David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/28/10 10:46 p.m.

I recently attended a car show where just about everything had its hood open. Personally, I'd rather look at cars than engines.

What's your take on the subject?

Luke SuperDork
6/29/10 1:19 a.m.

I prefer hoods open, myself. Looking at the engines is often my favourite aspect of a car show. Especially if it's something unusual or particularly old, (vintage like.) Of course, seeing the same shiny Ford V8 over and over again, gets old pretty fast.

André Rousseau
André Rousseau HalfDork
6/29/10 5:16 a.m.

GT6 I've normally done bonnet up, but you loose the lines, but so many people love the fact its all there to see. Nothing to hide.


bravenrace Dork
6/29/10 6:21 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens: I agree, especially if there is nothing all that special about the engine.

Trevor Dork
6/29/10 7:05 a.m.

I like both. At our local show we asked participants to close the hoods/trunks after the voting/judging was finished. This gave people an opportunity to take pictures and appreciate the car's lines.

stu67tiger Reader
6/29/10 7:32 a.m.

A lot of the fun with the Tiger is seeing that V-8 stuffed into the little British engine compartment, even though my engine is... can we just say "original"? Or "patina laden"?. But I agree that you don't get to appreciate the lines of the cars with the hoods and trunks open. That was a good idea, having the cars buttoned up at a specific time at a show, I'll suggest that for our British Car Day next year.



Series6 New Reader
6/29/10 11:29 a.m.

To an extent I agree with Trevor, although it may not be the best measure of a car. A few months back, at the local Brit car show, the only reason my (highly modified) car took first place over a completely original, reliable and well traveled older Alpine was I propped the hood/bonnet open in the morning when the judging (by owners of the other entered cars) was going on. My friend's car had been all over the western US in the previous few months, logging over 5,000 reliable miles. Additionally, he drove it 140 miles to a track day then flogged it mercilessly, and drove it back to Tucson that night.

FYI-I voted for the completely original, reliable and well traveled older Alpine. In my (humble) opinion, it was a better example of the Marque.

TJ Dork
6/29/10 11:44 a.m.

In general I prefer down.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid Auction Editor
6/29/10 11:45 a.m.

I have to say I prefer down as well. I think pictures of cars all with their hoods up looks stupid as well. If you want to see an engine, ask the owner to open the hood.

foxtrapper SuperDork
6/29/10 12:23 p.m.

I agree with you that many times having the hood (or bonnet) up ruins the lines of the car.

That said, if there is something interesting under the hood, having it open so I can see it is a plus.

rconlon HalfDork
6/29/10 1:45 p.m.

I like shows that have up for judging and down for photos later on. I have seen cars win a show on the basis of new paint only.


Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition New Reader
6/29/10 8:58 p.m.

I prefer to keep my E-Type's bonnet down. The huge tilt-forward thing is particularly disruptive to appreciation of the lines and beauty of the car. I'll lift it up on request or judging, but leave it down as much as I can.

A compromise would be to have some cars with bonnets up and some with them down if there are several of the same model...

ddavidv SuperDork
6/30/10 5:52 a.m.

With the Mini, people want to photograph it all the time. I've started keeping the hood closed. I'll gladly pop it for any motorhead who wants to see what propels the thing forward. It didn't used to bother me, but I now vastly prefer seeing cars with the hoods closed, even aside from the photography aspect. The only exception is really unusual cars with oddball drivetrains (say, an NSU), or something really old like a prewar Alfa.

Sownman New Reader
6/30/10 12:20 p.m.

People that are not familiar with the Tiger will stop and look more closely and ask questions when the hood is up and they see that V8 crammed in the little bitty sports car. So I leave my hood open, but I do agree that I prefer to see my car and other cars hoods and trunks closed. Maybe I'll have a sign on a pole saying V8 inside and an arrow pointing down but leave the hood closed

blackrabbit New Reader
7/1/10 10:04 a.m.

I agree, hoods down.. it just looks cleaner. but if the motor is really interesting open it for those that ask. my celica has an engine that was never imported and its really pretty so people always ask. trabant is a constant barrage of questions but the engine doesnt even look like an engine!! more of a big tin box w/fan on the end.. it could be a toaster oven as far most people would know! so its really a let down under the hood

wlkelley3 HalfDork
7/2/10 7:55 p.m.

To me, depends on the show. With my Opel GT, I often open the hood and roll the headlights half over. Generally starts a conversation and I'll roll over the headlight for them. Sometimes I get a kid inside and let them push the lever to roll the headlights. The hood open for those that tell me I should "stuff a big block in thar". I look at the exposed engine compartment and ask where and how much should I cut out? I think I need the brakes and the heater would be nice, in fact I'd like someplace to put my feet. (rant over)

André Rousseau
André Rousseau HalfDork
7/2/10 8:03 p.m.

mblommel Reader
7/7/10 6:55 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens:

I say down.... unless the engine MUST be seen e.g. Miura, 917, 288GTO, etc. Even then after we are done drooling I like them to close it up so I can admire the body too. For mere mortal cars it's not really necessary, but nice to show off a detailed compartment if you have one.

ronbros Reader
7/8/10 3:10 p.m.

lets say we have a car that just been restored to a 10,, but no engine at all.

just keep the hood closed and it passes viewing!!

that just dont seem right.

ronbros Reader
7/8/10 3:16 p.m.

and like said ,some cars at shows should keep hood closed, dirty mess under hood.

but some Gallardo twin turbo custom, can be a work of art. V10 polished aluminum and chromed.

i know of two here in Austin tx, and dyno at over 1000whp. you just gotta look at the engine.

ronbros Reader
7/8/10 3:20 p.m.

add; just looked at a Porsche Carrera GT, 2010. you know the one with the twin rear flowin head rest things, engine cover.

now that looks fantastic with hood closed.

some look good open some look good closed!

Ian F
Ian F Dork
7/12/10 3:22 p.m.

With the 1800ES, the hoods always open... but that is mainly to show off all of the time and energy spent on the engine bay restoration. Also, early 70's era fuel injection looks cool.

The Spitfire... eh... normally, no... since under the bonnet is pretty crusty and dirty... the only time we do have it open is when attending the import show at Carlisle since the NASS club always parks on an angle with them open.

qdseeker New Reader
7/25/10 10:36 a.m.
bravenrace wrote: In reply to David S. Wallens: I agree, especially if there is nothing all that special about the engine.

I leave my hood down at any event I participate in for this very reason. Although I have an Accord engine swap in my car, it's not modified in any way. Not even cleaned up. To me the outside of my car is more appealing and I don't want to break up the lines of a smooth car with a propped up hood.

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