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bludroptop
bludroptop UltraDork
9/1/18 5:10 p.m.
Knurled. said:
  After the war, the factory was a bombed-out mess. 

Bah!  That will buff out...

 

hhaase
hhaase HalfDork
9/1/18 6:26 p.m.

Here’s a fun one.   What if the C5 corvette project was killed,  as he GM heads had ordered?  Instead, it was developed in secret and dropped on Chevy’s head like an an atom bomb when it hit the show circuit as production ready. 

rustyvw
rustyvw Dork
9/1/18 7:48 p.m.

In reply to bludroptop :

From what I understand, there was a bomb that would have destroyed the generators if it hadn't been a dud.  If it had exploded, that would have been the end for VW.

Cloud9...68
Cloud9...68 New Reader
9/2/18 9:31 a.m.

What if Ayrton Senna hadn't died in 1994?  Would he have toiled in obscurity the rest of his career with inferior teams, like Alonso has, or would he instead of Schumacher have ended up at Ferrari and ended up with something like 150 career wins?

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
9/3/18 3:37 p.m.
NickD said:

What if NASCAR hadn't banned the development of OHC engines?

[...]

With these engines set to dethrone the 426 Hemi, Mopar immediately threw together the A925 "Doomsday Engine", which was a DOHC, 32V 426 Hemi.

I went searching for how they made a Hemi with 4 valves per cylinder, so to save anyone else the effort, it actually has a pentroof combustion chamber but was described as a Hemi for marketing/intimidation reasons.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
9/3/18 4:26 p.m.

What dreams may come.

_
_ Reader
9/3/18 5:20 p.m.
bludroptop said:
Knurled. said:
  After the war, the factory was a bombed-out mess. 

Bah!  That will buff out...

 

wspohn
wspohn Dork
9/3/18 6:28 p.m.

If they had built the Fiat X1/9 using the 124 twin cam engine they would have had a pocket sized killer that could have dominated rally and race groups.

More obscurely, if MG had postponed production of the MGA Twin Cam engine until it was fully sorted they would have carried it through into the MGB range to power a price plus high output version that might have kept the factory going longer. As it was, they managed to get 300 bhp out of it, blown, and set a record at Bonneville of 255 mph out of 1600 cc, a record that stood for a half century.

P3PPY
P3PPY New Reader
9/3/18 9:47 p.m.

this was a rumor from pre-internet days so don't flame me if i'm wrong but i heard that the c3 was originally designed to be the firebird but got migrated to the 'Vette. If so, what a cool world that would have been if the F-bodies weren't just clones of each other

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
9/3/18 9:59 p.m.

In reply to P3PPY :

This probably comes from the fact that the c3 looks an incredible amount like the pontiac banshee xp-833 concept from 1964.  

 

Also came here to post the 4 rotor corvette.  Can you imagine all the BRAP if corvettes went rotary?

P3PPY
P3PPY New Reader
9/3/18 10:08 p.m.

In reply to Patrick :

Well indeed it does. What was the proposal for the C3 then? Part of the rumor was that higher ups were displeased with the design so they stole that dress from their sister 

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy PowerDork
9/3/18 10:16 p.m.
Chesterfield said:

What if the mustang had actually ended up a two seat mid-engined sports car powered by a v4, not some dressed-up falcon pony car? Would there have been a camaro, firebird, challenger, etc?

Some say that the GTO fired the first shot. Ford may have taken a beating if they introduced the Mustang as a two seater., especially given that they had the Thunderbird already.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
9/3/18 10:53 p.m.

Dont know if it has been asked yet but- what would have happened if the auto bailout money never existed? Would they have all collapsed? Would we be seeing geely and mahindra on the roads here? 

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
9/3/18 10:54 p.m.
Patrick said:

In reply to P3PPY :

This probably comes from the fact that the c3 looks an incredible amount like the pontiac banshee xp-833 concept from 1964.  

 

Also came here to post the 4 rotor corvette.  Can you imagine all the BRAP if corvettes went rotary?

Dat BRAP instead of dat CHOP?

drainoil
drainoil HalfDork
9/4/18 7:23 a.m.
Mndsm said:

Dont know if it has been asked yet but- what would have happened if the auto bailout money never existed? Would they have all collapsed? Would we be seeing geely and mahindra on the roads here? 

Who knows maybe GM would have gone back to making refrigerators lol.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
9/4/18 7:28 a.m.
Curtis said:

What if Prohibition never happened?  We would all be filling our tanks with moonshine.

A common fringe theory is that prohibition had nothing to do with morality and drinking, but rather the oil industry's desire to seize control over energy.  Henry Ford originally designed his cars to run on alcohol... until prohibition happened.  I think about this frequently.  We often complain about ethanol in our gas, but if it was the other way around and we had been using ethanol all these years, then supplementing our energy consumption with gasoline, we'd be complaining about gasoline in our ethanol.

And what if Chevy had actually gone ahead with a 94-96 Impala SS wagon?  It would mean I would have 4 of them and be more broke than I already am.

I don't think that's a conclusion that I came up with- prohibition basically made all of the alcohol being made really cheap, since nobody could drink it- which basically would have made industrial alcohol really cheap.  Remember- prohibition didn't stop industrial and medicinal alcohol being made- it just ended it for consumption.  There was a strong enough supply of materials to make ethanol that it should have been a no brainer to convert to industrial ethanol making.

The economic forces should have been very much on the side of alcohol vs oil, as it would have lowered the price enough just to keep companies in business.  But that didn't happen.  

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
9/4/18 7:36 a.m.
Knurled. said:

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

And in that timeline, this thread would be "What if they were able to figure out how to make a catalytic converter work?  We might conceivably have piston engined cars as clean as a Wankel but with fuel economy rivaling Diesels"

 

Everyone was ga-ga for Wankels because they had next to no NOx emissions.  HC and CO are easy enough to deal with once you have a handle on NOx: pump air into the exhaust manifold and the pollutants will continue to burn, turning into water and carbon dioxide.  Then the catalytic converter was perfected enough for production use, and magically all Wankel development sort of... stopped.

 

Mazda did not put a catalyst on the rotary until 1981, when it was made mandatory in the US.  It wasn't needed.  When I had my '80, it was young enough to still need emissions testing, and it nearly baselined the testing equipment because the naturally-low NOx and the thermal reactor exhaust system worked so well to run clean.

 

Yet you tell people today that there was a push for Wankels because of their superior emissions, and they look at you like you sprouted two extra heads or something.

I've never seen a reference in the CAA that requires a catalytic converter.  I've seen references that any devices that are used to lower emissions need a monitor, but that came in 1996.  And I've seen references that any devices that are used to lower emissions are not legally removed (enforced commercially), which does specifically note catalysts.

But, I've really not seen any reference that requires specific technology.  The rules are open enough that if you can make an engine that clean, and without any vapor escape (both measurable), then it's legal.

 

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
9/4/18 8:03 a.m.
alfadriver said:
Knurled. said:

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

And in that timeline, this thread would be "What if they were able to figure out how to make a catalytic converter work?  We might conceivably have piston engined cars as clean as a Wankel but with fuel economy rivaling Diesels"

 

Everyone was ga-ga for Wankels because they had next to no NOx emissions.  HC and CO are easy enough to deal with once you have a handle on NOx: pump air into the exhaust manifold and the pollutants will continue to burn, turning into water and carbon dioxide.  Then the catalytic converter was perfected enough for production use, and magically all Wankel development sort of... stopped.

 

Mazda did not put a catalyst on the rotary until 1981, when it was made mandatory in the US.  It wasn't needed.  When I had my '80, it was young enough to still need emissions testing, and it nearly baselined the testing equipment because the naturally-low NOx and the thermal reactor exhaust system worked so well to run clean.

 

Yet you tell people today that there was a push for Wankels because of their superior emissions, and they look at you like you sprouted two extra heads or something.

I've never seen a reference in the CAA that requires a catalytic converter.  I've seen references that any devices that are used to lower emissions need a monitor, but that came in 1996.  And I've seen references that any devices that are used to lower emissions are not legally removed (enforced commercially), which does specifically note catalysts.

But, I've really not seen any reference that requires specific technology.  The rules are open enough that if you can make an engine that clean, and without any vapor escape (both measurable), then it's legal.

 

The brief time Minnesota did have a sniffer, my brothers 85 rx7 passed with flying colors, despite most of the cat being missing. No visual test ftw. 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
9/4/18 8:12 a.m.

In reply to Mndsm :

The sniffer test isn't the test that demonstrates compliance with the CAA.  It barely tests that a car runs reasonably well....  I've posted that many times over the years I've been on this board.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
9/4/18 8:30 a.m.

I had come here to post the rotary powered Corvette and AMC Pacer, but that one was one of the first posted. So, here's some other interesting what-ifs:

1. Chrysler had a couple slant six variants that made it to the prototype stage. One was a Diesel - and basically a slant six in layout only; it was a complete redesign with a seven bolt main bearing crank. Had this made it into production, it's likely Chrysler would not have considered a Cummins powered truck... but could this motor have been a legit Cummins rival or not?

2. Another slant six option that never made it to production was a factory turbo build. Combine this "what if" with "what if the engineers who argued the F/M/J bodies should get a coil sprung double wishbone front suspension?" and you could have had a pretty interesting Mirada or Aspen based competitor to the Grand National.

pushrod36
pushrod36 Reader
9/4/18 9:01 a.m.

What if Ferrari had sold to Ford?

What if Dodge would have accepted the partnership with Honda and put CVCC heads on a V8?

What if the Dodge turbine car would have gone into mass production?

What if the Detroit automakers had been more scared of the Japanese companies and pushed for regulation to make it hard for them to compete?

What if Ralph Nadar hadn't mentioned the corvair in his book?

What if Lily Gray or the Ulrich family had driven mustangs?

 

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
9/4/18 10:59 a.m.

 

i think i've lived in Detroit too long, because i'm looking at the buildings in the distance thinking "they don't look too bad."   took me a minute to see the rubble in the foreground and go "oh, *that* factory."

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
9/4/18 12:44 p.m.
alfadriver said:
Knurled. said:

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

And in that timeline, this thread would be "What if they were able to figure out how to make a catalytic converter work?  We might conceivably have piston engined cars as clean as a Wankel but with fuel economy rivaling Diesels"

 

Everyone was ga-ga for Wankels because they had next to no NOx emissions.  HC and CO are easy enough to deal with once you have a handle on NOx: pump air into the exhaust manifold and the pollutants will continue to burn, turning into water and carbon dioxide.  Then the catalytic converter was perfected enough for production use, and magically all Wankel development sort of... stopped.

 

Mazda did not put a catalyst on the rotary until 1981, when it was made mandatory in the US. 

I've never seen a reference in the CAA that requires a catalytic converter.  I've seen references that any devices that are used to lower emissions need a monitor, but that came in 1996.  And I've seen references that any devices that are used to lower emissions are not legally removed (enforced commercially), which does specifically note catalysts.

But, I've really not seen any reference that requires specific technology.  The rules are open enough that if you can make an engine that clean, and without any vapor escape (both measurable), then it's legal.

 

I was a toddler at the time, so I am going from what I've read...

 

Supposedly, Chrysler figured it was cheaper to pay a fine per car than put catalysts on everything, which is why a lot of Mopars didn't get cats... until 1981.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
9/4/18 12:50 p.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

It's more likely that the rules tightened up in 1981 enough that the only viable solution was a catalyst.  That's happened a few times in the history of the CAA.  Also, if the Chrysler rumor was true, the loophole that allowed them to pay a fine vs. meeting the letter of the law was likely closed in '81, too.

That makes a lot more sense than catalysts being required, which I've never seen in any regulation.  

jharry3
jharry3 Reader
9/4/18 1:03 p.m.

What if Ford had spent a few more dollars per unit on an Independent rear suspension set up for the original Mustang?

I used to have a link to a site that showed the whole design, including part numbers, to recreate the original concept.  Can't find it...

This article is about that concept:

https://www.motortrend.com/news/the-history-of-the-ford-mustang-independent-rear-suspension/

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