Bentley wants its name on apartments. Mercedes-AMG has a boat. Volkswagen famously sells more currywurst sausages than cars, and Tesla even thinks it can take on George Clooney to make the goofiest tequila around. The car brands love to dabble, it seems. In some cases it’s more than dabbling, but it makes for fun “Huh — didn’t know they made that” moments. Some are weird and unexpected, which makes me want to ask this question: What are the best things from the car brands that are not cars?
One memorable car brand contribution came when Chrysler partnered with Bell Labs made the loudest air raid siren ever produced. The two iconic American companies teamed up to make air raid sirens loud enough to warn Americans to get the hell to safety if tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union got past diplomacy.
The sirens were first known as the Chrysler Bell Victory Sirens (which is kind of a weird name for their intended purpose) but that generation was succeeded by the Chrysler Air Raid Siren. This one was powered by a Hemi V8 that made 180 horsepower, and its wail was up to 138 decibels loud. You could hear it up to 16 miles away, according to Autoweek.
Those air raid sirens were never actually necessary, thankfully, and they’re just curious footnotes now in Stellantis’ history at this point. So, what about you? What do you think are the coolest car branded things that aren’t cars?