Think car parts are ugly, oily, and dirty? They are. That's why we love them. But they also can be beautifully engineered bits of techie car art. Here's ten commenter-suggested car parts that'll make your inner technophile swoon.
This is "Answers of the Day" - a 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!
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10.) 1967 Ferrari 312 Exhaust Headers
Suggested By: AustintheBruiser
Why They're Beautiful: Many of you have a thing for well-designed headers, and with good reason. A finely crafted set could be right at home in a museum somewhere. The 'Bundle of Snakes' header set from the 312 take header beauty to a whole other level. Arranged prominently atop the engine and pained blindingly bright white, they make no bones about being beautiful, yet staying highly functional. Isn't that what it's all about?
Photo credit: nick147, flickr
9.) Weber Carburetors
Suggested By: witek
Why They're Beautiful: I've got a soft spot for Weber carburetors with velocity stacks. So do many of you. Xzzy puts it perfectly: "That's art in a place where art shouldn't be found, and when I get my time machine I want to go back and shake the hand of the guy that thought to implement it. Then, using the speed of moving air to alter pressure to control fuel flow into the engine? Genius work right there." As with so many of today's Top 10 selections, automotive beauty is more than skin deep.
Photo credit: Mario_0609, flickr
8.) Koenigsegg Dihedral Synchro-Helix Doors
Suggested By: Bonhomme7h
Why They're Beautiful: They're like Lamborghini's scissor doors, but cooler. They're like Mercedes' Gullwing doors, but cooler. First pull out, then twist up. Always watch for curbs. PhD required to understand the name.
Photo Credit: bluuffmaster24
7.) McLaren F1 Pedals
Suggested By: xRichUKx
Why They're Beautiful: Customized to the preference of each owner, no two McLaren F1 pedal sets are exactly alike. Some are closer together, a few have a lip built in to keep feet in place, others are hinged at the top, rather than at the bottom like these. All are brutally efficient and stark in their beauty.
6.) Wankel Rotary Engine
Suggested By: Adam Smith
Why They're Beautiful: Proof that the triangular rotor from a Wankel engine is aesthetically pleasing can be found all over Mazda's RX-8. From the headrest cutouts to the gear lever & handbrake shape, the triangles become less of a gimmick and more of a general statement of intent from Mazda. Low weight, low center of gravity, and small size all make for a more focused sports car. Just make sure you stockpile cases of oil, as Wankels are known to drink it like fish drink water.
Photo credit: John Renna, flickr
5.) Pagani Zonda Cinque Wing Mirror
Suggested By: wheatieboy
Why They're Beautiful: Brilliantly covered by our own Mr. Orosz, the Zonda Cinque's mirror looks like it could come right off an alien spaceship, but for that matter the Zonda doesn't look too different from a spaceship so that's not too odd. It's a light, delicate design element, using no more materials or weight than necessary, that seems to float above the front fenders of the car.
Photo Credit: Worldcarfans.com
4.) Gated Shifter
Suggested By: OA 5599
Why They're Beautiful: There's nothing like the satisfying KA-CHUNK sound of successfully shifting gears in a car with a gated shift lever. The solid metal-on-metal contact of well-engineered parts is a visceral part of driving sadly lacking from many of today's sports cars. There are still a few holdouts, most notably Audi's R8 and Lamborghini's Murciélago.
Photo credit: dck47, flickr
3.) Twin-Scroll Supercharger
Suggested By: Critique_
Why They're Beautiful: The twin-scroll supercharger was another part that got a ton of responses. It's a great example of form following function: the design of the scrolls and lobes is necessary to get them to work properly and efficiently, and just happens to make them look nice as well.
2.) Folding Convertible Hardtop
Suggested By: zacarious
Why They're Beautiful: Even though the folding hardtop goes against everything we here at Jalopnik stand for, adding weight and complexity to something that should be as simple as draping a towel over a car's seat, there's something to be said for the engineering knowhow that can turn a metal roof into a piece of origami and stow it in the trunk of a car, without making the owner pull out a blowtorch. Watching one of these do its thing almost makes up for the ridiculousness of the idea.
1.) Aston Martin One-77 Rear Suspension
Suggested By: Smackela
Why They're Beautiful: Intricate machining, the aluminum-carbon fiber combination, and massive springs make this suspension setup beautiful enough to hang on your wall. If it were smaller, it's glittery enough to wear around your neck (Flava Flav, you listening? Your clock's played out.)
Photo credit: Autofans.us