How Jalopnik Is Your Car?

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French cars. Caminos. Diesel swaps. Hayabusa swaps. Tatras. Hayabusa-powered diesel Tatraminos reenacting C'était un Rendezvous. All of these wonderful tropes meta-blend together to make Jalopnik, well, Jalopnik. But what are you driving? Does your car measure up? How would you even know? Lucky for you, you have us! Using advanced hyper-phrenology and the Laws of Planetary Motion as laid down by Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe and Brahe's prognosticating pet dwarf Jepp we have arbitrarily scientifically broken down the 10 key aspects that make a car radical. What the hell am I talking about? You ever taken a Cosmo sex quiz?


Identifying the ultimate Jalopnik ride is obviously quite difficult. Sure, one could say Citroen SM, but you could just as easily say Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe. And what about a Pontiac Streamliner Deluxe Convertible? Surely that sucker's plenty Jalopnik enough. But how can you say one is more Jalopnik than the other? Like porno, the trained eye knows it when it sees it. The flipside of that coin is that it's easy to say which cars are less Jalopnik than others. I am going to posit that the single mostest anti-Jalopnik car is an automatic 4-banger Toyota Camry. May anyone who disagrees with me buy one.

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Using the metric we've devised, the aforementioned Camry scores a big fat zero. My 2006 Subaru WRX Wagon manages 71 points. A McLaren F1? 265 points. A Citroen SMamino? 348 motherlovin' points, bee-zatch. What does any of this mean? Take the quiz, yo.

1: Engine

We once read an interview with Mike Watt where the ex-Minuteman was asked his thoughts on 7-string basses. In his Wattian. round about way of thinking, the man in the van with the bass in his hand said that he once met a kid with a 1-string bass. So, for every 7-string bass, there ought to be an equivalent 1-stringer. This is one of our guiding principles. With that in mind:


4-Cylinder : 0 points

3-Cylinder: 1 point.

2-Cylinder: 50 points. We heart Trabants

1-Cylinder: 100 points. May your Fuldamobil live long and prosper.


5-Cylinder: 2 points. What, you think an Acura Vigor deserves more? Special dispensation: if you drive a 5-banger Jetta, -5 points.

6-Cylinder (V6): 3 points.

6-Cylinder (straight): 10 points. Datsun Z, Jeep Cherokee, 3-Series, Dodge Dart? Hell yeah!


8-Cylinder (V8): 15 points.

8-Cylinder (straight): 20 points.

10-Cylinder: 25 points. And if you drive a Bristol Fighter, give yourself an extra 50 points.


12-Cylinder (V12): 30 points.

12-Cylinder (Flat): 50 points. Especially if you drive a 917.


16-Cylinder: 100 points.

Rotary: 23 points.

Turbine: 1 million points. I hear you, Udman.

Hybrid: Divide your current point total by 1.4.

Electric: Give 2 points to the guy sitting next you.

1.b: More engine

Longitudinally mounted: 25 points. Even if you have a 4-banger, that 4-banger could be in a Se7en.


Latitudinally mounted: -10 points.

Boxer layout: 10 points.

Slant: 20 points.

Flathead: 25 points.

Throttle bodies: Add 5 points per throttle body.

Carburetor: Add 10 points for each carb.

Air Cooled: 25 points.

Diesel (domestic): 20 points.

Diesel (Euro-trash): -20 points.

2: Aspiration

Normally aspirated: 0 points. Hey, lots of cool cars breathe all on their own. But why? And, like, the McLaren F1 doesn't really need any more help.


Turbocharged: 15 points

Supercharged: 15 points

Twin-Turbo (dual): 20 points

Twin-Turbo (sequential): 30 points

Quad-Turbo: 50 points

Dualcharged (super and turbo): 100 points. We heart the Delta S4.


3: Body Style

4-doors: 0 points. Unless you have an E39 M5 — that's 20 points for stealth.

5-doors: 5 points. Despite what Lutz says, we love wagons. Special dispensation: If any of those 5 doors are of the sliding variety, -10 points.


3-doors: 10 points. Viva la shooting brake!

2-doors: 25 points. Screw practicality.

2-doors (gullwing and/or scissors): 35 points.

0-doors: 50 points.

Doors, however many, but they're welded shut: 100 points.

Caminoized: 101 points.

Convertible: 15 points.

Hardtop Convertible: -10 points.

4-Door Hardtop Convertible: +50 points..

Update: Suicide Doors: 50 points.

3.b: Body Style — Trucks and SUVs

Body on Frame: 10 points.

Unit Body: -20 points.

Flatbed: 20 points

Dually: 50 points.

Minivan: -300 points.

Panel van: 30 points.

Custom Van: 50 points.

4: Wheels Driven

Front-wheel drive: 0 points. Hey, I love a good front driver as much as the next guy, but you just don't get any points. Sorry.


All-wheel drive: 10 points.

4-wheel drive: 15 points. This means you have low gears and you use them. If you have never moved your transfer case, -50 points.


Rear-wheel drive: 25 points. Lets face facts. Rear-wheel drive is the best. Special dispensation: if you own a RWD SUV, -55 points. Update: FWD SUV: -105 points.

5: Engine Location

Front: 0 points

Mid: 10 points

Rear: 20 points

Two engines: 100 points.


6: Transmission

Automatic: 0 points. Special dispensation: Column shift? 10 points. Unless its that weird new BMW/MB column shifter — that gets you -30 points.


Manual: 20 points. And good for you.

Manual on the tree: 60 points.

CVT: -20 points. You really don't get this whole driving thing, do you?

Crashbox: 30 points

Paddle shifters: 5 points. Unless you have a Ferrari/Maserati-style setup where the paddles are stock-mounted, that'll net you 30 points.


7: Country of Origin

Korea: 0 points

Japan: 1 point. Deduct -10 points if you drive a 4-banger slushbox Camry. Yeah, you.


'Merica: 5 points. Unless your domestic car was made in Korea — that's -5 points.

Germany: 10 points. Unless you drive a Jetta, then -10 points. New Bug? -100 points.


Sweden: 15 points.

Britain: 20 Points. You brave man.

Italy: 25 points. You brave fucker.

Eastern Bloc: 30 points.

India 40 points.

France: 50 points.

FUCK UPUPDATE:: Land of the Raging Hoon (Australia): 75 points.

Mixed origin: 100 points. As in your French SM has an Italian engine. Or if your Cobra has a British chassis and a 'Merican engine that was built in Canada. -90 points if your R-Class was built in Tennessee.


Other (Canada, Israel, Norhtern Ireland): 13 points. And you're lucky to be getting them.

8: POWA!

0-50 hp: 25 points. You're very brave.

51-100 hp: 5 points. You're very poor.

101-160 hp: 0 points. Unless you drive a Se7en or a Miata — that's +20 points.

161- 270 hp: 5 points. Not too shabby.

271-380 hp: 10 points. We like where you're going.

381 - 450 hp: 25 points. Awesome. The power sweet spot. Not too hot, not too cold.


451 - 600 hp: 2 points. You're rich. Big deal. Unless you drive a Z06. Then we're jealous and we hate you.

601 - 750 hp: 30 points. You might be rich, but we love your taste in cars.

751 - 1000 hp: 50 points seems about right.

1001+ hp: 100 points. Special dispensation: if you drive a Vector, 1,000,000,000 points!!!


9: Age

2008 model: 10 points. Congratulations.

4 years or younger: 5 points.

5 - 10 years: 0 points.

11 - 20 years: 10 points. You can wrench.

21 - 30 years: 20 points. You can really wrench.

31 - 40 years: 30 points. Can we have a ride? Pretty please?

41 - 50 years: 40 points. The golden age of rad. Sigh...

50 - 60 years: 50 points. Especially if you have Gullwings.

Pre-WWII: 100 points. And we tip our collective cap at you.

10: Other

Cupholders: -5 points for every cupholder.

Ashtrays: 5 points for every ashtray. Special dispensation: if your car has more than 5 ashtrays, you get 50 bonus points on top of the 5 points for each ashtray.


Bondo: 10 points for every unpainted patch.

NO FEAR sticker: -1,000 points.

Truck Nutz: -100 points. Unless you live in Virginia. Then 500 points.


All-digital dashboard: 25 points.

Working all-digital dashboard: 30 points.

Hydropneumatic suspension: 50 points

Waterbed: 6.9 points.

UPDATE: If your particular Mazda Protege won LeMons, then give yourself 245 points. If not, no whining.


Point Key:

0 Points: Go ride a bike.

1-5 Points: Edmunds is that way.

6-15 Points: Hey, at least you know what a car is.

16-30 points: That's a cool car you got there. Time to Sawzall the back off.

31-45 points: It's no Hoondai Sonata, but it's pretty good.

46-75 points: You like driving. You even like driving a lot. But why all the compromises, man?


76-100 points: 'Vettes get 'em wet, dude. As do turbo-diesel Peugeot wagons.

101-150 points: Is that an E39 M5 in your pocket? Or do you have an erection?

151-200 points Fantasy Garage

201-250 points: Bitchin' Camino

251+ points: You love cars. Secret cars, concept cars, flying cars, vintage cars, tricked-out cars, red cars, black cars, blonde cars - sometimes, cars just because of the curve of a hood.


Jeff Glucker

Damnit... 60 points. My truck sucks...

Side note:

Truck nuts are alive and well in California... Snapped these yesterday. They were disturbingly realistic in white-boy color...

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