Modern Mechanix is a really great magazine that began in 1928. It's a lot like Popular Mechanics and Popular Science but focused on the efforts of do-it-yourselfers. There are lots of ideas we may think are new like compressed air cars and small cars but were chronicled in the pages of this magazine. Looking through the archives, it became clear how much cool stuff has been around for a long time. Below the fold you will find our picks for the top 10 articles about green automotive inventions.
[Source: Modern Mechanix]
1. Low-Cost Homemade Car Runs 40 Miles Per Gallon (Jun, 1950). Former college professor builds a car with the frame and wheels of a 1934 Ford and scrap lumber and it gets 40 MPG.
2. Water Succeeds Gasoline As New Invention Is Perfected (Dec, 1935). G. H. Garrett's split water into hydrogen and oxygen and ran a motor with little modification.
3. Three-Wheeled Auto Makes Speed with Low Fuel Cost (Oct, 1924). Flivver was designed in Germany and uses very little fuel. It can go 10 MPH, there were no taxes on it and you didn't need a license to drive it.
4. Flier Designs Streamline "Push Button" Car (Nov, 1938). Built by a California airman, this car lowers fuel use through clever designs like a covered front wheel. I think car car companies should do that today.
5. Japanese Minicar (Dec, 1958). Subaru 360 gets 60 MPG and can go 50 MPH. 54 inches high, 51 inches wide and 117 inches long.
6. A New Switch for Electrics (Jul, 1973). "A NEW day is dawning for the electric vehicle" is the start of the article about the electric vehicles of the early seventies.
7. Motorcyclette Has Speed, Comfort (Feb, 1932). This little bike saves on weight by getting rid of the brakes and using the rider's feet instead.
8.Motor Scooter Burns LPG (Dec, 1955). Ralph Carlton converted his scooter to run on clean propane, which is in a tank at the front. Is that "Green's fuel" on that back?
9. Postman Goes Around on Motor Scooter (Jul, 1939). Take THAT Segway! Postman Henry R. Smith built this gas powered scooter for $150.
10. Auto Fuel From Cow Manure (Sep, 1949). What better place to end, than in the end? Cars that run on poop. The "bio-gas" generator is not a new idea, the 1949 article says, and mentions uses dating back to 1912.
BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD Step behind the curtain at Ford Motor. Experience the documentary first-hand.