The Ten Greatest Pranks In Automotive History

And you thought covering your buddy's car in post-it notes was good.


10.) Google Tesla Batmobile

The Ten Greatest Pranks In Automotive History

Take a standard car prank idea and add the budget of Google employees and you get this. Google co-founder Sergey Brin's Tesla Model S had his Model S turned into this Pepto Bismol Bruce Wayne mobile last Spring.

Suggested By: $kaycog, Photo Credit: Ryan Mac via Twitter


9.) GM Designers Pimp Their Boss' Ferrari Daytona

The Ten Greatest Pranks In Automotive History

Former GM Design head honcho Chuck Jordan went on a trip to Europe back in the '70s and left his prized Ferrari Daytona at the office. When he returned, he found it (safely) brougham'd out. This could well be the most expensive car to be pranked.

Suggested By: Jones Foyer, Photo Credit: GM Design Center


8.) Fiat's Volkswagen Google Street View Photobomb

The Ten Greatest Pranks In Automotive History

Hey, that's not a Beetle!

Suggested By: unhcampus, Photo Credit: Google Street View


7.) The BMW/Audi Billboard Fight

The Ten Greatest Pranks In Automotive History

It all started when Audi put up a billboard in LA back in 2009 reading 'Your Move BMW.' Well, BMW made their move with another billboard right in the Audi's sightline. Things went downhill from there.

Suggested By: unhcampus, Photo Credit: Jalopnik


6.) The Porsche Cayman Shooting Brake Hoax

The Ten Greatest Pranks In Automotive History

Back in '09 we desperately wanted pictures of a Porsche Cayman Shooting Brake to be real. They turned out to be a going away prank by Top Gear and something of a lesson in how to dupe the automotive media. See also: the Winding Road fake Corvette development mule.

Suggested By: Crossdrilled, Photo Credit: Top Gear


5.) The Legend Of The Mako Shark

The Ten Greatest Pranks In Automotive History

This story is somewhat apocryphal, but it's too good not to share. When GM design legend Bill Mitchell frustratingly demanded that the paint on his Mako Shark concept car to perfectly match the color of the mako shark he had mounted in his office, his design staff had to think a bit outside the box. Designer Bradley Price has an excellent explanation of the whole thing at Man of the Word right here.

Suggested By: Green Pig, Photo Credit: GM


4.) The Oil Under The 'Vette Trick

The Ten Greatest Pranks In Automotive History

Now we're getting into the really, really good pranks. This amazing story (read it all right here) from reader countersteer is a good lesson in why you don't piss off your maintenance staff. They dripped oil under their asshole boss' new Corvette so that he was convinced his car was breaking down. No matter how many times he took the 'Vette to the shop, they could never find any leaks or anything wrong at all.

Suggested By: countersteer, Photo Credit: GM via OldCarAdvertising


3.) The Fake MPG Trick

The Ten Greatest Pranks In Automotive History

This one is from Car Talk and it's even better than the oil-under-the-car trick. These guys had a boss who was endlessly going on about the great gas mileage he got in his new Fiat, so they siphoned gas in and out of the car when he was out.

Our skeptical-looking (we were all in on it) crew would be regaled by his tales of getting, well, first it was 34, then 50, the 63 miles per gallon. He would snarl condescendingly at our gas guzzling Volvos, then reflect on the brilliance of Italian engineering. The Fiat dealership, of course, had several explanations. Tight engine. American gas. Driving habits. Then we gradually began to reduce the amount we added, until it was zero, and then of course we siphoned increasing amounts from the Fiat's tank.

At first, the bragging slowed to a stop. He became surly. How was the Fiat? Wouldn't answer. Then of course he kept taking it back to the Fiat back dealership, which, of course, had several explanations. Tight engine. American gas. Driving habits.

Read the whole thing right here.

Suggested By: unhcampus, Photo Credit: Fiat via Alden Jewell


2.) MIT Students Put A Cop On The Roof

The Ten Greatest Pranks In Automotive History

Back in '94 MIT students put a fake cop car on the roof of the Great Dome, complete with a dummy police officer, fake gun, and box of donuts inside. MIT students had done car-on-roof pranks before and have done them since, but the fake cop car was the best. Here's the story of how it all happened. Oh, and Cambridge students did it too.

Suggested By: prplhaze, doppelstranger, and Jonee, Photo Credit: MIT


1.) Phil Garner's Backwards Chevy

The Ten Greatest Pranks In Automotive History

Road & Track covered this piece of rolling sculpture back in their April 1975 issue, where we get the above picture. Artist Phil Garner unbolted the body of a '59 Batwing Chevy, bolted it back on backwards, and promptly caused mass hysteria when he drove it around San Francisco. Amazingly, he wasn't the only one to do it, but his was certainly the most historic of all backwards cars.

Suggested By: Jones Foyer, Photo Credit: Road & Track

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: MIT