The car of the future – details today


In the future, we can expect some great advances in automotive technology.

LIGHTER, more powerful and comfortable cars, that will cost less, run further without adjustment and will be easier to handle, are being forecast, by automotive engineers.

. . .

In Europe automobiles have been made to run as far as eighty miles to the gallon of gasoline. Supercharging, or forcing the gas into the cylinders instead of allowing it to be drawn in by the suction of the piston, has enabled the weight of the motor to be cut down and resulted in performance undreamed of a few years ago.

Puts the cars we suffer with now to shame, doesn’t it? We’ll soon see improvements in pick-up, quieter and more fuel-efficient city driving, longer lasting tires, more resilient finishes on the paint jobs, and better long-term driving.

With this device a motor can be made small enough to give the greatest economy in city driving and yet, at the touch of a foot on a pedal that brings the supercharger into action, it will leap to a ninety-mile-an-hour speed. Reduction of the weight also means less wear on the tires and a consequent lower cost for replacements-a vital consideration with the average owner.

“We can manufacture motor cars that will never have carbon in them and I believe we can build them so that oil will have to be drained only once a year,” declares Charles F. Kettering, head of the General Motors Research corporation. “As to the finish, this has been so perfected that we can now positively guarantee that an owner can leave his car standing out all year, and, at the end of that time, it will look the way it did when bought. Motors with new types of cooling systems are coming, with new valves, gears, carburetors and a thousand and one other things, which make them operate better with present-day fuel, to say nothing of the changes which are possible when some of the newer fuels, which are now in process of commercial development, are made universal. I believe a third of the weight can be cut out of the present-day cars.”

I must say, I’d like to sign up for one of these cars. The thought of once-a-year oil changes is appealing, given how much trouble I have getting out to get an oil change any more. And I can’t wait to see what newer fuels will be available – hopefully they will cost less than the stuff we consume now.

Oh, did I mention this is news from the May 1924 issue of Popular Mechanics? Kinda puts a damper on the enthusiam I had for these promised improvements. I somehow suspect that after 80 years of not reaching some of the promised performance levels, we’ll probably not get there real soon now.

[tags]Popular Mechanics, Modern Mechanix, Automotive technology, Automotive advances, The car of the future[/tags]