Whatever became of the turbo encabulator?

Video presents revolutionary (if fictitious) automotive device

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Road America 500

In the late 1970s, actor Bud Haggart, who specialized in industrial training films, took on the role of a Chrysler engineer explaining that company’s so-called turbo encabulator, and then reprised that performance in another video in the late 1980s.

Later, Haggart’s video was incorporated in a tongue-in-cheek instructional video for automotive technicians. 

What’s a turbo encabulator, you might wonder? 

Haggart said it was part of an automotive transmission but in fact it’s simply a fictional device first reported in an engineering student’s publication in 1944 by British graduate student John Nellins Quick. Time magazine reported on Quick’s jargon-filled description in 1946. 


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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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