What’s a conspiracy theory without a little flair of danger and mystery? Well, that would probably be considered an old wives tale, weaved and perfected through the ages like a fine quilt; the story getting thicker and that much more preposterous through the long ages and annals of time.
A conspiracy theory is much different because far fewer people know of it and its origins and people seldom talk about it. After all, what’s the first rule of Fight Club? “You don’t talk about Fight Club.”
Exactly, friends. But what makes us believe that a conspiracy theory is true? What is it that tilts our mind in a direction of fact rather than fiction, so much like the tales of wives so old? Well, a good conspiracy theory lends itself to the truth because, at the end of the day, the listener deduces that it is very possible that the theory is true and, of course, there's the clincher: it makes more sense than the alternative answers we seek.
Conspiracy theories being what they are, we can’t say that a particular theory is true or not. After all, many of those answers can only be found in the dark corners of Area 51 or deeply buried in some document at the back of some accordion file. But what we can say in all certainty is that they make sense and at the end of the day, sense is where the truth lies—most of the time, anyways!
So join us, and be the Mulder to our Scully as we look back at some of the most outrageous automotive theories and face the facts of how true they (probably) are.
20 COLIN CHAPMAN FAKED HIS UNTIMELY DEPARTURE FROM THIS WORLD
Colin Chapman was one of the world's most successful builders and designers of the motor vehicle. He founded Lotus cars and in the world of auto racing, brought home seven constructor's awards for Team Lotus as well as many other accolades. But all that success didn't come without a hefty price. He later got involved with John DeLorean and when the scandal of 1982 occurred (more on this later in this article, so read on), Colin reached his untimely departure. But, with so much mystery shrouding the goings on of the era, many have deduced that Colin faked his heart failure and escaped the fate that befell his partner, John DeLorean. This one sounds like something out of a spy novel, but this one leans towards the truth, folks.
19 GM WENT ON AN ALL-OUT SPREE ON ELECTRIC STREETCARS
A Streetcar Named Desire, by the great playwright Tennessee Williams, romanticized the streetcar for many. In fact, the streetcar is looked at as a moment in history when things were on the mend and the image of streetcars calls to the mind a melancholy nostalgia in most. Even today, many municipalities are thinking of bringing back the technology to further facilitate public transport but not everyone is happy about this. In the past, it had been recorded that auto conglomerate GM bought out loads and loads of streetcar lines throughout many cities and subsequently shut them down. The theory: less public transport means more cars people need to buy.
18 DAIMLER PLUNDERED AND SACKED CHRYSLER
This one's a little more obvious and the truth is really in the pudding, as they say. Daimler was founded in 1926 in Germany and they grew to become a prominent member of the automotive manufacturing community. So, when they decided to merge with Chrysler, it was originally thought to have been a partnership, but as became obvious over recent years, they dwarfed their so-called partner and just pillaged its lot of existing cars and manufacturing plans for the betterment of their own products. As it stands today, many believe that this was the company's plan all along and maybe even that Chrysler let it all happen.
17 THE SANDBAGGING OF THE CAYMAN
Despite the fact that Porsche recently unleashed the Cayman GT4, many have always believed that the company down-classed this car on purpose every time out for the purpose of garnering more attention for its other cars, particularly so the 911 could outshine the Cayman time and time again. Even in its newest form, the Cayman is available only with a weaker engine, which isn't all that powerful considering what's under the hood of the 911. This phenomena is often seen in cars that produce such cars, built for speed and performance, and Porsche is no stranger to the practice, evidently and according to this theory put out there.
16 HENRY FORD PUSHED OUT OF COMPANY FOR CONTROVERSIAL REASONS
Considered a definite Captain of Industry, Henry Ford's name has gone down in history and for the automotive industry, he is no doubt one of the leading names. He was the first to develop a vehicle that most families could afford at the time and era of his reign as "the man" and his design, the infamous Model T, changed the landscape of the world altogether. But all of this success seldom came without a few whispered words and conspiracy theories along the way. According to such whispered voices from way back in the dark corners of the past, Ford was pushed out of the company for some very controversial statements he made in a book about who his influences were...particularly, a certain world leader known for his tyrannical leadership.
15 AUTOMAKERS DESIGN CARS TO BREAK DOWN
It's the fifth time you've had to bring your car into the shop for repairs. You just bought the bugger brand new! You can't believe it. You've spent countless dollars on the repair of this supposedly new car and it wasn't all that cheap to begin with. This has probably happened to you time and time again, and we ask you, have you ever wondered, "Are they doing this on purpose?" Well, as it turns out, there is a theory in place that says, yes, auto builders do in fact make the cars worse than par so that they break down and consumers will have to go to dealerships for many repairs or buy newer cars should the problems persist. The reasoning seems sound: more cash for the company in the long run.
14 AWARDS FOR SUPERIORITY ARE RIGGED
With the advent of free speech on the internet and the incredible amount of online channels springing up, the truth behind many of these conspiracy theories is finally seeing the light. As of late, some detrimental statements have been made on internet channels concerning the fitness industry and its many competitions, such as the IFBB Olympia and others, stating that these days, the winners are predetermined even before one pose is seen onstage. Well, as it turns out, the automotive industry is no different, as claims have been made that auto awards are staged and predetermined as well.
13 MANUFACTURERS SUPPLY BETTER VERSIONS OF THEIR CARS TO THE PRESS
And furthermore, certain reviews can be looked at in much the same way as the auto awards we just mentioned. It has been rumored that manufacturers actually provide the agents of the press with souped-up versions of the cars that they will eventually be unleashing to the public and selling on the market. As crazy as it sounds, many have reported this possibility. That means that a reviewer is testing a car that outperforms those that will be sold to the poor, unsuspecting consumer. It's definitely an interesting tactic but one that could cause a company lots of controversy should this theory be proven thoroughly.
12 GM CONSISTENTLY RELEASES WORSE CARS TO KEEP THE CORVETTE KING
Does anyone remember the Fiero? Now, we know it was under the Pontiac name but anybody who's anybody knows that GM built the car. And let's be honest, the car wasn't all that bad and many have felt that it didn't get the run it deserved, and we're here to tell you that that may very well have been GM's plan all along. There is yet another theory set in place that GM standardized the car to be sub-par and for the reason of keeping the Corvette the king of kings as far as performance and favor were concerned. And that's pretty much how it played out. Of course, many would argue that the same could go for Ford and their Mustang, the Dodge Viper, and, well, the list can go on from there.
11 DETROIT'S BIG THREE SHUT DOWN TUCKER
Detroit's landscape is definitely not what it used to be and that can go for its territory and infrastructure as well as its economic landscape. It saddens many, as the city was once rich and full of vibrant life and brought us automotive enthusiasts some of the greatest cars known to man. GM, Ford and Chrysler were the kings of the era back in the day and when a competitor, Tucker, had launched its highly anticipated 48, the big three launched an all-out assault on the company and the car. Rumors suggest that they even got the old SEC involved and an investigation led to the shutting down of the car's manufacturing and subsequent destruction of the rival company.
10 THE NISSAN CHAIRMAN CONSPIRACY
Sometimes theories get proven and in some pretty ostentatious ways; the press and media running with the stories well into the week, looking at what happened from every angle, and hey, as members of the media, we've got to say that it is our job, after all. We bring you the news as it happens, no? Indeed, and in such a way, we will definitely tell of the Nissan chairman, Carlos Ghosn, and the conspiracy that ousted him recently. For months, conspiracies only circulated alluding to a possible investigation but as it turns out something was definitely awry, as he was reported for failure to report the whopping sum of $82 million in supposed compensation.
9 THE INFAMOUS FUEL VAPORIZER
Myth, legend, or conspiracy? This one's got it all, folks, and for very good reason. The infamous 200-MPG Carburetor (also known as the "Miracle Carb") is what started all of the supposed myths and not to add to the mythos, we've got to say that it's a pretty interesting story altogether. The inventor, a mechanic from Canada, Charles Nelson Pogue, called his contraption a carburetor but it was actually a fuel vaporizer, using exhaust to vaporize fuel—yes, ingenious, but highly controversial. The carb could actually get the car 200 miles per gallon! The technology was so sought after that he was the victim of many schemes but interestingly enough, the invention didn't receive acceptance the world over.
8 THE "HUSH-HUSH" AGREEMENT BETWEEN FORD AND GM
In the dark alleys where these theories are conjured up, there is yet another tantalizing one that sparks intrigue and a tad of controversy. There is a theory set in place that back in the day, there was a secret meeting held by members of Ford and members of GM. Now, the reason for this meeting was so covert, one would think that they were deciding something as grave as the fate of the world. But as it turns out, they were meeting to decide the size of their cabs for their lines of pickup trucks. Supposedly, it was agreed that Ford would get the rights to the long supercab and GM would be allotted the Suburban market. As minuscule as the terms seem, the companies sure have benefited, each to their own demographic.
7 ELON MUSK'S THEORIES OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Elon Musk's beliefs are definitely controversial. After all, his inventions and advancements are controversial in and of themselves. He did bring us the world's first proper electric car that looks great and drives great. But what else could we expect from a genius such as himself with numerous degrees and accolades to his name? But accolades aside, he was extremely detrimental to his holdings and credibility on an episode of the Joe Rogan Podcast, where he spoke of the dangers of artificial intelligence and the high possibility that it is possible for the technology to one day become "self-aware" as was so perfectly demonstrated in the classic Terminator 2 film from 1992. Many scoffed at his statements, but many believe it is, in fact, a possibility should we give technology too much trust.
6 THE CORNICHE KEPT ROLLS-ROYCE RELEVANT
The Rolls-Royce company is a powerhouse company and when it comes to luxury cars, perhaps no one has a better reputation and standing in the automotive community. But as it turns out, this wasn't always so, as even a giant such as Rolls-Royce did, at one time, flounder considerably—or rather, almost did. Apparently, in the 1960s, the company turned its attention from cars and concentrated on aviation and their absence in the automotive field led to a general wonderment as to whether the company would be putting forth any new fare. But the Corniche kept them rather relevant, as it was a successful model that sold well and kept them afloat as they pursued other interests.
5 DIESEL LICENSING AGREEMENT OF 1913
Now, this one plays out like a film, and an epic one starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Rudolph Diesel. Just wait and see. It was in 1913 that the man went missing, soon after inventing the engine that would bear his name. He had outright refused the engine and its technology to the government of Germany and it was rumored that he had plans to sell the technology elsewhere. Before he boarded a ship sailing from Antwerp, he told his wife specifically to open a bag only the week after his departure. Well, he never made it to his destination, and in the bag, his wife found 1.2 million in bonds. Now, can't you just see DiCaprio running from mysterious characters with a bag full of bonds and the secret plans for his diesel engine?
4 THE DELOREAN CONSPIRACY
John DeLorean was definitely a top designer and auto builder, thus having brought to the world the DeLorean DMC-12 made famous in the Back to the Future film franchise. But all that success didn't last all that long, as his company and the vehicles he designed were subsequently involved in one of the biggest scandals ever to be unleashed in the automotive industry. Because of their unique siding, the vehicles were the perfect sort to smuggle certain substances across the border, as the siding wasn't at all prone to scanning at the border, perfectly keeping whatever substances were placed there under cover of darkness, or rather cover of stainless steel. Now, just bear in mind, folks, we aren't talking about a chicken salad sandwich here.
3 THE CORVETTE VS THE BANSHEE - A STOLEN IDEA?!
Just like we have seen with other models, GM built two conflicting cars and placed them respectively under their own brand and, of course, the Pontiac name. In recent years, there was the Pursuit and the Cobalt, and many others come to mind, but the fact that the Stingray and the infamous Banshee share a rather obvious resemblance is definitely an understatement. But rather than fess up to this, GM has often put this one off with a semblance of a shrug. But one look at pictures of the cars side by side shows just this, very much like the 1965 Banshee pictured here. So, make your own conclusions, dear readers.
2 MANUAL VS AUTOMATIC - FINALLY AN ANSWER
The age-old question and debate that many have argued this over the ages; do we have an answer for you, you wonder? As it turns out, the answer has always been right under all our noses and it's so obvious at that. When it comes down to it, it all comes down to preference. For manual drivers—and they'll defend this sort of transmission until the end—they feel that they have more control over the drive and at the end of the day, that's a better thing to them, as it shows a knack for technique, over simply transferring from drive to park to reverse. We'd have to agree, as it takes a little more skill overall, so there you have it, friends.
1 WHY THEY REALLY SALT YOUR STREETS
Well, salt is a poison. We ingest it in our food and if we ingest too much, it can do a fair amount of damage to our bodies. As it turns out, we pour a heck of a lot of that poison on our streets, especially in the winter, and it does its part in corroding our roads and, more importantly, our vehicles. It has been said that some of the most influential car companies have paid off city workers to abundantly salt our roads and even sometimes over-salt them, with hopes of that salt doing quite a bit of damage to our vehicles. The reason for doing so: quite obviously, so we as consumers need a newer car all that much faster. At the end of the day, these theories are just that, but as we said, they make sense, don't they? And sense often has a way of leaning towards the truth.
Sources: Wikipedia, Jalopnik, and CNBC.