Latest Developments in Automotive Field (Mar, 1931)

Latest Developments in Automotive Field

Above is shown a new type auto wheel fitted with curved, spring-steel spokes, which is designed to cushion the unsprung weight of the car. Broken spokes may be replaced without removing the wheel.

Leo Bazin, of Paris, France, standing beside the new car which he designed. This car boasts of a body which can be opened by means of hinges to facilitate repairs of the chassis and transmission. At the left is a detail of the new English Daimler which embodies the liquid clutch and self-changing gear shift.

Traveling Electric Light Plant Aids San Francisco Fire-Fighters (Aug, 1929)

Traveling Electric Light Plant Aids San Francisco Fire-Fighters

GENERATING a 10-kilowatt electric current, this traveling electric light plant shown below is the latest aid to San Francisco firemen. It provides enough current to efficiently operate five 1,000 watt searchlights, mounted on top of the truck. They can be turned in any direction and are of valuable use in night fires breaking out in tall buildings.


This reminds me of the segment Top Gear where they profile the Reliant Robin. If you’ve never seen it I suggest you go watch it now. It is hilarious.

LAMBRETTA Surrey with a Ghia-made body is the latest vehicle from the Italian scooter maker. The three-wheel vehicle seats two passengers comfortably on a wide rear seat. The Surrey has a one-cylinder, 150cc two-cycle engine with a top speed of 45 mph. It travels about 75 miles on a gallon of gas. The Surrey will retail in the U.S. for under $1,300 and is designed for resorts, golf clubs, amusement areas and other places where economical short-haul transportation is desired.

Buttons Tune Low-Cost Car Radio (May, 1938)

I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone put a car radio in that location.

Buttons Tune Low-Cost Car Radio

Push-button tuning, the modern safety feature that enables car drivers to adjust their radios without taking their eyes from the road, has now been built into an inexpensive, easily installed set. Pushing any one of five buttons on an instrument-board panel instantaneously tunes the self-contained receiver to a corresponding station.

Designed with passengers’ safety in mind (Aug, 1971)

That picture makes me really want to try to pull on that bumper so I can insert a giant SIM card.

Designed with passengers’ safety in mind

By December, this model of the Fairchild Experimental Safety Vehicle (ESV) above should be a reality, and in the hands of the Department of Transportation for evaluation. Among the safety features designed into it are: a wide, over-the-roof rear-view periscope; aerospace structural roll cage; hydraulic shock-absorber front bumper; torsion-hinge rear bumper; airbags; and padded interior. Fairchild is competing with AMF for a contract to build 12 test ESVs.

Death of a $100,000 Race Car (Oct, 1949)

Death of a $100,000 Race Car

THE best driver and the fastest car didn’t win the 1949 Indianapolis race. They broke records, set a blistering pace never equalled. But they didn’t win.

Iron-nerved Dennis (Duke) Nalon and his 550-horse-power Novi Mobil Special, designed by Bud Winfield, should have won that race. We wish they had, because that was the combination Mechanix Illustrated boldly predicted, away back in our May issue, would cop the 500-mile classic. But the Duke didn’t win because, on the 24th lap, after shattering every Speedway record for 55 miles and pounding down the straightaways at 200 mph, his great car suddenly died of a broken axle.

Up-and-Down Wiper Clears Entire Windshield (Feb, 1960)

I’m sure the big metal bar laying right in your field of view wouldn’t be annoying at all…

Up-and-Down Wiper Clears Entire Windshield

BLIND spots caused by snow or rain accumulating on the windshield are ended by this up-and-down wiper that extends the full width of the glass.

The wiper is operated by a threaded spindle—much like the lever wind mechanism on a fisherman’s casting reel—and pulls the snow or water down into a trough below the hood level.

You might be seeing this new invention, which received U. S. Patent No. 2, 880,444, on some German cars in the future. Its inventors, Bela Barenyi, of Stuttgart-Rohr, and Karl Wilfert, of Stuttgart-Degerloch, assigned it to Daimler-Benz,

A. G., of Stuttgart-Unterturkheim, Germany.

The Drive-In is Thrivin’ (Aug, 1951)

The Drive-In is Thrivin’

America’s newest major industry was regarded as a newfangled novelty a decade or so ago. Now it’s become strictly big business.

By I. B. Neer

WITHOUT leaving the wheel of your car you can spend the most amazing vacation of your life this summer. For the drive-in is really thrivin’!

Without sliding from behind the steering wheel, you’ll be able, to deposit money in a bank, do all your shopping in supermarkets, buy a bouquet of flowers, mail a letter, go to church, pay your gas and electric bills, have prescriptions filled, get your laundry and dry cleaning done, take out insurance, check into a hotel, visit a zoo, have your shoes repaired and buy a bottle of Scotch for the long cool nights.



HAROLD YOUNG of Downey, Calif., has a car designed expressly for wheelchair users. The driver gets in and out without help. Controls, including a push-stop, pull-go lever, are designed for the handicapped. The three-wheeler has directional signals as well as standard lights. Transmission uses a Togaloc clutch, chain drive to jackshaft, V-belt drive to rear wheels. The car has had years of all-weather use. •

Butyl ‘n Beauty (Jan, 1947)

Butyl ‘n Beautyon display at left herald a new style automobile inner tube designed to prevent the rapid deflation of air in the event of a puncture. Waffle-like construction causes a squeezing action around nail holes. Butyl is a synthetic rubber which retains air better than the natural product. The beauty—not synthetic—is Rae Caldwell.