posted by Don Kincl
Or is it a proto-Coronoroc?
July 15, 1947. News Release. Chrysler Corporation has made significant improvements to its new 1948 models. In addition to doubling the horsepower of every model, it has perfected the operation of its famous Fluid Drive system by eliminating entirely the need for the clutch pedal, which has been necessary for the engagement of a reverse gear. By simply switching seats, the driver need never shift a car into reverse again.
Bud took an unprecedented string of victories at the local destruction derbies, emerging unscathed for the entire summer. As you were only allowed to be hit in the back half of the car, for driver safety reasons, Bud simply stood his ground and dared anyone to run into him. Plodges were made illegal in the DDs for the next year, and Bud’s car was fitted with a bubble light, and parked sideways in a gap in the center guardrail of the divided state highway. It worked so well that speed trap revenue plunged, so it was sold off. It was last seen in the bad end of town, where the hubcaps and all the chrome parts had been stolen and put up for sale on the local Craigslist, where the ad noted that they were rare parts fitting a double-headed Plodge, and priced accordingly. They went unsold, until someone came around and traded them for a stack of used grey plastic tarps.
The Chrysler Palindrome was one of many novel ideas generated by excited marketing types in the years after WW2. I remember seeing a few coming (or going?) down the streets of our town as a kid, often with husbands and wives sitting at opposite ends, arguing audibly.
I didn’t realize any had survived.
Is this what they used to move the airplanes around at Andy’s Auto Parts?
No reversing required, just switch ends. Or, have a driver at each end for precise steering. Great for work in tight spots, as must have existed in the aviation section of Andy’s yard back in the day.
Modern ones are smaller, with a pivoting seat like a backhoe loader, and only require one operator. Andy’s unwillingness to invest put him at a competitive disadvantage and was a factor in the decline of the business.
The perfect car for those with Dissociative Identity Disorder
Well, it worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad back in the day….
or you could combine the two.
Kiwi ingenuity at its finest! Fun fact: that very ‘rail-tractor’ that you’ve linked to was built by a chap named Olly Smith in 1952 in a small timber milling town near where my Father grew up. Although no longer intact, what’s left of it is in storage in the timber museum in my hometown:
I saw this similar two-sided ’41 Dodge a few years back. Just a coincidence, or…?
Just funny stuff. Thanks. When I lived in Castleton-on-Hudson, NY in the mid 196O’s, I would take my new Dodge to the Dodge dealer for service (I had bought it in Maryland where I had lived for seven months). T dealer told me the story of an older woman still driving her ’39 Dodge with Fluid Drive. She cd not shift to save her life. She only drove around town. So, she solved her problem: a) She started the car, shifted into second and lurched forward. b) She parked the car on the street and not in her driveway to avoid needing to reverse. c) She always looked for spots in town where she could drive up to park and leave going straight ahead. d) Same thing for church and the bank. In 1967, the car was still lurching around town.
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