Have you ever been talking to someone and wondered "if I start talking about throttle bodies, will this person think I'm insane?" Don't worry, Jalopnik readers have ten sure-fire tips to spot a gearhead, so you never embarrass yourself.
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Of course, this is a guide for only the strictest basics of gearhead identification. It is a list to be used in emergencies, like when you're meeting your significant other's parents for the first time and you're not sure whether to say you have an E30, or just a BMW, or if you should bring up carburetor tuning at the dinner table.
There are some things that no car lover will ever get right. For instance, no one in the history of recorded time has ever pronounced "Hyundai" correctly, but we think these ten tips make for an acceptable rough guideline.
There are definitely more advanced identification guides (such as do you know what the hell this thing is), so please leave your higher-level gearhead questions in Kinja below.
Photo Credit: Mike Spinelli/Jalopnik
10.) They Know The Difference Between The Peace Symbol And The Mercedes Logo
If you see someone at a peace demonstration with a three-pointed star on their cheek, you know they're not a gearhead.
9.) They Call Cars By Chassis Codes, Not By Model Names
B-Bodies, E30s, 964s. We know them.
8.) They Do The WOT Head Snap
You're walking down the street and you hear the sound of a V12 whipping up through the rev range. Of course you whip your head around to see what's flying past, but after you do, look around. Whoever else snapped their head around to see what car was making that noise (especially if it was a Lancia) is a gearhead, too.
7.) They Know How A Rotary Works
This one's easy: the magic triangle spins in the peanut and then apex seals come out. It's all explained here.
Conversely, don't let anyone try and tell you they know how a carburetor works. No one understands them. Carbs are pure witchcraft.
6.) They Have Hoonigan T-Shirt
This also works for anything from the 24 Hours of LeMons, or anything with Rat Fink, too.
5.) They Have An SCCA Sticker In The Window
The same is true if you see a track outline sticker. Bonus points if you can recognize a track other than the Nürburgring.
Suggested By: daender, Photo Credit: Raphael Orlove
4.) They Know A Weber Is Not Used For Grilling
Unless they're talking about this kind of grilling.
3.) They Constantly Yearn For When Cars Were PURE And Old
"Really, [Company X] was way better when all their cars were slow, unreliable, unsafe, and lightweight."
2.) They're More Interested In Talking About Your Car Than Their Own
No matter how nice a car a gearhead owns, they want to hear about the car you have, whether you sold your F-Body years ago, or if you only drive a stickshift Accord.
1.) Check Their Knuckles
Do they show up to work on a Tuesday with greasy fingernails and beat-up knuckles? You've found a gearhead, my friend.
Suggested By: My X-Type is too a real Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag, Photo Credit: Benjamin Preston/Jalopnik