CC Vintage: Automotive Inventions Ahead of Their Time, Or Just Underappreciated

(first posted 1/14/2017)     How about an expanding travel trailer? From France, in 1934. Perfect for bowling fanatics. Here’s a few more.

Concerns about protecting pedestrians from cars is hardly new. This ‘people catcher’ device dates to 1924, in Paris.


An early version of navigation.

Looks like it’s from Italy. I could have used it when I was there last without either navigation or a map.

A floating bicycle.  Hmmm.

Not automotive, but too good to pass up. A radio built into a hat. presumably the little toy horn is the speaker. It’s sort of the anti-tin foil hat, eh?

A pistol with integrated camera that takes a shot of what gets…shot. Somehow I suspect this didn’t catch on with the criminal element.

This all-terrain vehicle from Great Britain in 1936 can climb or descend 65 degree slopes.

When I saw this, I assumed it was an aerodynamic headpiece for motorcycle riders, or open car riders. It turns out that it’s a protective device for snow storms or blizzards.  Really?

This one is described as “bicycle that fits the whole family plus the sewing machine”.  Ok.

And of course there’s the famous one-wheel motorcycle. Actually, this one is virtually timeless, as the first one was built way back in 1894, and there’s new ones being built even today. And idea that just won’t go away. This is the 1935 version.

Here’s a brief video of it in action.


The rest of the inventions are here. Although some didn’t take off at all, a number of them did, or at least predicted similar concepts.