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BangShift Question Of The Day: What’s The Biggest OEM Manufacturer Rip Off From Another OEM Manufacturer Ever?

BangShift Question Of The Day: What’s The Biggest OEM Manufacturer Rip Off From Another OEM Manufacturer Ever?

Oh, this should get interesting. I was talking with a gearhead friend yesterday about the different allegiances, loyalties, and factions in hot rodding. Somehow we got to talking about companies that had come out with ideas “similar” to other designs, ideas, or successes other companies have had in the past. For instance, lots of Ford guys jump down the throats of the LS crowd due to some of the similarities between a Cleveland head and an LS head. I have heard strange Chrysler people bemoan the fact that Chevy jumped in with the HHR and stole all of the PT Cruisers market away. Then there are whole engine families that are pretty similar. The Caddy guys will tell you that old Studebaker V8s are close to a carbon copy to earlier Caddy OHV engines and then there is NASCAR, where Toyota’s engine is basically a carbon copy of the Chevrolet.

There have been lots of cars over the year “inspired” by others. Take the Camaro. Would it exist if the Mustang wasn’t selling like free beer starting in 1964? Probably not. The Ford Excursion certainly came to life because the Suburban and Escalade craze that the country went on when everyone lost their minds and spent every nickle that they didn’t have for a decade. If we went into motorcycles, how about the Japanese manufacturers who launched a raft of bikes that looked like Harleys, complete with V-twins and everything?

Grab your pitchfork and flaming torch…this is going to be interesting!

BangShift Question Of The Day: What’s The Biggest OEM Manufacturer Rip Off From Another OEM Manufacturer Ever?



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19 thoughts on “BangShift Question Of The Day: What’s The Biggest OEM Manufacturer Rip Off From Another OEM Manufacturer Ever?

  1. Fabricator john

    Subaru from vw ever see a earlier Subaru motor even the dist is in the same place

  2. Matt Cramer

    I was going to say the Toyota V series V8 that looks almost exactly like a mirror-imaged 426 Hemi… except I looked that one up, and it came out a year before the 426 got Hemi heads! Claiming the 426 Hemi was a rip-off of the V series wouldn’t make as much sense, as the B engine it was based on was already out at that point. So what looked like a rip-off appears to be a case of parallel evolution.

    So I’m going to have to nominate the Chinese motorcycle industry and their carbon copies of various Honda products. Some of them apparently could be repaired with real Honda parts.

  3. Gary

    Well, of course, Matt Cramer, Toyota bought the rights to an earlier version of Chrysler’s (or DeSoto’s) hemi, as had Mercedes. Mopar did it first, in WW2 aircraft engines. Steve was close, IMO, how about the M/T hemi Ford motors back in the early ’60’s? Regardless, I’ve not seen manufacturers rushing to steal cylinder head technology from small block chevies….

  4. Steve Akker

    How about Pontiac stealing hood scoops off Ford 600 trucks back in the 60 s , turning them around and selling them as factory Super Duty parts . Early ones still had Ford part number stampings.

  5. Brendan M

    Kawasaki used to be known as Meguro. When they launched their first motorcycle back in the late 50’s, it was an exactly duplicated BSA.

  6. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Rolls Royce allegedly copied the Chrysler V8 that came attached to the transmission they wanted to adopt!

  7. old guy

    Nascar Dodge had the cam higher in the block than GM or Ford at the time
    shorter valve train = easier high RPM’s.
    Toyota was even higher – that caused the GM SB3 to be born
    along with Ford FP3 . GM SB2 was a knockoff of the Ford
    head layout – it was the end of two exhaust vales in the middle of the head
    for GM blocks

  8. Mcnally351

    How about every econobox van that is copy of the Mercedes Benz sprinter vans. Do the big three even make regular vans anymore?

  9. Dick Fitzwell

    Was it the Kia or the Hyundai that copied Mercedes headlights in the mid 2000s I think it was. Like we’re too stupid to tell the difference. Goddamn Korean trash. Now they have their “genesis”. Fuckin junk

  10. 69rrboy

    How about the during the hostile takeover when the Krauts came in, flat stole the designs for the new Charger concept car, stuck a Merc badge on it and acted like nothing ever happened. Then had the nerve to ask 5 times as much for it.

    Or Hummer making an exact copy of a Jeep grille and then Judge Stevie Wonder saying “I don’t see any likeness at all” in the court case.

  11. Mike

    Honda jet airplane engines were reverse engineered from Williams International jet engines, made in here Ogden, Utah. I\’ve been told they were acquired by purchasing a Cessna…

  12. Dennis

    It’s the history of the world finding something that works or is popular and putting your own version of it out. When Chrysler brought out the minivan, sales were so extreme that it was too tough for Chevy, Ford, etc. to ignore. Now, of course, the controversy is how close can you emulate it until it’s considered a copy?

  13. Kenny

    My grandfather told me that Cadillac engines would physically bolt to a Studebaker transmission. I can’t actually verify, but I’ve heard the same from other people.

  14. Burly Burlile

    The Chrysler companies original K cars, Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon. First they contracted with Volkswagen to use their Rabbit engines and then designed a whole car to resemble the Volkswagen Rabbit fitted with the VW Rabbit engine, almost a complete clone. Chrysler then proceeded to sell them in the USA against the VW Rabbits.

  15. Mike

    Have a look at any early Tojo 4 or 6cyl. They are a copy of a Bedford.
    Which is so close to the Chevy Blue Flame six.

    Nissan/Datsun are copies of early Ford 4’s.

    We’re do you think the term ‘Japed’ came from. To Jap something was to copy it. As they did then now are the Chinese doing the same. They are the Masters of backwards Engineering.

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