Does your car have character?

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Wes Bender
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Does your car have character?

#1 Post by Wes Bender » Fri Jul 29, 2022 4:26 pm

Here is a simple test to see if your car has character. Run through the following items and mark down those that apply. Total the results. A car achieving 250 points or more has a lot of character. If you score between 100 and 250, your car has a reasonable amount of character. If your car scores below 100 points, you should sell it immediately.

1. If your car’s overall design represents the vision of just one man who is now dead, but who once struck terror, dread and/or awe into the hearts of his employees, give your car 50 points.

2. If you feel compelled, at the time of purchase, to buy a 300-page Official Factory Shop Manual to go with your car, add 25 points.

3. Fifteen points if the car comes with a useful tool kit.

4. Twenty points more if the tools are ever actually needed to fix the car. Add 10 more if it is raining or snowing when this happens.

5. If your car can be loaned out to another person with less than 15 minutes of careful instruction on its peculiarities, deduct 20 points.

6. If you died suddenly and no one else on earth would be able to start the car or keep it running, give yourself 75 points.

7. Fifty points for any chassis and/or body with more than 25% wood content. Another 10 if it already has termites, carpenter ants or dry rot, and 20 bonus points if a door actually comes off in your hand.

8. Add 40 points for wire wheels. Ten more points if the wire wheels have the “unsafe” knock-offs with ears.

9. Deduct 200 points for wire-wheel hubcaps. (Only deduct fifty if you have “bolt-on” wire wheels.)

10. If your car, or one very much like it, ever won its class at Le Mans or the Targa Florio or Mille Miglia, give it 100 points.

11. Fifty points for SU or Weber carburetors. If it has three or more, add another 20. If your carburetors are located above the distributor and you never carry a fire extinguisher, give yourself 50 points more for hubris.

12. Add 50 points for carburetors with velocity stacks and no air cleaners, 25 points more if the velocity stacks protrude from the bodywork.

13. Seventy-five points extra if any of the words, “Halibrand”, “Judson”, “Shorrock”, or “Offenhauser” appear on or in your car.

14. Award yourself 100 points if the car is French. (You probably deserve it.)

15. If replacing the clutch requires that the entire engine and transmission be pulled, give yourself 50 points.

16. If you would rather commit suicide than do another clutch job, give yourself an added 50 points.

17. If the valve adjustment procedure is so arcane that you are contemplating selling the car rather than either adjusting the valves yourself or paying to have it done, award yourself 40 points. If you have to go out of state or cross into another time zone for this or any other form of routine maintenance, add 40 points more.

18. Fifty points for any car with a Laycock de Normanville overdrive unit. Ten more if you just love to say “Laycock de Normanville” aloud, apropos of nothing, in the checkout line at the supermarket.

19. Seventy-five points for any car whose engine heat causes passengers to request you let them out early, near “a friend’s house” or at a phone booth.

20. Automatic 100 points for any air-cooled car. Twenty more if the leaking heater boxes give you a carbon-monoxide headache, and a bonus 10 if the fan belt makes a right-angle turn from the crankshaft pulley. Air-cooled cars with swing axles located ahead of the engine get another 50, with an additional 20 if the car has roof damage.

21. Give yourself 30 points if you have to spell the name of your car more than three times to your insurance agent over the phone, and then it still shows up spelled wrong on your insurance papers.

22. Collect 50 points if your car has a Brooklands windscreen, but subtract 100 points if you put it on an inappropriate car, such as a Datsun B210 or a Honda Civic.

23. Five points for every “Lift-the-Dot” snap on your weather equipment that doesn’t line up with any visible stud on the body.

24. If, on the roadside, you are brought to your knees, exhausted, by a convertible top that will not stretch far enough to reach the “Lift-the-Dot” studs, give yourself 40 points. 40 more if it’s raining when this happens.

25. 100 points for side-curtains, and 50 more if they billow out and scoop in whatever weather they were intended to help you avoid.

26. Thirty points for either a crank handle starter, a hole through the radiator for the crank handle (even though it has an electric starter), or a starter button under the clutch pedal.

27. Deduct 500 points for any car whose door window glass does not go all the way down on the rear passenger doors.

28. Add 50 points for any car that has more than 40 bhp for each inch of tire width.

29. If your car’s engine designer grew up within 300 miles of the birthplace of Giuseppe Verdi, give yourself 100 points.

30. If your car is, or ever was, the fastest production car on earth, add another 100 points.

31. If a fighter pilot of any nationality might have driven your car, or one like it, to an airfield during the Battle of Britain, give yourself 100 points. If he wasn’t able to get to the field due to “gudgeon pin” failure or the malfunction of any Lucas electrical component, add another 100.

32. Fifty points if your car was driven in a movie – or in real life – by Steve McQueen, James Dean, Clark Gable or Carroll Shelby. Fifty more if it was raced by any of these individuals.

33. Twenty points if your Official Factory Shop Manual recommends “decoking” the cylinder head at intervals of less than 3000 miles.

34. If you come out of a movie at night and accidentally try your key in another car that looks just like yours, subtract 500 points. (This has never happened to a car with character.)


If you didn’t do too well with the above test, you might try an alternative test to see if your car has character -

Have you ever taken pictures of your car? Score 100 points. If you carry them in your wallet, add another 100. In spite of this, if your hands are too greasy to handle a camera, score 500 points.
Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints.....

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Vic Skirmants
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Re: Does your car have character?

#2 Post by Vic Skirmants » Sat Jul 30, 2022 7:58 am

LOVE IT! How do I print it?

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David Jones
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Re: Does your car have character?

#3 Post by David Jones » Sat Jul 30, 2022 8:42 am

Mouse over it and highlight it, right click and copy and paste it to documents or just print it.
If I had known I would live this long I would have pushed the envelope a little harder.
Cymru am byth
David Jones #9715

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Vic Skirmants
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Re: Does your car have character?

#4 Post by Vic Skirmants » Sat Jul 30, 2022 9:00 am

Thanks, David; already did.

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Jeffrey Vogel
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Re: Does your car have character?

#5 Post by Jeffrey Vogel » Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:30 am

ha ha but there should be a complementary list for owner's who ARE characters ?
jeffrey vogel
driving since 1959
porsche 356 SC
bugatti t35
lotus elan s2
miata NA
BMW r27
Triumph t100R
ALFA gulia

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Vic Skirmants
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Re: Does your car have character?

#6 Post by Vic Skirmants » Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:37 am

Jeffrey Vogel wrote:
Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:30 am
ha ha but there should be a complementary list for owner's who ARE characters ?
Jeffrey; looks like you win, with that list of cars.

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Jeffrey Vogel
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Re: Does your car have character?

#7 Post by Jeffrey Vogel » Tue Aug 02, 2022 7:52 am

Vic Skirmants wrote:
Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:37 am
Jeffrey Vogel wrote:
Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:30 am
ha ha but there should be a complementary list for owner's who ARE characters ?
Jeffrey; looks like you win, with that list of cars. born with gasoline in the blood I think
jeffrey vogel
driving since 1959
porsche 356 SC
bugatti t35
lotus elan s2
miata NA
BMW r27
Triumph t100R
ALFA gulia

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Wes Bender
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Location: Green Valley, AZ

Re: Does your car have character?

#8 Post by Wes Bender » Tue Aug 02, 2022 8:19 am

Bridgehampton just might have something to do with it too.
Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints.....

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