Weird Universe


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

The Stout Scarab

The 1936 Stout Scarab is referred to by some as the first minivan. Its definitely one cool car!
Posted By: patty | Date: Fri Sep 25, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Design and Designers, 1930's, Cars, Yesterday's Tomorrows

Bond Mini Car


If you took a three-wheeled motorcycle and dropped the shell of an auto atop it, this is what you would get. Lift the hood of the "car," and there is the engine riding on a single steerable wheel of its own


Wikipedia article here.

POPULAR SCIENCE article here.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Sep 12, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: 1950's, Europe, Cars, Motorcycles

Turnabout Man

The moral is: don't suppress your road rage, it's not healthy!
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Aug 30, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: Etiquette and Formal Behavior, PSA's, 1930's, Cars

The Tri-Car

[Click to enlarge]

Original article here.

This odd little auto actually made it into limited production.

Full history here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Aug 20, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Eccentrics, 1930's, 1950's, Cars

Novel method of fixing car

Charles Shepherd. That name sounds familiar.

Mansfield News-Journal - Dec 21, 1956

Took Accident To Fix Auto
DETROIT (UP) — Walter H. Hobbs was fined $10 for ramming Charles Shepherd's car in the rear despite a plea from Shepherd in his defense.
Shepherd said his car had been running better than it ever did since Hobbs rammed it.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Aug 02, 2015 | Comments (10)
Category: 1950's, Cars

Bad Driver Batman

When the Batman TV series first aired in 1966, not everyone was happy with it. The Automobile Legal Association issued a press release listing the various traffic violations that Batman was guilty of and denouncing him as a "vicious example" for youth. His violations included: U-turns in the middle of busy streets, crashing through safety barriers, crossing highway white line safety markers, parking illegally, speeding, and failing to signal even a single turn.

They didn't mention using parachutes to turn around the Batmobile at high speeds (which I'm sure can't be legal), or having "Bat Ray" weapons installed on the vehicle.

Tyrone Daily Herald - Mar 21, 1966

Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Jul 16, 2015 | Comments (10)
Category: 1960's, Cars

DeSotos in Space!

This subject line will definitely be the title of my next SF novel.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Jul 09, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: Aliens, Advertising, 1950's, Cars

Hilton Tupman’s Pedestrian Horn

Los Angeles auto dealer Hilton Tupman wanted to level the playing field between motorists and pedestrians. So he invented a horn that pedestrians could use to honk at motorists. And he made it loud enough to be heard within a 1-mile radius.

Source: Popular Mechanics, May 1948
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Jun 19, 2015 | Comments (7)
Category: 1940'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.