Submarine Auto (Sep, 1936)

Submarine Auto

LOU SENARENS developed many outlandish and queer vessels for Frank Reade, the hero of one of his groups of nickel novelettes. One of these mysterious vessels was an automobile which could travel on land, in the water, or under the water, under its own power, and, strange as it may seem, such a combination craft has actually been invented and constructed by Michel Andre of France.

Powered with a four-horsepower engine, this strange auto travels on the road at a speed of 24 miles per hour. In the water, it makes nine miles per hour. The power is then applied to the propeller instead of to the wheels. Under the water the average speed ii approximately six miles per hour. The photos on this page show the craft on the road, in and under the water. It will be observed that the exhaust gases of the engine pass out through a long vertical pipe which projects above the water line. The car is self-buoyant and can dive only when the elevating rudders are depressed; thus, should the power suddenly fail, the car would naturally bob up to the surface. No water ballast is used. Because the engine uses quite a bit- of oxygen, the craft cannot stay under the water very long but, by the addition of bottles of compressed gas or air, this submergence period can be greatly lengthened. Such combinations should be of incalculable value in the next war.

6 comments
  1. jayessell says: March 30, 201310:31 am

    Now pay attention 007, This isn’t a toy…..

  2. mcubstead says: March 31, 20136:10 pm

    I’m surprised at how many, and how far back in time that people have tried to make a marine-auto combination. Does any one know who tried first?

  3. Toronto says: March 31, 20137:02 pm

    I’m surprised this one has an above water exhaust but no snorkel.

  4. quadibloc says: March 31, 201311:22 pm

    I’m just amazed that the car can do all this with a four-horsepower engine.

    And, of course, if a car can function with a four-horsepower engine, one wonders why cars haven’t been limited by law to, say, ten horsepower as an energy-conservation measure.

  5. Zeppflyer says: April 1, 20133:01 am

    If you’re OK with going 30mph with no AC and never climbing a hill with more than 2 bags of groceries, 10 HP will do ya fine.

    By the time anyone was seriously concerned with conservation, our lifestyles and infrastructure had already made such a vehicle impractical.

  6. Toronto says: April 1, 201312:40 pm

    I rarely exceed 30 mph, have no AC, but do climb hills, not only with groceries but with camping equipment too. And I do it with peak power of about 375 watts, or 0.5 HP. Most trips are about 5km (3 miles) but I’ve does as much as 206 km in a day.

    Of course, that’s a bicycle. And it SUCKS underwater.

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