A New Low in Puzzler Bogosity

This answer to this week’s puzzler about the distance between the license plate bolt holes being unchanged since Karl Benz was in diapers was so wrong that it’s almost painful. While the eighteen wheeler fuel tank issue required some advanced math that frankly was beyond me, this one is so easy to debunk that it defies the imagination.

All I needed was a yardstick and two old license plates from my garage wall. Submitted for your approval…



What rankles even more that similar small plates were also issued in Click and Clacks fair state. Case closed.

As I listened to the answer I looked at the corner of my desk where I just happen to have a short stack of three old licensse plates – they all have a different span between the holes.

1973 PA [Dealer] – 12" frame,7" holes
1956 PA – 12" frame,8" holes
1954 PA – 10.25" frame,8.5" holes [note the smaller plate but wider holes

Now the only question remaining is, how is it I just happened to have these on my desk as you read the puzzler?

Pics for failed links here…

Finding old license plates with odd holes doesn’t disprove the bogosity of this puzzler but it bogus all the same. Ray admited it when explaining that there were adapters for foreign cars and whatnot. Do those giant european and aisian plates with two lines of characters use the same holes? I doubt it.

A better answer is the turn signal switch. The only vehicle I have ever riden in that didn’t have the turn signal switch behind the left of the steering wheel was an old city bus that used foot switches, but its not a car. The best answer to this bogus puzzler is turn signal switch.

Which was the exact puzzler answer I submitted too! I’d almost bet the distance from the steering wheel to the lever is the same on most cars!

Thank you, Mr. Know-It-All. I believe that Ray said in the puzzler said “this distance hasn’t changed in something like 75 years”. Well, I would say my '53 and '76 plates would are covered in that time span. And, BTW, the mounting holes on them are as they came from the DMV and not altered in any way.

As to your theory, 1941 Buicks had the turn signal lever on the RIGHT side of the column (attached). See it hanging out there next to the shifter?

And I can tell you from 40 years of driving LOTS off different cars that the switch on some were A LOT closer to the wheel than others. :slight_smile:

I think RLK’s point was that while the plate holes were different the car’s mounting holes may still have been the same.

A right hand turn signal…who knew?? Must have been a south paw designed that Buick! :wink:

LOL! Thanx for the reply. I hope you understand that my “snarkiness” was intended for RLKKLR. In a reply to my initial post that I accidentally posted elsewhere, another guy reminded me that a lot of the older cars (I’m talkin’ '40’s, '50’s and '60’s here) had slots in the front bumpers to accommodate the different sized plates rather than just holes. Rear plate brackets were also of a similar design,

A lot of cars in the 1950s for sure didn’t have turn signals. I suspect into the 60s as well. Far from the best answer.

Re-reading of the question is in order:

bloviations deleted
"…But there is a distance measured from A to B that has been the same on cars, on every car that’s sold in this country, for as long as I can remember, maybe 70 years if not even more than that.

TOM: Very good!

RAY: And the question is, what is the one distance that has been unchanged for 70 years on cars?"

I submit, there isn’t one.

I’ll buy that, RLKKLR, unless it’s the distance from the last payment to the first major repair, LOL!

But, in all fairness to Click & Clack, I think it was Ray who said that he really doesn’t care anymore if the listeners agree with the answer or not. He’s been doing these puzzlers for a LONG, LONG time, so maybe cutting him a little slack might be in order here. Right or wrong, WE STILL LOVE YOUSE GUYS!

Turn signals became standard on passenger cars in 1953; even though it was still listed as option # 101. You could not buy one without that option. It continued to be an option up to 1956. 1940 was the first year they were offered as an accessory. The 1960 truck data book still lists an accessory number for directionals so it wasn’t standard at that point for trucks.

I had a couple of late '60s and early '70s BMW 2002s that had their directional signal switches on the right side of the steering wheel. When I bought my first 320i in '78 I almost had to learn to drive all over again.

Wish I had one of those 2002s again.

Ummm… okay… an accessory became standard but was still an option but was mandatory and continued to be an option. Gotcha.

The distance between your car and the car you just hit.

The 1962 Imperial made by Chrysler took the turning signal lever off the dashboard. There was a toggle switch that hung down under the lip of the dashboard on the left side. You flipped to toggle switch to the left to indicate a left turn and right to indicate a right turn. I drove a neighbor’s 1962 Imperial once. At this time, Chrysler was attempting to get all the controls off the steering column. The automatic transmission was operated by pushbuttons on the dashboard. Now it seems as though we are putting all the controls (headlights, wipers, turning signals, ignition switch) on the steering column. I guess the 1949 Nash Ambassador and 600 Airflyte cars were ahead of the time. The ignition switch, head light switch, and turning signals (if the car had that option) as well as the gearshift were on the steering column.

That’s right, Trieaq. I’d forgotten about that one. Here’s a similar set-up on a '59 Imperial. It’s under the column of tranny pushbuttons on the far left.

As I remember, the turning signals on these Imperials were not self-cancelling. One had to manually turn them off after making a turn. It seemed like a step backward to me. Even the Montgomery Ward turning signal kit that I installed on my 1947 Pontiac cancelled the signal after a turn.

Thanks for posting the picture. It brings back a lot of memories. The parents of one of my high school classmates bought a new Imperial in 1957. I thought it looked like something from outer space.

That’s right, they weren’t. Sorry I misspelled your i.d. in my first reply, but I’m not an ace typist, LOL!

… or the distance between the tires and the ground.