Imagine you're riding in a train, when you see another train hurtling toward you on the same track. No problem. You're on the "anti-collision train," designed by P.K. Stern of New York. It was a bold idea for improving travel safety, but it never caught on. The Strand magazine (1904) explained the concept:
A single track is used, on which railway-cars are caused to travel. Two cars are rushing towards each other at a speed of twenty-five miles an hour, so that a collision would, under ordinary conditions, be inevitable, when suddenly one of the cars runs, not into, but over the top of the other and lands on the track on the other side, where it continues in perfect safety to its destination. The underneath car has proceeded as if nothing had happened.
The cars, although they run upon wheels, are really travelling bridges, with overhanging compartments for the accommodation of passengers. Over the framed structure of the cars thus constituted an arched track is carried, securely fastened to the car and serving the purpose of providing a road-bed for the colliding car. This superimposed track is built in accordance with well-understood principles of bridge construction.
Experts are predicting that within 15 to 20 years manual-transmission cars might be "virtually extinct." This has inspired Eddie Alterman of Car and Driver magazine to launch a 'Save the Manuals' campaign.
I drive a stick shift, but for one reason only — because it was the cheapest car on the lot (among the cars I was willing to consider). I concede there are occasional times when driving a stick shift is more fun than an automatic, but when I get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic jams, which happens frequently in the San Diego area, I hate having a stick shift. So when the time comes that I need to buy a new car, if an automatic is the cheapest option, I'm more than happy to say goodbye to manuals forever.
Howard Hughes's folly "The Spruce Goose" is of course famous for the tiny bit of actual airtime it enjoyed before being permanently docked. But who knew it had gotten to travel--in segments--down the nation's roads beforehand?