This weekend I was at the Hilton Head Concurs, wandering around and devaluing all the cars I approached within a few feet, when a saw a really novel little sky-blue car with the face of a cowfish but the presence of a lithe little champion. It was called an Arnott, and it has a fascinating story that I’ll be covering in more detail soon (the only race car to be built by a woman-owned firm!) but for the moment I just want to show you one detail you’ve likely seen on countless race cars, and tell you the nickname it has. Because it’s funny.
The detail are those little hood/trunk latches that have little flip-up covers and use a hex key to lock or unlock. These things:
You’ve probably already guessed, but the nickname for these are “toilet seats” because damn, they look exactly like a toilet seat. I mean, if I piss off a witch tomorrow and she transforms me into a little mouse or vole or something, I’m going to get one of these and build myself a little toilet, because I don’t care what I look like, I am not shitting on people’s floors or in their cabinets.
I think I’ll take out the spring in there, though. I don’t need the lid to pin me on that seat.
Escutcheons! Those lids are called escutcheons, and the “Key” is four-sided. At least on my TR-3 they are.
I like the enlogated ones much better than the round ones.
Someone should make tiny little stickers of a toilet paper roll for one side and a reader’s digest on the other.
Kind of like those bullet hole stickers that were all the rage 20 years ago, remember?
I’m a total nerd for panel fasteners on cars, and esp. their evolution. You can imagine how something like this on race cars evolved into the pin-and-post or turn lock ones as pit stop speediness became a tactic for victory.
“Do you have the key? Who has the key? It’s on his keychain!? Why is it there?! No, don’t do that, just shut the engine off and gimme the entire thing! Argh…just reach down and get it…it’s under the seat!”
The 1956 Arnott 1100 Climax…such an ugly car.
Googled it, wish I hadn’t.
It rivals modern BMWs for champion of ugly!
Yeah, that low tiny grill is unfortunate. They look fine with racing numbers between the headlights, but that blue one looks like Kermit did when the puppeteer would sorta purse his mouth to show dejection
Leave it to a company run by women to make a car called the Climax. And thats all im going to say.
Weeeelllllllll, technically it’s because the car had a Coventry Climax engine in it, from Coventry Climax Engines, Ltd., which was owned and run by a man. But still, a bad name to go with a bad car…
“Gawd, yer ugly!”
This fastener is called a Dzus fastener. They can also be found on many old British sports cars such as the TR series Triumph.
The Dzus fastener, also known as a turnlock fastener or quick-action panel fastener, is a type of proprietary quarter-turn spiral cam lock fastener often used to secure skin panels on aircraft and other high-performance vehicles.
useful for American Race car panels and hoods too.
Interesting! I was only familiar with the slotted-screw button-style Dzus, as found on motorcycle fairings & bodywork.
People were a lot smaller in the old days. This just proves it.
And if you’re wife gets shrunk with you, you’ll never have to worry about leaving this toilet seat up.
Alternatively, you could install a much stronger spring and use the latch to trap housebroken mice and voles.
Why no quick meet up?
Great, I wonder if Jordan Haskins is going to read this and having a stroke wondering where this vehicle is.
Torch you gotta quit this crap, what a shitty article, surely you’re flush with ideas, why stoop to potty talk? Etc..
I don’t know about being a toilet seat, those screws look really uncomfortable 🙁
The lid that always want to close on you would be a bigger problem.
This might be just inspiration for, or a precursor to, Torch’s next piece about installment of how cars would have been designed differently if we all had tails, or an inflexible carapace.
FFS, if I can’t proofread correctly when posting, can I at least have an edit button?!
Certain Chrysler products also featured toilet seat-inspired detailing for a time, guess designers were just into the look
And of course Edsel took it over the top.