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"Here in my car", said 80s pop hero Gary Numan, "I feel safest of all". He obviously never shared the same stretch of road as me, then. Automotive tales of mirth and woe, please.

(, Thu 22 Apr 2010, 12:34)
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I used to have a Chrysler minivan.
It was the early 90s, and I had just had an old car that I had been driving bite the dust in an ugly way. I had to come up with a reasonable replacement, so I bought a minivan that was in my price range.

The only thing was, this particular shitbox was one that had been in someone else's price range as well, so it was the most stripped down minivan I had ever encountered. It had a stick shift, which I've never seen before or since in a van, but at least it ran pretty well most of the time.

One of the fun things about it that I discovered is that if I was in overdrive and I held down the gas at full for a few moment and then took my foot off of the pedal I could make it backfire with a sound like a shotgun going off. I think that what happened was that because it was a crap engine it was pushing a fair bit of unburned gasoline through so that it accumulated in the muffler until I let off the gas, at which point it ignited.

Once I had discovered this, of course I had to enjoy it. I learned how to time it almost exactly, so if I saw a bunch of highway workers standing around leaning on their shovels I could make it go off right next to them. I would then be treated to the sight of them leaping off the highway, shovels flying through the air as they took cover. (Note, though, that I never did that if they were actually working- just if they were standing around doing nothing.)

Going through tunnels was always fun because a backfire in there sounded like a cannon going off. Driving past the house of someone who I didn't like became a fun game, especially late at night. Someone being obnoxious on the road, tailgating me and generally being a dick? One good boom when the driver was level with the back of the van was enough to make them need Depends.

Then one day I was doing this and built up a good size charge, and the van suddenly sounded like a tank. Upon investigation when I got home I found the remains of the muffler ripped open like a bag of potato chips, so I had to get a new one fitted that week.

That didn't stop me from doing it, though.

The van finally died a sad death when the motor mounts gave out and pretty much destroyed the drive train. I then got myself a ragged little Honda Accord which served me well for another five years or so.

All of my cars have been manual transmissions, but none of them have backfired like the old van. Even now when I drive past a load of highway workers leaning on their shovels I think back fondly on that car...
(, Sun 25 Apr 2010, 15:45, 5 replies)

Brilliant! *click*
(, Sun 25 Apr 2010, 16:05, closed)
you can do this
on motorbikes too as they have an engine kill switch.
Lots of fun indeed
(, Sun 25 Apr 2010, 16:45, closed)
Killswitch backfire...
Chop the ignition, give the throttle a little poke, wait until the slug of petrolly air has blown down the exhaust a bit, then turn the ignition back on. Not too much though, or you'll end up with an exhaust like the one on my Volvo:

(, Sun 25 Apr 2010, 17:26, closed)
Well I have to admit that I as a young *on the road engineer* was equipped with a standard 'oh so standard' boring Vauxhall (GM) Cavalier 1.6.. I figured that by turning off the engine and letting vapour build up followed by a natural bump start I could shag the entire exhaust system and a few other bits as well...
The company only had a few spare cars, those being 205 GTI's... or worse case the Nova GTI's from Herz.

So much more fun to drive around in... ironic that they moved me to tech support that carried a 205 GTI as standard company car!

Ahh the early '90s
(, Sun 25 Apr 2010, 18:17, closed)
Oh the joys
Take one old Landrover, start on full choke, try manouvreing down the side of the house. Have to stop to clear some kids toys so switch off to stop getting choked. Yep sounded like a shotgun! Scared the crap out of the dealer across the road, and rightly so.

Also works better when the engine is nice and hot, and you pull the choke out for a second before switching off. Practice parking in front of the CEO's Maserati for best results
(, Sun 25 Apr 2010, 19:34, closed)

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