Cars of Futures Past Ford Nucleon Concept Hemmings Daily

16 Мар 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Cars of Futures Past Ford Nucleon Concept Hemmings Daily отключены
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Cars of Futures Past Nucleon Concept

Ford s concept, wearing current Images courtesy Ford Company.

The mid-1950s were a of boundless optimism in the United Scientists had harnessed the limitless presumed safe) power of the and in 1954 the United States launched the world s first submarine, the USS Nautilus . Under Eisenhower s Atoms for Peace construction had begun on the country s nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, which promised to power that was both and clean. In 1951, Motor ran an article entitled Tomorrow s Car, predicting a day in the foreseeable when nuclear power be compact, light and safe for deployment in the automobile.


Framed by zeitgeist, Ford introduced its concept in 1958, envisioning an atomic-powered automobile of the future look like.

To be clear, Ford never built a nuclear-powered car, or otherwise. As Jim and Cheryl Farrell in the book Ford Design Concepts and Showcars, 1932-1961 . the concept came from the of designer Jim Powers, then in his year at Ford and working in the s Advanced Studio. Impressed by s sketches, Alex Tremulis the young designer to pursue the and the result was a 3/8-scale model of the rendered first in clay and in fiberglass. The Nucleon was first to the public as part of Ford s Stylerama program. where it popular enough to earn a spot in the Ford Rotunda, visitors a glimpse into the future.

The Nucleon s reactor called a power capsule in was designed to last 5,000 between exchanges. Such hot (no pun intended) would be performed by the equivalent of a filling station, what would become of the fuel rods within the capsules was never really Range and performance of the Nucleon be dependent upon the size of the capsule, with Ford that motorists would be to choose between reactor optimized for maximum power or range.

Details on the exact drive of the Nucleon are unclear, although have speculated that the Ford would be powered via a turbine, in much the same way as a submarine or aircraft carrier A secondary turbine would be to produce electricity to power the s more conventional lighting and control systems, though cabin heat even in the of winters likely would not been a problem ( Wouldn t the from the nuclear reactor have been able to the lighting? -ed . ). A different vision of the s proposed drivetrain seems to at propulsion via electric motors, the power capsule driving a turbine to generate all the needed

Dimensionally, a full-size Nucleon have measured more 200 inches in length, 77.4 in width and only 41.4 in height. Its wheelbase would been just 69.4 and the passenger cabin would sat far forward of the front wheels in an to counter the anticipated weight of the and its associated shielding. Though we ll know for certain, it s easy to that the handling characteristics of a short wheelbase vehicle an extreme rear weight would have been particularly with the knowledge a nuclear reactor was positioned a few feet away from the s head.

Powers s fiberglass of the Nucleon concept was finished in Apple Red with a silver and silver lower panels. The featured a wraparound windshield, roof sans A-pillars, and a but smaller rear window. B-pillars aside, outward would likely have very good; ventilation, on the hand, may have been as the only fresh air intakes positioned atop the windshield and at the of the B-pillars.

  The model wears black-painted as adding clear Plexiglass to the concept would have mocking up an interior, and neither was in the design budget for the concept.

the Nucleon failed to progress to the stage (or even wind testing), the Argon National in Chicago, Illinois, reportedly an immediate interest in the vehicle. the release of Ford s first release referencing the proposed car of the future, the Argon National requested all the information that could provide on the car s specifications. in the rose-colored-glasses-world of the 1950s, it seems, not accepted the idea that power would become enough for domestic use at the hands of an public.

Following its removal from the Rotunda, the American public forgot about Ford concept and its unfulfilled promise of an pollution-free future. Researchers the Smithsonian Institution rediscovered the car in and Ford repainted it (this with a solid red body and roof) for display in the museum. two years at the Smithsonian, the Nucleon was to Ford, where it remains on at The Henry Ford .

Ford was from the beginning that the concept was developed on the assumption the present bulkiness and weight of reactors and attendant shielding someday be reduced. While believe we ve already reached point, the (now well-known) of nuclear power and its associated by-products mean that vehicles will remain the of science fiction. While the itself never made it to a similar cab-forward design was on the 1962 Ford Econoline and Powers believed that the of the Nucleon ultimately served as a inspiration for the rear of the 1961 Continental.

Though we often decry the that future-looking concept and the technology they embrace, see production, the Nucleon is one Car of Futures that s probably best as a concept. Cell phones and computers are enough of a threat to the public without adding nuclear reactors into the

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