The term seems to have extended from the usage of "sleeper agent", to "somone who isn't what they appear". I'm not really sure I would ever use this word in the context describe. I would describe the car as deceptive. In sports, a sleeper is typically a team not seeded very well, but who analysts think could go far. A lot of times they will first pick favorites, and then pick sleepers. For example, in baseball, this would allow you to have a selection which wasn't the YankSox.
As a hot rodder in the UK I'm perfectly familiar with the term as it is applied to modified cars. The first defination is correct. Some of the cars I've seen are not just ordinary looking but positively shabby- even a little rusty! But underneath are all fully uprated mechanicals. Works well on an American car, works even better on an English or European car- preferably something fairly innocuous looking, like a Morris Minor, perhaps.
I agree with Erik. I spoke to my brother over the weekend and mentioned the use of "sleeper" when referring to bog-standard-looking but heavily modified cars. It was perfectly familiar to him but we both agreed we'd never heard it used in the figurative sense suggested by Dale.This message has been edited. Last edited by: arnie,
Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
Originally posted by Erik Johansen: Works well on an American car, works even better on an English or European car- preferably something fairly innocuous looking, like a Morris Minor, perhaps.
Some years back Porsche-engined Volkswagens were not rare around here, and there was an MG Midget MkII with a 1600cc Alfa Romeo stuffed into it. And way back in the 1960s I owned a Renault 4-CV that was capable of 105mph. Not too shabby for 750cc, but SCARY AS HELL!