We covered some territory in Part One of our car guy jargon segment, but there are many more terms that will crop up at a show that may seem like a foreign language to new fans of the car culture.


So we will add a few more terms that you might hear at a car guy gathering.


“Gated headers” may be unfamiliar to people who are new to the car world. They are part of the exhaust system on a car that allows the driver to control the exhaust out of the car. Most car guys want to maximize the horsepower by any means possible and less exhaust means more horsepower.




The problem is less exhaust means more traffic tickets for ear-shattering engine noise, so car guys have developed gates that run engine exhaust through two separate doors. Door number one is a street legal exhaust system that conforms to minimal standards and prevents noise tickets from law enforcement agencies.


Door number two is straight out the short pipe exhaust that maximizes horsepower and eardrum damage. Most car guys would pick door number two all of the time if it was up to them.


“Zoomies” are very short un-gated exhaust headers that are found on most quarter mile track cars and some street cars. You will notice that the big difference is the street cars will always be on the side of a road getting ticketed for noise violations.




Coil-overs” are upgraded integrated suspension components that replace stock suspensions that might range from buckboard-ride leaf springs to coil/spring arrangements that are separate parts on older vehicles. Coil-overs give better ride and handling to old vehicles.




Stroker” is not a medical or golf term in car world. It’s not even a golfer having a stroke. It means that an engine has been given a longer piston stroke in its cylinders so it gets more torque. Even more to the point, it means more ability to make the tires smoke like a five pack a day cigarette habit.




“Six Pack” is a term that is typically associated with guys who love themselves too much and work out to develop abdominal muscles that will make constantly looking at themselves in the mirror even more fun. Car guys use it to describe the 3 carburetors sitting on top of their engines. They are too busy trying to make the three carbs run right to work on their stomach muscles.




Don’t get the wrong idea about a “Woody” when it comes to cars. A Woody is a car from an era when wood was used as part of the structure for body parts, usually on a station wagon, but not restricted to wagons. However it would be true to say that car guys do get excited when they see one of these old classics on the road.




A “nerf bar” is also kind of a misleading term in view of an association with Nerf products like sponge baseballs that won’t break faces upon impact. Instead they are custom tubular bumpers that fit on custom rides and are designed for that ultimate cool look.




We will revisit this topic again in another future installment.


Jim Sutherland

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