André Rousseau
André Rousseau HalfDork
9/3/09 7:37 a.m.

Last night hit the British invasion for the local car show.

No love for the Triumphs, but a Jag and 2 MG's took top honour.

The fun part was taking my father in law in the GT6. He has not been out for a drive with me since either 2001 when it was old and un-restored or maybe just after I got it back on the road in its un-tuned phase.

I took the long route and we had a great time going around the bends and tight turns.

At the end of the run he commented on the oil/fuel smell. My wife calls it o'd du Triumph. I recommended he shower or I'll face the wrath of my Mother in-law.

Sadly I can feel the lock ticking on drive time. Starting to get colder. Pretty soon the GT6 will be going for a long winter nap.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
9/3/09 9:03 a.m.

Ah, the smell of Castrol and short circuits. Love it.

André Rousseau
André Rousseau HalfDork
9/3/09 9:39 a.m.

Valvoline VR1 and a venting oil catch can baby.

No electrical faults in my cars.


spitfirebill Dork
9/4/09 8:05 a.m.

I well remember the smell of my old TR3.

Old airplanes have a certain smell too.

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
9/4/09 2:52 p.m.

Yep, it's eau de Triumph in our family, too. Doesn't matter whether it's the Spitfire, the GT6 or the TR3--I could sit in any one of them with my eyes closed and know I was in a Triumph. I can also tell when Tim's "been with" one of his Triumphs; they leave their smell on him worse than any woman ever could. Come to think of it, they take more of his time, too...


Shinsen774 Reader
9/15/09 7:46 p.m.

I love the smell of my MGB. The new leather seat smell seems to complete the package somehow.

Leo  Basile
Leo Basile New Reader
9/17/09 6:41 p.m.

When I was a kid that was one of the first things I noticed about British sports cars. Also that weird smell of air cooled VW products...Whats up with that?

Lastly, UH-1 Hueys have a smell all to their own as well...You know, that victory. Well, more like an old friend, but you get the idea.


Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
9/18/09 8:42 a.m.

Air cooled VW smell is largely from the stuffing they used in the seats. I've heard horse hair, but I don't quite believe it. Older water-cooled VWs can have it, too.

André Rousseau
André Rousseau HalfDork
9/18/09 8:57 a.m.

I will add I have a fan in my garage to aid with the "fresh air" issues.

I'm going to use a bathroom fan next year.


rconlon Reader
9/18/09 10:27 a.m.

Horse hair or excelsior was thin shaved/strips of wood and was used in furniture and packing. Could be the wood used had an odor. I just recall the heater vents leaking a bit of exhaust into the car. The real thing was used to make a cloth for furniture but I don't recall cars using it. I had an antique chair covered with horse hair and it had a nylon cloth-like texture or weave and was shiny and very long wearing.

Cheers Ron

ddavidv SuperDork
9/19/09 6:30 a.m.

The Mini has a decided British odor to it. Pleasant.

When I went to look at my '65 Ford pickup, it was raining. When I opened the door, my smell sensors immediately took me back 15 years to the old beater truck I had that started my love for these things. I was sold on the truck at that moment. Didn't even matter what it drove like. It's a unique smell of vinyl, rubber, seat stuffing, cardboard (headliner) with just a dash of old oil and exhaust. Awesome.

KaptKaos Reader
9/19/09 9:56 a.m.
Tim Baxter wrote: Air cooled VW smell is largely from the stuffing they used in the seats. I've heard horse hair, but I don't quite believe it. Older water-cooled VWs can have it, too.

I always thought that the air cooled cars got their musk from a combination of being air cooled, push rod tube leaks and heat exchangers that brought that aroma into the compartment.

When I put headers on my 914 and plugged the heater ducts, the interior was a lot more pleasant.

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