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Strangest Car youv ever owned... ?

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  • #16
    That one is easy: BMW Isetta.

    It was a bad luck car, but I wish I still had it. It was a blast.

    That was the trouble with it. A buddy and I swapped cars for a weekend, his brand new fresh-on-the-market Corvair for my Isetta. He abused it so much the engine was shot by the end ofthe weekend.

    Another time I hit a pool of water on a dark stormy night and the thing hydroplaned and rolled.

    I eventually sold it to a co-worker who had the engine rebuilt at a motorcycle shop. They forgot to hook up the exhaust and on his way home from the shop he was overcome by carbon monoxide. He wound up in the hospital, lucky to be alive.

    It was the only "jinxed" car I ever owned.

    Last edited by Orrin; 03-06-2008, 10:02 AM.
    So many projects. So little time.


    • #17
      Originally posted by A.K. Boomer
      it had a "freewheeling" devise --- you would pull a lever down by the fire wall and it would engage a one way roller clutch inside the trans, the vehicle could coast down a hill in forth gear to save fuel and the engine would idle, then when you needed power you would get back on the accelerator peddle and the engine would then re-engage and off you would go
      The freewheeling clutch was not to save fuel. It was a holdover from the days of their 2 cycle engines. Since 2 cycle engines get their lubrication from the incoming air/fuel mixture, they starve for lubrication if they coast at high rpm with the throttle closed, so the freewheeling device let the engine idle while going downhill. I'm surprised they kept it unless the car was still available with the 3 cyclinder engine at that time.

      Those 3 cylinder engines were strange. The head was just a thick aluminum plate with spark plug holes. It had an overhead fanshaft and a combination generator/water pump. And neat little holders on the firewall to store cans of Saab 2 cycle concentrate.



      • #18
        Damn good point Denny, I had a friend with the 96 and it was a two stroke, I cannot remember if it was a pre-mix or had an injection pump, if it had a pump that means it would totally pig-out on oil and foul the plugs on a long downhill, if it was pre-mix it means you could possibly starve the engine and lock it up --- But the engine would not be working much at all except for the very mild compression strokes and it would be getting cooled big time although it would be rotating at much faster RPM's, but much of the oil would not be getting burned off --- it could actually concentrate in some instances --- Depending on the design of the two stroke (port timing -- reed or rotary valves -- ect.ect.) most of them dont really even breath well upon de-accel --- it takes the exhaust charge leaving to draw in the intake properly, (thats the reason for the drastic hit and miss Bing- bing ---- sometimes it can be a ratio of 20 or 30 misses to one hit, there simply is nothing drawing in the fuel air mix) So no there's not much new oil coming in, but not much going out either, I could see it not being as diluted with fuel --- but I could also see some potentual for some "dry" spots and piston and rings would be first of concerns, I remember mixed results out here with some pre-mix dirt bikes on de-accel from long steep Mt.'s, get back on the throttle and lay a smoke screen down for a quarter mile, not to say that of it much wasnt just building up in the exhaust, but still means it was running some through in order to do it.
        I know the freewheeling device was actually dangerous for people who didnt know when to use it,
        It was fine if you used it on moderate hills, I live and lived in colorado at the time, it worked great for most stuff but You needed to pay attention and use it wisely --- there was stuff out here that I had to re-engage the engine other wise I would have cooked my braking system for sure, I have to think it was the same for the cars country of origin (Sweden) ...

        So I dont know for sure about it being just a holdover from the two stroke days, it would imply that most of their two stroke cars would have cooked their engines on the first big gradient --- Because people would have had to engage the engine, you simply could not rely on just the brakes --- And that for the most part was just me and a light girlfriend,,, what if you had 7 people in the car?
        I think the freewheeling device was a combo deal, iv been into the transmissions (I believe the saab sonnet had the same, another V4 four stroke) I remember working on the unit -- it was a simple roller clutch and could have been replaced by a simple solid unit and then they could have just never added a engagement lever,,, the other thing for sure is there is no way that this system could continue, it was very dangerous to the general public and had to be yanked off the market...


        • #19
          Strangest car I've ever owned- '79 Acadian. Mind you it's the only car I've ever owned. Always had vans and the 4x4.
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


          • #20
            either a Saab 93, Austin Marina or a Humber Super Snipe.



            • #21
              Strange Car (at least here in hillybilly land)

              I had a '64 Humber Super Scepter, 4-speed with 2-speed electric overdrive, body by Jaguar, all leather and wood interior, positive ground electrical system, the size of a Ford Falcon and twice as heavy, 4k rpm @ 100 mph in 6th gear. I drove it home to NC from Texas and was almost laughed out of town, so I guess the definition of strange is relative. Wish I had it back.


              • #22

                You could be right about the 2-stroke Saab and the free wheel, but there were other more conventional cars with free wheel as well. Rover is one that is well known. Also, I believe at least some of the overdrives fitted to many English cars as an optional extra would free wheel when in overdrive. At one stage I had a Zephyr overdrive gearbox, but never fitted it. It used a governor to control overdrive engagement, and had a kick down as well (it would cut the ignition when you floored the throttle to allow the overdrive to drop out).

                I know a UK family who had a few of the early Saabs, they had only pleasant memories of these cars. I have worked on one of the early turbo Saabs, a beautiful car when it was running.... I believe Saab used a Triumph Dolomite-based engine in these cars, and also used Triumph (I think) for supply of other parts e.g. pressings, through the years.
                Last edited by Peter S; 03-06-2008, 09:41 PM.