Quick Question: What's Your Personal Worst Car-Related Idea?

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I love terrible ideas. Maybe it’s because I have so very many of them, but I’m really fond of an idea that seems iffy, and then just gets more and more exuberantly worse the more you think about it. There’s something dizzyingly fun about a real shitshow of an idea, right?


I’ve given you plenty of mine — my buttock-operated brake control scheme comes to mind as a standout — but now I’m curious to hear some of yours. Tell me, without shame, what’s the worst car idea you’ve ever had? No judgements. It’s Jayjay here, remember? Uncle Torch! Your old pal, who has almost nothing but bad ideas!

In fact, the worse the idea, the more fun it’ll be to really think through, I bet. So, please, tell me some terrible car ideas. These can be things you tried with your car, design ideas, fixes, whatever!

Have at it!

Contact the author at jason@jalopnik.com.



I had two ideas worth sharing:

First, using regenerative cooling on powerful motorcycle engines, instead of watercooling and a radiator. The technique (pumping fuel around the chamber in cooling channels prior to burning) is mainly applied to rockets or some jet engines - I think the SR-71 used it but I might be wrong. Anyways, I crunched the numbers back-of-the-envelope style and realized that the engine temperature would stabilize somewhere around 400,000 degrees (Celsius, not that it matters). Turns out engines just don’t consume enough fuel for that to matter.

Second, a normal car with four small flat-four or flat-six engines, one at each wheel. The obvious problem of “how do you control the spin rate of each wheel?” can probably be solved with four CVTs and some heavy computer control, or maybe four electric engines and some funky planetary gears. I think this one could actually be made to work, but I can’t think of a single reason why - no benefit that such a complex setup gives you. It would be technical complexity for the sake of technical complexity.