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Thursday, May 7, 2020

The fifth wheel for the parking feature which never became reality

There is a phrase that says 'driving' is easy, but what is difficult is 'parking.' The solution to overcome the complexity of parking turns out to have existed long ago and became one of the 'brilliant' inventions ever, namely the fifth wheel for parking needs.
This 1953 Packard Cavalier is the only car known had the fifth wheel for parking needs. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2KWmJuR)
In general, the car has four wheels, the fifth wheel referred to in the form of additional wheels in the car tail. When the fifth wheel is lowered and touches the asphalt, the car tail is lifted so that it can swing right or left to help in or out of the narrow parking lot, especially parallel parking position. Not just for parking, in this way the car can do one full circle round.
The fifth wheel car system (on the 1953 Packard Cavalier) created by Brooks Walker, an engineer from California, is intended for an ease parking needs. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2KWmJuR)
The mechanism came from the idea of Brooks Walker, an engineer from California in the 1930s. He modified the Packard four-door sedan (allegedly a 1933 production based on number plates in the video) to have a spare tire that could be used to be the fifth tire. Walker obtained his fifth tire patent on December 6, 1938, after six years since the patent was filed in 1932.
As quoted from Oldcarsweekly which explains, in the 1953 through his owned company named Walker Research is known to have succeeded in making the Packard Cavalier have the fifth wheel. The car is equipped with various components such as hydraulic pumps and of course additional tires.

Although it has been found that no one seems to care about Walker's invention. Until now his unique 1953 Packard Cavalier is the only car known had the fifth wheel for parking needs.
Looking under the car at the back of the continental spare while in the 'down' position, the gear at the back of the spare tire can be seen, as can the lifting supports for the car, hydraulic pumps, and belts. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2KWmJuR)
Actually, he was also known to have several cars with similar prototype systems, including the 1959 Ford Station Wagon, 1957 Oldsmobile Station Wagon, and 1951 Cadillac Series Sixty Special. All of the cars had been modified with the fifth wheel that was 'hidden' in the trunk.

In the 1950s, news material from California uploaded to YouTube told of an anonymous inventor who discovered another function of a spare tire on the 1951 Cadillac. The work of the spare tire, which became the fifth wheel said to use the power from a driveshaft.
Then as quoted from Hagerty, Walker ever had brought his inventions to the automotive industry city in the United States, Detroit in the 1950s so that car manufacturers could see. However, the automakers considered the Walker patent, which at that time had a value of $175 was too expensive to be realized into mass production. In addition, there are also problems because of the existence of additional tire features sacrifices car trunk space.

Walker then made improvements by moving the extra tire out of the trunk, precisely on the rear bumper. And how to use it is also easy, just press the button so it can be easily done by women, but this discovery was rejected once again by the automotive manufacturers in Detroit.
The self-parking Packard doesn't look much different than any other 1953 Cavalier sedan, but trained eyes realize, even from this angle, that the continental kit is longer than most. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2KWmJuR)
But, Walker never gave up and continued to try until the late 1970s, he was still developing the system and the last known attempt to use the Saab sedan. But it seems Walker's efforts to gain the attention of the automakers to apply his invention should be ended and failed. Until he died, he never had a chance to realize his dream.😭

Even to this day, many parking assistance systems have ever been created, but strangely none have been adopted by the world's automotive manufacturers for their production car versions, like this one, the Liddiard Wheels. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | OLDCARWEEKLY.COM | HAGERTY.COM]
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