Sunday, April 22, 2012

RAMBLER - Patent wariror

Thomas Buckland Jeffery (1845 - 1910), emigrated from England to the USA and was involved in selling bi-cycle components. In 1881, along with his friend R Phillip Gormully, he started a bi-cycle manufacturing company - Gormully and Jeffery.  G and J successfully fought Albert Pope over the Lallement patent on bi-cycle manufacture. G&J made bi-cycles under the Rambler brand name.
Thomas Jeffery , being an inventor, was holding many patents to his name including the "clincher tyre" , which was later sold to Dunlop.
In 1897 , Thomas Jeffery designed and created the first Rambler car.

The car received good reviews over the next few years and this made Thomas Jeffery to exit the bi-cycle business and enter automobile business. In 1900, Thomas Jeffery sold off his holdings in the G&J manufacturing company to the American Bi-cycle company and invested in Thomas B Jeffery company to manufacture automobiles.  Along with his son Charles Jeffery , Rambler cars became famous and sought after. A 1902 Rambler -

During the initial years , the Rambler cars were sold by John Willys , as a distributor.
After the sudden death of Thomas Jeffery during 1910 , Charles Jeffery took over control of the company. In 1914 , Charles Jeffery renamed the Rambler brand as Jeffery in memory of his father (reverted back to Rambler later). Rambler also expanded in to the manufacture of Trucks with 4 wheel drive and 4 wheel steering and was used extensively during the World War I.  A 1918  Rambler Quad ( Nash) -

A running model of the Nash Quad military truck can be seen here

Logo of Jeffery and Rambler -

In 1916, Charles Jeffery sold his company to Charles Nash of Nash Motors. Nash Motors continued to make cars and trucks under the Rambler as well as Nash brands. 1937, Nash Motors merged with appliance manufacturer , Kelvinator to form Nash-Kelvinator.

By 1954, Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson Motor co merged to form American Motor Corporation and Nash and Rambler brands continued to exist along with AMC. By 1966 - 68 , the Rambler brand was slowly dropped and then disappeared.
American Motor Corporation, after a brief alliance with Renault , was taken over by Chrysler corporation in 1987.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

THURY-NUSSBERGER : World's first Parallel Hybrid ?

Rene Thury (1860 - 1938), a Swiss electrical engineer, was known as the "King of DC" due to his inventions in the field of high voltage Direct Current. transmission. In 1877 , along with his Medical student friend , Jean-Jacques Nussberger , he built a steam powered tri-cycle which operated on coal.

In 1904, it is claimed that Thury developed the first "Parallel Gasoline - Electric Hybrid", where the gasoline engine and electric motor operate on the same shaft. This hybrid vehicle had a range of 40 Kms in pure electric mode with 500 Kgs of battery. The vehicle like the current Toyota Prius , can operate in 3 modes - Pure electric , Pure Gasoline and Mix of both.

Rene Thury continued his career in the electrical engineering field and no more Automotive exploits were recorded.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

MORS - Race cars

Emile Mors (1859 - 1942) , a Frenchman , was in to his family business of electrical equipment when he got interested in cars - steam cars.  During 1887 - 89 , one of his employees Henri Brasier built a three wheeled steam car. After experimenting with steam for a few years , they shifted ther focus to petrol engine cars

By 1897 , Mors built their first car - a 2 seater , 5 HP car and achieved an average speed of 19 mph in races.

Mors and Panhard & Levassor were the leaders in all the races during this period and race car driven designs evolved very quickly , each trying to out do the other. In 1901/1902 , Mors introduced the famous race car , the Mors 60 HP - the first V4 engine on a car , pumping 60 HP out of 10 litre capacity. The rear wheels were driven through chain. A Mors 60 HP -

In 1902, Mors was the first car to use shock absorbers to improve the ride quality and thus improve stability and increase average speeds in the races.

Some of the famous MORS models are - a 1904 Mors, a 1909 Mors and a 1925 Mors  (last car) -

In 1905/06 . Mors Collaborated with St Louis Motors in the US to make and sell Mors in America, a venture which did not work well.

The Mors Logo -

By 1906 , Mors was in financial trouble and Andre Citroen was appointed as the Managing Director. Things started looking better for the next few years in car production and later during war production. By 1922, Mors was acquired by Citroen Motors as additional capacity to manufacture Citroen cars and by 1925 the Mors brand was dropped.