Saturday, December 11, 2010

a try for a safer car has had some strange prototypes, here is Sir Vival, a custom trying for safety innovation

W C Jerome, a Worcester Massachusetts inventor who was determined to build the world's safest car. In the early nineteen fifties he modified a '47 Hudson for the back half, and a 48 Nash for the front. Primarily concerned with head-on collisions, Jones split his car in two, hoping the front section would absorb collisions, leaving the passenger cabin untouched.

For maximum visibility the driver sat in the raised turret area surrounded by 360 degree glass cylinder that rotated thru vertical squeegees so the driver wouldn't have to view the road obscured by wiper blades. The car was featured in every auto and mechanical mag of the day. He displayed it at several world's fairs including the NY fair of 64.

Wrap-around rubber bumpers protected the Sir Vival's bodywork from errant motorists in slow speed collisions but they were just one of Jerome's innovations. The Sir Vival was years ahead with seat belts, a padded interior, and built-in roll bars.

Mechanix Illustrated published a 3-page illustrated article on this car in the April 1959 issue.
In that oddball world of self made safecar inventors was also the Rev who made the Aurora, also weird looking... what was going on? Was there a big national contest for strange cars that might be safer, and no one remembers the contest?

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