Can Cars

Can car 3

More pictures and plans at Sandy’s Can Cars (via Ikkaro). Related: 26 paper models of vintage cars.

1920s Off-Road Vehicles

Offroad vehicles 1920s

Click on the image to view the pictures in high resolution. Source: Mémoires et compte rendu des traveaux de la société des ingénieurs civils, Vol.113, 1924.

Automobiles on Steroids

“This paper estimates the technological progress that has occurred since 1980 and the trade-o ffs that manufacturers and consumers face when choosing between fuel economy, weight and engine power characteristics. The results suggest that if weight, horsepower and torque were held at their 1980 levels, fuel economy for both passenger cars and light trucks could have increased by nearly 50 percent from 1980 to 2006; this is in stark contrast to the 15 percent by which fuel economy actually increased.”

Via Treehugger.

A Practical Guide for Automobilists (1901)

Steam powered automobile

Horseless vehicles, automobiles, motor cycles operated by steam, hydro-carbon, electric and pneumatic motors – a practical guide for automobilists, manufacturers, capitalists, investors and everyone interested in the development, use and care of the automobile” (1901). Including a special chapter on how to build an electric cab, with detail drawings.

Magic Motorways

Futurama city for the motor age

In the “Highways and Horizons” pavilion at the 1939-40 World’s Fair in New York, General Motors presented Americans with “Futurama”, a vision of the city of 1960. Norman Bel Geddes designed an enormous scale model, showing a utopian city rebuilt for the motor age, completely separating cars and pedestrians. Five million people came to see the exhibit, waiting more than an hour for their turn to get a sixteen-minute glimpse at the motorways of the world of tomorrow. There
is a technicolor movie of the show online, as well as the accompanying book that Geddes wrote to explain his (and the motor industry’s) ideas (or propaganda): “Magic Motorways“.

Update: another movie here (via). Related: London traffic improvements (the Bressey Report, 1938).

Who needs a Prius?

bathtub car

Source: Popular Science, May 1960