General discussions related to cars and driving
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By fpena944
#55454
Some of you might think I'm nuts for even making this a topic but it's actually a fond memory of mine :biggrin:

Although dad was in aviation maintenance in the US Army, he actually worked on cars in his spare time and to help supplement his income. That meant I got to sit in quite a few American and Japanese cars (aside from VWs, it didn't seem too many soldiers had nice European cars) and even going with him on test drives once whatever problem was fixed.

What I vividly remember from these days though was the smell of these cars. No not a bad smell like an old cheeseburger under the seat but instead a mechanical smell mixed in with vinyl and who knows what else.

My question though is, what is it about cars today where they no longer smell the same way?

I know now there is more liberal use of hard plastics and leather on more upscale cars but I remember the smell of metal, exhaust, gas, oil, vinyl, and all the other stuff cars of that vintage were made out of.

So why are car smells so bland today?
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By lupo.sk
#55460
Because most manufacturers (if not all) have a whole department of people working on how the car smells and what it emits chemical wise after being baked in the sun for some time.

My company works with Adient (former Johnson Controls International) and Faurecia who produce interior parts here and they both have a team of guys smelling the bits and pieces and doing chemical analysis.
The antisqueak agent that’s applied on foam parts of the interior (seats, cushions etc.) smells like shit when applied and has to completely dry before the seat cushions are packed in plastic bags for transport because if it’s not, it’s like packing a sewer.

So my take is that a lot less of “the good aromatic stuff” - leaded gas, PVC, other aromatic carbohydrates - are used nowadays, hence the different smell.
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By amdavid
#55465
I think that's why I'm loving my 89 S2 so much. It has all the "classic" coupe, looks, smells and driving characteristics.

Was it all lost starting in the 90's?.........I remember the 993 having some of that classic smell, but definitely not the 997.
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By worf
#55495
amdavid wrote: Fri Jan 29, 2021 5:27 pm I think that's why I'm loving my 89 S2 so much. It has all the "classic" coupe, looks, smells and driving characteristics.

Was it all lost starting in the 90's?.........I remember the 993 having some of that classic smell, but definitely not the 997.
It’s back now. Not like the ‘old’ Porsches. Can’t say anything about 9[98]6-9[98]7 generation.

My ‘91 928GT and ‘94 GTS have a very distinctive Porsche/Leather/Glue/Stuff smell. In the ‘91 it’s still there after 110k-miles and 30 years. In the wife’s ‘16 991, not so much left. The 718 smells good.
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By David993S
#55633
I agree with you Fernando, and don't know why new cars don't have that inviting smell. As has been said, it has a lot to do with engineers/designers using materials to make sure it doesn't have a smell. There was/is something good about the smell of an older sportscar, provided, as you say, there hasn't been a cheeseburger stashed under the seat.

I like the interior smell of my Porsches and Ferrari, but the smell that brings back my youth is the smell of a British roadster especially when the top is up.......some of which is attributable to them not being completely weather tight. Nevertheless, the smell brings back a lot of memories. The leather, the carpet, gas from the carbs, oil. A bygone automotive era.
My Alfa brings back that same emotion when I'm in it with the top up (not the same with the top down). Part of it is also how confined and cozy a small convertible sportscar is with the top up.
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By ny991
#56065
Nothing smells like carpet padding after its been heated up for years by the exhaust system running under it. Or the old grease on the u joints that sprayed up onto the undercarriage.

That smell has a pretty distinct recipe
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By fpena944
#56101
I think the only car I owned that had those smells was my 74 Bug.

My 1980s VW Rabbits didn't and I don't remember my 944 having it either, but I do know 911s from the same vintage do.

So it might be the difference between air and water cooled, but I remember old American shitboxes from that era having these unique smells too.
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By amdavid
#56169
ny991 wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:09 pm Nothing smells like carpet padding after its been heated up for years by the exhaust system running under it. Or the old grease on the u joints that sprayed up onto the undercarriage.

That smell has a pretty distinct recipe
A recipe you don't keep in your cookbook!
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By XR4Tim
#56406
I've noticed that certain models will all smell identical. I've owned, driven, and ridden in several Merkurs, and they all smelled exactly the same. Same with GMC Syclones and Typhoons (and probably the regular S-trucks) regardless of their condition or miles, they've all smelled exactly the same inside.
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