When it comes to innovation, we might come up with the perfect solutions to some problems while at other times we end up with the worst results. In today’s article, we shall look at the worst car designs men ever tried to come up with. You will be amazed at how funny men can think at times. Your favorite top 10 list site brings you the top 10 historical worst car designs ever, happy reading!
The 1899 Horsey Horseless:
This vehicle was invented when horses used to share the roads with the vehicles. At times this caused trouble on the transportation system as the horses were scared. Uriah Smith, from Battle Creek, in Michigan, came up with the idea of attaching a wooden horse head to vehicles on the front.
The end result would be a resemblance of a horse-drawn carriage. In his view, this would trick the horses that they are other horses and the movement would be smooth.
In his suggestion, he said that the wooden horse head should be hollow and filled with fuel. The idea is that in that way, it would not be harmful to the other things around. However, it is not known to date whether this idea was implemented or it was just a draft.
1911 Overland ActoAuto:
The idea of having vehicles with only four wheels was not very good to the designer Milton Reeves. He said that if the vehicle had more wheels, the ride would be smoother. According to Reeves, six or eight wheels would be a better idea in automobiles.
In the year 1910, Reeves decides to redesign the Overland. He welded in some parts, added two axles and, attached four more wheels of the gurn-cart style. This is the genesis (and the end) of the ActoAuto. This he presented at the Indianapolis 500 but there was no order made at all. The car measured more than 20 feet in length.
Despite his first design failing, he went ahead and came up with the Sextauto the following year. This one had six axles and six wheels. The evidence that the idea never worked is the lack of cars with six wheels today.
1913 Scripps-Booth Bi-Autogo:
This massive motorcycle weighed 3,200 lb and it had training wheels. The design was a V8 engine and copper tubing the whole body. This idea was an innovation of James Scripps-Booth, a self-taught engineer and an heir of the Scripps publishing fortune.
The Bi-Autogo rested on wooden wheels that measured 37 inches. The smaller wheels were ideal when the driver wants to go at a slower speed. This helped him to move with more stability to prevent the vehicle from tipping over.
The V8 engine was the only good thing that came out of this innovation. All the rest was simply a bizarre. At least the V8 engine makes History remember the whole idea, which never worked as the designer had expected.
The 1920 Briggs and Stratton Flyer:
By this time, the automobile industry had started gaining pace as the engineers designed and manufactured more vehicles. For instance, Cadillac, Rolls-Royce, and Voisin were producing the top luxurious vehicles taking advantage of the technological advancements.
With all the advancements, there were still the other vehicles produced that were at the other extreme, far away from the then latest development. Take for instance the Briggs and Stratton Flyer. At the time of its design, you could not call it a car as compared to the cars.
The Flyer was basically a bench that had bicycle wheels attached to it. The aim of this vehicle was to save on the materials and make a cheaply car. It lacked everything you can talk of in a car, including a body, suspension, nothing – not even a windshield.
The vehicle used a small 2 horsepower engine that drives a traction wheel at the rear. This design did not give the Flyer axles any power needed for the smooth drive you expect in a car.
1933 Fuller Dymaxion:
The Fuller Dymaxion was designed by R. Buckminster Fuller. His intention was to make the model a flying car. The jet engines were the main idea. According to him, the wings of the vehicle were to be inflatable. Whenever you need a road ride, you use the Dymaxion as a car. When you need to fly, you just need to inflate the wings and up you go.
However, this idea failed since the wings never came to pass on the main project during the production. This, therefore, left the Dymaxion without fulfilling the initial plan for the same. The end result was not a car, not a jet. It looked much like an enormous pill rolling down the streets.
The vehicle had three wheels with an A-arm carrying the rear wheels. This swiveled much like the airplane tail. The chances of developing this to its dream died when the Dymaxion was involved in accident. The cause of the accident could not be established.
1934 Chrysler/DeSoto Airflow:
The Airflow of the 1930’s was a flaw because it took the design of the cars developed in the 1950’s and later. However, during that time, the technological implementations were not good enough to sustain the model by then.
The Airflow was designed with an Aerodynamic body, a 50-50 weight distribution, a steel subframe, and it was lightweight in general. This design was a dramatic change from what the Americans were used to at that time. They did not concur with the idea.
Since the construction techniques were yet to be in existence, there was a big issue in sustaining the engine in the model. You could encounter an issue and the engine falls off the vehicle, which was not a nice experience. Even after Chrysler and Desto tried to redesign the car, the mindset of the people had already been negative on this vehicle. It failed a short afterward.
1949 Crosley Hotshot:
The first postwar American sports car was the Crosley Hotshot. However, the model turned out to be quite useless then. The vehicle happened to be quite slow and was not reliable. It was also dangerous for use. The other factor that disqualified this vehicle is the fact that it was too light to be a realistic steel car, weighing about 1,100 lbs.
The designer, Powel Crosley Jr., originating from Cincinnati, was initially a radio star. He, however, wanted to venture into building of cars. This he did but never did it successfully. The Crosley Hotshot can be seen in the Mechanized Death video, but it is badly smashed.
This car had an average Cast-Iron Block Assembly at that time. In the 1951 LeMan race, the Hotshot won the Efficiency Index for its Super Sport car with doors feature. This innovation did not continue, nor was it found to be of help in the advanced technology as time moved.
1956 Renault Dauphine:
This vehicle of a French origin was supposed to be named the Corvette. However, the name was taken by another model which happened to be a better vehicle. The designer made a horrible mistake of using thin metal that could easily allow rusting in a short time.
The design was also very poor and rickety. The general appearance and design of the car was just as the other cars of that time. The problem was that it was made up of poor quality material.
Apart from the design, the Dauphine also failed in performance. It would normally take a driver of Road and Track 32 second to attain a 60MpH. The speed is much slower than the weak vehicles in the market these days.
Despite all the flaws that this car had, they managed to sell some 2 million units by then. The reason they sold it out was that by then people would buy any car just to be seen that they, too, own a car.
1957 King Midget Model III:
This vehicle was designed as a result of the idea by Caud Dry and Dale Orcutt, residents of Athens, Ohio State, by then, to design affordable cars. Model I was their first design. The design was presented as a homemade kit. It consisted of the frame, axles, and metal sheet materials. The later needed to be worked on by someone with experience on fabrication.
The vehicle could be powered by any single cylinder engine. The vehicle was kind of a giant DIY model you could simply drive after you assemble it. The business was sustainable until late 60’s when they closed with the model III.
The latest model, model III, was kind of a folded steel box with a 9 horsepower motor. Ultimately, the government safety rules made the King Midget to be nothing more than a memorable thing. It could not stand the safety standards.
1957 Waterman Aerobile:
Glenn Curtiss remark remarked how he would like to drive and airplane away from the airfield. When Waldo Waterman heard this remark, he took the idea and started working on it. He spent years working on the Aerobile.
In 1934, the “Arrowplane” prototype was ready, which Waldo flew. It was kind of high wing monoplane and had three tricycle wheels. The interesting thing is that when it landed, it folded the wings like an insect. This idea was deadly. What if strong waves of wind folded the wings while on flight? A sure ticket to death.
The design was later perfected in 1957 to become the Aerobile. However, after the completion, nobody was willing to risk death in the Aerobile. At the end, the development died. The finished prototype is still in the Smithsonian as a memory of the first flying car.