My iPhone 5's got a V-8

Id America's new case for the iPhone 5 is designed to look like a head gasket for a V-8.

Gasket V8
Id America's Gasket V8 case comes in five colors, those shown here plus red and yellow. Josh Miller/CNET

For the last week, my iPhone has been sporting a case designed to look like an engine's head gasket. The maker, Id America, calls it a V-8, but as I've only got one phone, it's a four-banger.

The Gasket V8 case, as Id America calls it, is a nice variation on the competition , usually plastic or rubber with decorations consisting of simple prints and decals. This one is made of metal stamped through with four cylinder holes and apertures for cooling, oil, and bolts.

For variation, it comes in silver, charcoal, red, yellow, or blue. You will have to add your own grease.

A soft material coating the inside keeps it from scratching the phone and provides a little shock protection. Installation is a simple matter of snapping the phone in between the sides, no torque wrench required.

For those prone to dropping phones, the Gasket V8 case doesn't offer a lot of protection. It shields the back and sides, but leaves the ends and face completely uncovered. Id America includes a clear plastic screen cover, but it has a big logo reading "Born in New York" down one side, which I didn't really want on my phone.

The plus side of the open design is that the iPhone's ports and buttons remain easy to access.

Gasket V8
The Gasket V8 is more decorative than most iPhone cases. Josh Miller/CNET

I like the feel of the Gasket V8 case better than the thin plastic case I had previously used. The rounded case edges rest comfortably in my hand, although I had to get used to slightly more bulk.

The best thing, of course, is the look of the case. With cars so much more reliable these days, and subsequently fewer shade-tree mechanics, few people recognize a head gasket. So the case serves as a kind of secret handshake for gearheads.

Id America also makes a V-6-based gasket case for the iPhone 4/4S.

The Gasket V8 case for the iPhone 5 is available from Id America's Web site for $29.95.

 

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