Hanger Queens

I noticed the Popular Tag index on the lower right side of the chat page. If that can be interpreted as an indication of which cars are generating the most questions (problems?), might that be an indication of which cars are the “hanger queens”?

Popular Tags
Toyota 3,884 Ford 3,815 Honda 3,422 Chevrolet 2,634

Be careful what you speculate on! We had a post last year on this and since Toyotas generate a lot of posts, someone assumed it had to do with their reliability. The fact is that there are more Toyotas on the road now than most other cars, and statistically that would generate more posts.

Last year I questioned that the frequency of Subaru posts, since Subaru has a small market share, and it generated a large number of posts. It turns out that our website is in New England and Subarus are very popular in the North East. Subaru posts dealt mainly with head gaskets and the AWD system failing due to mismatched tires. Consumer Reports rates Subarus as “above average” in reliability. If Cartalk was based in the Midwest, it might generate more Ford and Chevy pickup truck threads.

We have not had a single Rolls Royce or Bently post dealing with maintenance or repairs. Although both cars are “unreliable” by industry standards, the owners leave the care of these vehicles to others and just pay the bills.

What you may be seeing is the un-scientific proliferation of demographics on this chat room.
Those people who even bother to ‘‘chat room’’ their automotive issues tend to be of what background and social status ?
And then, which of those chose the generic N.P.R. Car Talk over a brand specific site ?

This would make an interesting profile study.

We’re certainly not seeing an even representation of all car problems. Only those of a few who chose to come here.

I learn something new every day: Hanger Queens!

If I had not encountered this expression on the Cartalk forum I would have assumed it referred to the ladies who make frequent trips to the dry cleaners.

I thought it had to do with airplanes!

Yep: “an aircraft that spends so much time getting repaired in the hanger it never actually is operational/flight ready.”

Another one referred to airplanes grounded so they can be stripped to keep other airplanes flying…

Sounds more like a phrase for rabid airplane enthusiasts. I know people who have trailer queen cars but I refuse to stoop to such extreme preservationist thinking.

texases is right; the utimate hanger queen was the Blackbird supersonic spy plane, now retired. It needed 2 weeks of maintenance and inspection for each flight it took. At 3 times the speed of sound, the fuselage required special cooling.

The technical terms are “availability” and “mission readiness”. The Sherman Tank, mass produced for WW II had great availability and was easy to repair under combat conditions. The German Tiger Tank with 88mm gun, an extremely sophisticated, hand built unit, was not only unreliable, but difficult to fix.

I agree with Ken that the threads on this site are “unrepresentative” of the car owning population as a whole. Some reasons:

  1. We only get them from folks with computers and internet connections. I have 4 relatives who do not use computers! They own Buicks, Toyotas, Fords, Chevy Pickups.

  2. The geographic location of the website and Click & Clack. Very North East and in snowy areas.

  3. Many TV viewers in rural areas have dishes or nothing at all. They do not have access to any of the TV shows.

  4. There is a large population component of immigrants who have not mastered the English language well enough to feel confidant to post a question.

  5. Occupation-wise we do get a good cross-section of mechanics, professionals, dIYers and enthusisasts, and other concerned owners. It’s nice to see many female posters who want to solve a problem or get a second opinion.

Mis-judging demographic and social/economic trends can result in such disasters as the Edsel. Politically in the 1940s, polsters predicted that Thomas Dewey ® would defeat Harry Truman(D), and a number of morning papers printed the large and infamous headline “Dewey Defeats Truman”. The polsters had done their survey BY TELEPHONE at a time when many democrats had no phone, but nearly all republicans did!!!

texases…the term for a hangar queen aircraft that’s used for parts is a cann bird. The cann comes from cannibalization. The terms also apply to missiles since they are a form of aircraft.

missileman - that sounds right. The description I gave popped up when I did a search, was on the Time magazine web site, but didn’t seem to fit with ‘hanger queen’. Now I know.

And note that missleman has the correct spelling “hangar”, as associated with aircraft. (But if you’d never seen it spelled, you’d think it was its homonym “hanger”.)

I enjoyed some homonym and corn bread on New Years Day.

Thanks guys. You have confirmed my view that the Popular Tag box was not a true representation of the total auto population, and your reasoning is sound. However, I have to conclude that IT IS a representation of the OPs that frequent this site, whatever demographic they represent; be they a select segment of computer savvy folks that happen to have a craving for only certain auto brands by virtue of their age/gender/education/geographic location, or economic status. I believe that this does represent a quantifiable subset of data.

Francizek; yes this site is visited by a wide range of car owners with varying degrees of computer savvy. Some sites are only visited by “gearheads”, i.e. serious mechanics. These sites are good technically, but miss the economic and other personal aspects of car ownership.

A used Crown Victoria, for instance, may be a good reliable car, but it would be toatlly unsuitable for certain drivers, and very expensive to own for long distance commuters. The varied mix of posters here will give good overall advice.

Ah, sweet memories of my years fixin’ BUFFs…and 135s. I’ve canned many a part from a hangar queen.

The SR71, the single most beautiful thing that ever took to the air. They had a squadron of them at Okie when I stopped by there in '71, and we’ve had some stop by at Grand Forks on occasion. Never before and never since have I seen anything so goreous. To watch those birds land and take off was a sight to behold. We used to circle a KC135 to top 'em off after they took off. They took a lot of fuel to get off the tarmac. Or perhaps the SR71 jockies were just afterburner happy.

They had to be fueled after takeoff because they only had a small amount of fuel in them at take off. I have heard two stories on this, one was that they couldn’t get off the ground with a full bag and the other was that they used regular jet fuel to take off, then refueled with the JP-7 when the leading edges of the wings warmed up enough to liquify the fuel.

I suspect that the landing gear on that airplane just wasn’t built to handle the weight of a full fuel load. Every pound that the landing gear does not weigh is another pound of fuel that can be carried for a mission.

Consider the following. Look up the total number of Toyota models and the total number of Ford models, which also encompass Lincoln and Mercury. The latter are far more numerous.

That being said, it’s not scientific and neither is Consumer Reports, Consumer Guide, or any car review by Motor Trend or Car and Driver. They’re all microscopic samplings with subjective opinions; both as to the handling, braking, and so forth and whether a complaint is even justified or not.

Regarding the latter, you should not be surprised to know that if someone takes their new car with only 5k miles on it and suffers an engine failure due to a botched oil change at the quicky lube they will often blame the car itself for this. That may sound like skewed logic but it’s very, and quite often, true.

I hadn’t heard the theory of the different fuels, and would question that one simply because at the altitudes thay flew the wings don’t get hot. I seem to recall they had a published service ceiiling of 80,000 feet. I hadn’t heard the landing gear theory, but it’s certainly logical.

The “full bag” theory I’d heard before, but having seen the amount of thrust those things generate on takeoff I never really bought that one. They’d get those things half way down the runway, get the nose up, and hit the afterburners…and instantly become a dot in the sky and disappear. I’ve never before or since seen anything accelerate that fast.

Unfortunately, everything about those was classified and I was unable to find out anything at all. When the occasional one stopped at our base, they immediately secured the area and brought in their own crews. None of us regular B52 guys were allow near them. I never found out the real answer we had to refuel them.