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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Four weird-shaped nuclear cars came from the atomic era

When we hear the nuclear word, there are many people think it is a deadly weapon. The assumption as a deadly weapon is very reasonable considering its effect when it was used to destroy two cities in Japan, namely Hiroshima and Nagasaki to ended the 2nd World War.
1958 Ford Nucleon looked a lot like the 1955 Mystere, a winged Ford concept car and it said would run on nuclear power, as opposed to gas. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2Lq58ux)
Although it has a high risk for the living thing on Earth, it turns out that nuclear power can also be used as a driving force for vehicles. One attempt to apply nuclear power had been tried and applied by several world automotive manufacturers in the 1950s to early 1960s known as the atomic era.

Here's a list of nuclear powered concept cars that had been amazed automotive lovers at that time albeit never be produced:

1. Arbel Symetric
A French car manufacturer company called Compagnie Normande d'Etudes pour l'Application de Procédés Mécaniques, or usually called Arbel had exhibited a nuclear-powered car in the 1950s. In the era of the 50s, this company was indeed tasked with creating concept vehicles to be tested before being produced.
1951 Arbel Symetric. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2EC13D3)
One of the most popular nuclear-powered vehicles that it has made is Arbel Symetric. This car relies on a nuclear heat generator powered by 40 kW (53 horsepower) called genestatom which is combined with electric motors.
1954 Arbel Symetric. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2EC13D3)
The first generation vehicle was produced limited to 1951. And the latest model had attracted attentions of the 1958 Geneva Motor Show visitors. But unfortunately, finally this automotive company must be stopped producing nuclear cars because it was hampered by regulations in France.

2. Ford Nucleon
The next nuclear concept car was made by Ford, a famous automotive giant from America, and was named Ford Nucleon. This is the most famous nuclear-powered vehicle, even though it never entered into the production line and was only made in a scale model of 3 : 8.

1958 Ford Nucleon said to have twin steam turbines and a nuclear reactor in the trunk. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2PNnJkL)
Nucleon is planned to have a reactor on the back of the car and work like a USS Nautilus nuclear submarine. In several their concept car presentations, Ford claims that the car can cover 8,000 kilometers with its nuclear power.

1958 Ford Nucleon concept only made in a scale model of 3 : 8. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2A8t419)
Ford planned this concept car as a research tool to study and research the ways to shrink nuclear reactors and make it safe for use by the people in the United States.
1958 Ford Nucleon model at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2rH658Q)
It different from Symetric, Nucleon does not need to refill fuel. Only by replace its old reactor with a new one. Now, the miniature of Ford Nucleon can be seen at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

3. Simca Fulgur
Beside the US, France seems to have a special interest in making of the nuclear-powered cars. At almost the same time as the appearance of Symetric and Nucleon at the 1958 Geneva Auto Show, Simca Fulgur also took the people's attention at that time.
1958 Simca Fulgur concept. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2LppyUv)
Simca itself was a company founded by Fiat in 1934, at which time they wanted to show how the vehicles worked in the 2000s. At that time, Fulgur was explained to save the technology of automatic moving cars (autonomous cars). There is no official specification of Simca Fulgur, besides the fact that its engine uses nuclear power.

4. Studebaker-Packard Astral
Of all the nuclear car concepts that have ever existed, it seems that the Studebaker-Packard Astral could be said to be the 'craziest' nuclear car concept. If it made into real car, it said can stand with one wheel by utilizing gyroscope technology.
1958 Studebaker-Packard Astral concept. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2CmFILt)
The Studebaker-Packard Astral was first shown at the South Bend Art Center in 1958 as the vehicle described by its creator as an "iconic machine". And to protect passengers from nuclear machine radiation, it will use a specifically designed cover and made of special materials as well.
That's the 4 nuclear powered concept cars that were made in the atomic era and some of them have a unique shaped, look alike jet-plane things and perhaps tend to be weird when seen by the automotive enthusiast community today.

The question is whether anybody out there who still wants nuclear power to be used to drive the car wheels today? *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | LAUTOMOBILEANCIENNE | GIZMODO | CARSTYLING | CURBSIDE CLASSIC]
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