By 1977, America had already gone through one major oil crisis, and unbeknownst to anyone, another one was just on the horizon. Even so, actual interest in electric vehicles as a replacement for combustion-powered automobiles was minimal at most, but there was enough interest for some enterprising entrepreneurs to launch ideas like the $1,800 Urba […]
As Britain dragged itself out of the rubble of World War II and took stock of its place in the world, engineers previously employed to develop weapons had to turn their talents to peacetime. Jet turbine technology was a particularly tempting target, and before Chrysler’s famous turbine cars ever saw the light of day, Britain’s […]
1950s America was a time of seemingly unlimited prosperity and innovation, with jets breaking the sound barrier, rockets launching into space, and turbine-powered cars seemingly just a decade away. For the 1956 GM Motorama exhibit, GM debuted this quaint short film about self-driving cars that it thought were just 20 years away at the time. […]
Until recently, the auto industry hasn’t taken electric vehicles too seriously, and who can blame them? The technology simply had matured enough to allow for the kinds of vehicles consumers were used to, which meant some pretty major compromises had to be made. The Sinclair C5 electric scooter, released in 1985, was a compromised vehicle […]
America may finally be buying electric cars in meaningful numbers, but it isn’t the first time US policy makers have tried to force electrification on the auto industry. After the first Arab Oil Crisis sent gas prices skyrocketing, the U.S. government pushed the auto industry and its partners to develop a viable electric vehicle, and […]
Though the 1972 Munich Olympics would ultimately be marred by a tragic terrorist attack, it was also a chance for a divided Germany to show off its technological prowess. For BMW, that meant a chance to showcase its first-ever electric vehicle, the 1602e, at a time when an international gas crunch was putting a pinch […]
Sign up March 11 for the Rally For The Lane in Nashville this fall. Drive a cool old car on country roads and help support this awesome museum.
Following the Allied victory over Germany and Japan in 1945, both loser nations required massive rebuilding effort that were hampered by a serious lack of oil. Japan in particular lacked easy access to oil, and in the years following World War II creative mobility solutions were required, which included the Tama electric car. Tama, which […]
Until recently, electric vehicles were considered such fringe and far out contraptions that companies only ever produced small batches of them, either for experiments or to meet government mandates. Of the estimated 100 DKW Audi Elektro-Wagens produced in 1956, there are just two known survivors, one of which just underwent a major restoration. As Autoblog […]
The incredible turbine-powered Corvette built in 1978 by Vince Granatelli will be offered for sale at the Barrett-Jackson auction soon.
The Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell owe a debt of gratitude to General Motors and the first hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles, the 1966 Electrovan. Based on a standard (for the day) Chevy cargo van, the Electrovan took a team of 250 GM employees two years and thousands of man-hours to complete. When […]
In 1993, Miata built a Miata powered by a rotary engine and running on hydrogen fuel. It was heavy, slow and cumbersome, but it ran!
In 1969 GM commissioned Bill Besler to build a steam-powered Chevy Chevelle…and he did, sawing a 305 V8 in half and stuffing a steam setup under the hood.
Electric vehicle conversions have been around for decades, though most of these early, primitive conversions didn’t last long beyond their intended useful life. This Ford Fairmont EVA Conversion is a rare survivor from the early days of electrification, and for just $1,000 it could be your little slice of electric car history. Make sure you bring your tools though.
Before the first Arab oil crsis hit American shores, there was a small but sure surge of interest in electric vehicles. In 1966 the United Kingdom Electricity Council held a contest calling for the design of an electric vehicle, and the winner was the Enfield 8000. Though small and slow and rather limited in range, […]
One needs only look at this 1982 Mercedes electric wagon to see just how far battery-electric vehicles have come in the last three decades.
In the early 80s American automakers were caught flat-footed by yet another oil crisis and serious inflation woes. This led to the rapid deployment of diesel cars, which no American automaker had any experience with. While GM developed an awful diesel V8 on its own, Ford paired with BMW to offer a line of diesel-powered Lincoln Mark VII coupes that are today valued more for their rarity than performance.
In the late 70s and early 80s, America was facing a gas and credit crisis. Seems familiar, right? The thing is, back then, computers weren’t nearly as advanced as today’s technological wonders. But that didn’t stop Cadillac from offering the L62 V8-6-4, a displacement-on-demand system that was too forward-thinking for the computers of the early 80s to handle.
At the end of World War II, much of Europe’s industry was devastated and there wasn’t a lot of money to spend on cars, or gas. While people loved the reliability of the Volkswagen Beetle, it was painfully slow even back then. VW engineers then developed an all-aluminum, uber-aerodynamic Beetle concept called the V2 Sagitta that could go nearly 90 mph using the same 24 horsepower engine.
The internal combustion engine has been the undisputed king of motoring since the early 20th century, though automakers have constantly strived to find an alternative. Perhaps one of the best-remembered alternatives to the combustion engine was the fleet of Chrysler Turbine Cars paraded about during the 1960s. Can you imagine a world where turbine engines reigned supreme?