Interesting Facts

z28manz28man Member Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Volkswagen
Post any interesting facts you know about classic cars. Something like - the flat-6 Corvair engine rotates "backwards" so many people when they put it in a Beetle or a dune buggy project ended up with 4 reverse gears and one forward gear


  • z28manz28man Member Posts: 3
    Many people know that the Austin-Healey Sprite MkII and MG Midget MkI are the same badged engineered car based off the MkI Sprite. But less people know that Healey re-styled the front part and MG re-styled the rear

    The North American MG Midget had three window wipers because of legislation on swept area
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    The MGC was supposed to have the Healey name on it, but Donald Healey pulled out as he didn't like the MGC at all.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHMember Posts: 22,839
    Early VWs(Beetles) had a little arm that flipped out of the B pillar when the turn signal was activated. It had a small bulb in it that blinked. They had no gas gauges but if you ran out. you could pull a lever under the dash and access a "reserve" supply of about 1/2 gallon.

    --FIAT and Ferrari Dinos had the same V6 engine designed by Ferrari but made by FIAT.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I think the 2.0 Liter V6 was Ferrari-built(1966-68) because Ferrari collaborated with Fiat in order to homologate the engine for Formula 2. But the later 2.4 Liter engine in the 1969 Fiat Dino was a cast iron block from the Fiat 130, which is when Fiat took over Ferrari more or less.
  • vwracervwracer Member Posts: 90
    coffee and motor oil are the two most tested fluids on earth involving scientific researce
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Eating through his grief after being robbed of the Presidency I suspect. Well, he can trim down for the next election.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Sorry, Shifty, I thought better of that post and deleted it. I figured I'd either a) get flamed by a Democrat or b) be warned by the host to stay on topic. But since b) apparently won't happen, I'll repost it:

    Speaking of useless but interesting car facts, remember when Clinton's dog Buddy was run over? Turns out Al Gore can't account for his whereabouts at the time of the event.

    Of course, Al's gotten so big he wouldn't necessarily need a car to run over something.

    Hey I voted for the guy.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    Actually those old VW's had a lever on the floor that you moved with your foot for the reserve tank.

    And...guess what happened if you forgot to move it back when you filled your tank?

    Yep! No reserve and you coasted to a stop!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I always thought that little handle was a great idea. I wonder why they don't have that on modern cars? I've love to put in one of those garden hose gate valves in the floor of my Mercedes Diesel.

    Interesting fact: Diesels need an automatic fuel shutoff device of some sort to stop the engine, since there is no ignition system to turn off. Most are shut off by engine vacuum (or lack thereof).

    Also, diesel engines can run backwards, and do accidentally, occasionally. The exhaust comes out the air filter and the tail pipe takes in fresh air.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    I have days like that too.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHMember Posts: 22,839
    Inventor of the Bricklin Safety Sports Car of the '70s was the original importer of Subarus. He brought in a little skate called the Subaru 360in the early'70s. That's 360 has in 360cc or 0.3
    liters, smaller than most motorcycle engines.
    Then he went on to become the importer of the Yugo. Last I heard he was working on electric bicycles. Would you buy a used car (or a new bike) from this man?

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Who was that man who became a woman, or always was a woman, or was it the other way around, who also came out with a sports car during the '70s?
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    Micheal Jackson?
  • ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    Marketed by Liz Carmichael, who looked like a big ol' drag queen. IIRC, the 'company' built one or two prototypes, then Liz basically bailed with all the investors money.
  • badgerpaulbadgerpaul Member Posts: 219
    That's because he/she was a big old drag queen.
  • avalanche325avalanche325 Member Posts: 116
    The Morris Oxford (I think that's the one) has the same type of turn signal that comes out of the B-pillar. I saw several when I was living in New Zealand.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHMember Posts: 22,839
    Were brought out by the old Rootes Group when someone inspired by the new Cobra asked Shelby to help them shoehorn a Fairlane 260 V8 into their previously lackluster Sunbeam Alpine sports car. It was sold for several years as the Sunbeam Tiger with "powered by Ford" badges.
    It was quite fast compared to MG-Bs Triumphs and Healey's of the era.
    Then Chrysler Corp. bought the Rootes group and found itself selling a sports car built around a Ford motor.
    This went on for a year or so before the stocks were sold off. Evidentally no current Chrysler motor could be made to fit and the Tiger was killed. It was the last of a line of Sunbeam sports cars going back to the 30s. Chrysler ended up walking away from Rootes and sold it to PSA(Puegeot-Citroen)in the 70s.
    Among the names associated with Rootes were Hillman, Talbot and Sunbeam.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,073
    ...that'd make sense, because the smallest Mopar V-8 back then was the LA block, which started as the 273, then later sprang 318, 340, and 360 variants. Even though it was a smallblock, it still dwarfed the Ford smallblock, and the Chevy smallblock too, in sheer bulk. Kind of a shame though...I'm sure one of those things would've been really hairy with a 340 6-pack!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    It was hairy enough with the Ford. The Tiger is a car you steer with the gas pedal.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    No two countries with McDonald's franchises have ever gone to war.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Not if draft boards test for cholesterol.
  • mminerbimminerbi Member Posts: 88
    ...When was the last two democracies went to war?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I don't know any real democracries. What we seem to have is representative democracies (a practical necessity) , in theory, that deteriorate quickly into systems with dull, robotic, weak figurehead leaders who have no great democratic powers or vision, but are actually ruled by oligarchy (power of the few). Sort of an "unelected council of elders". Real democracy is VERY risky.

    But if you mean "non-totalitarian states" warring, it's been a while. Probably Greece and Turkey in the 60s/70s. India and Pakistan may be next. I dunno for sure. Interesting question. Very hazy, though, if you put the microscope to it. I think the McDonald's analogy is just as valid.
  • avalanche325avalanche325 Member Posts: 116
    "....and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands."
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I guess the last real "horizontal democracy" was a long time ago (i.e., people go directly to rulers) when societies were smaller). Then we went to "vertical democracies" where you petition someone higher up the ladder who petitions someone higher up the ladder, etc.

    "Republic" does sound more like pre-Caesar Rome, doesn't it? Madison wanted this type of government, rule by the special few, and Jefferson wanted the people to be sovereign in all matters I think.

    McDonalds' of course, answers to McDonald's. We don't get to vote on their fat content except I guess by boycott.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHMember Posts: 22,839
    An interesting car fact I came across by way of CAR Magazine (from Britain):

    America's #1 selling car, the Toyota Camry is a poor seller in Europe, not even in the top 20.
    Camry's have very poor resale in Europe. CAR says they have "savage depreciation."

    Conversely Europe's favorite car the VW GOLF is a poor seller in the USA and is even outsold here by it's sibling JETTA. In Europe the BORA (identical to the JETTA)is far out sold by other VW models.

    Obviously there is a huge gap in tastes between American consumers and their European counterparts
    which tells a lot about why FIAT, Peugeot, Renault
    etc were driven from the shores.

    It goes without saying that there are virtually no Ford F Series or an other pickups on the streets of Europe.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    For good reason. Too big and too gas hungry.

    In Europe, diesel fuel is considerably cheaper than regular gas. In the USA diesel fuel prices are pegged to premium fuel prices. Go figure.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHMember Posts: 22,839
    I believe the excessive number of heavy trucks on American roads enables oil cos to price diesel as high as gas. In Europe they move heavy freight by rail, not trucks.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHMember Posts: 22,839
    When the first wave of "compact" GM cars hit the streets in the early 60s, GM spiced the lineup with Turbocharged versions of thwe Olds F-85 and the Corvair Monza. I believe these were the only turbo motors available in the US market at the time, import or domestic. They didn't stay on the market for long. Once the Buick-Olds aluminum
    block V-8 became available consumers did not see the advantages of the turbo 4 and they were quietly dropped.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • carnut4carnut4 Member Posts: 574
    As I remember, the only other turbo at the time [American, anyway] besides the aluminum Olds V8 was the Corvair turbo 6. Is this what you meant, or was there some turbo 4 I never heard of?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Nobody saw the advantages of the turbo motor in either the F-85 or the Corvair because the gains were modest and the technology new, not very reliable, and complex by 1960s standards.

    The F85 (turbos used only in '62-63) first drew the air/fuel mixture through the carburator before it reached the turbo. The turbo sat between the V over the intake manifold. An anti-detonation fluid was injected downstream of the carb but upstream of the turbo. It was a mixture of methyl alcohol and water, consumed at a rate of about 8K per gallon. Maximum boost was only 6 psi.

    The Corvair system, again, was one that drew air/fuel through the carburator, and was equally inefficient as the F-85 for this and other reasons. Unlike the F-85, the Corvair system was pretty rough and ready, not refined at all. While the car was faster than a normal Corvair, it still could only pump out 0-60 in around ten seconds and a top speed of 100 mph. (the F-85 was 8.5 seconds and 115 mph). One problem with the failure of the Corvair turbo, aside from the fact that the car itself was ready to be dumped by GM anyway, was that the turbo option cost 25% of the entire cost of the car!

    I'm not aware of any 4 cylinder turbo installations at this time. The next major turbo debut was Saab in 1977, and they got 117 mph and 0-60 of 9.1 seconds but with only 121 cubic inches.

    So for the sake of history one should credit GM with the first turbo installation in a producton car, and Saab with the first successful turbo installation in a mass-produced car for general consumption. GM invented, Saab perfected (not exactly true, but you get the idea. The Saab system was better developed because they had another 15 years to twiddle with turbos).
  • bburlandbburland Member Posts: 5
    in the mid to late '60s Buick/Olds 215 Aluminum V8. Fortunately for the performance-minded, the Brits bought out the rights to it and installed it in all sorts of hi-po and not so hi-po cars....the MGB V8, the Morgan +8, the Triumph Stag, and a variety of Rovers all used it, to great success. These were some wild rides, and to the best of my knowledge, Morgan is still using some derivation of it in their latest roadster.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Actually, the Buick/Rover engine is not all that great an engine, IMO. It's gas hungry and not very powerful, but with lots of mods and development it has become pretty durable, and I think that's what gave it longevity. By British standards, it was cheap, compact power. But if you want to go fast, you don't want to use that engine particularly. It's a bit of a cow, especially in anything with a bit of weight to it. Given the type of cars GM was building then, I'm not surprised they dumped it.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHMember Posts: 22,839
    The turbo motor in the Corvair Monza was a flat six like all motors available in the "poor man's Porsche".
    BTW I friend of mine owned a turbo 'Vair and wasn't shy about taking on big Healey's with it.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    They should be fairly evenly matched on the straights, that's true, but of course the Big Healeys would outrun it easily top end (thanks to overdrive) and outcorner it at any speed, as the early Corvair was an evil-handling car at best.
  • kinleykinley Member Posts: 854
    above the license plate in the shape of pointing right and left. The left side had chrome letters, 'BUICK', the right side, 'EIGHT' and wasn't that a turn signal light? Anyone remember?
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHMember Posts: 22,839
    in 1959. It didn't become common on US made vehicles for a decade when it became required by law in '69.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    One more case of dragging the Big Three kicking and screaming to do the right thing.

    Henry Ford's Model A was one of, and perhaps the first, mass production car to put safety glass in the windshield.
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