You Like It Hot? Try This Heat Out!

You want heat in the winter do you?

Over the last century there have been thousands of really amazing automotive achievements, and then there have been truly awful failures. Today, I bequeath to you the latter.

I was at a car show over the weekend and saw this really great absolutely terrible “feature” on a late 1920′s – early 1930′s vehicle.   I am leaving it’s name out intentionally.  The “feature” is a heater, which obviously sounds like a good idea right?  Well it is, but only when executed properly.  This design was excellent use of creativity for sure, but heavily lacking in foresight in my opinion.  It was a cast iron box that mounted to the top of the exhaust manifold that basically funneled exhaust gases cool outside air through it, warming it up, and shooting it into the interior of the car to warm up your little toesies.  This is all well and good until there is an exhaust leak or a cracked exhaust manifold.  Then Mr. Carbon Monoxide walks into the place and spoils the winter time party.  I don’t know about you guys, but this gives me a new appreciation for my heater core and blower motor.

3 comments to You Like It Hot? Try This Heat Out!

  • JohnEd

    I’ll try again…Didn’t V.W. do this in the 70′s? But they didn’t use cast iron. Guess the Volkes of wagon didn’t have personal injury sharks around….

  • Kevin

    Many American homes have a similar device called a “furnace”.
    They work exactly the same way and improperly inspected and maintained units kill hundreds of people every year.
    http://www.energymiserfurnace.com/heat_exchanger.htm

  • jonkanner

    Yes, every VW I ever rode in from a 1949 bug through a 1972 squareback had this type of heating, though mostly the air passed around the cylider heads and just slightly over the exhaust system. Many cars built between the wars had exhaust manifold heaters too, either from the factory or as an add-on. Works better than the modern type on a car with a ten amp generator. Cooling fan induced airflow around the engine compartment kept carbon monoxide hazard in check mostly, and the exhaust stench of pre smog controled cars served as a pretty good hint of impending doom anyway.

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