An automobiles’s hood, or more properly bonnet, is the gateway to the mechanical delights that live underneath. It’s sort of like the lobster’s shell, which must be peeled away to reach the lobstery goodness awaiting you inside. Well, it’s not quite like a lobster – except maybe for mid-engined Italians as they’re typically red and have the good stuff in the tail. Whatever the machine, there’s more than one way to pop a hood, and some of those are more awesome than others. But which is the most awesomest?
There used to be this little car by Triumph called the Herald, and the Herald had a cool clamshell hood that pivoted towards the ground the entire front clip – fenders, attached hood and grille – offering unfettered access to the tiny four cylinder beneath, as well as the front suspension and potentially the family of gypsies that had taken up residence in there. The coolest part of the car’s engine access was the fact that the hood ornament – or bonnet adornment – did double duty as the grab handle for lifting and lowering everything in place. This most excellent means of engine access was shared with its six cylinder sister, the Vitesse, and was adapted for the Spitfire and GT-6 sports cars.
Saab – as denoted in the image above – had a similar, albeit less all or nothing approach for the engine lid on the 99 and later 900. That massive clamshell first slid forward at the yank of the under-dash release, and then pivoted forward and down, covering the lights like it was a penitent. Those are just a couple of examples, but neither is probably your favorite – after all I have’t even gotten around to the massive side-hinged hoods of Happy Days era Buicks and Hudsons. What car do you think has the coolest way to flash its goods?