The Cylinder Index

Illustration for article titled The Cylinder Index

V8's are good for the CI

The other day a friend made a passing reference to the Cylinder Index the other day and his reduction in it by selling a motorcycle. I had not heard this term so I decided to do a bit of research. Here's what I found.


"The Cylinder Index (or C.I.) was established on the basis of Joe Soucheray's enthusiastic fascination with internal combustion engines. It is a measurement device in which the total number of internal combustion engine cylinders (working or non-working) owned by an individual (single-cylinder chainsaws, lawnmowers, 2-cycle, 4-cycle, multi-cylinder diesels, trucks and farm tractors) are tallied. The Garage Logician who attains a C.I. in excess of his age is revered. Garage Logic, commonly referred to as simply GL, is the name of a fictional city. It is the creation of Saint Paul Pioneer Press columnist, novelist, and radio talk show host Joe Soucheray." - Wikipedia

That prompted me to calculate my own CI. Upon doing that I decided that there really needed to be a breakdown to 3 subgroups.


The first I call simply CI. This will refer to the total number of cylinders, working or not in vehicles or machines that move themselves. Unfortunately for my CI a wood splitter or chainsaw adds nothing to your CI but a boat motor or tractor is fair game. CI will be quite the inflated number if you have any number of broken items around your place.

The most representative of the fun you are able to have on any given day I have taken to calling RCI. This would be for Running Cylinder Index. This would include any vehicle that can move under it's own power. My own personal RCI is 33. This includes, 2007 Mustang (8), 1987 Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe (8), 2001 Silverado (8), 2008 GSXR (4), 1981 Honda CM400C Bobber (2), 1993 Honda CR125 (1).


Another way to inflate your own CI when bragging to neighbors is to use your ICI or Installed CI. This would include the complete cylinder count of any engine that is installed in a vehicle. This vehicle could be a project or a licensed driving car. Not an engine sitting in a corner waiting for "some future project".


My complete count for ICI is 45. This includes the 33 from my RCI plus an extra 12 that are only counted in ICI.. I have a 1983 Indy Pace Car Replica Camaro. Well maybe. I recall checking the VIN and it saying it was originally a V6 car. Someone sure did a thorough sticker job on it though. I also possess a 1930 Ford Model A sedan 4 door and it runs, barely.

What is your CI, RCI and ICI?

More ramblings from the Speed Ambassador at

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