Now This Is A Burnout!

Ronnie Schreiber
by Ronnie Schreiber

I’ve never quite understood the appeal of burnouts, well, unless you’re warming up your tires in preparation for a 1/4 mile run on a dragstrip. Sure, it’s nice to spin your tires once and a while, just to reassure yourself that the car has enough power to break the driving wheels loose if you need to do it, but just spinning your wheels to make big plumes of smokes seems to me to be, well, just spinning your wheels. I’m no fan of drifting, but at least all the wheelslip in drifting competitions has a point. It’s one thing if the smoky burnouts are in celebration of a race win, though to be honest, those got old a long time ago, about as spontaneous as Vettel or Schumacher spraying champagne after a F1 win from pole to pole, but turning your tires into rubber smoke while going nowhere just strikes me as pointless and wasteful.

Burnouts are also not without risk. Tires can catch fire, or explode, damaging bodywork or mechanical components. Actually, the owner of this Corvette with what appears to be a supercharger sticking through the hood probably wished his tires had caught fire and exploded, instead of his car catching fire and exploding while doing a burnout at a 2010 car show. From where the fire seems to have started, it’s possible that an overheated transmission or leaking transmission fluid was the cause. Whatever the cause, something keeps feeding the flames, the fuel pump, transmission fluid or engine oil. Of course, once the conflagration spread far enough, all three of those fluids, along with the Corvette’s plastic body panels, were involved.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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  • Peter E. Puffington IV Peter E. Puffington IV on Nov 30, 2013

    So long as I'm not buying the tires its all good. Beats most football games I watch and is probably cheaper to go see in person even if I am buying the tires. Alas, my wife's 4cyl Tucson will not light em' up and I am told my Frontier has a marginal rear diff so burnouts are not happening in the Kirk Household unless I am driving one of my kid's RC cars or racing him on the X-Box. This was once considered a proper sendoff for tires about to be replaced. I can honestly say that I know weather or not most vehicles I have driven will light em' up to include an HMWVV (Uparmored no, soft skin with upgraded engine, yes, Buffalo Mine Detection Vehicle, NO, Husky Mine Detection Vehicle, Yes if in low range with diffs unlocked, The Land Cruiser pictured above - Not even on a snow covered road). Hey 18 hour missions require some entertainment not involving stuff going boom.

  • Redav Redav on Dec 01, 2013

    One of my favorite burnout fail videos is the Corvette owner who doesn't realize he's toasting his clutch, not his tires. And the cameraman doesn't know enough to stop him. The expression on the guy's face when he finally realizes it (and probably how much it's going to cost) is priceless.

  • Kcflyer on one hand it at least wont have dirty intake valves like Honda's entire lineup of direct injection ice vehicles. on the other hand a CRV offers more room, more range, faster fueling and lower price, hmm
  • Tassos BTW I thought this silly thing was always called the "Wienermobile".
  • Tassos I have a first cousin with same first and last name as my own, 17 years my junior even tho he is the son of my father's older brother, who has a summer home in the same country I do, and has bought a local A3 5-door hatch kinds thing, quite old by now.Last year he told me the thing broke down and he had to do major major repairs, replace the whole engine and other stuff, and had to rent a car for two weeks in a touristy location, and amazingly he paid more for the rental ( Euro1,500, or $1,650-$1,700) than for all the repairs, which of course were not done at the dealer (I doubt there was a dealer there anyway)
  • Tassos VW's EV program losses have already been horrific, and with (guess, Caveman!) the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory growing by leaps and bounds, the future was already quite grim for VW and the VW Group.THis shutdown will not be so temporary.The German Government may have to reach in its deep pockets, no matter how much it hates to spend $, and bail it out."too big to fail"?
  • Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.