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Key moments in auto history


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Mechanically it's incredibly impressive. IRS, performance, any aspect of the design...RELIABILITY???? That's not so impressive

Actually I did mean reliability, my mistake. I used the wrong word. But you knew what I meant... B)

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Amphicar??? Or was that just a weird footnote in automotive history?

Chrysler Turbine Car. Again, significant milestone or weird footnote?

You forgot the Turbine-Amphicar. Yea, That's the ticket - you know the one. It has wings too and flies. My Uncle's barber's cousin's best friend had one. He bought it for 50 bucks because someone died in it and they couldn't get the smell out.

Edited by Modelmartin
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You forgot the Turbine-Amphicar. Yea, That's the ticket - you know the one. It has wings too and flies. My Uncle's barber's cousin's best friend had one. He bought it for 50 bucks because someone died in it and they couldn't get the smell out.

Yeah, I think I heard about that one from my sister's nephew's babysitter's Girl Scout troop leader.

Funny, that "seven degrees of separation" thing...

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not to forget the Lamborghini Countach, oh and the Citroen DS - air suspension and directional headlights (I believe the Tucker also had the headlight in the middle of the hood).

OK..so this got me thinking- Ford GT40, Jag E-Type,Ferrari 250 GTO, AC Cobra 427, BMW's M1..... the list goes on

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I think the '14 Cadillac had the first electric starter. What this did was open the wonderful world of motoring to the fairer sex. We can thank Charles Kettering for that and for founding the Dayton Electric Light Company. I'm supposing that the jury is still out on the wisdom of that (women driving, not DELCO), but it beats the crank starter. Seriously, it was a milestone innovation. The number one, IMHO, was Henry making the T affordable to the masses

Edited by samdiego
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I recently found on my desk a 2004 copy of Automobile magazine (yes, it is possible to find a six year old mag buried on my desk!) and the cover story was "The 100 Coolest Cars". I was puzzled that they named the Citroen DS in the top ten (or close to) I confess to lack of being informed on the car, but still it struck me as funny.

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I recently found on my desk a 2004 copy of Automobile magazine (yes, it is possible to find a six year old mag buried on my desk!) and the cover story was "The 100 Coolest Cars". I was puzzled that they named the Citroen DS in the top ten (or close to) I confess to lack of being informed on the car, but still it struck me as funny.

The DS was pretty advanced for the time, aerodynamic, power steering, power brakes, auto transmission, and a hydraulic self levelling suspension which are pretty unusual for the 1950s. Like many advanced cars the reliability left much to be desired.

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The DS was pretty advanced for the time, aerodynamic, power steering, power brakes, auto transmission, and a hydraulic self levelling suspension which are pretty unusual for the 1950s. Like many advanced cars the reliability left much to be desired.

The DS was a pretty amazing car for its time. They actually were fairly reliable at some point, they lasted forever if rust was kept in check. The hydraulic system might have been a bit prone to leaks as they got older. Having ridden in one in the '70's, it was very Lexus-like for the time; amazing comfort...very quiet, a cloud-like ride. Also very fuel-efficient for the time, but also a very slow car. The springy floor and the weird "on-off" switch for a brake pedal, the 4-on-the-tree manual transmission, the rotating drum speedometer...the car looked pretty weird but it was definitely a very unconventional car with a lot of influence worldwide. As history goes, it's definitely got a spot on the top 100 cars of all time.

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See? I told you this debate can go on forever... :blink:

How about the Corvair? It was pretty groundbreaking as far as American cars go. Yeah, air-cooled rear-engine cars had been done before, but not by the US.

I agree with Harry about the Corvair as a significant car, but more for what it precipitated in the auto industry, than for its rear engine design. If what I heard is true, it was the success of the sporty Corvair Spyder (esp. with turbo option) that prompted Lee Iacocca to produce the Mustang. That, of course, led quickly to the whole Ponycar/Musclecar/performance car race and culture that persists to this day, and provides subjects for about half the models on this forum!

Sam

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Today you can buy electronic control FWD cars from just about any manufacturer. But the first to build the whole package was Porsche with the 959 in about 1985.

ABS, Computer controlled damping and ride hight, Comp controlled differentials with 4 program settings, electronic wastegates, 450 hp.

Just dump the clutchat 6000 rpm.

Aahrr! Aahrr! Aahrr!

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How about the Corvair? It was pretty groundbreaking as far as American cars go. Yeah, air-cooled rear-engine cars had been done before, but not by the US.

The Tucker.

And the list goes on...

I missed this one! You list one of the other aircooled rear engined cars that came before the Corvair! The other notable, but not rear engined of course, successful one being the Franklin. Their were a few others but not successful like the copper-cooled Chevrolet - big ruh-roh on that one but it was ...what... like 1923 or something.

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I missed this one! You list one of the other aircooled rear engined cars that came before the Corvair! The other notable, but not rear engined of course, successful one being the Franklin. Their were a few others but not successful like the copper-cooled Chevrolet - big ruh-roh on that one but it was ...what... like 1923 or something.

Tuckers were water cooled.

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BTW, speaking of automotive milestones...

if any of you guys have not seen the movie "Tucker: The Man and His Dream" by Francis Ford Coppola, do yourselves a favor and rent it. The story behind the rise and fall of Preston Tucker and his company/car is amazing. One of the best automotive-related movies ever, IMO. Jeff Bridges is great in the title role.

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Tuckers were water cooled.

Oopsie for me! My synapses weren't firing right. I guess the name Air-cooled Motors, Inc. led me the wrong direction. I have read the book(many years ago!) on Preston Tucker which I thought was well written and researched. The movie was part idolatry. The real story was a bit more prosaic. Preston was a little naive about the lengths people in high places will go to protect THEIR friends. He didn't have friends in high places. The scrutiny he went through would have shut down the entire auto and military industries. Ironically in 1974 the US attorney who prosecuted Tucker became the 1st federal judge in history to be jailed on criminal charges, and it was for stock fraud!!! :angry: Kaiser Frazer got 200 million dollars in grants to produce a car and look where that went! Henry J was well connected with many friends in high places.

Edited by Modelmartin
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It's true, Tucker got screwed big time from all sides. Sen. Homer Ferguson and the Big Three did everything they could to bring him down, and when the SEC joined the party is was all over for Tucker. Ironically, at the trial he was found not guilty... but by then it was too late.

True, the movie takes a bit of "artistic license" with reality, but it's a great movie regardless.

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