#1153: That Car Needs a Fin

Should this be atop a Tercel?

Original Air Date: 12.31.2011

   Best Moment 1:29

This week on Car Talk, does a dorsal fin make a car less aerodynamic? That's Dan's question, after he decided his Tercel was lacking that important fishy feature. So, he sculpted one for the hood. Is such a problem even possible for a Tercel? Elsewhere, Mary's been driving her Mustang around with a trunk full of compost. Her husband says it's time to clean it out, but Mary thinks the ballast is worth a few mold spores. Also, Vanessa's Sunbird's making a classic rattle, Eddie's F-150 won't start, Megan's looking to get a new car and a new guy; and Stephan's about to learn there's a fine line between Genius and Wacko--and he may have just crossed it. All this and lots more, this week on Car Talk.

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Wood Powered combustion engines do-exist.

by HalCrash

company called beaver energy makes them, they are google-able. it uses a process called gasification.

Fin? I'll show you a fin!

by Hybrid Padré

Wonderful! 8 pistons up!

Favorite Moment: As I was listening to this guy talk about the fin he put on his car, I was thinking, "That's nothing! He should see the car/truck/shark I saw in Forestville, CA a couple years ago." Well, he can see that shark-mobile if he goes to my photo page at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/warrenlynn/3385590218/


by Lynnlynn

Car fin pic, car fin pic! I had a 1984 Tercel that I drove till 1997 and gave away, with 275,000 on it. Car fin pic!

Where is the picture of the fin!?

by brooklynRick

great show, but why leave me hanging?

Favorite Moment: That car needs a fin!

Where's the Fin?

by sunjack1

I am still looking for the promised picture of the FIN! I want to see how it looks, am thinking about putting one on my car now!

Favorite Moment: "That car needs a fin."

Car that needs a fin

by dimwit

Comments about whether or not a fin is a good idea miss the most important consideration: Predation. The fin may make the car LOOK like it's at the top of the food chain, like a shark, but if it attracts predators (say a car with a BIGGER fin) it's dangerous... unless the Tercel can go REAL FAST!

Danger, Will Robinson!

by Schadow

While a cute idea, there is danger lurking, namely, aerodynamic flutter. Driving around the city, probably no problem. But on the highway, uneven air pressure from, say, passing another vehicle or being passed, could set up a runaway flutter which might cause the fin to rip off, endangering other vehicles. The area of the described fin is about 4 sq. ft. Even though the fin is glued and screwed to the roof of the vehicle, the light sheet metal of the roof could easily be ripped.

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From Autolingerers to Carcophony, Tom and Ray share some new autolinguistics.

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