Thursday Trivia

Thirsday Trivia

Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars! 

This week’s question: What car company was the first to offer Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) in a production car?

If you think you know the answer, jet over the jump and see if you’re right.

air-intakeThere once was this comedic tee-shirt that had a picture of a big Weiland on it and read ‘Injection is Nice, but I’d Rather be Blown.‘ That’s an interesting sentiment, but thanks to the marvels of modern science, today you can be both. Or at least your engine can. As a matter of fact today, while supercharging is not quite that ubiquitous in the automotive market, fuel injection certainly is. Here in the U.S. we haven’t had a consumer-grade car sold without injection for neigh-on 24 years.

The last import with a carb was the 1990 Subaru Justy, while the final domestic was the Olds Cruiser/Buick Estate from the same year. In 1995 Isuzu sealed the tomb on the carburetor here by switching the P’up truck to FI. By then electronic engine controls had become reliable and cheap enough that electronic fuel injection could be offered on even the lowliest of vehicles.

Those were the last cars to give up carbs for EFI, but which was the first?


While many other versions of mechanical injection systems (including the Hilborn version which was frequently used on modified V8 engines for drag and oval racing) continued to be used through the 1960’s, the first EFI system, known as the Electrojector, came into being in 1957, developed by the Bendix Corporation, and offered by American Motors in a special version of their Rambler Rebel muscle car. The engine was a 327 CID (5.4 liters) and the Electrojector option version provided 288 hp. Problems with suppliers delayed production of these cars to the point where the only fuel-injected Rebels weren’t available until mid-1957, and then only pre-production cars were so-equipped. Nevertheless, the Rambler’s EFI system was significantly more advanced than the mechanical systems offered by other companies, though it did have start-up difficulties in cold weather.

A year later, in 1958, the first electronic version of fuel injection- a multi-point system with dual 2-bbl throttles, became available as an option on Chrysler products using both Hemi and wedge engines. This technology was jointly developed by Chrysler and Bendix The first factory electronicfuel injection, a true multi-point system, with dual 2-bbl. throttles, was optional on 1958 Chrysler products, both Hemi and wedge engines. It was jointly engineered by Chrysler and Bendix.

 Sadly, the early EFI’s were not very reliable, failing due to under-hood temperatures and eventually most being retrofitted with 4bbl carbs. Bendix sold their patents to Bosch who developed the system further as the D-Jetronic which debuted a decade later on the 1967 Volkswagen 1600TL.

Image source: Allpar 

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