Weird Universe


Opel Rocket Vehicles


Original pic here.

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[2]
Opel RAK.2 - rocket car May 23, 1928 reached a speed of 230 km/h (143 mph) driven by 24 solid-fuel rockets[2]
Opel RAK.3 rocket train (quoted speed is variously 254 or 290 km/h. See: [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]) 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.[3]
Opel RAK.1 rocket glider September 30, 1929

Some stock footage of some of the rocket vehicles was incorporated into this early SF film.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Jan 25, 2016 | Comments (4)
Category: Flight, Movies, Spaceflight, Astronautics, and Astronomy, Technology, Science Fiction, 1920's, Europe, Cars

Baked Beans in Boots

One of life's unanswerable mysteries — Why did the man have baked beans in his boots?

London Times - June 30, 1998

What's in the boot, then?
A motorist who was stopped for a routine police check in Colchester, Essex, was found to be wearing wellington boots filled with baked beans in tomato sauce.
Officers warned him to choose more suitable footwear. A spokesman said: "We have no idea why he was doing it, but it is an offence not to be in proper control of a car. Wearing boots could cause the driver to be distracted and have an accident."
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Jan 23, 2016 | Comments (20)
Category: 1990's, Cars

The Electric Shopper Car


Full story here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Jan 21, 2016 | Comments (12)
Category: Inventions, Technology, 1960's, Cars, Yesterday's Tomorrows

What Was the Name of Ted Williams’s Car?


Original ad here.

So what was the winning name? It's a mystery for the ages. As this blogger says, "This car was widely shown and generated considerable publicity. Surprisingly, no one at S.C. Johnson & Son seems to remember the winning name to this day. 'I attempted to find out on numerous occasions during my career with Nash and American Motors -- writing the Johnson company and perusing newspapers and trade journals of the period,' says John A. Conde. 'Unfortunately, nothing turned up.'"

Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Jan 18, 2016 | Comments (10)
Category: Contests, Races and Other Competitions, Sports, 1950's, Cars

Formula One With Snow Chains

A Formula One car going down a ski slope, something you don't see everyday. The car was airlifted to the top of the course and fitted with chains on the tires for the trip. The Formula One Rookie of the Year drove and 3,500 people watched. Apparently a good time was had by all.
Posted By: patty | Date: Sun Jan 17, 2016 | Comments (5)
Category: Daredevils, Stuntpeople and Thrillseekers, Seasonal, Cars

We Drivers

Are you a Reckless Rudy or a Sensible Sam? And don't forget Man-Mountain Momentum.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Jan 13, 2016 | Comments (7)
Category: Daredevils, Stuntpeople and Thrillseekers, Destruction, PSA's, 1930's, Cars

Kattle Kaller Auto Horn


I would definitely buy one of these today.

Given digital technology, would it not be easy to install a speaker under your hood which broadcast an infinite number of digital sound files on command?

Original ad here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Dec 10, 2015 | Comments (10)
Category: Animals, 1950's, Cars, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

The Wrist Twist Steering Wheel

March 1965: The Lincoln-Mercury division of Ford Motor Co. began testing the "wrist twist" steering wheel at dealerships around the country. With this "no-wheel steering wheel," the driver controlled the car by means of two rotating plastic rings, five-inches in diameter. The rings turned simultaneously and could be turned with one or both hands.

As the video below explains, the benefit of the "wrist twist" was that you could more easily rest your arms on armrests while driving.

I guess the drawback was that you got carpal tunnel syndrome in your wrists by constantly having to twist them around.

More info: Popular Science - Apr 1965

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Oct 06, 2015 | Comments (21)
Category: Inventions, 1960's, Cars

Follies of the Madmen #261

Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Oct 06, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Food, 1960's, Cars
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.