Hooniverse Asks: What's the Best Non-Car Thing Any Car Company Has Ever Built?

Jeep Boombox
 
I remember reading a bit of trivia – unverified so don’t hold me to it – that said that three-quarters of all the cars built by Rolls Royce over the course of its existence are still around. Some of them might be in museums, but they’re still ticking, which apparent is the only noise they make.
As I said, I don’t know if that is in fact true, but it seems plausible considering the care and craftsmanship that seems to go into Rolls Royce products. That raises the question; how cool would it be if everything we used could be built by Rolls Royce and to their exacting levels of quality?
That naturally leads to today’s question which is; what IS the coolest non-car thing that any car company has ever made. I mean, they can’t all be as nice as what Rolls likely would make – would you want a pacemaker made by Yugo? – but I’m sure there’s still some cool swag out there. Let’s see it!
Image: Stereo2go

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

108 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What's the Best Non-Car Thing Any Car Company Has Ever Built?”

    1. dukeisduke Avatar
      dukeisduke

      YAAAAAASSSS! I first read about those several years ago, and spent some time looking through the site victorysiren.com. Strangely, most of the site has now taken over by a site promoting antique shows, but this page of .wav files, where you can hear Chrysler Air Raid Sirens, still exists:
      http://www.antiqueweekend.com/x/wav/sound.htm
      As these used a Chrysler Hemi for power, many of the engines went into street rods once the sirens were retired.

      1. Tiller188 Avatar
        Tiller188

        I like imagining the conversations that that must have resulted in.
        “Nice ‘rod. What’d you pull the Hemi out of?”
        “An air raid siren.”
        “…come again?”

        1. salguod Avatar

          A friend was building a rat rod and saw an ad for a 50s Chrysler hemi with 30 hours on it. It was in an air raid siren. He later found a still new in the crate army surplus 727 transmission. So his home built rat rod has a essentially new yet vintage drivetrain.
          P1150688

      2. Texlenin Avatar
        Texlenin

        All these years, and that sound still scares the ever-loving crap out of me.
        The last cry from the last ,lonely, dying dinosaur….
        The internal sound of a heart breaking…
        The sound of Western Civilization ending…
        Flashbulb pops….

  1. Maymar Avatar
    Maymar

    http://corporate.honda.com/images/assets/asimo_12_2011.jpg
    I was going to say Honda’s motorcycles, probably one of the original Isle of Man TT bikes or something, but they were a motorcycle company before they were a car company. But Honda was also a car company before they were a robot company, so I’m going with Asimo.

    1. Kiefmo Avatar
      Kiefmo

      And they were a robot company before they were an aircraft company.
      http://luxurylaunches.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/honda-jet-2.jpg

    2. Tanshanomi Avatar

      I vaguely recall a story that Honda licensed their brand for ladies’ brassieres in Japan at one point, but I am afraid to do a Google image search on it at work.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar
        Sjalabais

        Going fast and revving high translates well into the lingerie business, I suppose.

        1. Monkey10is Avatar
          Monkey10is

          ‘The Power of Dreams’
          (many of my dreams involve ladies’ brassieres, anyway)

    3. CraigSu Avatar
      CraigSu

      Honda is and always will be an engine manufacturer, first and foremost. That’s what enables them to be a car, motorcycle, airplane, lawnmower, etc. company. On that basis I would definitely agree with Asimo.

    1. Texlenin Avatar
      Texlenin

      To be fair, Inland(division of GM), IBM, Underwood typewriter, Quality Hardware,Rock-Ola Jukebox Co, with sub-contracted parts by Auto-Ordnance and Marlin Firearms, and others.
      Come on, man; everybody’s doing the M-1 rag…..

  2. P161911 Avatar
    P161911

    Ford started making the Trimotor when they were still making the Model T. http://www.airlinereporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/IMGP7193.jpg

    1. E34Less Avatar
      E34Less

      This is the winner, solely because I’ve ridden in the copilot seat of that exact plane.

  3. P161911 Avatar
    P161911

    Odd that you should mention Rolls-Royce, the “original” Rolls-Royce doesn’t make cars anymore, only jet engines.

  4. mdharrell Avatar

    Pretty much the definition of “coolest non-car thing” is the SAAB Model 401.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IeMnkqsJdg4/UFC3iD0a2EI/AAAAAAAAAiA/8v5OoAZTc9I/w1200-h630-p-nu/401sid1.jpg

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Their aircraft certainly have the “non-car” part of it down, but with significantly less “thing”-ness.

  5. P161911 Avatar
    P161911

    I wouldn’t want a Yugo pacemaker, but I wouldn’t mind some of Zavatava’s other products. http://s1251.photobucket.com/user/spacehog2/media/P1000953.jpg.html

  6. Dean Bigglesworth Avatar
    Dean Bigglesworth

    Can’t think of a favourite, but Volkswagen produces more than 3.5 million sausages per year at their Wolfsburg plant.. That’s got to be up there. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3f/DEU_VW-Currywurst_19_MSZ111114.jpg

    1. BigRedCaveTroll Avatar
      BigRedCaveTroll

      Think of all the emissions!

      1. Alff Avatar
        Alff

        Everyone appreciates a good diesel vehicle but nobody wants to know how the sausage is made.

  7. dukeisduke Avatar
    dukeisduke

    Peugeot salt and pepper mills (and coffee grinders, too):
    http://cdn.cutleryandmore.com/products/large/32457.jpg

    1. P161911 Avatar
      P161911

      Really the only pepper mills worth getting.

  8. mechman Avatar
    mechman

    My mom was quite impressed with GM’s car seats when I was a kid…
    http://clickamericana.com/wp-content/uploads/Announcing-GMs-new-Love-Seats-may-1973-620×868.jpg

    1. Kiefmo Avatar
      Kiefmo

      The lower one looks like a repurposed cat litter box.

      1. SlowJoeCrow Avatar
        SlowJoeCrow

        Looks notwithstanding, back in the the GM car seats topped the Consumer Reports ratings, so the engineers knew what they were doing.

  9. Citric Avatar
    Citric

    I don’t know about best, but GM’s Frigidaire fridge/freezers have to be the coolest.
    http://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Frigidaire-1965.jpg
    Get it? Coolest?

      1. P161911 Avatar
        P161911

        The 1954 International Harvester refrigerator on my garage is still going strong.

      2. dukeisduke Avatar
        dukeisduke

        Whoa. Wonder if they offered gas refrigerators? My grandparents had a Servel gas fridge, and an aunt and uncle had a Bryant.

        1. 0A5599 Avatar
          0A5599

          Originated with another car/appliance company, Crosley, who also patented door shelves.
          http://blog.retroplanet.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/crosley-1949-fridge-ad.jpg

      3. jim Avatar
        jim

        Fiat also made fridges, as well as washing machines.
        http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTAxM1g4MTY=/$T2eC16FHJHQE9nzEyH%29hBP6vn3ggKQ~~60_57.JPG

        1. Rover 1 Avatar
          Rover 1

          In contrast Iso started making ‘Isothem’ fridges then switched to cars, small and slow or large and fast
          http://www.italianways.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/IW_iso_isetta_01.jpg
          http://mycarquest.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/2x-Iso.jpg

      1. SlowJoeCrow Avatar
        SlowJoeCrow

        Don’t forget Nash Kelvinator, although that was more a case of the fridge company buying the car company.

    1. nanoop Avatar
      nanoop

      To me, this has an air of frigidity.
      Pop-up stove seems clever to me who used to live in/on/over 100sqf as a student for a year. In that huge kitchen not really necessary.

    2. Vairship Avatar
      Vairship

      They were left out in the cold by Nash Kelvinator though!

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      The red double-strikethrough of RUNNER probably didn’t do much to inspire confidence among any copy editors contemplating a purchase.

      1. Alff Avatar
        Alff

        ‘s no runner.

    2. Alff Avatar
      Alff

      The third Chrysler in my driveway is also not a car ….

      1. Tanshanomi Avatar

        I had a chance to buy a very clean Chrysler 26 for under five grand a number of years ago. One of my sisters, who is quite an old salt, tried to talk me into it, but it’s never been more than a pipe dream for me. With everything else in my life, it’s just not something I do. Although I’d trade welding practice for sailing lessons!
        http://file.vintageadbrowser.com/l-kv8pw6wekw80w2.jpg

        1. P161911 Avatar
          P161911

          Our old bass boat has a Chrysler outboard. http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/tNoAAOSwuMFUdjjP/s-l300.jpg

        2. nanoop Avatar
          nanoop

          That looks sturdy and safe with it’s round frames. Modern boats are so flat, making them roll less, plane better, but creating a tricky tipping point, too.

    1. Maymar Avatar
      Maymar

      http://media.zenfs.com/en-US/homerun/the_drive_165/b934f37c3af6700ff39df124099cc628
      Around the time I had my first job as a supermarket cashier, Lotus designed a shopping cart. Naturally, I was monumentally excited about this.

      1. Monkey10is Avatar
        Monkey10is

        ‘Simplify and add groceries’

  10. Tanshanomi Avatar

    So, will there also be a question about the best car from a non-car company?
    http://www.studio5555.de/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/ktm_x-bow_1.jpg

      1. theskitter Avatar

        That was, what, last year?

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          Yes, let’s just go with “last year” on that. It couldn’t have been much more than that.

          1. theskitter Avatar

            It’s practically the same geological era as the present.

          2. mdharrell Avatar

            Even the same epoch, no matter how one feels about the proposed Anthropocene. Personally I’m content to await the decision of the International Commission on Stratigraphy’s Anthropocene Working Group.

      2. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
        dead_elvis, inc.

        Talk about driving an appliance!

      3. Texlenin Avatar
        Texlenin

        Isn’t that one of the three you had tipped up in the corner of the garage
        we talked about last year?

      4. Rover 1 Avatar
        Rover 1

        That was the original, this is the copy The Marc Newson Ford 021C
        http://marc-newson.com/media/thumbnails/ford-021c-concept-car/Ford021C-01.jpg.1920x1080_q90_crop.jpg

    1. mad_science Avatar

      If a non-car company makes a car, do they not become a car company?

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Someone really should explain that to the folks at Toyoda Automatic Loom Works.

    2. Citric Avatar
      Citric

      There was this totally mad thing by a famous piano manufacturer.
      http://gtspirit.com/wp-content/gallery/yamaha-ox99-11/p1.jpg

      1. nanoop Avatar
        nanoop

        That’s a Schimmel, right? Or a Bösendorfer? The paint is very, very, very deep in any case!

  11. Tanshanomi Avatar

    Just throwing this out there…even though it’s not really that impressive.
    http://lamaneta.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/00.jpg

  12. Tanshanomi Avatar

    Toyota makes some kick-ass sewing machines.
    http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/Kd0AAOSwiYFXIUYG/s-l1600.jpg
    …and some half-way decent Chinese-built ones, like mine.
    http://www.launchsite.org/toyota_sewing_machines.jpg

    1. Alff Avatar
      Alff

      Singer made some lovely cars.

      1. AlexG55 Avatar
        AlexG55

        Sadly Singer cars are unrelated to the sewing machines. The sewing machine company was founded in the US in 1851 by Isaac M. Singer, Singer Motors was founded in the UK in 1874 by George Singer (no relation) to make bicycles.

        1. Alff Avatar
          Alff

          : |

  13. Tanshanomi Avatar

    Daewoo’s pistols have about a zillion times more cred than their cars.
    https://www.gunsamerica.com/userimages/5611/971028071/wm_795749.jpg

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      Perhaps it would help if their cars came with instructions for adding LASERS.

    2. anonymic Avatar
      anonymic

      That’s a nice pistol, more accurate than the Taurus 92A by miles. Grip extenders on the mags are a must though, South Korean hands are apparently pretty small.

  14. mad_science Avatar

    Most of the Jeep (branded) strollers are actually pretty good.
    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/91YlU7EOlxL._SL1500_.jpg

    1. Tanshanomi Avatar

      Yeah, but there’s a difference between licensing your brand and actually designing/manufacturing it.
      https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/4c/f8/83/4cf88391ea0a54a78ad2b357fd92975b.jpg

      1. Sean McMillan Avatar
        Sean McMillan

        those are really fun with some circuit bending. This one has light activated pitch control and growls like a monster. And an output jack for amplification and effects. https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/487492_3133188268939_1576281368_n.jpg?oh=3de116ce75ed32bc8d00dfde5d6ede95&oe=57DE3395

    2. Kiefmo Avatar
      Kiefmo

      Ours lasted until all three of our kids grew out of it, and was still in good enough shape to hock for $50 on CL afterward. We didn’t exactly take care of it, either, having left it out in the sun and rain a number of times. I think I had to clean dogdoo off of one of the the tires before taking photos for the ad.

  15. Citric Avatar
    Citric

    From the people who brought you the Tata Nano, tea. One might argue that the tea is better than their cars.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/49/TataTea.JPG

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      I would be happy for the opportunity to try both.

      1. Citric Avatar
        Citric

        The tea is available at my local supermarket, at least.
        The cars, not so much.

        1. Vairship Avatar
          Vairship

          Plus the cup of tea is less likely to catch fire, although it can still burn you…

      2. Alff Avatar
        Alff

        I would like both Tatas as well.

    1. Texlenin Avatar
      Texlenin

      Just listened to a restored one on Utube last week. Ze sounds! Ze noizes!
      Delightful!

  16. nanoop Avatar
    nanoop

    From the numbers alone, these caps must be really good, so many people wearing them:
    http://www.grandprixlegends.com/Images/Product/Default/medium/FER107_1.jpg

  17. Kiefmo Avatar
    Kiefmo

    The hero of many a backyard ‘que, although technically it was another brand of Henry’s, not actually produced by FoMoCo. However, the wood source was scraps from FoMoCo factories.
    http://richmedia.channeladvisor.com/ImageDelivery/imageService?profileId=52000717&imageID=686553&recipeId=243

      1. nanoop Avatar
        nanoop

        Some of the suggested usages are quite a stretch: where do I use charcoal in trucks and clubs? The first has a ICE for propulsion and heating, the latter won’t let me in if I showed up with a bag on saturday night.

        1. 0A5599 Avatar
          0A5599

          Steam trucks and heating fuel, perhaps.

  18. 0A5599 Avatar
    0A5599

    Saturns builr by Chrysler. Bigger than a whale.
    http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/sa202pb.jpg

      1. Monkey10is Avatar
        Monkey10is

        I love that the Dulles Airport mobile air lounges are in there too; they always strike me as a concept from an era long before the Apollo program.

      2. Guest Avatar
        Guest

        Well, I just found a new background screen…

        Thanks!

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      They can’t be Quattro, there’s only two of them.

      1. AlexG55 Avatar
        AlexG55

        Four edges.

    1. Vairship Avatar
      Vairship

      MAN marine engines: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZT0yZUL3qU

  19. AlexG55 Avatar
    AlexG55

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7d/Rolls-Royce_Merlin.jpg/1280px-Rolls-Royce_Merlin.jpg
    How has this not been posted yet?
    (As well as RR, they were also made by Ford of Britain and Packard)

%d bloggers like this: