Car mods are silly! Or are they?

Racer88

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Analogy: Most handgun accessories/modifications
Years ago, there was a website called, LaughAtRice.com. It was hilarious. Unfortunately gone now. It was dedicated to posting photos of "riced out" cars.

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I like the green one. Air dams and spoiler. Comes in handy if you ever happen to be going 140 mph.
 
I like the green one. Air dams and spoiler. Comes in handy if you ever happen to be going 140 mph.
Now... I'll admit owning this one... but it wasn't modified. This is factory, and the wing and the air scoop were functional. Most fun car I've ever driven, and I've driven many exotics including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche (not really exotic), McLaren, and Lotus. I still have dreams that I got this car back. (I sold it after 2 blown engines and 192,000 miles.) I gave a lot of 911s a run for their money on the track in this Subie!

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The ram air is practical. My guess is the spoiler was provided because of the shape of the roofline wasn’t optimal. Taller spoilers like that one tend to move the downforce forward.

It’s not that spoilers and air dams don’t work. It’s that those accessories are useless in everyday driving. You get the same effect putting your kids and groceries in the back seat. Or your overweight Mother in law. :)
 
The ram air is practical. My guess is the spoiler was provided because of the shape of the roofline wasn’t optimal. Taller spoilers like that one tend to move the downforce forward.
The scoop fed air to the turbo intercooler. The wing reportedly became active starting at about 80 mph. Fastest I had that car on the track was about 135 mph. But yeah.... that car, inspired by the classic Subaru WRC (World Rally Championship) race car is not what we'd call "slippery." LOL! I called it an "aerodynamic brick!" But it had the horsepower to push that brick.

It’s not that spoilers and air dams don’t work. It’s that those accessories are useless in everyday driving. You get the same effect putting your kids and groceries in the back seat. Or your overweight Mother in law. :)
Of course. We also used to joke about how many horsepower each sticker added. 🤪
 
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I had an '86 Merkur XR4ti, My GF at the time called it the "X-Rati". Turbo. It too had wings. I never drove it on a track but now and then had it up to 120 MPH. It was a decent car performance-wise and fun to drive. But it had some annoying electrical issues - mostly switches that would just quit working - and it developed transmission problems after a couple of years - so I got rid of it.

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I had an '86 Merkur XR4ti, My GF at the time called it the "X-Rati". Turbo. It too had wings. I never drove it on a track but now and then had it up to 120 MPH. It was a decent car performance-wise and fun to drive. But it had some annoying electrical issues - mostly switches that would just quit working - and it developed transmission problems after a couple of years - so I got rid of it.

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I had several fox body Mustangs -built them, restored them and was dead into them.

I never had one, but he XR4ti and the SVO 2.3L turbos were mean little cars for the time, and easily made fast/er.

Below is the last fox body I restored (15ish years ago). It started as a pale blue, 4 headlight, 4 cyl 1986 coupe. I swap the entire drive train, suspension, engine and exhaust to a 1987-1993 5.0 v8, and changed the front clip, tail lights, 1/4 windows and trim to the 87-93 style. I even did the front end alignment with a self made contraption and measuring tape. I painted it deep emerald metallic green..
I wish I could find the before pictures, but it was a mess.

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That's the same car last year, when I was restoring my shop/building after massive termite damage. The car 15ish years later of pure neglect. It hasn't even been started in probably 12 years. 🫣
 
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I had several fox body Mustangs -built them, restored them and was dead into them.

I never had one, but he XR4ti and the SVO 2.3L turbos were mean little cars for the time, and easily made fast/er.

Below is the last fox body I restored (15ish years ago). It started as a pale blue, 4 headlight, 4 cyl 1986 coupe. I swap the entire drive train, suspension, engine and exhaust to a 1987-1993 5.0 v8, and changed the front clip, tail lights, 1/4 windows and trim to the 87-93 style. I even did the front end alignment with a self made contraption and measuring tape. I painted it deep emerald metallic green..
I wish I could find the before pictures, but it was a mess.

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My mother gave me her '82 Mustang after deciding she didn't like driving it during my second year of college. I totaled it shortly after graduating. Pretty bad accident. I was put in an ambulance, neck brace, etc.

Months later, I'm walking thru a shopping mall in Columbia, MD and this dude walks up to me, says he was the paramedic at my wreck. I asked how he remembered me. He replied that he and the other EMT's, firemen, and cops couldn't believe my legs weren't broken and I was not more seriously injured. They extracted me from the footwell on the passenger side. Broke the shift handle and dash/console where the radio and heat controls were clean off. My right ear was hanging off. I was not unconscious but didnt remember any of that. I vaguely recall the ambulance ride. I was discharged the next day. No serious complications other than some minor cuts and stitches where they sewed my ear back on. I did have a lot of bruising, body pain for a week or so. My face was a mess. People at my new job were a little freaked out when I showed up looking like Massive Headwound Harry. My boss asked WTF I was doing at work.

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Here's a video illustrating what a simple spoiler can do. In this case, they are wanting to detach the airflow at the back of the car to prevent aerodynamic lift from picking up the rear of the car at speeds above 100mph. This is the same principle that makes an airplane fly.
Afterwards, he did indeed take this Beetle up to 140mph on a decommissioned RAF airfield runway and reported it was rock solid.

A wing goes further and can provide downforce. The Charger Daytona and Plymouth Superbird wings were capable of providing 200lbs of downforce on the rear of the car.

For a street car that is unlikely to see 100+ mph, they serve only two purposes.
1. To look cool. :cool: (and we all know the importance of looking cool when you're a teen) ;)
2. To lighten the wallet of the owner. :(


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zvgj3ALo45U
 
So this is what Chrysler would have raced in 1971 if NASCAR hadn't banned the winged cars. According to the caption, Chrysler did wind tunnel testing on a 3/8 scale model, but not the real thing. These folks built a tribute car and here's the wind tunnel test. Note how the inverted airfoil on the wing provides downforce on the rear of the car. Also note the flush backlite to reduce drag.

Would have loved to have seen how this would have played out if the rules hadn't been changed back then.
Note the hood decals say 305 c.i. This was the other major rule change from NASCAR to slow the cars down, no more big blocks. As crafty engine builders discovered new ways to make a small block deliver the same power as the old big blocks of the 60's, NASCAR continued to roll out new rules to try and keep the speeds under 200m.p.h.


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zl7jk85D2sE
 
I like the guys who put air coolers on with no turbo and front air foils.
Talked to couple kids adjusting thier flaps in a parking lot. Had allll these big long theories about what and why.
Ahh to be young again ROFLMAO
 
I had several fox body Mustangs -built them, restored them and was dead into them.

I never had one, but he XR4ti and the SVO 2.3L turbos were mean little cars for the time, and easily made fast/er.

Below is the last fox body I restored (15ish years ago). It started as a pale blue, 4 headlight, 4 cyl 1986 coupe. I swap the entire drive train, suspension, engine and exhaust to a 1987-1993 5.0 v8, and changed the front clip, tail lights, 1/4 windows and trim to the 87-93 style. I even did the front end alignment with a self made contraption and measuring tape. I painted it deep emerald metallic green..
I wish I could find the before pictures, but it was a mess.

View attachment 19965
Looks sharp. A 1990 GT hatchback (automatic) was the first car I bought - new for a daily driver. Dark blue top/gray bottom. I liked that emerald green of yours too! Fun car. Got rid of it due to a growing family - hard to strap kids into car seats in the back seat of one of those. I don't recall putting mods on it. I do recall using a HyperTek (sp?) Tuning module & a K&N air filter on the Chevy Blazer V6 that I allowed to replace the 'stang. I think it was a 4.3 V6. It helped, but the Blazer still didn't compare to the V8 5.0.
 
I had an '86 Merkur XR4ti, My GF at the time called it the "X-Rati". Turbo. It too had wings. I never drove it on a track but now and then had it up to 120 MPH. It was a decent car performance-wise and fun to drive. But it had some annoying electrical issues - mostly switches that would just quit working - and it developed transmission problems after a couple of years - so I got rid of it.

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Reminds me of the Cosworth RS500

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I like the guys who put air coolers on with no turbo and front air foils.
Talked to couple kids adjusting thier flaps in a parking lot. Had allll these big long theories about what and why.
Ahh to be young again ROFLMAO

They are amusing. One of the style trends that made me laugh was putting NACA air ducts on the bodywork. Yeah, get into a discussion with them and delve into theory of boundry layer separation... and watch their heads explode.

Flip side is the muscle car guys who do silly things. Like sticking a 1000 cfm carb on a motor that at best can only flow 500 cfm. "why does it runs like crap???"... yeah, no shit sherlock, that cubic displacement of the engine based on bore and stroke isn't what the motor actual can suck through the hole when you have a volumetric efficiency of 60% caused by the manifolds and heads.
 
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They are amusing. One of the style trends that made me laugh was putting NACA air ducts on the bodywork. Yeah, get into a discussion with them and delve into theory of boundry layer separation... and watch their heads explode.
When I was single, I brought that up all the time when I was hitting on a girl. The odd thing was by the time I got to Reynolds numbers, they all received an emergency phone call and had to leave.
 
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My Dad built a English Ford and got Ticket fof doing 88mph. The officer wasnt going to do it, buy my Dad insisted just as proof it would go that fast. Officer was more interested in HOW THE HELL did you do that lmao. He had it framed in his office for decades.
I inherited the love of little cars that go quick. If I had ever done some of the stuff Ive seen- GENERATIONS would have me pulling a plow while the mule had the leads
 
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My Dad built a English Ford and got Ticket fof doing 88mph. The officer wasnt going to do it, buy my Dad insisted just as proof it would go that fast. Officer was more interested in HOW THE HELL did you do that lmao. He had it framed in his office for decades.
I inherited the love of little cars that go quick. If I had ever done some of the stuff Ive seen- GENERATIONS would have me pulling a plow while the mule had the leads
My eldest brother bought a Triumph Herald in '66. His number came up in the draft in '67. He took me aside before he left and told me not to let Dad sell it while he was in Vietnam and be sure to take care of it. I took him seriously. I was in second grade. Two years later, I'm all grown up as a 4th grader and thought of it as mine... I used to sit in it and imagine driving it. My brother comes home, says thanks and drives it away. Never to return home. I had grown attached to that car! But I got over it. I was happy he came home in one piece. It looked like this one:
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I think that's how I got the bug for British roadsters. I had a few of them during my high school and college years.
 
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