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.
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’
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 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.
MI Tests the Crosley ‘Hotshot’
By Tom McCahill
A “warm missile” is one way our English cousins might sum up the new Crosley “Hotshot.” Whatever you call it, though, this brand-new, miniature American sport car should prove a fiery shot in the arm to its big, somber American contemporaries. This new car is something to have fun with and enjoy—definitely not a vehicle to carry crepe at your grandmother’s funeral.
Ok, now I’m starting to think that Tom McCahill just had a fetish about imagining Chinese men in uncomfortable situations.
By the way, if you want to see just how much safer modern cars are than cars of this era, check out this video put out by the insurance institute on its 50th birthday. It’s a collision between a 1959 Chevy Bel Air and a 2009 Chevy Malibu. Guess who wins.
McCahill Sounds Off On Safety
Uncle Tom blasts so-called “safety features” and suggests ten ways makers can cut traffic deaths.
By Tom McCahill
IN THE automobile business right now the topic of safety is as hot as a naked Chinaman in a barrel of tabasco. With various professors fronting for them and spouting statistics by the yard, carmakers in newly-tailored angel suits have set out almost en masse to halt highway slaughter.
Now this is a noble undertaking, the good Lord knows, and I am all in favor of anything that will save even one life on the road. But the trouble is, the safety campaign so far has not shown much evidence of being overloaded with realistic thinking.
NEW in SCIENCE
Sharpnel-Proof Vest is displayed by Pfc. Ralph Barlow of Redondo Beach, California. While in front line action in Korea, Barlow was hit by shrapnel and knocked to ground, but received no serious injury. Vest stopped the metal fragment.
Bell X-5 is undergoing tests at Edwards Air Force Base in California. It is our first plane able to change the sweep of its wings in flight from the most forward position, top, to a fully sweptback position, bottom, in 30 seconds. It is jet propelled.
THISH CAR RUNSH ON BEER
By Rudy Arnold
Liquor for this auto’s engine of distinction makes it run smoothly with that gurgling, surging power.
VERNON G. EISEL has what you might call a lush car. It will drink anything—and often does.
Pouring such barroom concoctions as beer, whisky or even soda into the fuel system of his ’53 Olds makes it purr like a kitten.
The secret, according to Eisel, who lives in Levittown, N. Y., is the “caveator” which lies beneath the hood and gives the car its gurgling, surging power.
I’ve never really thought about it, but it must be really hard to come up with new and interesting superlatives for things you like.
“…Dr. Porsche’s engineering with such cars as the SSK had the same head-spinning effect as a pipeful of poppy dust to a Chinese playboy.”
MI Tests the German Porsche
If money is no object and you are looking for a small competition car that’s really loaded with TNT, this is it, our Uncle Tom reports.
By Tom McCahill
THE late Dr. Ferdinand Porsche was the Hopalong Cassidy of the automobile business. For 50 years he engineered mouth-watering cars for generations of big boys to dream about. What Hopalong does for the kids today, old Doe Porsche did for their old man’s old man by building cars with all the intrigue of a Left Bank dive. His fame started back in 1900 with the chassis and power plant of the Austro-Daimler and really came to a boil with his SSK Mercedes and later the famed Auto-Union. Doctor Porsche got more sex appeal on four wheels in a single day than Minsky could cram on a runway in 30 years. To the real gone automotive nut, Dr. Porsche’s engineering with such cars as the SSK had the same head-spinning effect as a pipeful of poppy dust to a Chinese playboy.