Hooniverse Asks: What's the Coolest Auto Industry Off-shoot?

As I’m sure you are all aware, Henry Ford had a great influence on our Memorial Day activities. No, it was the Model T bringing mobility to the masses, and hence creating traffic jams, it was the scrap material from the T’s wooden frame construction that Henry used to convert into charcoal briquettes. Kingsford was founded by Old Man Henry and his brother-in-law, E.G. Kingsford, and back-yard barbecues were never the same.
That’s just one example of an auto industry off-shoot. Much like the Space Race or American Idol, the auto industry has spun off a ton of ancillary products and benefits in its more than a century of existence. What we want to know today is what you think is the coolest of those offshots. We know its not charcoal, as that’s the hottest (dad joke), but I’m sure you can think of a lot of others that are.
Image: Pinterest

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27 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What's the Coolest Auto Industry Off-shoot?”

  1. Alff Avatar

    Thinking about how much mechanical reliability has improved, I’m going with improvements in metallurgy.

    1. PotbellyJoe★★★★★ Avatar

      I was actually walking down this path and trying to find one great example. There are too many.
      Whether it’s the advancement of weldable alloys, or the continued development of carbon fiber. You can talk about the bonding processes that have now come into play.
      And that’s ignoring the influence in the world of plastics and NVH reduction that has knowledge shared with concert halls and recording studios.
      When we talk of The Bronze Age which covered almost 2000 years, or the Iron age that covered 1500, the advancement of alloys that we have seen in just 50 years is baffling.

      1. P161911 Avatar

        I keep thinking of Loctite. The story I always heard was that the whole reason Chrysler was able to offer thier 7 year/ 70,000 mile warranty in the 1980s was that they started using Loctite to put the cars together.

  2. Kiefmo Avatar

    Awesome-O and all of the attendant personal mobility inventions that have been created by Honda based on the same tech.

  3. P161911 Avatar

    Chrysler did make the Saturn IB rockets.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Powered by Volvo – not exactly by the car division though.

      1. Alff Avatar

        Chrysler made my sailboat, albeit a few years after this poster.

        1. P161911 Avatar

          They made the outboard on our old bass boat too.

      2. longrooffan Avatar

        I actually had a copy of this ad until Hoonimas a few years ago.

  4. Tanshanomi Avatar

    The design and manufacture of lubricants would not be nearly as advanced as they currently are without the research and economies of scale provided by the auto industry.
    [BTW, Mobil 1 turned 40 last year, even though distribution wasn’t rolled out nationally until 1976.]

  5. Batshitbox Avatar

    Drive-In and Drive -Thru establishments. Dinner, a movie, car wash, the bank… a lot of it has gone away, but it was so cool!

    1. Citric Avatar

      There’s still a drive-in in southern Sask somewhere, I’m tempted to go if they get Mad Max in, it seems like the perfect movie for it.

  6. Maymar Avatar

    I’m always a little amused by the scope of things that come from car companies that sell their engineering talents to other companies. Who wouldn’t want a Lotus-designed shopping cart?

  7. 0A5599 Avatar

    Auto racing.

  8. dukeisduke Avatar

    Ironically (for Ford), the wagon in the picture looks like a ’69 Chevelle Concours Estate.

    1. longrooffan Avatar

      I was thinking a full size Impala or such but nice catch!

      1. longrooffan Avatar

        ctrl + proves dukeisduke correct!

  9. nanoop Avatar

    While most answers give important examples of derivative products, I think the coolest car industry off-shoot is the car-based furniture manufacturers.
    Slightly related:

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      I see your grill and raise you a sink:

      1. Cameron Vanderhorst Avatar
        Cameron Vanderhorst

        Looks stylish. Can I buy it at Ikea?

  10. Citric Avatar

    Given that GM owned Frigidaire once, and Kelvinator was a big appliance seller, and International briefly got into the same business, the literally coolest off-shoot would probably be a freezer.

    1. Guest Avatar

      Finally, somebody who can use literally in the correct way!

      To quote Weird Al, when you “‘literally couldn’t couldn’t get out of bed.’ That makes me want to literally smack a crowbar upside your stupid head!”

  11. Cameron Vanderhorst Avatar
    Cameron Vanderhorst

    The Pininfarina-designed Coke machines now populating the higher-end greasetrap establishments could be considered an offshoot, no?

    1. Vairship Avatar

      Only if they contain Raymond Loewy designed Coke bottles 😉

  12. Charley V Avatar
    Charley V

    I know air-conditioning was not invented for automobiles, but I can’t help but feel it was advanced by the auto industry. Many big American companies had a refrigeration branch. Nash -> Kelvinator, International -> International, GM -> Frigidaire…..Surely this qualifies as the coolest!