20 weird car facts even your petrolhead friends wouldn’t know

by | Last updated on Mar 25, 2022 at 3:35PM | Published on Feb 25, 2022 | Cars

Porsche 911 997 GT3 RS

As petrolheads, we love a bit of a nerd fest when it comes to car facts.

And through what felt like a never ending lockdown, let’s just say we had a lot of time on our hands.

So here are 20 of our favourite weird car facts:

Fact 1:

The McLaren F1 door mirrors are actually straight from the VW Corrado and its rear lights from the Lamborghini Diablo.

Fact 2:

Volvo was the first car manufacturer to fit six-figure odometers to its cars which shows just how reliable they are.

Fact 3:

In 2001 the Queen took delivery of a brand new Land Rover Defender 110 which was bespokely fitted with a V8 and automatic gearbox as she was already 75 years old at this point. However, soon after receiving it she returned it and asked if they could put a manual in it.

Fact 4:

The ‘XJ’ part of the Jaguar XJ is short for eXperimental Jaguar.

Fact 5:

The Porsche 997 911 GT3 RS has so much Alcantara because the GT department boss Andreas Preuninger loved it after owning several Lancia Delta Integrales. 

Fact 6:

Did you know Top Gear began in 1977 as a monthly half-hour programme only shown in the Midlands?

Fact 7:

The Audi 80 and 100 were called what they were because that’s how much horsepower they each had.

Fact 8:

The Ford Mondeo was almost called the Ford Lyrus, and thank god it wasn’t.

Fact 9:

The Smart Roadster had the same wheelbase as the 997 generation of Porsche 911.

Fact 10:

In the mid-90s, BMW bought the Rover Group for £800 million but sold it in 2000 for just £10. 

Fact 11:

According to a study by BMW in 2010, four out of five 1 Series owners thought their car was FWD.

Fact 12:

The V10 engine seen in the Dodge Viper was actually made by Lamborghini.

Fact 13:

The folding seat system in the first-ever Vauxhall Zara was actually engineered by Porsche as it was so complicated.

Fact 14:

When Lotus put electric windows in the Elise all hell broke loose among the purists, but little did they know, the motorised system was actually lighter.

Fact 15:

The development and release of the 4WD version of the Lamborghini Diablo was delayed because as a lorry was transporting the prototype back from testing, thieves broke into it.

Fact 16:

Despite Germans actually inventing the car, it wasn’t them who dominated the production of cars in the early days. And no, it wasn’t even the Americans or the Chinese or the British.

Until 1906, France was producing more cars than any other nation. Sure, the Americans took over a year later but pretty impressive stuff for the French, don’t you think?

Fact 17:

Volvo built its first car all the way back in 1927. This was known as the Jakob or the OV4, depending on your preference.

Anyway, Volvo being Volvo, you would expect insane craftsmanship and engineering, right? Well, it didn’t exactly go to plan as the car had to be recalled because the rear axle had been assembled incorrectly, resulting in the car having four reverse gears and just one to move the car forwards.

Fact 18:

The 1958 Daimler Conquest was called this because it cost £1066 before taxes and 1066 is also the year the Norman Conquest took place.

Fact 19:

The Pagani Zonda shares the same climate control unit as the Rover 45.

Fact 20:

Guess which company makes the most tyres each year? It’s not Michelin, it’s not Pirelli, it isn’t even Continental. It is actually LEGO! 


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