The Saturday Car Post

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Off we go
on another 
Saturday
Car Post.

Today,
let’s talk
about
autos that
didn’t look
like every
other one
on the road.

If you’ve been
to the local
car dealer lately,
you’ll notice most
brands are making
stuff that have the
same shape and
style as all the
others…..

but that wasn’t
always the case.

So I dug into 
my car postcard
and publications
stack and came
up with what I
think are some of
the cutting edge
designs of their
day.

The 1961 Jaguar
E-Type, for instance,
has often been
described as the
most beautifully
designed sports car
in the world.

And who’d argue ?

But, if you feel
like I left off a
favorite or two
of yours,
(and of course,
I probably did ) 
you can
always drop
me a line with a
piccie, and
I’ll add it.

Hey……

Fair deal?

Of course.

Just call me
Honest
Muscleheaded.

Call BR5-49.

!!! HOY !!!
.

  

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Our Saturday Car Post

I figured
that maybe
it’s time for
some car
humor on
our weekly
Saturday
automotive
post…..

So,
today…

no technological
advances,

no wacked out
mobile devices,

no advanced
designs ,

no historically
important 
innovations,

just funny
pictures
about cars.

I mean,
what can
make for
a funnier
subject than
something so
well loved by
the average
American
as their vehicle ?

FUN
and
CARS
might
as well be
on the
same page
in the
dictionary.

We can’t
resist em.

They’re like
dogs
with engines.

And we all
have had
interesting
experiences
in them
that make
life’s
memories
that much
more
enjoyable,
haven’t we ?

Well,
I should hope.

I don’t know
where I’d be
if it wasn’t for 
fun in cars.

Boy howdy.

So,
anyhoo……

like
I said —

Fun
with/in
cars.

!!! HOY !!!

.

Our Saturday Car Post

Around here at the
Muscleheaded Blog,
we’ve learned the
valuable lesson about
never wishing for an
invention without
understanding the
possible future
implications
of it.

I mean……..

Who woulda figured
the cell phone or
the internet would contribute
to the almost total loss of
privacy for the individual?

Well, if one had thought
about it hard enough,
it was certainly not only
foreseeable, but sure
to happen.

And we have such a
dilemma suggested
by this week’s
vintage automotive invention.

It was a ‘auto courtesy light’
originally devised in the 1930’s- when folks, presumably, still
had manners when operating their motor vehicles.

I have often thought that
something like this little
gem could be digitized
and made to display just
about any kinda message
from anyone’s rear windscreen….

… and then,
reality kicks in
and I start considering
the kinds of messages
we would soon see.

So, please,
if you’re an inventor,
forget I mentioned it,
OK?

( too late.)

 

The Nash Metropolitan

The Nash Metropolitan
makes for an interesting
piece of automotive history ..

.. originally called
the “NXI”
( short for Nash
Experimental International ):

It was the first time
that a car designed
in America was
mass-produced
in Europe exclusively
for the North American
market.

Built between 1953 to 1961
in Birmingham, England by
what would soon become
the British Motor Corporation
( which absorbed Austin,
Morris, and Fisher/Ludlow ),
the car was also one of the
first that would qualify to
be called a ‘sub-compact’ –
before such a designation
even existed.

Primarily intended as a
‘commuter’ or ‘second’ car,
it was marketed specifically
to women as both cost-
effective and fashionably
trend-setting.

During the period of
it’s manufacture, it carried
several corporate name
plates, starting with Nash,
then Hudson, and eventually,
American Motors –

— for the last four years
of it’s production, it was
sold exclusively at Rambler
dealerships.

Austin-BMC produced
a total of three model
changes or series :

The Series I and II: from
1953 to 1955, the car
underwent few functional
changes , and even though
the engine was changed
from the Austin “A-40”
to the BMC “B”, the engine
displacement and horsepower
stayed pretty much the same
(1200cc) – although the car
was heavier due to a change
in gearboxes.

The Series III:
from 1956 to 1961,
brought a bigger 1498 cc
engine, along with some
cosmetic body changes
that gave the car a lower,
elongated look.

In general, the car is
remembered as a unique
and well designed small
car that in some measure
opened a niche for compacts
in the American market:
just under 95,000 Metropolitans
were sold in North America –
making it one of the best
selling imports of it’s time.

HOY !

Glow In The Dark Tires

Now that I’ve got
your attention……

Oh yes, those were
real glow-in-the-dark
tires, made by Goodyear
in the late 1950’s.

Actually, the tires were
made of a translucent
polyurethane (called
‘Neothane’) that could
be made to glow in any
color by replacing the
18 small illuminating
bulbs in the wheel hub –
but they also came in
shades, so you could
just use the stock white
bulbs and order the tires
in blue, yellow, red,
green and orange.

It’s kinda a
cool concept, right?

An Akron engineer
explained it this way:
”Goodyear’s translucent
tire can be produced in
any color to match the car,
… or perhaps the wife’s
new outfit.. ” 

And they could blink
in a pattern or
flash individually.

Goodyear first took them
on public roads on U.S. 1
in downtown Miami,
in 1960, mounted on a
white Dodge Polaris with
bright red glowing wheels.

Agape, Agog, Aghast.

Choose one, and you
have a good description
of the average onlooker’s
reaction.

They also wore better than
the conventional bia-ply tires
of the era, but they just never
caught on —

There were issues, of course.

Like a severe lack of traction
in wet conditions, a wobbly
feeling at speeds over 60 MPH,
other drivers being distracted
by the unexpected flash
by of a dash of color, and
the fact that the new tires
would melt if you hit the
brakes too hard.

And they cost a
lot more, too.

So, in the end ,
the tires ended
up going nowhere.

And once you stop to
think about the idea,
there’s no guarantee
that their raw material
might not have ended
up being marketed in
a whole different way
later, and sold in
mens room vending
machines, for all we
know.

!! HOY !!