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Discussion Starter #1
I was thinking today about some of the more than 100 defunct American automobile manufactures. (doing a quick Google search actually turned up this list of 541 companies!!! Category:Defunct motor vehicle manufacturers of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )
I was was thinking about Tesla and some of the innovative auto makers of times passed and just wondering if the whiz bang kid start up has what it takes to survive in the big world, even with their hot, innovative, and in demand product once if some of the larger guys decide to put the squeeze on them through politics, competition, and just general underhandedness that good ol American business is known for. Plenty of innovators with hot products and a demand for them have come and gone in their time. I'll start the thread with a couple below.

Here are the rules. Post a picture of a vehicle produced by a now defunct manufacturer. Not just a car no longer made by a company that still exists (like a 300SL or something of the sort) Given my love of automotive history, inventors, and innovation combined I think this will be a fun thread. Also please post a few details about the car, manufacturer, inventor, etc if you have them so that I and others can learn about some fun history.

Some easy ones and the first few that came to mind:

Delorean DMC 12:
I think most of us know the history on this one, as well as about John DeLorean, the politics, etc. If not check out a wiki. Fun stuff.

Preston Tucker's 1948 Tucker Torpedo:
Advanced features: Seatbelts. Central headlight turned with front wheels. Independent suspension. Perimeter frame. Flat 6 rear mounted engine etc. etc Simply fascinating to read about some of the ideas he had that didn't make it to the production model- hydraulic camshaftless valve train, etc. Indicted on fraud in farce proceeding and later acquitted

Kaiser
Although the Darrin was probably more popular as a "Corvette competitor" with its aluminum body and sliding pocket doors. I like the function of the Vagabond hatchback sedan which I suppose had to be pretty neat for it's time.


Edit: Well I messed up the pics order, but you get the idea..
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Who could forget the luxury auto manufacturers of days gone by. Cord, Stutz, Bugatti, Locomobile, and of course Duesenberg.


1935 Duesy SJ Morman Meteor Speedster



320 HP. Supercharged. (later 400 hp) cyclops single headlight. 24 hour endurance record setter avg'ing speed of 135 mph. Impressive today, but this was in the 30's!
 

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Nice thread idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Before Hybrids....

What about External combustion?
1921 Stanley Steamer:



The land speed world record set in 1906 still stands today as the record for a steam powered car.
William McKinley was the first US president to ride in an automobile in a Stanley Steamer. Outsold every gasoline powered car of it's time.
Interesting wiki: Stanley Steamer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

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Discussion Starter #5


There is a Studebaker Champion for sale by me in the weeds. Still pretty solid. Would make a neat rat rod with a little work. (not this one)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Electric cars

Before the Tesla, before the Rav 4 EV, the GM EV1, etc you could buy an electric car in America. In the 1890's!

Watch Jay Leno's garage for a cool review of one of his early electric cars.

We even owe many expressions to auto makers of times past. It's a Duesy came from Duesenberg. And something acting cranky came from the difficulty sometimes of trying to crank start an automobile before electric starters. (first used in 1912 by Cadillac) Electric cars of course didn't have this problem.
Electric cars were considered womens cars by men crank starting their gas cars, and gas cars were called "explosion cars" by electric car salespeople. lol.

The 1912 Detroit electric was rated at 80 miles per charge, and had a record of 211 miles on a charge. For being nearly 100 years later- we aren't real far ahead.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
1935 Auburn Boattail speedster.
Powered by a supercharged straight 8 engine.



Auburn Speedsters didn't just look fast, they were fast. To prove this, famed speed-demon and race driver Ab Jenkins sat behind the wheel of an 851 Speedster and was the first American to set a 100mph average for a 12-hour period endurance record in a completely stock 851SC speedster. As a result, each Speedster built carried a dash plaque attesting to its over-100mph capability, bearing Ab Jenkins’ signature. It is claimed every car was tested to exceed 100 MPH before they were delivered for sale.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I always thought the Nash Metropolitans were cool. Especially the one I had on the back of my door as a kid with a 455 Big block shoe horned into it.
There was one at the SAE show one year on hydraulic actuators set to dance to music. lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
amphicar

Amphicar. 1962-1967.
You could try your hand with Lucas electrics...IN WATER!!!
(I prefer the VW Schwimwagon, but that would break the rules of my thread since VW isn't a defunct manufacturer.)
And you car needed 2 licenses. One for land and one for water.







 

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Discussion Starter #12
TVR. 1947-2007?
Dead again for now.
 

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From the founder of Subaru America manufactured these in Canada for the American market. 1974-1976 Bricklin SV1 (safety Vehicle One) Only production car in history with full powered gull wing doors.
The model of the cars costing $16K to build, and selling for $5K didn't keep them in business very long.
A guy by where I grew up had one of these. I was told the doors were powered pnematically by air stored in the bumpers. I don't know if that is true or not. My Bradley GT2 looked to be styled after this car.



 

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...the recently departed...

...it's a shame about oldsmobile - the oldest surviving american manufacturer, and third oldest globally, when it folded...




 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
messerschmitt
The airplane company
Elvis had one.

Hotlinks removed. Someone changed the pic. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
They don't no more. But from 1956-1961 Vespa made cars! 28,000 of them.
1957 Vespa 400. 14HP 400cc motor. Made to compete with the Fiat 500.
a 4 seater with suicide doors.

 
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