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.
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."
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.'"
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.
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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