Ford Motor Company has the best idea, as he once declared, producing iconic cars such as the Mustang, Bronco, Thunderbird, and Model T. But he also built the ill-fated Edsel. Ford is not alone, either; Many inventors and engineers have made cars that seemed like a good idea until they actually acted on it. Here are some examples.
1899 Horsey Horseless
Kellogg’s cereal isn’t the only product to come out of Battle Creek, Michigan. The Horsey Horseless also came from there, although it is unknown if this car was ever built. However, it was a solution to a common problem in the early days of driving, when cars were still common and pack horses. Uriah Smith thought that putting a horse in front of a horseless wagon would not make the horses angry when they saw one.
“It will have all the appearance and movement of a horse and therefore will not instill fear in any skittish animal,” he wrote. “Before you discover your mistake and see that you have been fooled, the strange movement will pass, and then it will be too late to grow frantic and fractious.”
He also suggested making the horse empty so that it could serve as an oil tank.
It also makes one hell of a hood ornament.
1902 Stanley Steamer
When the car was first made, it was powered by gasoline. But cars that run on rubber make noise and rust, and must be cranked by hand before starting, which can cause injury or even death. Then there are electric cars, which have a limited range due to their lead acid batteries. Steam was familiar, powering American industry for the better part of the 19th century.
Cars made with steam power are popular, but they are complex, because they have three tanks. One holds water in a heater, another holds kerosene or heating oil to heat the water, and a third holds fuel to keep the pilot burning. Finally, an acetylene torch is needed to light the pilot.
And you have to wait for the water to boil and create steam before you drive anywhere. Also, these are not machines that you can know, because they have copper pipes and heating pipes, heaters, generators, valves and scales. And if they work together, they can make the driver very hot. Finally, the Stanley Steamer’s water tank had to be refilled every 30–50 miles (48–80 km), but the company assumed that motorists could refill their water tanks at any river, pond, or horse trough.
Ultimately, it is the generator of electricity that powers steam cars. First seen on the 1912 Cadillac Model 30, it allowed drivers to go without stopping anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes to start. It is also much cheaper to run.
But the company survived until 1927. The last car was built in 1931.
1907 Carter Two-Engine
When the engine in the car that Howard O. Carter was driving developed mechanical problems several miles from home, Carter did what anyone in his position would have done in the early days of the automobile: He built the car. his, albeit with a spare four- cylinder engine.
Called the Carter Two Engine, it also had two radiators, two lights, and two exhaust systems. The engines were mounted side-by-side and were connected, according to a contemporary account in Smithsonian Magazine, “by cone clutches in the planes and by Morse silent chains, to a three-speed transmission placed in the middle of the car. .”
Once started, the four-cylinder engine is used until the driver needs more power. The driver engages the second engine clutch, which starts the second power, thus increasing the horsepower of the vehicle to 40 ponies, allowing the car to move forward without having to slow down.
But the second engine was not really there to put power; it is also an insurance policy in case the main engine breaks down.
The car was priced at $2,250, or $70,185 adjusted for inflation, and Carter trumpeted the introduction of the vehicle as “where an epoch of transportation is unique in the history of the world.” Few customers agree. Within a year, the company’s headquarters in Hyattsville, Maryland, was building a car called the Washington, which was a little more successful. It lasted until 1912, although with one engine rather than two.