This reminded me of the urban legend of the "killer in the backseat." Except, in this case, it would be the lazy hitchhiker sitting in the backseat.
The Vernon Daily Record - Jan 11, 1951
Woman Qualifies for Laziest Hitchhiker Title
Syracuse, N.Y. Jan. 10 (AP) — A woman qualified today for the title of laziest hitchhiker.
Syracuse police found the woman sitting in a parked car. They said she told them:
"I often sit in parked cars hoping the owners will come back and give me a ride downtown. You see, I hate buses."
In 1959, the French automaker Simca showed a prototype of the Simca Fulgur (aka "Dream Car of the Future") at various auto shows. It was a concept car designed to demonstrate "the advanced thinking of Simca engineers."
The final car was supposed to incorporate the following not-yet-invented technologies (according to this Dec 1959 article):
controlled by an electronic brain fed travel instructions by the driver
Power supplied on main highways through magnetic induction from road-imbedded cables
On secondary roads, Fulgur derives power from six batteries in the rear which gives it a range of up to 3000 miles.
The front wheels which steer the Fulgur at low speeds are retracted at above 90 miles per hour and the car will plane along on its rear wheels.
There was also talk of making the Simca Fulgur atomic-powered. And it seems possible that it may have inspired the design of the Jetsons' car, though I can't find any confirmation of that.
Opel-RAK were a series of rocket vehicles produced by Fritz von Opel, of the Opel car company, in association with others, including Max Valier and Friedrich Wilhelm Sander largely as publicity stunts.
The Lippisch Ente a rocket-powered glider was produced on June 11, 1928, piloted by Fritz Stamer, but is not usually considered part of the series.
Opel RAK.1 - a rocket car that achieved 75 km/h (47 mph) on March 15, 1928
Opel RAK.2 - rocket car May 23, 1928 reached a speed of 230 km/h (143 mph) driven by 24 solid-fuel rockets
Opel RAK.3 rocket train (quoted speed is variously 254 or 290 km/h. See: , , , , ) On the second run the train jumps the track and is destroyed.
Opel Rak IV rocket train, destroyed when a solid rocket explodes on the track, exploding all the other rockets. Railway authorities prohibit further runs.
Opel RAK.1 rocket glider September 30, 1929
Some stock footage of some of the rocket vehicles was incorporated into this early SF film.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
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