Home » Sometimes Engine Parts Remind You Of Biological Things: Cold Start

Sometimes Engine Parts Remind You Of Biological Things: Cold Start

Cs Fiatspider

I sure do love cutaway diagrams of cars, like I’m sure we all do, right? Sometimes I like to quickly glance at them and try to see what element grabs my eye most – the punctum of the image, as I’ve discussed here before. In the case of this 1968 Fiat 850 Spider, I think the punctum is that exhaust manifold, which feels oddly biological, like a ribcage.

Seeing this, and making this mental association reminded me of how, when I was a kid, my mom would tell me that she didn’t like the various Baja Beetles I used to eagerly point out on the road as we drove, because she thought they looked too “intestinal” from the rear.

I’m pretty sure she was referring to the headers that were usually visible on these. I’m not sure I really knew what she was going on about then, because I just thought they were cool, period, but I think I see it now.

I still think they’re cool, though, intestinal or not.

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16 Responses

  1. Saw and NSU spider with a Wankel motor in it over the weekend. if David ever gets back to KS and has a day to trip, you two should visit Pioneer Village in Minden Nebraska. So many weird and wonderful cars and lots of other stuff.

  2. Jason, don’t know if you mom ever worked in medicine but all it takes is one look at an omphalocele and you cannot “unsee” it. Those Baja Bug guts may have just brought back some tough memories for her.

    Or maybe she just liked cars without the innards visible.

  3. I had a 1967 Fiat 850 Spider. Fun little car, you could drive it flat out all day long – and nobody would notice. Lightly modified and some radial tires made it a fun autocross vehicle. It was thoroughly rusted out after 2 New England Winters.

    1. Based on the teardowns from the I Do Cars channel, Toyota engines frequently have biologically-shaped water pump passages. They’re not the only ones, but it seems to be more consistent with them.

  4. Before I was an engineer I was a 2T351 in the USAF, basically a mechanic. Specialized in heavy duty vehicles, bulldozers, road graders, etc. Worked on a lot of hydraulic systems and rebuilt more than a few cylinders.

    I remember in my college intro-bio course getting into how muscles worked and it just hit me; muscles are just one-way hydraulic cylinders. That revelation and the fact that holes in bones are called “foramina” are about the only things I retained from that class.
    So, long way around to heartily agree that sometimes engines or other mechanical things feel like biological things.

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