Nine Unbelievable Car Facts That Are Actually True

If you've been on the Internet lately you've seen a million of these posts about facts that seem wild but are actually true. Almost none of these are about cars (I mean, do you really care that President Tyler's grandson is alive?) so we've tried to fix that.

9.) The Ford GT's roof is so strong, it broke the crushing machine

Nine Unbelievable Car Facts That Are Actually True

Fair enough, the GT's chassis can certainly take much more than the stock power, but Ford is no TVR, so it's hard to image they couldn't afford tougher test machinery.

Suggested By: $kaycog, Photo Credit: cmonville


8.) Retractable hardtops were introduced by Peugeot in 1934

Nine Unbelievable Car Facts That Are Actually True

Modern cars have extremely complicated hardtops that can open in a few seconds, but the idea itself is nothing new. Peugeot introduced it in the 601 Éclipse six years before Hitler started his invasion of France.

Suggested By: coleslaw4dinner, Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


7.) GM sold a Subaru as a Saab

Nine Unbelievable Car Facts That Are Actually True

For many of us this is a well-known fact, but non car people will be surprised to learn that the 2005 and 2006 Saab 9-2X Aero was none other than a badge-engineered Subaru WRX?

Some argue the Saab version was actually better.

Suggested By: AmericanMagpie, Photo Credit: AP Images


6.) The Cannonball Countach's front wing was a real thing

Nine Unbelievable Car Facts That Are Actually True

America's idea of a car hit the Countach (and other Italian exotica) hard, which made the importers put a hideous front wing on them in order to comply with US bumper height restrictions.

While it made it into The Cannonball Run, Lamborghini came up with their own version, seen at the top.

Suggested By: Demon-Xanth, Photo Credit: Lambotalk


5.) The Hindustan Ambassador is still in production

Nine Unbelievable Car Facts That Are Actually True

India values tradition. N2Skylark:

It still shares some body panels with the 1954 Morris Oxford II, while still sharing chassis components with the 1948 Morris Minor MM (IIRC). And they've continued updating it to keep it BS IV emissions compliant. The Ambassador Encore was launched for 2013 with a diesel that has lower emissions.

Suggested By: N2Skylark, Photo Credit: AP Images


4.) Mercedes Really Went 268 MPH In 1938

Nine Unbelievable Car Facts That Are Actually True

The tires of the period make the W125's achievements so mind blowing. Proud to drive a beater:

That the Mercedes-Benz W125 rekordwagen made 725 horsepower with an under square (82x88) 340ci (5.6L) V12 and went 268mph on the autobahn in 1938. Supercharged or not its still amazing they made that kind of power back then, especially with bores that small.

The Auto Unions of that time are pretty similar performance wise even. They were rumored to be able to spin the wheels at over 100mph. Such craziness for the safety and technology at the time.


3.) Audi got the Quattro idea from a VW jeep

Nine Unbelievable Car Facts That Are Actually True

Crazy but true, the VW Iltis was driven by an engineer at Audi who thought "hey, wouldn't this make a great sports car?" You can read about the car's interesting history here. It's the ur-ur-Quattro.

What you see above it the Canadian version, built by Bombardier.

Suggested By:I Love You But I've Chosen Hooning, Photo Credit: happy days photos and art


2.) You need a proper key to change wheels on a Porsche 959

Nine Unbelievable Car Facts That Are Actually True

It seems like everything is over-engineered in the 959. burglar can't heart click anything:

This is how complicated it is to take a wheel off of a Porsche 959. There's a security lock (don't lose that key!) then you need a special torque multiplying tool that keys into the wheel. Good luck hoping your local tire shop has one of those on hand.

Also, the wheels have a different bead profile than every other wheel on the planet called Denloc, and Dunlop still makes a batch of tires every few years to support 959 owners. They're even on Tire Rack.

Suggested By: burglar can't heart click anything, Photo Credit: pelicanparts


1.) Charles de Gaulle was saved by the Citroën DS's hydraulic suspension

Nine Unbelievable Car Facts That Are Actually True

If you get hit by assassins, you better choose your car wisely. From History.com:

In August 1962, a group called the OAS (Secret Army Organization in English) plotted an assassination attempt on President De Gaulle, who they believed had betrayed France by giving up Algeria (in northern Africa) to Algerian nationalists. Near dusk on August 22, 1962, De Gaulle and his wife were riding from the Elysee Palace to Orly Airport. As his black Citroen DS sped along the Avenue de la Liberation in Paris at 70 miles per hour, 12 OAS gunmen opened fire on the car.

A hail of 140 bullets, most of them coming from behind, killed two of the president's motorcycle bodyguards, shattered the car's rear window and punctured all four of its tires. Though the Citroen went into a front-wheel skid, De Gaulle's chauffeur was able to accelerate out of the skid and drive to safety, all thanks to the car's superior suspension system. De Gaulle and his wife kept their heads down and came out unharmed.

Suggested By: Green Pig, Photo Credit: Getty Images

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!

Top Photo Credit: aldenjewell