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Monday, October 5, 2020

The Supersonic, the '40s art-deco car model

It's not just this time where people imagine what a future vehicle will look like, it has been done by people for a long time. Even since the late 1930s, long before the future vehicle boom in the 1950s to the 1960s which known as jet-age. 

At the time (the 1930s) the world being widely influenced by art-deco design and people also describe the future always has related those styles. This specific design styled was born after World War I and ended before World War II (ranging from 1920 to 1939).
This is how the Supersonic looked after Laouis Fageol had bought of Joel Thorne and modified in 1948. (Picture from: JustACarGuy)
Art-deco design greatly influences decorative arts such as architecture, interior design, and industrial design, as well as visual arts such as fashion. Not surprisingly, this art-deco design is also applied to motorized vehicles.

Indeed, many vehicle designs from the 1930s with the theme of future vehicles almost entirely carry this style. As an automotive enthusiast, you will certainly remember a future concept car from the late 1930s such as the 1938 Phantom Corsair.
1948 Fageol Supersonic is featured a low-slanting hood and a slide away sunroof over the front seat. (Picture from: Hemmings)
It turns out that there is another one named Fageol Supersonic that carries a similar design but uniquely this car was developed by Louis Fageol, one of the owners of a well-known Twin Coach Company in 1948. Yes, he and his two-brother (Frank and William), are the owner the company specialized in building jet aircraft parts and twin-engined buses under the brand of Fageol.
It was original form of the Fageol Supersonic when it was first built by Thorne Engineering of Burbank, California as a racing car in 1938. (Picture from: Kustorama)
The 'Supersonic' entitled car was originally designed as a racing car by Thorne Engineering, the Burbank, California-based engineering firm owned by Joel Thornton in 1938. It was planned to be used in a land-speed record-breaking event held at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, and became a competitor of a number of big European brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Auto-Union DKW, etc.
Fageol Supersonic as a streamlined race car was constructed to break the land speed record against πŸ˜…the Mercedes Silver Arrow and Auto Union land speed cars. (Picture from: Kustorama)
As a vehicle for the land-speed record-breaking, the Supersonic was equipped from the start by Miller's twin-engine. However, the project was forced to stop and neglected due to financial difficulties. And in 1948, the unfinished racing car was sold to Louis Fageol who has later developed it into what it is today.
The Fageol Supersonic is debuted at Indy in 1949 and Wilbur Shaw drove it on a few exhibition laps, during which it reached 125 mph on the straights. (Picture from: Hemmings)
This car is given a streamlined aluminum body, then replaced its original Miller's twin-engine with a single six-cylinder Fageol's bus engine, and featured a low-slanting hood and a slide away sunroof over the front seat. In 1949, Lou Fageol showed his futuristic streamline creation at the Indy.πŸ˜‘

In 1953, the Fageol Supersonic was one of the cars featured in the book entitled 'Trend Book 107 Dream Cars,' and at the time the car has many changes. One of which is the wheelbase of 124 inches, with an overall length of 210 inches. Amazingly, this Fageol's dream car is powered by an aluminum propane power plant capable of generating power up to 275 hp.
The final-shape of Fageol Supersonic as on display at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, California in 2009. (Picture from: Kustorama)
Apparently, Fageol has designed a specially ultra-modern engine with LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) for this car. The engine was a single-overhead-cam engine on 404 cubic inches. According to Fageol, the car is capable of going up to a maximum speed of 150 mph due to its high power to weight ratio and efficient streamlining. At that time, it was known that Louis Fageol regularly used the Supersonic to travel to both California and New York.
The Fageol Supersonic still exists today, since 2009 this car has become the property of Robert DeMars and was loaned to be exhibited at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, California. But unfortunately, the innovative engine created by Fageol is no longer installed in this car. And reportedly those innovative engine was replaced by the Twin Coach six-cylinder bus engine in 1953. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | FAGEOL | KUSTOMRAMA | HEMMINGS | JALOPNIK | JUSTACARGUY | FACEBOOK]
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