Sometimes you just want to have a little of your favorite stuff along for the ride without anyone else being the wiser — especially the authorities. These are Jalopnik readers' picks for the best secret automotive smuggling nooks.
One disclaimer and one warning: We're approaching this as a fun little thought exercise. We do not condone nor support the violation of laws regarding controlled substances or firearms blah blah etc. Also, sniffer dogs are very good at what they do, so don't say you haven't been warned.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Photo Credit: Mini via motoringfile.com
Suggested By: Phlip425
Why it's a great stash site: You wouldn't want to keep something as heavy as a gun or as bulky as a kilo of whatever up there, but for smallish amounts of stuff there's a good bit of potential hidden space, especially in a car with a sunroof.
Photo Credit: David Moffitt
9.) Fuse Box
Suggested By: Bullitt417 Picked Up his Mustang GT
Why it's a great stash site: A much better pick than the airbox — put your stuff in there and you can mess up the airflow to your engine, which is no fun. Besides, fuse boxes are electronic and complicated and confusing, and no one besides the creepy dude at Radio Shack likes messing with that stuff more than necessary. Not a ton of room, but useful.
Photo Credit: Tim Sylvester
8.) Under the cupholder molding
Suggested By: rawtoast
Why it's a great stash site: Getting into some space here. We had a few nods for various center console locations (shift boots were another fave) but if you've got two or more cupholders you've got a decent chunk of empty space between them if you can pull the panel and get underneath. Obviously useless if you're crossing borders, but for more casual applications it's a nice mix of security and convenience.
Photo Credit: Stacy Lynn Baum
7.) Roll Cage
Suggested By: Guaca12berlinetto
Why it's a great stash site: Kind of awkward to use, but with the right packaging and arrangement it's a choice location for a surprising amount of stuff. That's a lot of empty space that can be sealed up, although you're going to have to repackage everything in pretty tight rolls. That said, hey, if you crash at least it's safe, too.
Photo Credit: schiller3k
6.) Fake Catalytic Converter
Suggested By: For Sweden
Why it's a great stash site: Now we're getting sophisticated. Yes, contraband that won't burn or melt is preferred, but with a bit of heat wrap around the pipe an empty housing is a brilliantly safe place for a good supply. Mufflers aren't bad either, but the with the cat being a touch smaller and further upstream it's less suspicious.
Photo Credit: dalesd
5.) Gas Tank
Suggested By: minardi
Why it's a great stash site: Wrap it well, because gasoline is a serious solvent, but done right a gas tank is a roomy, secure spot that masks odors. Accessibility on cars is often a headache on a normal basis, which makes it ripe for innovative access panels and the like. Bikes are a bit more straightforward.
We do not recommend this location if you're headed to New Orleans.
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures
4.) Under The Intake Manifold
Suggested By: godfathercorvette
Why it's a great stash site: A pro-level choice for those still running old-school V8s. Not a ton of room, but super-secure and well-ventilated. You'll want to see if you can try a few different manifolds to check for maximum clearance where it's usually not a consideration. Beware of very lame "crank" jokes, but that's the wrong location anyway.
Photo Credit: SoulRider.222
3.) Under A Heap Of Garbage
Suggested By: Chairman Kaga
Why it's a great stash site: We'll let our nominator explain, since we can't possibly do it any better:
A friend of mine who had an old Caravan panel van used to pile up years of trash, fast food wrappers, Coke cans, pornos, condom boxes, empty KY tubes, sleeping bags, decorative Corinthian columns, stuffed animals, speakers, guitars, vacuum tubes, hand-drawn wiring diagrams, CDRs, early Mac PowerBooks, floppy discs, and a defused hand grenade. Under all of this was a small cigar box with a pimp daddy .22 pistol and a quarter sack. No dog born could ever decipher the wandering miasma of the funk in the back of that van, and no man would veer go near it.
So his solution: bigass cargo vehicle filled to the brim with nasty shit. Solved.
Photo Credit: Michael Van Vleet
2.) Windshield Washer Fluid Reservoir
Suggested By: PNW Hoonigan
Why it's a great stash site: You'll want to package your whatever in a watertight container, but that bottle of fluid somewhere in the engine bay is perfect for contraband, especially if the container is just as grimy as everything else under the hood after a few hundred thousand miles. Also makes a great remote booze dispenser for drive-ins or road trips if you keep the pump in and redirect the hosing.
Photo Credit: spike55151
1.) Molded Into Body Panels
Suggested By: Defender90
Why it's a great stash site: Why hide it in your car when you don't have to hide it at all? Yes, this will take some ingenuity and resources (and maybe an interesting paint formulation), but pressing your stuff into a replacement body panel will leave the dogs confused as hell and the cops begrudgingly waving you through as they go get another doughnut. Bonus: You'll be at the vanguard of the burgeoning hemp-based replacement body panel industry.
Photo Credit: Prior Design NA