Urban myths about cars

Author
Discussion

m4tthew

7,964 posts

137 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
Mk2 Gti 8v has more torque than the 16v rolleyes

Gad-Westy

9,009 posts

148 months

Friday 14th March 2008
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cslgirl said:
humph said:
cslgirl said:
The M3 csl has a cardboard boot floor....rolleyes
So is that true or false?
False.

"Fiberglass-reinforced plastic is used for the rear bumper supports and this material is also "sandwiched" with thermoplastics and foam to create the trunk floor and rear bulkhead. "

I had the OEM exhaust in the boot when it was changed over to the Gruppe M and that weighed a hell of a lot so it can take a lot of weight.
I suspect Jeremy Clarkson is responsible for a lot of urban myths!

carl_w

6,150 posts

193 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
They only produced half the number of Lancia Stratoses required for homologation. They showed the inspector a field full of 500 cars, then took him out for a big lunch. Afterwards they showed him the same field of 500 cars and told him it was the other half.

Sam_68

9,939 posts

180 months

Friday 14th March 2008
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ELAN+2 said:
Another Automotive Lotus myth is the "Black Badge Models" supposedly the black badge was introduced on the death of Jim Clarke..not true... reality is that Lotus had a large batch of black badges made for the JPS sponsorship tie up and they were going to be fitted to the Elans/Europas/Plus 2s when stock of the original green/yellow badges had run out, some where fitted in error(possibly as a personal tribute to the late Jim Clarke by a production employee) and Mr C did his nut, demanding the yellow and greens were used up first. I pity the poor fools who pay a premium for "black badge " models, the two badges are interchangeable and the black one is cheaper!!
Not quite correct - we're at risk of creating Urban Myths about Urban Myths, here!

The JPS sponsorship tie-up didn't happen until 1972 (or, to be strictly correct, the deal with Imperial Tobacco was long-standing, hence the previous Gold Leaf colours, but Lotus re-branded their cars as 'John Player Special Team Lotus' with black and gold livery to support Imperial Tobacco's new brand in 1972).

'Black Badge' Elans were around much earlier - back in 1968 (I know, 'cos I used to own one, though I certainly didn't pay a premium for it!). You'll also come across period photographs of the pre-JPS Lotus 62 (from 1969, in Gold Leaf colours!) and Rover V8-engined GKN 47D (from 1968), along with several of the press road test cars (including the original 1968 road test Europa and some of the early Plus 2's) carrying black nose badges.

But I've had the story direct from the man who ought to know - the late Graham Arnold; Lotus Marketing Director at the time, later chairman of Club Lotus - that the Jim Clark tribute story is indeed a myth. Arnold stated that he had arranged production of a batch of black badges, partly because he simply thought they looked classier and partly because the green in the centre of the traditional Lotus badge clashed with the red of the Gold Leaf colours that were then being promoted on Lotus race cars. He showed the black badge to Chapman, who didn't much like it and veto'd its use.

From there, you're more-or-less back with the truth according to Mr Arnold... some of the black badges found their way onto cars for reasons unknown - probably simply because stock levels of normal badges had run low, and Chapman did indeed 'do his nut'; but because he thought Arnold had disobeyed him by fitting the black badges contrary to his veto, rather than because he wanted to see the stock of green and yellow badges used up first. The fact that several press demonstrators were fitted with black badges is probably not entirely unconnected with Mr Arnold, of course, since he was responsible for the preparation of these cars! wink

From my experience, the cars so fitted originally were all registered in the period 1968-1970 (before the JPS livery), but of course the ready supply of replica 'black badges' mean that many owners have fitted them as their own personal tribute to Jim Clark to cars built outside this timeframe.


Edited by Sam_68 on Friday 14th March 09:23

ELAN+2

2,232 posts

167 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
Sam_68 said:
ELAN+2 said:
Another Automotive Lotus myth is the "Black Badge Models" supposedly the black badge was introduced on the death of Jim Clarke..not true... reality is that Lotus had a large batch of black badges made for the JPS sponsorship tie up and they were going to be fitted to the Elans/Europas/Plus 2s when stock of the original green/yellow badges had run out, some where fitted in error(possibly as a personal tribute to the late Jim Clarke by a production employee) and Mr C did his nut, demanding the yellow and greens were used up first. I pity the poor fools who pay a premium for "black badge " models, the two badges are interchangeable and the black one is cheaper!!
Not quite correct - we're at risk of creating Urban Myths about Urban Myths, here!

The JPS sponsorship tie-up didn't happen until 1972 (or, to be strictly correct, the deal with Imperial Tobacco was long-standing, hence the previous Gold Leaf colours, but Lotus re-branded their cars as 'John Player Special Team Lotus' with black and gold livery to support Imperial Tobacco's new brand in 1972).

'Black Badge' Elans were around much earlier - back in 1968 (I know, 'cos I used to own one, though I certainly didn't pay a premium for it!). You'll also come across period photographs of the pre-JPS Lotus 62 (from 1969, in Gold Leaf colours!) and Rover V8-engined GKN 47D (from 1968), along with several of the press road test cars (including the original 1968 road test Europa and some of the early Plus 2's) carrying black nose badges.

But I've had the story direct from the man who ought to know - the late Graham Arnold; Lotus Marketing Director at the time, later chairman of Club Lotus - that the Jim Clark tribute story is indeed a myth. Arnold stated that he had arranged production of a batch of black badges, partly because he simply thought they looked classier and partly because the green in the centre of the traditional Lotus badge clashed with the red of the Gold Leaf colours that were then being promoted on Lotus race cars. He showed the black badge to Chapman, who didn't much like it and veto'd its use.

From there, you're more-or-less back with the truth according to Mr Arnold... some of the black badges found their way onto cars for reasons unknown - probably simply because stock levels of normal badges had run low, and Chapman did indeed 'do his nut'; but because he thought Arnold had disobeyed him by fitting the black badges contrary to his veto, rather than because he wanted to see the stock of green and yellow badges used up first. The fact that several press demonstrators were fitted with black badges is probably not entirely unconnected with Mr Arnold, of course, since he was responsible for the preparation of these cars! wink

From my experience, the cars so fitted originally were all registered in the period 1968-1970 (before the JPS livery), but of course the ready supply of replica 'black badges' mean that many owners have fitted them as their own personal tribute to Jim Clark to cars built outside this timeframe.


Edited by Sam_68 on Friday 14th March 09:23
I stand corrected, should have typed John Player rather than JPS!! Mr Arnold was a sharp operator and could have even been the originator of some of the myths he put down in later life!

another interesting thing i read about the other day was that Autocar had a long term test plus 2 and were very pleased with it, particularly its performance, it could out drag a lighter S4 elan owned by one of the staffers!! Mr Arnold and his "super S/E " engines wink

Edited by ELAN+2 on Friday 14th March 09:33

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hugoagogo

22,230 posts

168 months

Friday 14th March 2008
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DippedHeadlights said:
What about the 80s VW one that the Golf was originally going to be called the Gulf - theory being that the cars were named after winds and they had the Jetta and the Scirocco.
Golf is German for Gulf, Golfström being gulfstream (Bora is a wind too btw)

DannyT said:
The story about the Focus that was in Autocar, was not that they hadn't named the car, rather that they hadn't revealed to the press what the name was going to be. They kept the press/public wondering whether it was going to be called Escort etc etc. I think the story in Autocar was told by Steve Cropley about how he was at dinner with the then CEO of Ford Europe who kept talking about how with the new car they need to "focus" on handling, "Focus" on quality etc etc and he only picked up on this after the reveal.
also on that theme, the story is that Ford started the 'Car Focus Group' to come up with names instead of getting an outside firm
the two names they came up with - Ka and Focus
they'll be bringing out the 'Ford Group' hatchback next year

the Nova one is a myth btw http://www.snopes.com/business/misxlate/nova.asp

mat205125

15,431 posts

148 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
m4tthew said:
Mk2 Gti 8v has more torque than the 16v rolleyes
Not peak, but I believe the useful torque was spread over a wider usable band, and could be argued to be the better car for normal driving where you don't want to thrash the tits off it and stir the gears constantly

Twincam16

27,646 posts

193 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
carl_w said:
They only produced half the number of Lancia Stratoses required for homologation. They showed the inspector a field full of 500 cars, then took him out for a big lunch. Afterwards they showed him the same field of 500 cars and told him it was the other half.
That must be rubbish, or your figures are out, as they only needed 500 for Group 4 homologation in the first place. I seriously doubt they'd leave homologation examples of the most sought-after, hi-tech rally car of its day sitting in a field.

I heard something different - they rushed the Stratos into production and tried to get around the homologation rules by saying they had at least 500 orders for cars, and the production capacity for them.

As it turned out, they only built 492. They were still 'taking orders' in 1980, two years after production supposedly ended.

Twincam16

27,646 posts

193 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
DippedHeadlights said:
What about the 80s VW one that the Golf was originally going to be called the Gulf - theory being that the cars were named after winds and they had the Jetta and the Scirocco.
Golf is German for Gulfstream.

dr matt uk

Original Poster:

12,835 posts

135 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
carl_w said:
They only produced half the number of Lancia Stratoses required for homologation. They showed the inspector a field full of 500 cars, then took him out for a big lunch. Afterwards they showed him the same field of 500 cars and told him it was the other half.
laugh
I like this one a lot. Very easy to imagine a group of suits emerging back out into daylight, squinting and ever so slightly wobbly...

stigmundfreud

22,454 posts

145 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
Hooli said:
RetroWheels said:
In the early eighties, Ford produced a batch of the then new Escort mk3 van's and fitted them with 1.6 litre XR3 engines, due to the light weight of the van body, they were quicker than the XR3 ....

That's what i was told, in fact i think i remember being shown around one scratchchin, cant remember for sure ... i could have made this up , any one else remember this 80's story ?
same engine as the other 1.6s just a larger weber bolted on top. 36/32 instead of a 32/30 or something IIRC getmecoat
now add the exhaust off the injection models too (MUCH better manifold) and they are as powerful.
36/32s on a 1.6?

crofty1984

12,854 posts

139 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
tali1 said:
Poledriver said:
The Mitsubishi Stallion should have had it's model name communicated in writing, not verbally!
BTW, are there any Starions still on the road?
Pratt Clarkson wrecked the last Starion sold in UK
http://www.starion-turbo.co.uk/ 
Went to the website, there was a couple of pictures of Madeline McCann, That's got nothing to do with cars.

carl_w

6,150 posts

193 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
Twincam16 said:
That must be rubbish, or your figures are out, as they only needed 500 for Group 4 homologation in the first place. I seriously doubt they'd leave homologation examples of the most sought-after, hi-tech rally car of its day sitting in a field.
Well I guessed the figures because I couldn't remember if it was 500 or 1000 needed for homologation. But the story was on the back page of EVO IIRC, or maybe the article a few years ago with the lime green Stratos. Pretty sure it was a Peter Dron tale.

Next urban myth: the 944 turbo was canned because it started to beat 911s in races, and Porsche couldn't have that. True or not? I can well believe it as the Cayman S is not allowed to be quicker than a 911.

Edited by carl_w on Friday 14th March 10:08

Twincam16

27,646 posts

193 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
carl_w said:
Next urban myth: the 944 turbo was canned because it started to beat 911s in races, and Porsche couldn't have that. True or not? I can well believe it as the Cayman S is not allowed to be quicker than a 911.

Edited by carl_w on Friday 14th March 10:08
I can believe the Cayman one - I mean, the chassis is clearly great so why not offer one with the Turbo engine in it?

As for the 944 Turbo - well it was quite long-lived, having replaced the 924 turbo, and the VarioCam system effectively replaced the turbocharger with trick camshafts for the 968, resulting in the same power as the turbo without the lag.

Also, there was a rare, expensive 968 Turbo S available as well:


Gad-Westy

9,009 posts

148 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
carl_w said:
Twincam16 said:
That must be rubbish, or your figures are out, as they only needed 500 for Group 4 homologation in the first place. I seriously doubt they'd leave homologation examples of the most sought-after, hi-tech rally car of its day sitting in a field.
Well I guessed the figures because I couldn't remember if it was 500 or 1000 needed for homologation. But the story was on the back page of EVO IIRC, or maybe the article a few years ago with the lime green Stratos. Pretty sure it was a Peter Dron tale.

Next urban myth: the 944 turbo was canned because it started to beat 911s in races, and Porsche couldn't have that. True or not? I can well believe it as the Cayman S is not allowed to be quicker than a 911.

Edited by carl_w on Friday 14th March 10:08
I'm not sure if that could be true. Despite the "poor man's Porsche" tag, the 944 Turbo was a good bit more expensive to buy new than a 911 at the time. Ergo, why should it be faster?

Hooli

32,278 posts

135 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
stigmundfreud said:
Hooli said:
RetroWheels said:
In the early eighties, Ford produced a batch of the then new Escort mk3 van's and fitted them with 1.6 litre XR3 engines, due to the light weight of the van body, they were quicker than the XR3 ....

That's what i was told, in fact i think i remember being shown around one scratchchin, cant remember for sure ... i could have made this up , any one else remember this 80's story ?
same engine as the other 1.6s just a larger weber bolted on top. 36/32 instead of a 32/30 or something IIRC getmecoat
now add the exhaust off the injection models too (MUCH better manifold) and they are as powerful.
36/32s on a 1.6?
well i was close
http://www.fastroadcars.co.uk/shop/index.php?act=v...

peterbean

48 posts

129 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
The best one I ever heard;-

"If you twist the hazard lights switch in a Vauxhall Nova it starts every time due to the ignition and lighting looms on the same cable..."

Kawasicki

5,584 posts

170 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
Twincam16 said:
carl_w said:
Next urban myth: the 944 turbo was canned because it started to beat 911s in races, and Porsche couldn't have that. True or not? I can well believe it as the Cayman S is not allowed to be quicker than a 911.

Edited by carl_w on Friday 14th March 10:08
I can believe the Cayman one - I mean, the chassis is clearly great so why not offer one with the Turbo engine in it?

As for the 944 Turbo - well it was quite long-lived, having replaced the 924 turbo, and the VarioCam system effectively replaced the turbocharger with trick camshafts for the 968, resulting in the same power as the turbo without the lag.

Also, there was a rare, expensive 968 Turbo S available as well:

Even though the 968 ended up with peak power close to a 944 turbo, it is quite a lot slower, as the turbo has a more filled in torque curve.

Twincam16

27,646 posts

193 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
Kawasicki said:
Twincam16 said:
carl_w said:
Next urban myth: the 944 turbo was canned because it started to beat 911s in races, and Porsche couldn't have that. True or not? I can well believe it as the Cayman S is not allowed to be quicker than a 911.

Edited by carl_w on Friday 14th March 10:08
I can believe the Cayman one - I mean, the chassis is clearly great so why not offer one with the Turbo engine in it?

As for the 944 Turbo - well it was quite long-lived, having replaced the 924 turbo, and the VarioCam system effectively replaced the turbocharger with trick camshafts for the 968, resulting in the same power as the turbo without the lag.

Also, there was a rare, expensive 968 Turbo S available as well:

Even though the 968 ended up with peak power close to a 944 turbo, it is quite a lot slower, as the turbo has a more filled in torque curve.
But what about the 968 Turbo S?

"JR"

514 posts

150 months

Friday 14th March 2008
quotequote all
peterbean said:
The best one I ever heard;-

"If you twist the hazard lights switch in a Vauxhall Nova it starts every time due to the ignition and lighting looms on the same cable..."
i know a few people who have tried that laugh