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Hooniverse Asks- Do You Have a Cool Key Fob?

Robert Emslie April 16, 2013 Hooniverse Asks 93 Comments


Look, I’m just going to come right out and say it, when it comes to cool key fobs, I win. That’s my original BRM (British Racing Motors) fob, all stiff black leather and enameled pot metal. I obtained it years ago, along with an AC key wallet, in a purchase of NOS BMC parts. Talk about sticking in your thumb and pulling out a plum.

Of course it now has a set of Datsun keys hanging from it rather than those for say a Type 75 racer with its inscrutable H16. Seriously, that thing lacked any kind of scrutability. Should I however, ever be miraculously gifted with one of the venerated British race car builder’s wares, I’ll gladly swap them out. At present it serves the function for which it was created, giving a set of keys a little more substance so as to be more easily pulled from a pocket, and making me look like a total badass.

Do you too have a fob with which you foster fame? Do your keys have a wingman? If you are a fob fan, what kind do you favor?

 Image source: ©2013 Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

  • The entire VW group uses the same key fobs (not including new Audi's). The Lamborghini and Bugatti keys are the exact same as an A8 key from 2010, just rebadged on the back.

    • Irishzombieman☆

      Aston Martin uses Volvo fobs.

      <img src="http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2008/10/aston-volvo-key.jpg&quot; width=350>

      • used.

        Now they use Emotion Control Units made from Sapphire and Stainless Steel

        • Irishzombieman☆

          That sounds sorta dirty.

          • M44Power

            I expect any emotion control unit to carry a whip and some chains.

        • I was going to say the same exact thing. ECU for short. He He.

    • M44Power

      I bet they are more successful than Aston Martin was at that game.

  • I ditched key fobs a few years ago. Too many keys, some of which I actually remember what they fit. I don't even carry the remote opener for my wife's car anymore. The last one I remember using was a Craftsman screwdriver thingy.
    <img src="http://www.drexelantiques.com/after5000/5136searsscrewdriverb.jpg"width=300&gt;

    • dukeisduke

      I've got one of those on my keychain. It's come in handy a few times. The plating on it is amazingly durable.

  • I hope this counts as a fob… My sister in law's now ex-boyfriend bought this 6 speed shifter fob/keychain/thing for me at the AutoArt shop when he visited Japan last year. I refused to put it on the VW keys because it was automatic. It now lives with my Miata key.

    <img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8223/8390345989_7556ba5519_z.jpg"&gt;

    • Vairship

      Now THAT is beautiful. Not sure it'd be great in your pocket, but beautiful.

      • Yeah, it's not very practical and I nearly lost the tiny shifter ball three times. I've since threadlocked it.

  • I Think Not

    I keep car keys and house keys separate, so I have two.

    With the car keys is a trinket that was in the goodie bag at a Mecum auction I attended last year. With the house keys is a small fake carabiner I use to attach the two sets and a little leather pouch that holds guitar picks of the bass variety — one aluminum, one brass, one 2.0mm Jim Dunlop nylon.

    Now that I think about it, my key fobs represent my two main interests — cars and music.


  • Hopman

    I use a caribbener obtained at any good outdoors store. Given the fact that i have so many keys I use on a regulat basis (work front door, work loading dock, work truck, personal car, apartment, key to church, ect) it just makes it so easy.

  • $kaycog

    I have the coolest ever with my birthstone.

    <img src="http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Ford-Ford-GT-Heart-Shape-Keychain-2-Pink-Crystals-Key-Chain-/00/s/MzcwWDYwMA==/$(KGrHqJ,!i!E7Dn+bMHGBO3Ut4prRw~~60_12.JPG" width="500">

  • JayP2112

    I still have the brass VW fob my brother got for me when I was 16. It still has the VW key on it- a bit charred. It was only thing I had left from the burnt out heap. On it is that NSU tag I found in a junkyard TR6.

    As current cars go- the truck key has something that has my name in Japanese. I think- at least that's what the boy said when he gave it to me.

  • OA5599

    I used to carry one of these, Airport security wouldn't take it past the metal detectors, but I had enough time to walk back to the car and leave it there for the duration of my trip. A few month later I got called for jury duty, and the screeners there made me check it while I was in the building. I got it back at the end of the day, but at that point decided the inconvenience was outweighing the convenience of having it.

    <img src="http://toolmonger.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/11/swisstech.jpg"&gt;

    • ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

      <img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-PlgcLhW3H1Y/UUpWs5OHaSI/AAAAAAAAFQc/jfOtAu8RT9M/s428-p-o/DSCN8281.jpg"&gt; That's pretty sad, doesn't even really have a blade does it. That's mine, I don't go past detectors enough really for it to be a concern, plus I think the keys themselves would be better weapons and even then not as good as say a high heel.

      • OA5599

        I tried to argue that it didn't have a blade, but they said it fell under the "no screwdrivers" rule. Of course, as shown in the picture above, the screwdriver blade is shorter than the keys, and someone wishing to harm another human would have a better chance of success holding the key between two knuckles and punching somebody.

        At the courthouse, when I went to retrieve it at the end of the day, a different deputy/supervisor was on duty and said I should have been allowed to take it into the court, and that she would tell that to the original screener. I still figured it wasn't worth the hassle.

        What is the broken-off key on your ring used for?

        • ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

          It's a reminder to twist gingerly, the key next to it is also beginning to go.

      • Irishzombieman☆

        Busted key is for?

        • ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

          To remind me. See the spring is pretty hard on the ignition in the Amazon. It's a problem that has gotten worse over the years for many. There were two companies that made the cylinders, but not anymore. It's an odd scheme with an armored coil. So I just had a bunch of keys made. I keep one good one and one questionable one. The questionable one I use for the gas cap. That one that broke was during a fine trip with my wife. Everything was going great, the kids were gone, the weather was great, she wore a nice spring dress, we had had lunch, gone grocery shopping, browsing at hobby store, then some browsing at her types of place, a bookstore, and on the way home I stuck in the wrong key, snap. Luckily I was near the hobby store and with some itsy tools was able to get the key out and get going. On the way home the clutch slave cylinder got so bad I could not get into first, but I was able to slam it into second and start off. Thankfully it was the only red light I got.

          I swear it was that sun dress, Astrid is a jealous old gal.

          • Irishzombieman☆

            HA HA!

            My Metro key's have a weak spot also. I don't mind when they break in the door because another key just pushes the broken piece through, but the ignition is another matter. Left me stuck at a gas station once with the wheels locked just past straight, so I couldn't get towed home by a friend and had to wait for a flat bed tow truck. I actually marked monthly alerts on my Outlook calendar after that to remind me to inspect the keys.

    • Sjalabais

      Swisstech USA? Both apples and oranges?

    • I've lost a few nice folding Barlows that way. Good thing they were tradeshow freebies.

    • Lost one of those to the TSA at boarding, then a few years later had to dash off to one of those emergency "ship it to yourself" kiosks with another one in order to make it through security. So I went to a Swiss Tech "Utili-Key" instead, and I have not had any trouble since.

      <img src="http://tanshanomi.com/temp/utili-key.png"&gt;
      EDIT: Also, it's a lot lighter in your trouser pocket.

      • BobWellington

        I have both of those and a Gerber mini knife/tool thing on my keychain as well. The whole trio is quite bulky, but I'd like to think it will get me out of an imminent kidnapping.

  • racer139

    I also keep my car and house keys separate. my Volvo key has its security fob and a polished and blue volvo emblem. I dont even know where my house keys are at the moment nor can I rememer if they even have a keychain or fob on them. But I do know that the volvo fob was hard to come by here in this perticular design. I wish my tech skills wernt so lacking and trying to stick pics to this blog didnt require replacing whichever device Im on at the time, Cause I would stick some picks up.

  • smalleyxb122

    I have one of these. I fancy myself a bit of a beer snob, and most of your craft brews come in bottles without twist-off caps.

    <img src="http://www.moteng.com/moteng/content/images_inv/b/l/40845/SBO-03-01_full_40845.jpg"&gt;

  • I have a set of incredibly useless, incredibly vintage (possible pre-WWI) imperial feeler gauges that're only about an inch long. Well, they were useful for my grandfather in the silk mill he worked in, but that's about it.

    • ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

      I used my feelers for a while, but that nut on the side would undo all the time. Your grandpa's is way cool.

  • Vavon

    My key fob is a solid metal miniature 205.

    <img src="http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/9931/porteclew.jpg"&gt;

  • karmatose

    Since I don't have my E30 keys with me right now a photo from the manufacturer will have to do:

    <img src="http://www.wp-spezialteile.de/ebay/schriftzuege/schluesselanhaenger%20e30/1.jpg&quot; width="600">

    I also have an E34 keychain for my next purchase whenever it happens

    • M44Power

      Going for an inline six or tempting the Nikasil gods? I'd love an E34…

      • karmatose

        Thinking LSx swap and M5 appearance package. A grand tourer that can make smoke of tires.

  • I have several sets of keys. My go to features an English Bulldog in miniature, my favored breed. Another, the one I use on weekends, has a bottle opener. A third, the spare for the pickup, still has the dealer's original service tag. If I have to drop the car at the mechanic, there's never any question which vehicle the key goes to. The rest of them just have a simple ring, so they all fit on the rack.

  • Here's my three favorites. The thumbcuffs is nice in theory but it is too crappy to really be any good. The pipe wrench is actually rather practical due to the fact that my ignition is so worn out you only need the key for the initial unlocking so it doesn't have to hang in the ignition to operate the vehicle. The Snap On is great because you can detach the second ring.

    <img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8110/8655484226_834fe26488_k.jpg&quot; width="500">

  • Charles de Gaulle is my co-pilot.

    <img src="http://clunkbucket.com/wp-content/gallery/1980-kv-mini-1/img_6634.jpg&quot; width="450">

    • Vavon

      Vive le Quebec libre!

      • Hey! Keep politics off Hooniver…. Oh, it's Canada. Whatever.

        • Devin

          I would object, but considering that our big political controversy at the moment surrounds the new Liberal leader's Matthew McConaughey-esque propensity for removing his shirt, I'll just keep quiet in the corner here.

    • M44Power

      French car I assume? (Awesome either way!)

    • Irishzombieman☆

      Man, those arms. . . I bet he could scratch his knees without leaning over.

  • M44Power

    Keys to my favorite car on a keychain from a great brewery in my hometown.
    <img src="http://i1184.photobucket.com/albums/z336/photog02/a41de6d2-4f7f-44ba-95be-2f5492f6d177.jpg&quot; border="0" alt=" photo a41de6d2-4f7f-44ba-95be-2f5492f6d177.jpg"/>

    • Garland137

      Mine's just like that, except that the medallion in the centre is a college logo.

    • RahRahRecords

      I love their Black Mocha Stout. But it's hard to find down here in Charleston. It shows up in one or two stores for like two weeks and then gone again. Nice keyfob though.

  • MVEilenstein

    I have a standard issue soft vinyl key fob, the ones about the size of a dog tag. No idea where or when the previous owner got it, but it came with the truck when I bought it in 2011.

  • don fehlio

    I have this, complete with little adjuster claw tools, attached to the keys for the Cressida

    <img src="http://www.shopresponse.com/pm/tein_damper_key_chain_pm.jpg&quot; width="600">

  • Devin

    Only thing I have on my keys is more keys. I don't even know what half of them open.

  • I have a small pewter SVT keychain with the Cobra logo (which I guess I shouldn't have anymore since I no longer technically own an SVT vehicle), and a Utilikey, which has come in handy many times.

    <img src="http://toolmonger.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/Utili-Key-450.jpg"&gt;

    Other than that, 5 keys and a remote fob.

  • topdeadcentre

    The Volvo key fob/remotes for my V70R are pretty chunky, but I don't mind because they're shaped like the car itself, and have the kewl-o aluminum R insert that matches the interior aluminum trim in the car:
    <img src="http://www.mmsean.com/sale/volvo/fob1.JPG&quot; width="350/">
    (The one on the left in the photo is missing the actual key portion, which is usually screwed onto the end of the alarm control part.)

  • Sjalabais

    Being a diehard cheapskate, I drive an awful car with a very cheap key fob from dealextreme. Yes, it's that bad. But this specific product is actually quite ok, heavy, solid stuff.

    <img src="http://img.dxcdn.com/productimages/sku_123295_1.jpg"&gt;

    • ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

      This cracks me up:

      Certified Owner
      Involvement Level: Expert (understands the inner workings)

      • Sjalabais

        A small fusion power plant, GPS control and remote-activated EMP in every key fob. Never underestimate the Chinese.

        (And from what I understand, you get the equivalent of 2 ct for a review. Mindblowing.)

    • wunno sev

      never apologize for dealextreme! never be ashamed!

      shopping there means you are a thrifty and savvy consumer, and you had a visa gift card with two dollars left on it

      • Sjalabais

        Over the last six years or so I have had about three dozen orders from DX, I have to admit. But being a Norwegian, I am used to pay crazy money for everything. The key fob could easily have cost me 10$ here – and I wouldn't have bought it.

  • No fobs but the remotes for my two DDs, the Mazda3 & Outlook. But my T'bird has a JL Squarebird fob. Like this one, but red:

    <img src="http://i.ebayimg.com/t/1958-Ford-Thunderbird-Silver-Coupe-keychain-/00/s/NTk5WDEwNjU=/$(KGrHqJHJ!4E9qKFJD2)BPleuWk!KQ~~60_35.JPG"&gt;

  • Irishzombieman☆

    Not cool. But mine.

    The round medallion is a $1 token from Stockmen's Motor Hotel & Casino in Elko, NV. I got it in 1990 and it's been on my keyring ever since. My house key's always next to it. Makes it easy to find in the dark.

    Next to that are two Colorado spinner blades from fishing lures. They have a distintive sound that makes the keys easy to find when I shake my coat or back pack or whatever. This role used to be filled by one of my Army dog tags, until I realized my Social Security number was on it and that losing my keys might lead to a stolen identity.

    The thing with the epoxy putty is a combination minivan key/miniaturized Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. I've worn the "Don't" off the "Don't Panic" label.

    <img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8261/8655751312_52aab0149e.jpg"&gt;

  • Froggmann_

    I'd like to think so,


    <img src="http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q53/Froggmann/Misc/IMG_20121213_1239491.jpg&quot; width="600" img="">

    That is a hood ornament from a 1st Generation Datsun Maxima Diesel Longroof. Wished I had saved that car before it got to the Jyard.


    <img src="http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q53/Froggmann/Misc/IMG_20130416_093007.jpg&quot; width="600" img="">

    Nothing real special but the Utili-Key comes in handy, as does the lighter (Metal Cylinder) The piston I have had since 1999. Bought it at the old Dico dealership in Anaheim shortly after I bought my Bronco.

  • Slow_Joe_Crow

    I don't know if it's cool or just perverse but I keep my BMW motorcycle keys on an MBW Ground Pounder key fob http://www.mbw.com/

  • Maymar

    I have a pretty standard bottle opener, which wouldn't be so bad, except that it's for Bud Lime. On the bright side, it's mostly scratched off, and it was free anyhow. I should still buy something repping a more respectable brew though.

  • duurtlang_

    I don't have a cool fob. I do like my keys though. I especially like the simpleness of the VW key.
    <img src="http://i47.tinypic.com/34j5gdg.jpg&quot; width="600">

  • danleym

    I have two! Well, they're mostly the same thing, just different colors. Anyway, I have two original AMC key fobs that I use for my Spirit (yep, even my spare set of keys has a cool fob!). The red one below is my spare (well, not that one, that one is a random picture from the internet), and I've got a blue one for my frontline set of keys.

    <img src="http://www.antiquesnavigator.com/ebay/images/2011/170635638107.jpg"&gt;

  • GTXEliminator

    I have an aluminium 100 year anniversary Ford key chain that the blue grafics have worn off of and a cheap carabiner that also has worn off blue paint.

  • scroggzilla


    /runs away sobbing

  • joshuman

    We have one key for one car and two for the other. Both cars have garage door openers. No other keys are used at my house regularly enough that anyone carries them around.

  • smokyburnout

    Carabiner, because I learned early on that I'd lose keys if they weren't attached to me.
    Spark plug gap tool, which has become less handy after three and a half years of diesel ownership.
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/db/SentryKey.jpg/640px-SentryKey.jpg"/&gt;
    Four-sided key from some sort of Club-style anti-theft device from the 90's, which is occasionally pressed into service as a Philips screwdriver. I guess I should just get one of those Utili-keys?

  • I have a 1995 Indianapolis 500 fob that I got when attending that race with thejeepjunkie via Monroe shocks award for my blazer and a 1926 Buick fob I got for Hoonimas this past year for the condo key.

  • jeepjeff

    I have no fob. My Jeep key is on its own ring, and the only other thing on it is a bit of webbing with a nylon clip so it can attach to my house keys in my pocket and detach so nothing hits my knee when I'm driving.

  • dr zero

    Probably not that cool, I have a Lego Boba Fett:

    <img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-W-nFgpL-7_A/Te7EEs0MEuI/AAAAAAAAAJw/zkiXgZLohKY/s1600/legoboba.jpg"&gt;

    and one a got in Norway (but is in Swedish) that says "Jag har kompisar i skogan" (roughly translates to "I have friends in the forest").

    <img src="http://haakki.com/shop/wp-content/uploads/kompisarWEBthumb-3-500×568.jpg"&gt;

  • Alexander

    Keys and my original 1975 brochure that matches the car down to the exact color and option set.

    <img src="http://thealexs.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/photo1.jpg&quot; width="600">

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