FORD Motor Company’s X-100 and Lincoln-Mercury Division’s XL-500 are examples of its engineers’ unending search for the cars of tomorrow. The X-100, a laboratory on wheels, is a five-passenger, two-door convertible with a black steel and aluminum body. Its 92 switches control 24 motors, 53 relays, 50 light bulbs, etc., including hood and trunk lifts. The transmission has an electric gear selector. The front seats feature nylon web safety belts and electric warmers. They adjust six ways—up, down, forward, backward, and tilt front and back.
The XL-500 experimental sports car has an automatic push button transmission, scarlet Fiberglas body and all-glass roof, tinted, glare-proof and heat-resistant. It seats four passengers on its leather upholstery.
Car of Parts is this home-made “Weep,” Edwarcl G. Hammond, retired Newton, Mass., lumber merchant. Utilizing spare parts from sixteen automobiles, a tractor, a mowing machine and a sailboat, Mr. Hammond’s dream chariot averages 50 miles on a gallon of gas and has a top speed of 60 mph. The basket is for golf clubs and umbrellas.
Wind Tunnel and Model Airplane in Aviation School
A NEW instruction device has been installed for student airplane pilots by Professor Roland Spaulding, aeronautics expert at New York University who is shown above giving members of the first women’s aviation school a few pointers on flying. One of the girl pupils sits in the chair “cockpit” and works the controls which in turn manipulate the model Curtiss Robin plane. The plane is in front of a wind tunnel and responds to the air currents just as a full-sized plane would respond up among actual currents of air
Electronic Highway of the Future
Some day in the future when you drive onto a superhighway, you’ll reach over to your dashboard and push the button marked “Electronic Drive.” Selecting your lane, you’ll settle back to enjoy the ride as your car adjusts itself to the prescribed speed. You may prefer to read or carry on a conversation with your passengers—or even to catch up on your office work. It makes no difference for the next several hundred miles as far as the driving is concerned.
Fantastic? Not at all. The first long step toward this automatic highway of the future was successfully illustrated recently by the Radio Corporation of America and the State of Nebraska on a 400-foot strip of public highway just outside Lincoln, Neb.
Tom McCahill Looks Over The 1956 Cars
MI’s famed car critic presents a preview of the first batch of new cars released for publication. Don’t miss the December Ml for a look at more makes and models.
FROM the glamorized Plymouth right on up to the Imperial, the 1955 Chrysler line was entirely different. The overall change was miraculous. Chryslers have always been good cars but many a moon had slipped over the mountain since they could be considered great. The 1955 offerings were close to great. In every division they had the hottest offerings in two decades and they could have stood pat with these until well into 1956. However, getting the taste of blood for the first time in years, the young, new Chrysler quarterbacks elected to stop right in the middle of success and whip out a brand-new line for ’56, long before the football season had progressed to maturity. Let’s take a look at them:
NEW for the ROAD
Alarming Glasses set off a buzzer near the ear of the motorist as soon as his eyes remain closed longer than normally. Thin steel wire is attached to the frame and remains in close contact with the eyelids. Spectacles were exhibited at the Frankfort Automobile Show in Germany.
The Hot Rod was actually known as Green Monster #2. Art Arfons eventually built the J79 jet engine powered Green Monster #5.
NEW for the ROAD
ROAD BUG designed by famed German Willy Messerschmidt, has 2-cylinder. 9-hp engine. 55 mph top speed, reported 100-mpg gas consumption. Car weighs 385 lbs., costs $550. Top lifts for entry.
AIR CONDITIONER straddles front floor hump on adjustable legs. Blower and pump are powered by pulley power take-off from fan belt, controlled by dashboard switch. Idler Prod.. SL Louis. Mo.
NEW USES for old Fords Contest
This contest is growing more popular each month! Readers of Modern Mechanics are invited to enter by sending in pictures of odd uses to which old Fords have been put, and, as a tribute to the versatility of old Tin Lizzie of fond memory, Modern Mechanics will offer $10 for every photo accepted for publication. Contest runs until further notice—no closing dates, so send in your photo now!
Butter Trucks Have Complete Refrigeration Plant
A FLEET of 12 refrigerated trucks, the first of their kind in the United States, are now delivering butter, meats, eggs, and other perishable goods into the city of San Francisco from points in the Sacramento Valley 125 miles distant. Each unit of the fleet consists of a ten ton truck and a five ton trailer, as shown in the photo below.