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Old 5th October 2013, 08:52   #1
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Default Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past

Come 21st century and the environmentally conservative folk are moving towards hybrid vehicles. The Prius, when launched in the US had special sanctions for driving on carpool lanes with just one occupant. It was indeed a car to buy for some folks who treated it as an automotive innovation. Was the concept of an electric car really a 21st century thing? Not really, they have been in development right since 1888.

When pictures of a VW Beetle with a jet engine made rounds of the internet, enthusiasts believed that it was quite a unique thing that had never been done before. Again, not really, it was done way back in the early 20th century. Be it, having twin fuel tanks to twin spark plugs. Whether it was converting a motorcycle to a people carrier or inventing the smallest mode of transport. Thought of converting your car to an amphicar or designing a vehicle that flies, sails as well as moves on the road. It has all been done.

What prompted this thread? I received an email some weeks ago with a compilation of such innovations and inventions as well as uniquely redesigned cars. Pictures showing alternate modes of transport or attempts to reinvent the wheel. Some of them were plain whacky mod jobs of the time. I thought it was pretty cool and deserves its own thread here on team-bhp.

All pictures sourced from: http://avaxnews.net/

Sit back and enjoy:

Model Gay McGregor shows off the latest 1956 model Bond Minicar three-wheeler, at its London preview.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-1956-model-bond-minicar-threewheeler.jpg

An Adler Diplomat car, built in Germany in 1936, with its carburetor that uses wood instead of petrol, fitted during World War II.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-adler_diplomat_wood_fired.jpg

Joan Blondell (1909–1979) the friendly comedienne is riding on an American railway truck, during the filming of her latest film, “Other Men's Women”, directed by William Wellman for Warner Brothers.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-american_railway_bike.jpg

Captain Malin with an amphibian Riley car going down the Severn. He is taking a convoy of these cars for a London to Cape Town venture. The car is mounted on a portable balloon apparatus and driven by its own power through small paddles on the rear wheels.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-amphibian_riley.jpg

The new Amphicar, which can be driven on land or water, is used as a fishing boat by its owner at the start of the salmon fishing season on the River Tay, Scotland. The “aqua” car is German built, fitted with a Triumph Herald engine and can reach speeds of 7.5 knots in water.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-amphicar.jpg

A fruit importer's lorry at Covent Garden, London , with its driver's cabin in the shape of an apple.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-apple_car.jpg

A man and a woman riding in an “Auto Red Bug”, America 's latest electric 2-seater runabout, in a London street. Driven by a 16 volt battery, it is capable of 12 mph.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-auto-red-bug.jpg

A car of totally new design, the automodul, driven by its designer J. P. Ponthieu, at the opening of the first Racing Car and Cycle show in Paris.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-automodul.jpg

Baker Mr. Sillitoe has constructed a delivery van with the driver's cab and the van in the shape of loaves of bread.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-bread_loaf_shape_car.jpg

A motor car at Brooklands race track which has been fitted with a propeller for extra speed.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-brooklands_race_car_propeller.jpg

Customers buying snacks at the bar of a bus.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-bus_snack_bar.jpg

Prototype for a car-about-town, La Quasar, designed by Quasar Kahn. The car allows easy access from all four sides and can reach speeds of 95kph.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-car_about_town_quaser_kahn.jpg

Navy recruits riding in car and trailer at the HMS Royal Arthur training centre formerly Butlin's holiday camp, Skegness.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-car_and_trailer.jpg

Clive Talbot Of Chiswick, London , in his car built with the body of a boat.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-car_boat_body.jpg

A caterpillar driven ferry with a 24 horsepower engine takes holidaymakers from the mainland at Bigbury in Devon to Burgh Island, a quarter of a mile away.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-caterpillar_ferry.jpg

Dr. Manfred Curry standing beside his invention, the Curry-Landskiff, a man-powered vehicle which can reach speed of up to 35 miles per hour.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-currylandskiff-manpowered-vehicle.jpg

A one-man anti-gas ambulance and resuscitator, designed and made for use by the Home Guard.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-cycle_ambulance.jpg

Georges Monneret arrives on Dover beach after successfully crossing the Channel on his Douglas Vespa motorbike balanced on a pair of floats.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-douglas_vespa.jpg

Students at Brooklyn High School in New York learn to handle the controls of a car and experience simulated traffic conditions flashed onto a screen by means of projected film, using the Aetna Drivotrainer.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-driving_school_car_simulator.jpg

The James Samson Handyman electric cart offered for sale at £86.00 complete.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-electric_bike.jpg
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Old 5th October 2013, 09:05   #2
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The Dynasphere, an electrically-driven wheel, invented by Mr. J. A. Purves of Taunton and his son. It had 2.5 horse power and once attained a speed of 25 mph.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-dynasphere1.jpg

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-dynasphere2.jpg

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-dynasphere3.jpg

A man examining his electric car.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-electric_car.jpg

A back view of an English invention capable of being used as a car, boat and plane. Showing are a tail fin, rudder and propeller. It also has two wings which can fold back and another propeller at the front.


Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-english-invention.jpg

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-english-invention1.jpg

An old car is used to harvest a field at Sprowston, Norfolk .

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-field_car.jpg

A Fulgar show-model car made by French car manufacturers, Simca. Designed for the year 2000 it is intended to be atomically powered, guided by radar and using only two wheels balanced by gyroscopes when driven at over 150 kph

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-fulgarshow.jpg

Gas-driven taxis in a street in Birmingham . The gas bags on the roofs of the taxis last about 15 to 20 miles without a refill.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-gas_taxis_london.jpg

Mr. Graham's novel three-wheel car designed to look like an armoured car, being used to take himself and his bride on honeymoon after their wedding.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-grahams_three_wheeler.jpg

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-grahams_three_wheeler1.jpg

“Haywire”, one of the snowcats used by Dr. Fuch's and his Commonwealth explorers on their journey across the Antarctic continent, arrives at Tilbury from New Zealand, via Antwerp.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-haywire_trans_atlantic.jpg

Holidaymakers riding the “train” at Butlin's Holiday Camp, Skegness, Lincolnshire .

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-holiday_train.jpg

Lord Brabazon, the pioneer British aviator, demonstrates the hover scooter at Long Ditton in Surrey . The machine has been developed by American engineer Charles Rhoades, and combines the hovercraft with a scooter powered by a 250cc twin cylinder 2-stroke motorcycle engine.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-hoovercraft_scooter.jpg

With chains fitted properly on the wheels, the driver is just about ready to race his midget car on the ice at Lily Pond, New Hampshire, USA.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-midget_car_race.jpg

A miniature truck carrying a party of children in open carriages next to a London and North Eastern railway steam engine on a platform at Ilford railway station, Essex.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-miniature_truck.jpg

A motor iceboat invented by Dr. Thadeus D. Smith of Wisconsin reaches seventy miles an hour during its test on a frozen lake.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-motor_iceboat.jpg

Salesman Mike Dreschler has his motorised roller skates refuelled at a petrol station near Hartford , Connecticut . He has a single horsepower air-cooled engine strapped to his back and holds a clutch, accelerator and engine cut-off switch in his hand.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-motorized_roller_skates.jpg

Swiss engineer M. Gerder at Arles , France on his way to Spain in his “Motorwheel”, a motorcycle with a wheel which runs on a rail placed inside a solid rubber tyre.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-motorwheel.jpg

The newly built one horsepower Rytecraft lorry, believed to be the smallest motor lorry in the world, on the North Circular Road with other traffic.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-one-horsepower-rytecraft-lorry.jpg
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Old 5th October 2013, 09:19   #3
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A man cycling a “One-Man Car Cycle” in a street in the West End of London .

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-oneman_car_cycle.jpg

A new “People's Car”, with an entirely plastic body, designed to seat three adults and two children and marketed as the cheapest car on the road.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-peoples_car.jpg

The Peugeot motor-boat car, on a river bank. The front end is shaped like the bow of a boat, the middle part like a car and it has wheels.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-peugeot.jpg

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-peugeot1.jpg

The Regal four-seater coupe, produced by the Reliant Engineering Co., Tamworth, Staffordshire, on show at the Cycle and Motor Cycle Show at Wasrl's Court in London.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-regal_4_seater_reliant.jpg

The back view of a Renault 4 CV car, parked in the centre of Copenhagen with a large key fitted to the boot giving passers-by the impression of a life-size clockwork car.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-renault_4cv_clock.jpg

A man with his small, runaround cycle.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-runaround_cycle.jpg

A Blackpool single decker tram.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-single_decker_open_tram.jpg

A stunt car being rolled.


Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-stunt_car.jpg

A submarine motor car, which can travel both on land and underwater and is equipped with a 4 hp engine and steel fins on both sides.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-submarine_motor_car.jpg

Arthur Parkes, a television engineer from Dudley in Worcestershire, is the proud holder of the first mobile television licence to be issued in Britain . Mr. Parkes has confounded the British Broadcasting Corporation by proving that aircraft are capable of receiving television transmissions.


Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-television_car.jpg

Three tricycles make car for two. Dr. J. B. Hanson and wife demonstrate their car.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-three_tricycles_car.jpg

Queen Mary (1867–1953) with Princess Mary, the Princess Royal (1897–1965) being driven across rough ground in a tracked car by Army officers.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-tracked_car.jpg

A trackless train leaving King George V Dock for London ..

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-trackless_train.jpg

Travelling to the Derby by chauffeur driven car.


Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-travelling_derby.jpg

The “Urbania”, the world's smallest working car, invented by Marquis Piero Bargagli of Poggio Adorno to solve the problem of limited parking space. The engine is situated in the centre of the chassis and the seats rotate on a circular rail, enabling the passengers to descend from any side.


Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-urbania_smallest_working_car.jpg

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-urbania_smallest_working_car1.jpg

A vehicle invented by George McLaughlin which was designed to travel on ice and snow.


Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-vehicle_land_snow_propeller.jpg

Two Victorian ladies out for a drive with their chauffeur.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-victorian_chauffer.jpg

The new Volkswagen travelling along the tracks of the Long Island railroad.
This versatile vehicle has two sets of wheels, tyres for the road and iron wheels that fit directly onto the tracks.

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-vw_bus_on_rails.jpg
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Old 5th October 2013, 09:28   #4
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Default Re: Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/announ...m-section.html (The "Assembly Line" Forum section)) to Vintage and classic car section.
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Old 6th October 2013, 07:05   #5
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Default Re: Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past

Awesome thread !!!!!

You got great set of pictures there. Thanks for the thread and pictures.

nIk
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Old 6th October 2013, 11:45   #6
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Default Re: Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past

Excellent set of pictures. Some of these ideas are actually being thought of again. I wonder if they would have been followed through in those times, maybe we would have had a different automotive world today. They designed an atomic powered car for the year 2000, when even now in 2013 we cannot get even Hydrogen to drive a car safely. Gas Taxis, lolz. Are they not the forerunners of the CNG cars today? And ofcourse the concept of amphibs. It has been around for generations and yet we do not see some of the real world amphibs for practical uses. Great thread with lot of knowledge.
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Old 6th October 2013, 12:08   #7
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Default Re: Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past

Excellent Thread. Thanks!
Is it appropriate to add Segway and Solowheel to this list?
Links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segway_PT
http://www.segway.com/

The Solowheel website doesn't seem to be working.

There are a few more similar innovations like the RYNO Micro-cycle etc.
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Old 7th October 2013, 19:47   #8
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Default Re: Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past

That's a great set of pictures!

Here's another related thread focusing on the unique (and some forgotten) technologies of the past : LINK (Automobile Technologies of the Past - A Revisit).

cya
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Old 7th October 2013, 23:07   #9
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Thanks a ton for sharing this. Iam really fascinated by the Amphicar.

It would be great to add some of our desi innovation to this as well.
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Old 8th October 2013, 15:43   #10
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what stunning photographs!!
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Old 8th October 2013, 20:38   #11
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My goodness !! What an outstanding collection of pictures and each so deeply fascinating. Thanks a ton for sharing. What a treasure.
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Old 9th October 2013, 00:29   #12
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Default Re: Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past

A very fascinating post, Moralfibre.

I am intriguied by the one-wheeled inventions (the Dynasphere and Motorwheel), examples of such devices keep coming up now and then but yet to see a commercially viable unit.

Goes to show that mankind has been trying to perfect certain technologies for quite some time but it yet to master them (also the vehicle for the year 2000)
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Old 9th October 2013, 01:35   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaLamb View Post
I am intriguied by the one-wheeled inventions (the Dynasphere and Motorwheel), examples of such devices keep coming up now and then but yet to see a commercially viable unit.
It doesn't look easy!



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Old 9th October 2013, 07:54   #14
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Default Re: Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past

Thanks Moralfibre for sharing. One can imagine the passion the inventor would have put into such projects.

Of late we read about Chinese inventors building helicopters from locally available parts etc. Continuous innovation and invention is a must for doing things better.

Cheers

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Old 9th October 2013, 09:19   #15
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While researching for a school project I came across a rather fascinating form of mixed terrain mobility!

Automotive innovations and some unique modes of transport from the past-1280px1926_fordson_snowmobile.jpg

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"The Peaveys' machine had two pairs of cylinders with an articulation between the pairs to effect steering. At least two prototype vehicles were constructed: one was steam powered the other used a gasoline engine.

The prototypes worked well on hard packed snow but failed in soft powder because the flanges had nothing to grip into. The machine was designed to haul logs, but its length and rigid construction meant that it had difficulty with the uneven winter roads for which it was intended.

Peavey's invention could not compete with the Lombard Steam Log Hauler built by Alvin Lombard and it was not produced commercially."

Source: wikipedia

Last edited by moralfibre : 9th October 2013 at 10:34.
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