We like the cars, the cars that go "Vroom"
October 21, 2002 9:54 AM   Subscribe

We like the cars, the cars that go "Vroom" All that quiet too much for you to take when you're tooling around town? These inventors have reverse engineered the noise reduction technology to make a product that can reproduce "the endearing and unique audible sound signatures of 1950s, 1960s and 1970s classic cars and motorbikes." Hot Wheels will probably want a piece of the action to help save wear and tear on kids' vocal chords as they play Fast And the Furious. Would anyone pay for this hi-fi feature? Or is this a non-starter only good for a few cheap laffs and links?
posted by chandy72 (18 comments total)
Getting a less $20,000 car to sound like a $420,000 car would probably just be a novelty thing, I am not sure anyone would actually want to use it all the time.

Then again I am one of the few who actually likes the fact that Ferrari didn't include a stereo in their new supercar called Ferrari Enzo, and the reviews say that the engine sounds amazing.
posted by riffola at 10:08 AM on October 21, 2002

It's certainly nice, but when will someone finally develop an exhaust system capable of producing TR-808 tones?
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:12 AM on October 21, 2002

This was actually researched for use in electric (silent-ish) vehicles, to give the driver the same feedback you would receive from a normal vehicle
posted by zeoslap at 10:13 AM on October 21, 2002

"This was actually researched for use in electric (silent-ish) vehicles, to give the driver the same feedback you would receive from a normal vehicle"
True, but I've ridden in some pretty freakin' quiet cars with internal combustion engines and it doesn't seem like much of a stretch for enthusiasts -- at least those now-upper-middle-class-management fellas that remember the Big three, big block, "good ole' days" -- to shell out a few extra bones for something to "take them back."
My current auto's engine sounds most like: STOMP on a particularly noisy say, so...
posted by chandy72 at 10:17 AM on October 21, 2002

Id have to see it in action but it sounds possibly annoying knowing that its fake. The deaf community may have a use for it since most deaf people can hear sound when its loud enough. The loudest place Ive ever been was a deaf college. Mufflers taken off. Stereos at max.
posted by stbalbach at 10:17 AM on October 21, 2002

er, particularly noisy "day." oops.
posted by chandy72 at 10:19 AM on October 21, 2002

I liked their original idea (engine noise cancellation) a lot better. Whenever I hear one of those blaring, roaring, I-cut-holes-in-my-muffler-to-impress-the-whole-neighborhood things blat its way down the road, the only word that comes to mind is "overcompensating".

Well, okay, not the only word. But that one's high on the list.
posted by ook at 10:44 AM on October 21, 2002

What is the point of fake car noise just for the driver? I thought the best part about a nice loud motor is how much it impresses the guy who pulls up next to you.
posted by oh posey at 10:52 AM on October 21, 2002

This technology is already in place in the many 1988 Honda hatchbacks found in my neighborhood. Combined with patented Primer Color Low-Observability Coatings(tm) and low frequency acoustic masking these vehicles own the road. The beta testers also like the forms of Salsa and Rap best suited for 7am on Saturday mornings. No techno, no club rap, just bass-in-your-face Rap.

Then again, I cruise the streets listening to Motown and Classic Rock in my old-school Oldsmobile. To each his tastes.
posted by Tystnaden at 11:04 AM on October 21, 2002

Gee...this will work a lot better than the playing cards I'm using now. Damned things are always falling off at 50 or so.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:20 PM on October 21, 2002

Wouldn't it be neat if owning a sensibly sized car that didn't emit a lot of noise and pollutants was considered the ne plus ultra of coolness? I'm allowed to dream, aren't I?
posted by Triplanetary at 12:54 PM on October 21, 2002

Strikes me as weird. As much as I enjoyed the sound of my MGB-GT at 90 mph with both carbs wide open, it was more than a little annoying that my passenger had to shout to be heard at normal speeds.

Then again, the car fried four stereos in a row, so maybe it only wanted me to listen to the engine.
posted by swerve at 12:58 PM on October 21, 2002


WTF... this is so obvious it's rediculous. I even thought up a similar system, due to the fact I thought people who modded their cars to be 'loud' were retarded. Why not just rig up speakers or something.

Of course, my idea was for an external system, so perhaps I can patent that, instaid : P
posted by delmoi at 5:27 PM on October 21, 2002

No, it fried the stereos because British cars are like that. Did your car have a sticker in the engine compartment that said something like "WARNING: This Car is Wired Positive Earth"?

I dunno, these people seem to be living in an ectopian future time when gas combustion engines have been banished from the earth.

As a person who likes cars that make *some* noise, I'd say that the solution to that problem is to buy a car that sounds good and doesn't wake the neighborhood.
posted by astrogirl at 5:31 PM on October 21, 2002

In a world in which people will buy a fake BOV, this will probably sell, too. This makes even less sense... even a four-banger with a well-tuned I/H/E can sound decent under revs, and for less than a grand, plus you actually get a performance boost.
posted by jammer at 8:18 PM on October 21, 2002

astrogirl -- re the stereos, two words: Lucas Electric. The bit about wanting me to listen to the engine was a joke.
posted by swerve at 9:00 PM on October 21, 2002

I would rather buy my dream car and not need or be able to use a stereo in the first place (where will I put the kids, though?). Having a boring car that sounded like a real one would make it worse, I think.
posted by dg at 6:31 AM on October 22, 2002

My dad told me about this years ago... something about an electronic noise-cancelling system to make car interiors quiet, being replaced with the wrong ROM and sounding beefier instead. It half sounded like BS though ;)

What I want though is a subwoofer jammer, blasting back the inverse of whatever waveform is thudding out of the car next to me at a red light. Silence Rap, 30' Radius. ;)
posted by Foosnark at 8:00 AM on October 22, 2002

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