
    E21 BMW..
    2002 series BMW's.
    '65 Shelby Cobra

  37. tonyola Avatar

    What's unusual about it?

    1. Whateverist Avatar

      The hood isn't hinged, it's fixed in place with bolts. The fake grille – the black panel with the Audi logo – flips down so you can top up the oil and some other fluids, but to get to the engine you need to take it to a mechanic.

  38. tonyola Avatar

    Lincoln Continentals of the '60s had front-hinged hoods.

  39. Whateverist Avatar

    Does "no engine access (at least not one we intend for peons)" even count as "non-traditional"?

  40. Karmatose Avatar

    The Datsun 240/260/280/300 Z

  41. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    MG Midgets, too.

    1. ptschett Avatar

      The Mk1 Sprite was unusual, but Mk2-4 Sprites and all Midgets had conventional hoods.

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        <img src="http://www.devonclassiccars.com/graphics/sales/forsale-admin-14-mg-midget.jpg&quot; width="500">
        Duh, I knew that! You're not the first to correct me on this. For a long time, I thought the curved seam at the bottom of the front fender was a hood seam, á la the Spitfire. (Never mind the big seams running down the top.) Even though I know better, my brain keeps going back to what I thought as a kid. My lack of teachability gets exposed again.

  42. ptschett Avatar

    The Mk1 Sprite's hinge was in a normal place, but what's not normal is how much is included in the bonnet.
    <img src="http://www.pbca1.com/lvfd_schmitz_bugeye.jpg&quot; width="500">
    Image from the Panhandle British Car Association's website
    Dodge C-series trucks had a conventional hood above the engine, but you usually didn't get at the engine that way… you just pulled a latch handle on the fender, and it swings out.
    <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3262/2639303606_03c2976df1.jpg"&gt;
    Image from Gstoves' flickr stream

  43. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

    The BMW Gina concept has a non traditional engine access
    <img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_O1UwFaCoGEY/SFu0joPe70I/AAAAAAAABBw/azQ1kXKXxLg/s1600/BMW_Gina3.jpg"&gt;

    1. Black Steelies Avatar

      Very, um, Georgia O'Keefe.

  44. earlofhalflight Avatar

    Clan Crusader's side opening. Sorry I couldn't come up with a better pic.
    <img src="http://www.classic-kitcars.com/images/imgtxt/700/1216037258-enginebay.jpg&quot; width=500>

  45. JayP Avatar

    T-Type. Awesome.

    1. Tomsk Avatar

      LeSabre Grand National with the smaller quarter windows? Awesomer still.
      <img src="http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/3/2886/3103/32214051243_large.jpg&quot; width="500" />

  46. ptschett Avatar

    Also the 1st-generation Viper.
    <img src="http://i55.tinypic.com/5×5007.jpg&quot; width="500"/>

    1. skitter Avatar

      Several sources identify the clamshell as a five-figure part, and the biggest reason Vipers are so expensive to insure.

      1. P161911 Avatar

        I remember that from when they first came out. Some special sheet molded compound that was very difficult and expensive to manufacture, but probably saved 10 pounds in weight.

  47. salguod Avatar

    Thunderbird hoods, from '55 through at least '66 '60 were front hinged (EDIT: Looks like it went rear hinged in 1961). As a bonus, the rear deck on the '58-'66 convertibles was rear hinged.
    Actually, over the years T'birds had all manner of moving panels – front hinged hoods, rear hinged trunks, suicide doors, flip up head light doors, sliding sunroofs and T-tops.

  48. Mike England Avatar
    Mike England

    Here in the colonies, the front-hinged Truimphs were nonstandard – does anyone have a picture of a spitfire?
    What was that, a 1.2 engine or something?