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Guide to Gearhead Week 1

What’s man’s best friend? Here’s a hint… It doesn’t shed or poop on your living room carpet.

The answer is cars.

Nothing else in the history of mankind has changed our individual lives more dramatically. If you’re one of those guys who answered dogs, keep reading. Have you wondered what a Hemi is? Don’t understand why your dad’s car had a carburetor, but yours doesn’t? Want to know why your mechanic charges so much to refill your blinker fluid? These articles are for you.

The Guide To Gearhead column will teach you everything you need to know to start looking and speaking like a gearhead in no time.

Week 1: HEMI

A “HEMI” is a type of engine. HEMI short for hemispherical. If you cut a sphere in half, you get two hemispheres, or half-spheres. The original HEMI engines, featured a dome (hemispherical) shaped roof of the combustion chamber. At the time, this created superior conditions for combustion. Today, using computer modeling, we know that there are better ways to build combustion chambers, but the legacy of the HEMI continues to live on.

So, why would any company call their engines a HEMI if we know that a hemisphere isn’t the optimal shape for a combustion chamber? The same reason that Coca-Cola is called “Coca-Cola” even after they stopped using fresh coca leaves as an ingredient (Coca-Cola is now cocaine-free)… People associate a good product with its name. So, next time you’re watching commercials, be careful not to confuse HEMI – the hemispherical engine with HEMI – the trademark buzzword.

Up Next Week: Carburetors
What they do and why they’re one of the most ingenious components of a car. Also, why you don’t want one.

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