Hooniverse Asks- What's The Most Obscure Automotive Fact You're Proud You Know?

We’ve been doing this Car Blog thing for a while now, and one thing that continues to impress us is the amazing automotive knowledge our regular commenters bring to the table on a daily basis. Whether it’s the big-end float on a ’62 Studebaker 289 V8, or the number of times Peugeot has won WRC, you folks know your stuff. And we know that deep down inside, y’all got some really arcane knowledge bobbing around in your big bad brains, it’s now time to let it out and give it some exercise.

I bet you even know what this is!

Now, you may be an expert on Bakelite radio knobs, or maybe you know the age of every Indy winner in history. Whatever your most obscure automotive factoid is, we want to hear it. Can you recite the firing order of every Ferrari road engine ever built? How about the name of Henry Ford’s dogs?
While you would think that your incredible ability to list every Chevrolet model would make you the center of almost any party, typically once you make it known you’re relegated back to the couch with Jugdish, Sidney and Clayton. But here we actually want to hear about those models, and anything else that’s weird and wonderful, and potentially could make you a social outcast if anybody else knew you took pride in knowing it.
So let it fly, tell us your most obscure automotive fact. And after that it’s back to Jugdish, Sidney and Clayton, I’m sure you’ll have a lot to talk about.
Image sources: [stargp.com, waxner.com]

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141 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What's The Most Obscure Automotive Fact You're Proud You Know?”

  1. P161911 Avatar

    The late 1980s-mid 1990s F-150 and the T-Bird S/C use the same Mazda built 5-speed transmission.
    1977 is the first year that a C3 Corvette doesn't require a special Corvette only radio.
    You could actually get a G-body Cutlass or Monte Carlo with a 4-speed.
    In 1967 an Imperial was the most expensive new American car.

    1. buzzboy7 Avatar

      4 speed G-Body!!!! Drool….

      1. P161911 Avatar

        Oddly enough the previous generation Cutlass was available with a 5-speed.

        1. Maymar Avatar

          Not only was it a 5-speed, it had dogleg shift pattern.

        2. Tomsk Avatar

          It was carried over to the '78-on generation, if only for a couple years and with one or two engines.

          1. P161911 Avatar

            From the two that I have seen for sale on the internet, the 1975 Cutlass had a 5-speed. The 1980 Cutlass had a 4-speed. Both were factory.

          2. Tomsk Avatar

            I remember seeing a '78 or '79 442 (the fastback body) on eBay a couple years ago and the seller mentioned the 5-speed prominently.
            In fact, here's a page from the 1979 brochure: http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/main.php?g2_itemId

          3. P161911 Avatar

            The brochure actually clears it up, you had a choice of 4 or 5 speed manual.
            Even stranger, the 1978 Monte Carlo offered a choice of 4 speed or 3speed manual: http://storm.oldcarmanualproject.com/chevrolet/mo

    2. Feds_II Avatar

      The Explorer uses the same mazda 5-speed.

    3. tonyola Avatar

      In the early 80s, I dated a girl who had a bright red 1970 Monte Carlo with a Hurst 4-speed. Great fun.

    4. legion Avatar

      The Imp did it again in 81, stickered nearly 20 grand with the sunroof.

  2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Being the bike-centric guy I am, I have to give you a motorcycle fact:
    The connecting rod, seals and bearings from a 1962-68 Kawasaki C2 trail bike can be used to rebuild the obsolete and supposedly "unrebuildable" crank in the S2 350 triple.
    It took me about two days of measuring parts with a set of calipers to discover that, back when I worked at a Kawasaki dealership that thankfully had a lot of dusty old parts in stock. When I told our Kawasaki district rep (who also happened to own an S2), he said even the guys at Kawasaki USA didn't know that one.

    1. ptschett Avatar

      Meant to +1 you and -1'ed you instead. I'm going to blame Hooni-nibbles.

  3. dukeisduke Avatar

    I know lots of arcane car stuff, but any that I'm proud of? Hmmm… I don't know.

  4. SSurfer321 Avatar

    There was no Mustang Cobra built in 2000 due to motor recalls in 1999.
    There was no Corvette built in 1983.
    You can usually tell which side of the vehicle the fuel door is on by the picture of the fuel pump in the dash. The side of the pump hose typically indicates the side of the car the fuel door is on.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Actually there's no 1983 model Corvettes, because Chevrolet skipped from the 1982 C3 to the 1984 model C4. Chevrolet officials later stated they regretted not building '83 models.

    2. Feds_II Avatar

      There were 6 '83 Corvettes built. They were late on the switch over, and had teething issues, so the decision was made to scrap the model year, and just build '84's. The 6 cars were supposed to be crushed, but one survives, and is in the corvette museum at Bowling Green.
      EDIT: Wikipedia wins… There were apparently 44 '83 corvettes built, still only 1 survives though.

  5. engineerd Avatar

    Henry Ford had two other car companies fail before Ford Motor Company. FoMoCo was founded as a partnership between Henry and the Dodge Brothers.
    Michele Mouton quit racing when Group B ended because other forms of racing were too tame.
    The human head weighs 8 pounds.
    The BMW roundel is not meant to signify a spinning propeller against a blue sky (BMW produced airplane engines in its early days), but is instead blue and white to signify the colors of the Free State of Bavaria. It was registered in 1917 and wasn't connected to aircraft propellers until 1929.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      I saw a BMW official stating that on a documentary a couple of years ago that Speed Channel ran on the design and development of the E63/E64 6-Series (that the roundel came from the Bavarian flag). Most people still think it's about a propeller.

    2. P161911 Avatar

      Cadillac was formed from the Henry Ford Company.

      1. engineerd Avatar

        Ooh…you're right. Ford was forced out of that company by the board. That slipped my mind when I wrote that, but now that you bring that up I remember.

    3. discontinuuity Avatar

      The Dodge Brothers also made shit-tons of money off the Ford stock that he sold them to get his company off the ground. It's been called the best investment in history.
      I think this deal has something to do with Ford's anti-semetism (the Dodge brothers were Jewish).

  6. Alff Avatar

    A 1974 Ford Courier with a holed piston can still generate sufficient power to tow an easy chair and occupant at the end of a water ski rope at up to 50 miles per hour on residential streets.

    1. Feds_II Avatar

      An '84 Mazda B2000 (which is what a Ford Courier is), will run happily at -25°C with no coolant at all.

    2. EscortsForever Avatar

      you know, this doesn't actually surprise me knowing my pop's 81 (or maybe 82) courier that is now sitting out in the grove. Before he stopped driving it, if you parked it on a hill (and this is southern minnesota, so by hill I mean gentle slope) and put it in gear, the thing would still start rolling down the "hill". But it still ran and drove….

  7. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    The wheelbase on a Ford Aerostar is 118.9 inches.

    1. EscortsForever Avatar

      OOOO, you reminded me of one now
      A '93 aerostar, pulling a medium sized pop-up camper through the black hills on I-90, on a 90+ degree day, will overheat, and if you continue to push forward to the mount rushmore area, will do permanent damage to the engine, that will result in the engine letting go about two weeks later back home…

  8. dukeisduke Avatar

    Actually, I once won a Car Talk t-shirt (it's still hanging in my closet, 20 years later), because I knew what an Rzeppa joint was (it's a CV joint).

  9. Maymar Avatar

    The very first production Mustang was accidentally sold to an airline pilot from Newfoundland. Ford traded him for the millionth Mustang two years later, and the first car now sits in the Henry Ford Museum.
    Newmarket, Ontario has streets named after the Hyundai Pony and Stellar, because of a parts manufacturing plant that existed in the 80s and 90s.
    It may not be obscure around here, but Chrysler's LH cars owe quite a bit of their engineering to Renault (because of the Eagle Premier).

  10. buzzboy7 Avatar

    A swing axel VW transmission can be flipped over to be used in a mid-engine chassis and an IRS transmission cannot. This is due to the gear oil fill.
    While the Falcon and Comet shared platforms in the early years the Comet used the wheelbase of the Falcon wagon, not the sedan.
    Early Mercury Comet keys are merely modified Edsel keys with the engraving changed to remove the center line from the "E".
    Toyota donated 20mil to the Audubon Society and I still haven't forgiven them for it.

    1. dr zero Avatar

      Then you should contact Dr No (this will only make any sense to someone who has read the Fleming novel, as the Audubon society has nothing to do with the film).

  11. kentmx25 Avatar

    In 2002 Chevy allowed you to get the 2500 Avalance with a 8.1L V8. Biggest gas engine ever put into a production vehicle and that was the only year you could get the engine like that.

    1. FreeMan Avatar

      Maybe biggest gas engine in a GM product, but Dodge pumped out a few 8.4s in the Viper.
      Also, the 1913 'Blitzen' Benz had a 27 litre engine. Mercedes didn't make many.
      /I knew about the Viper motor, Google filled in the details on the Benz

      1. kentmx25 Avatar

        sorry forgot to put gm production vehicle

        1. Maymar Avatar

          Actually, Cadillac had a 500 c.i V8 in the 70s, the 8100 is only 496 c.i.
          Still, I've driven a Suburban with the 8100, and it's pretty epic. And when I worked for a Chev dealer, we had one rather attractive customer who drove an Avalanche with that engine (if I'm not mistaken, the only one I've seen).

          1. ptschett Avatar

            I won't claim that this is the biggest GM production gas engine, but it's the biggest that immediately comes to mind:
            GMC Twin Six (702 cubic inches, 60-degree V-12)

          2. tonyola Avatar

            The 1911 Oldsmobile Limited had a six-cylinder engine displacing 707 cubic inches.

          3. DeadinSideInc Avatar

            Oldsmobile became part of GM in 1908, ergo your answer is quite correct!

  12. marque911 Avatar

    1. Top Gear is unwatchable pap hosted by three tools. And not the kind that you find in a toolbox. 2. I have to disagree with SSurfer321 above. The fuel door location being indicated by the fuel gauge is an urban myth, and easily disproveable. My 2010 Toyota Blandmobile has the fuel hose on the right side of the diagram, but the fuel door is on the left of the car.

    1. engineerd Avatar

      Number 1 is opinion and not "obscure fact".

      1. marque911 Avatar

        Given the number of people who watch Top Gear, the fact that it’s rubbish is obviously obscure.

        1. engineerd Avatar

          You are, of course, assuming your *opinion* is indeed *fact*.

    2. SSurfer321 Avatar

      Please note the word "usually" in my previous statement. I too have found vehicles that debunk the statement. Typically, I use it as a rule of thumb with rentals.

      1. ZomBee Racer Avatar

        I came to back you on this. In 15 years of "road-warrior" traveling and rentals, I've only had one car where it did not hold true. It was only slightly annoying. Usually = damn near always. /rant

  13. Feds_II Avatar

    If you import a diesel Mitusbishi Pajero, you can get engine parts from your local Caterpillar dealer, as the 307 and 308 excavators use the same motor.
    A 16v head from a DSM will bolt on to the 2.4l in a D50/mighty max, but you'll need a special timing belt, which I believe came in a 1 or 2 year only version of the diamante. Worth the hassle though.
    Ferrari, Jeep, Jaguar, and Rolls/Bentley all used versions of the TH400 transmission.

    1. Feds_II Avatar

      The S-10 EV had a half-bed toneau cover, which covered the back half of the bed only. this was determined to be the most aerodynamically efficient configuration via testing performed at Bonneville.
      And there is actually some proof in this PDF:

    2. skitter Avatar

      Also, Ferrari purchases their Corvette-style magneto-rheological shock control system from Delphi.

  14. P161911 Avatar

    Jaguar had at least one NASCAR win back in the 1950s.

  15. superbadd75 Avatar

    Maybe not so obscure, but whatever. The longest production car for sale in America in 1955 was the same model as the longest production car available for sale in America in 1996; the Cadillac Fleetwood sedan.

  16. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    Driving a Wallis Tractor with steel wheels on concrete is a hell of a ride.

  17. Alff Avatar

    A large hose clamp wrapped around the outer diameter will facilitate the removal or installation of a flexible coupling. I refer to the part that is sometimes incorrectly called a "guibo". That term derives from the name of a particular manufacturer, "Giunti Boschi" (giunti meaning joints), and pronounced "JOO-bo" in Italian.

    1. Slow Joe Crow Avatar
      Slow Joe Crow

      this sounds like the steel bands around new Rotoflex couplers, which are cut off after installation.

      1. Alff Avatar

        Same idea. Unfortunately, those bands are single use.

  18. K5ING Avatar

    My most obscure automotive fact:
    Teddy Roosevelt is usually listed as being the first sitting President to ride in an automobile. HOWEVER, I remember reading an encylopedia-type book when I was a kid (back in the early 60's) that after President McKinley was shot, he was taken to the hospital in a 1901 Columbia Electric ambulance. This makes him the first sitting (laying?) President to ride in an automobile.

    1. engineerd Avatar

      I find this most interesting, and thank you for playing today. Now I can impress* my friends with another piece of trivia!
      *Impress is a strong word here. Most often they just roll their eyes and tell me to shut up. Until, of course, they are playing pub trivia then they call me.

  19. Lotte Avatar

    Stratopolonez. Wha? … Stratopolonez. A Polish Group B entry that based the FSO Polonez body atop the guts of a frikin' Lancia Stratos!!! Widebody, Stratos wheels, 350 hp mid engine, the works. Known for excessive oversteer even with wider width rear tires, and a Wikipedia entry only in Polish. I'll never forget its name again.

    1. engineerd Avatar

      That's insane. I love it!

  20. lilwillie Avatar

    Edsel. Edsel. Edsel. The obscure numbers of how many of certain models produced. Unique things about the car that where new innovations at the time. I really went off the deep end when we dragged it out of the Barn after it's long slumber.

  21. B72 Avatar

    OK, I give up. What is that picture? It almost looks like a Citation front end on an AMX, but I'm guessing it's Italian.
    A classic Mini has more headroom than a Saab 9000. Or an Audi 4000.
    You can tell when your motor mounts are getting loose on a 70's Triumph Bonneville 750, because your vision gets blurry at about 4000 RPM.

    1. Alff Avatar

      I think that's a "Gremlissimo", an ill-advised cooperative effort between AMC and Fiat in the early '70s.

      1. B72 Avatar

        Otherwise known as the Fiat 1200, like it says in the mouseover…
        Except that it's really a SEAT. Thanks Tonyola!

  22. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    Here's one that may make FTF proud….
    The seat belt on '84 Tempo models was mounted on the roof, and through a clip on the pillar, while 85 models were mounted solely on the pillar.
    (the slack from the extra routing allowed excessive movement forward during a collision, so the change improved crash worthiness)

    1. DeadinSideInc Avatar

      I would call knowing that a 1985 Tempo has any "crash worthiness" an obscure fact.

  23. sam Avatar

    renault lecar v has a foot pump for the window spayer

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      And the windshield washer fluid reservoir on forward control Chevy vans from the '60s was a plastic bag (like an I.V. bag) that hung on a hook under the dash.

    2. CptSevere Avatar

      My '56 Cadillac had a pedal pump washer, too. The windshield washer reservoir in my '66 F100 is a plastic bag, but under the hood, on the fender.

    3. Stumack Avatar

      So did my old man's '74 Duster.

  24. Slow Joe Crow Avatar
    Slow Joe Crow

    A couple of obscurities; early TVRs used an independent rear suspension made out of a Volkswagen Beetle front axle turned backwards. The Audi 4000 Quattro and Ur-Quattro used front uprights in the rear so you could adjust rear toe-in by means of a short dummy tie rod attached to the frame rail.

  25. skitter Avatar

    A Quaife and a Torsen are the same basic helical differential.
    A Detroit Locker allows the outside wheel to go through a turn faster than the inside wheel with two one-way clutches similar to ratchet teeth.
    The boiler on a Stanley Steamer was rated to 4000psi. One was once tested to failure at 9000psi, breaking every window on one side of the factory despite being buried underground as a precaution.
    Citroen briefly produced a car with both their famous hydropneumatic suspension and a rotary engine.
    The Corvette ZR-1 was rated at 375hp for its first two years of production before being uprated to 405hp, while the C5 Z06 was rated at 385hp for its first year of production before being uprated to 405hp.
    The Cadillac CTS-V went from the LS6 to LS2 motor during its first generation, while the Pontiac GTO went from the LS1 to the LS2 during the same time period.
    I yield the rest of my time to general discussion.

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      Oh, and as most of us probably know, "Torsen" is short for "torque-sensing"; it's not the name of some crazy Swede or anything.
      I'd never heard the story about the Stanley Steamer's boiler before. Crazy.

    2. discontinuuity Avatar

      The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado (of "The Shining" fame) was founded by the brother of the Stanley steam car company. The hotel has a very nice early steam car on display in the lobby.

  26. tenbeers Avatar

    The Isuzu I-Mark and Impulse were pretty much reskinned Chevettes.

    1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

      That doesn't seem right, as the I-Mark was FWD, and was essentially the Chevy Spectrum….
      UPDATE: I wikipedia'd it, and believe you are referring to a generation I-Mark prior to what I thought of.

  27. tenbeers Avatar

    The exhaust streams from a Top Fuel dragster at WOT create 800-1000 pounds of downward force.

    1. vwminispeedster Avatar

      i just learned yesterday that NHRA funny cars and top fuel dragsters have no radiator. I've seen the damn things in person and never put 2 and 2 together that they don't run water.

      1. tenbeers Avatar

        Yeah, the engine blocks are solid for maximum strength, and the nitromethane itself acts as the coolant when it vaporizes. Pretty interesting stuff.

  28. AlexG55 Avatar

    The MGB was the first car with crumple zones. Also, the V8 version was lighter than the 4-cylinder version.

  29. discontinuuity Avatar

    The Cadillac Northstar V8 will bolt up to transmission of certain models of the Isuzu Trooper with a few modifications, but it will tear apart the gears if you floor it.
    The Northstar will also bolt up to Pontiac G6 manual transaxles.
    The 4A-GE Silvertop and Blacktop 20 valve motors will swap in easily to a first-generation Toyota MR-2, raising the horsepower from about 110 to about 160. The supercharged 4A-GZE was also a rare option for the MR-2, producing about 140 hp. The cylinder heads for any of these engines are interchangeable, and can also be put on a 7A block, bumping the displacement up to 1.8 liters.
    Swapping the crank from a 4.2 L AMC straight-six into the later Jeep 4.0 L engine will give a displacement of 4.6 L.

    1. discontinuuity Avatar

      I should also add that the aforementioned AMC straight six was built in some form or another from about 1964 until 2006.

    2. mgrinshpon Avatar

      That Northstar V8/G6 transaxle thing is giving me nasty thoughts about my 55 Chevy. Utter genius.

      1. discontinuuity Avatar

        It's a FWD transaxle, but I suppose you could make a mid-engined 55 Chevy. I learned about this from some guys swapping the Northstar into Fieros and second-gen. Toyota MR-2s.
        I think it's possible to bolt a Northstar up to a Warner T5 manual for a regular RWD car, but you might need a custom bellhousing.

  30. AteUpWithMotor Avatar

    1956 Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs were available with either the older Dual-Range Hydra-Matic or the new dual-coupling (Jetaway/Strato-Flight) transmission. The easiest way to tell the difference is to look at the quadrant — the newer transmission has a Park position, the earlier does not.

  31. Matt Avatar

    The Saturn L-Series and the Saab 9-5 are built on the same platform, and share many parts.
    Honda motors for many years rotated counter-clockwise.
    Lamborghini got it's start building tractors and motorcycles for the Italian military under Mussolini during WWII.
    New Ferraris fresh off of the assembly line are "driven" (read: beat like a red-headed step child, engine break-in be damned) to the distribution center in Maranello to weed out weak motors and/or assembly deficiencies.
    Manual locking hubs allow a four-wheeler to drive in 3WD when needed.
    USDM '88-'91 Honda CR-X's got a parcel shelf and stowage behind the front seats. JDM cars got +2 seats, making the car one of the smallest 4-seat non Kei-class cars ever produced.

    1. AlexG55 Avatar

      I remember reading something ludicrous about the way Rolls-Royces used to be tested- the engines were run at full throttle for 48 hours on cooking gas, while the steering was tested by running the car into a kerb repeatedly and checking that it stayed aligned. After all this, plus an exacting inspection of paintwork and interior, the car would be driven at high speed with a tester inside- he had to be able to hear the dashboard clock ticking.
      Occasionally, they'd run an engine at full throttle until something went wrong, then find the part that failed and strengthen it for the next production run.

    2. tonyola Avatar

      That also applies to the '84-'87 CRXs – the North American models were strictly 2-seaters, while elsewhere they were 2+2s. And at 144 inches, there were quite a few smaller 2+2 and four-seaters like the original Mini, Fiat 500 and 600, Renault 5, Fiat 126, and the first-generation Civic.

  32. Tomsk Avatar

    -Buick offered a turbocharged, carbureted 231 V6 in the B-body LeSabre coupe from 1978-'80.
    -The first-gen Isuzu Impulse shares its platform with the Chevy Chevette.
    -The Escort Cosworth was basically a rebodied Sierra Sapphire.
    -The 1958 Oldsmobiles were available with a self-contained transistor radio that you could remove from the dash and carry with you.
    -The Repco V8 used by the Brabham F1 team in the '60s was based on the Buick/Olds aluminum 215 V8.
    -The Allante was not the first Cadillac built by Pinninfarina; that honor belongs to the 1959-'60 Eldorado Brougham.
    -The Audi V8 Quattro's engine was based on VW's 1.8L 16V four.
    -Jim "Herk" Hurtubise was the last driver to qualify a front-engine car for the Indy 500 in 1968 (He would try again every year from 1975 to '81!).
    -Nissan sold a forward-control minivan called *drumroll please* the Van in America from 1987 to '90, but recalled every single one (offering to buy them back) and destroyed each one that was turned in. Why? The U.S. model used a larger engine than the rest of the world, and it tended to overheat in the now-cramped engine compartment, causing scores of fires.
    -When developing the MN12 T-bird and Cougar, Ford benchmarked the E24 BMW 6 Series.

  33. engineerd Avatar

    A 2008 Mustang GT weighs ~3600 lb. A 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 weighs 4200 lb. A 2010 Camaro weighs 3800 lb.

  34. PowerTryp Avatar

    The Asuna brand was one of the shortest lived nameplates ever lasting only a year and being sold only in Canada.

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      Most concerning, it was spelled "Asüna" with an umlaut – an umlaut! Why?! – and preceded by yet another short-lived nameplate, Passport, which sold basically the same Geos and Daewoo LeMans, but inexplicably had lasted twice as long.

    2. Alff Avatar

      Appropriately named, though. As in "Gone Asunas they arrived."

      1. Stumack Avatar

        Asuna walk. Regarding "Passport", while the dealerships carried this name, the cars were never badged as such. The dealers carried a strange mix of the Daewoo LeMans and Isuzus, and some also handled Saab. Many converted to Saturn dealerships once the brand was brought to Canada.

        1. DeadinSideInc Avatar

          The dealers were a pre-cursor to the Saab-Isuzu dealer, later Saturn-Saab-Isuzu.

    3. DeadinSideInc Avatar

      The Daewoo sold as the 'LeMans' was an Asuna and then a standalone brand for 2 years.

  35. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    A Monza 2+2 with the roof removed will float for an alarmingly long time before giving up and accepting its fate in Davy Jones' locker.
    The headlights of a slowly-sinking Monza will stay on for an even more alarmingly long time and stare accusingly from the depths.

    1. DeadinSideInc Avatar

      Ergo, why people use Lincolns and Caddys when doing that. They sink better and the trunks hold more.

      1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

        Erm, allegedly?

  36. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    The dual carb open element air filter from a 1600 Datsun Roadster will in fact fit on a 67 Datsun SSS.
    Hooker Super Competition headers for 68-77 Mopar Big-block C-bodies will also fit 1967. (PN# 5113HKR) They unfortunately also have a defect which causes the #6 exhaust pipe to crack.
    Dodge made a hand-full of undocumented 1-ton 440 powered motorhome chassis with 1979 VIN #s.

    1. Mechanically Inept Avatar

      "1979 VIN #s"
      Vehicle Identification Number Numbers? Redundancy is redundant!

      1. ZomBee Racer Avatar

        Hey, I don't make the rules. I'm just here for the bacon.
        (And that's VIN "Pounds" BTW. An obscure inside joke.)

  37. Resh Avatar

    -Cosworth's GBA 1.5L V6 twin turbo F1 engine could produce up to 1000hp (666.666hp per litre making it Satan's own motor).
    -Yamaha designed V6 for the Taurus SHO was originally meant to power a mid-engined sportscar (GN34).
    -Current 4.4L V8 available in Volvo's is a relative of the old Yamaha 3.4L V8 used in the 2nd Gen SHO's (some would say 3rd!).
    -The current Shelby Mustang GT500 was actually meant to be the next SVT Cobra until management at Ford changed and dissolved most of the SVT group.
    -The FWD Mazda ("Probe") was meant to replace the aging RWD Mustang in the ealry 90's.

  38. tenbeers Avatar

    It's been said the Group B Lancia Delta S4 could accelerate from a standstill to 100km/h in under 2.5 seconds, on gravel.

  39. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    If the rear muffler of a Volvo 240 is removed and the bent L-pipe detached and clamped to the under-axle pipe that precedes the ex-muffler, the exhaust tip will be almost precisely centred, like that of a Volkswagen Lupo.
    Not so much "obscure" as "useless", actually.

    1. Lotte Avatar

      Which would also make your Volvo look eerily like an e28 BMW 5-series. Which may/may not improve resale value…"Look, it's just like a BMW 5-series from the eighties!"
      This stuff is useful, guys!

    2. Alff Avatar

      Not useless at all, if you're an ambidextrous dragon.

      1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

        You stay away from Violet, now…

  40. packratmatt Avatar

    In 1985, Mercury made 16 Capris in dark green. I had a chance to buy an RS 5.0 5sp but thought the asking price was too high. However, I did own a 1978 Pontiac Phoenix 4 door with a four-on-the-floor. It was an original cop car.

  41. tonyola Avatar

    The late, great automotive author LJK Setright once claimed that the original Lamborghini V-12 had been secretly designed by Honda.
    The late-'90s Hongqi CA7460 limousine shared its body tooling with the concurrent Lincoln Town Car.

  42. tenbeers Avatar

    The flat-12 in the Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer is not a boxer at all, as the opposing pistons share a crankpin and thus move in the same direction relative to each other. It's actually a 180 degree V-12.

  43. Balestra Avatar

    Even though Venturi is the most commonly known french supercar maker -if you don't count Alpine- in the 1990's they had Aixam-Mega, that used Mercedes engines, and their Monte Carlo was pretty good looking. Found about them in 1997 and will never forget the silver car on the pic.

  44. ptschett Avatar

    -The development of the Chrysler 4.7L V8 began at AMC as the Grand Cherokee's engine.
    -The 1963 Jeep Wagoneer had an independent front suspension 4WD option. It was a little like what you would get if you put upper links on the (swing arm) Ford Twin Traction Beam.

  45. tonyola Avatar

    The little yellowish car pictured at the top is a Seat 1200 Sport coupe. What do I win?

    1. Mechanically Inept Avatar

      The Obscure Spanish Car Badge of Honor.

  46. Mechanically Inept Avatar

    After running a few miles in the summer heat, an E30 BMW looks exactly like a Volvo 850 Turbo, especially if both cars are white.

    1. Mechanically Inept Avatar

      And by "running a few miles", I do not mean running the car, because that would make no sense, much like myself after running a few miles in the summer heat.

  47. Mechanically Inept Avatar

    "which North Americans know as the Versa"
    And which Europeans also know as the Renault Megane.

    1. Mechanically Inept Avatar

      Good to know. Thank you for that knowledge.

  48. Maymar Avatar

    GM of Canada made a handful of '82 Malibus for the Iraqi market – very basic cars, V6, 3-spd floor shift, but with air conditioning and heavy duty cooling. About half the cars made it over, and the other half were sold to Canadians as the Iraqis cancelled the rest of the order. I vaguely knew of that for a few years, but a teacher of mine (who worked for GM at the time) bought one new, and brought it up in one of his anecdotes.

    1. Maymar Avatar

      Weren't those fixed back windows an unfortunate characteristic of every 4-door G-body?

      1. tonyola Avatar

        Yes, all of the post-'77 RWD intermediates had fixed rear door windows.

        1. dukeisduke Avatar

          GM was tooled up to switch to roll-down windows, in case customers rebelled (they didn't). My mom's '78 Malibu has those fixed windows (and flip-out rear quarter windows). Idiotic.

          1. tonyola Avatar

            The Chrysler K-cars also lacked roll-down rear windows on the sedans and wagons when they were first introduced for 1981. In this case, the customers did rebel, because Chrysler began putting in roll-down windows around mid-year and made the feature standard for 1982.

    2. Stumack Avatar

      The infamous "Iraqi Taxi"! They were '81 models, not '82s though. Most all were sold to GM employees (who got first crack at them) for about $7,000 (Canadian) when the base price of a Malibu at the time was around $13,000. A co-worker had an absolutely mint one as his DD into the 2000s.

  49. Hopman Avatar

    The rear swaybar bushings for a Ford Ranger will fit any year from 1983 to 2000.
    The NAGS windshield # for a Ford Ranger is currently DW1205BBN. The older version is DW 1150BBN. Both are interchangable.
    Freightliners we orginioally built by (now defunct) Consolidated Feightways because couldn't find a truck that met their needs.

  50. CptSevere Avatar

    The 1971 Cadillac Commercial Chassis (Limo, Hearse, Ambulance) was rated at 3/4 of a ton.
    An Army Deuce and a Half will haul 2 1/2 tons in rough terrain, and 5 tons on paved roads.
    A Deuce and a Half can hit a deer at 55 MPH and suffer no damage other than a dimple on the bumper.

  51. JayP Avatar

    Counting dots on the TRIPLEX windshield will tell you what year it was manufactured.
    MG almost survived 1980 with a rebadged TR7.
    A family of 4 can fit in an X19.

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      Double amputees, if the car has hand controls.

      1. ptschett Avatar

        We did manage to get a family of four in our Mk. II Sprite. The trick was that me and my sister weren't of school age yet.

  52. tenbeers Avatar

    Getting rearended at a red light by a Subaru BRAT driven by teenage girls will total the BRAT and put a nickel-size dent in the rear bumper of a 1985 Chevy Impala.

  53. bigfuz Avatar

    The gaps between body panels on all newer toyotas are engineered to be the exact same all the way around the car at roughly 5 millimeters between panels.
    And my favorite: Iridium (used in them fancy schmancy spark plugs) is an element that is not very common to the earth. Most iridium is mine from places where meterorites have been known to drop.

  54. ChuckyShamrok Avatar

    The Triumph stag was NOT supposed to originally have the Rover V8. Triumph was offered the engine, but declined due to a standing rivalry with rover.
    The slant four from the TR7 lived on into the Saab 99
    The TR4, TR250 (TR5 in Europe) and TR6 all share the basic body. Only the Fenders, Bonnet and boot lid were changed from the TR4/250 and TR6
    Harley Davidson built a boxer style engine, like the engine on the BMW R series, during WWII for the African Campaign due to the boxer having better airflow across the cylinders.

    1. JEM Avatar

      The Triumph Stag did not use the Rover V8. It used a Triumph V8 from which the TR7 engine was derived, and which Saab purchased rights to (and realized very quickly what a dog they'd bought.)
      The head to block mating surface on the V8 was machined at an angle (similar to '50s Lincolns) to allow the heads to be removed with the engine in the car. This unfortunate characteristic was carried forward to the four-cylinder engine.
      This was one of several evil characteristics Saab got rid of as soon as their own engineers started working on the engine.

  55. Greg Newman Avatar

    Most of the time, when pulling into a petrol station, you dont have to have your fuel cap on the same side as the fuel pump to be able to fill your car.
    Sure its an obvious fact to most readers of this website, but how many other morons in the world havent worked this out?

  56. Larry Avatar

    Champion Spark plug company and AC Spark Plug Company were started by the same person. His name was Albert Champion.

  57. Texan_Idiot25 Avatar

    The CVCC design that Honda used successfully in their little Japanese cars was designed by a US man. He went to Honda after the big 3 turned down the idea. CVCC was the reason why the CRX HF could master 40-50 mpg city.

  58. mike s Avatar
    mike s

    The Audi 4000CS quattro had 'quattro' written on the back window…. using defroster wire.

  59. Emanuel Cassette Avatar

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  60. Fernando Messano Avatar

    Do you generate income out of this blog? just curious

  61. Sonya Dabbraccio Avatar

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  62. JEM Avatar

    European cars typically have their fuel fillers on the right side of the car for the same reason Japanese cars typically have their fillers on the left side – for a very long time it was not uncommon to find curbside fuel pumps and, of course, the Japanese drive on the left.
    On US cars they're all over the place because we've had big island-type gas stations for just about forever.
    This changes a bit now that most US-market 'Japanese' cars are designed specifically for the US market (and often designed in the US, and usually built here as well.)

  63. legion Avatar

    Heres a few I know
    Chrysler Was building a Dual Overhead Cam version of the 426 Hemi For Nascar, (in response to Fords SOHC 427 "Cammer") But Cancelled The project when Nascar Banned the 427 Cammer. The regular Hemi was banned not long after that.
    The first Chrysler factory Was a former Willys-Overland Factory That was put on the Auction Block in 1920.
    Walter p. Chrysler was the President Of GM before he founded chrysler.