Sent to me by John K.
Hmmm…………You could use your skateboard
The actual item:
And if your flat is on the rear driving wheel?
As long as you had an open differential, the tire that’s parked on this should stay put as long as you don’t goose the throttle or dump the clutch… at least in theory. The remaining wheel on the rear axle would drive the car, but with the final drive ratio effectively doubled.
I agree it seems like the stop in the front is high enough that the wheel wouldn’t be able to drive off of it in the forward direction, especially with a flat tire, as long as you didn’t have to apply too much power. Reverse might be a different result. Of course a strap over the tire, front to back, sufficiently tightened would prevent the wheel from driving off in either direction.
Starting to sound like more work than just changing a tire the normal way
Just feels like all kinds of wrong to me.
One of the areas of improvement in cars over the years that we most take for granted is tires.
When this ad was published, flat tires were not an uncommon occurrence. Imagine not being mechanically inclined (of either gender), stuck in the middle of nowhere in the pouring rain with a flat tire and no cell phone. It is almost impossible for our modern selves to even contemplate.
Today it is possible for someone to drive their entire adult life without ever experiencing a single flat tire. Up until the 1930s, it was not uncommon to see cars with two spare tires. Now some cars don’t even come with a spare.
I’ve been driving for 50 years, and I’ve changed my share of tires. I joined AAA a few years ago, and being able to have them change a flat, especially in the rain, has been very convenient a couple of times. I don’t know why I didn’t join sooner.
My last few cars have come with space saver spares. When buying new tires, I’ve sourced a full-size rim and kept one of the old full-size tires as a spare. My experience with driving on 3 full-size tires and a doughnut has been very limited, and I’d like to keep it that way. I wish the spare-tire recess in the trunk floor was sized for a full-size tire, even if one didn’t come with the car, but maybe the manufacturer didn’t want to enable what I’m doing.
I understand that on cars with no spare, you get an aerosol can of tire-inflator goop. That wouldn’t do you any good if the tire was shredded.
That’s exactly what I used to do, until my current car (’07 VW Rabbit) which must have been one of the last cars to include a full-size spare (but no TPMS sensor in it, so the low tire air pressure light was always on if the spare was in use; I bought a sensor and had it installed when I got my first replacement tire set). I’ll need another set of tires soon and need to decide what would make a better spare – a nearly worn out 5 year old Michelin that’s amongst the current four, or a Continental that still has nearly all of its full tread but is 18 years old, albeit having spent most of that time in the spare-tire well. It doesn’t appear to be dry-rotted. Any thoughts?
I’m surprised that your ’07 Rabbit has a full-size spare. My ’84 VW Quantum had one, my ’87 Audi 4000 quattro didn’t.
Even if it was bald, I’d use the 5y.o. one- too many stories of visibly good but old tires coming apart at speed.
“say goodbye forever to the trouble and danger of changing a tire on the highway”
They expect to use this toy, sorry “sturdy little truck”, on a highway…. brrrr.
> “say goodbye forever to the trouble and danger of changing a tire on the highway”
and hello to the horrors of having your wheel fly out of this contraption the first time you hit a pothole or expansion joint…
There is a discussion of similar devices in this link, including an advertising video of one in use.
I thought it was a tool for helping change tires without a jack but realized they intended this for on-road use! Today that would be illegal to sell (without packaging explicitly stating OFF-ROAD USE ONLY).
AIthough, I guess in an emergency situation it might work to at least get you juuust off the highway if not a *near* service station provided it didnt break on the way; they definitely promise more than they should in the ad.
That’s what I was thinking, it can get you into a side street or parking lot, especially since limited-access highways were few and far between at a time so most likely your flat would be on a 2-lane. But not on a drive axle with open diff.
Not sure if such limited utility would be worth the trunk space it would use up.
But not on a drive axle with open diff.
An open diff would work, it is the limited slip that it wouldn’t work with.
That stop in the front should be enough to prevent the tire from turning forcing all the power to the good wheel with an open diff. At least if you were going forward and don’t have to apply too much power.
I suspect in real use it would act like the modern Boot. Especially on a rear wheel.
If you were only a half-mile from the garage on smooth streets, you might be able to make this thing function… but in that situation you’d just drive carefully on the flat anyway.
Steel-belted tires are the best invention of the 20th century.
Let’s see, 3” wheels spinning 10x the speed of the road wheels on those Alemite bushings. Uh-uh. Not too mention hitting a pot hole. No thanks. Though similar products are sold today for maneuvering cars or bikes in garages.
For upwards of 50 years I’ve been an active buyer, seller, and collector of automotive accessories, especially odd and unusual items. I had 3 indoor spaces at the Carlisle shows and 6 spaces at Hershey, both with signs indicating I buy unusual auto accessories.
And after all those years and shows, and walking the hundreds of aisles at flea markets, as well as attending hundreds of auctions, I’d pretty much thought I’d seen it all. Yet I’ve never seen or heard of this product, not even something similar. That leads me to believe they didn’t sell well, and may have been considered illegal in a lot of states. I can’t imagine any automotive garage or parts supply company willing to stock such a dangerous device.
A quick google of the name Cello Products says the company has been making copper and brass fittings since 1946, so perhaps the NOJAX was a side product created by one of the company’s owners, and it was not much of a success. A google of NOJAX was a surprise; the trademarked name is in use as a casing for hotdogs!
It seems that Cello Products got into the automotive accessories business in the 1940s and 1950s, mostly with metal products like grille guards. Looks as if they were marketed to dealers, but also to car owners as well:
I have seen exactly one of these in my life. It was donated to a fund raising auction and it sold for one dollar. That was about 45 years ago. It didn’t make sense to me then and it still doesn’t.
When I saw the names Nojax and Cello together, I assumed this ad was a spoof, because both names were commonly used in marketing hot dogs. “Nojax” was short for “no jackets” (i.e., sausage casings) and “cello” was short for cellulose (again, referring to casings).
But this does seem to be a real product, marketed in the 1940s, both before and after WWII.
Consumer Reports tested the Nojax in 1947, and here’s what they had to say:
The weight (31 lbs.), bulk and low tire-life of these devices, in combination with their limited usefulness and high cost, definitely makes them “Not Acceptable” for most motorists.
Nojax sounds like a male chastity belt, but 31 pounds does seem excessive. CR would probably never have gotten around to testing it.
31 lbs? The Harbor Freight version is only 10. Of course, it’s mostly plastic and now $11.95.
If old man Parker had one of these babies, the loss of the lug nuts could have been avoided and Ralphie wouldn’t have had to taste Lifebuoy?
They clearly didn’t have potholes back then.. Imagine going over a rail road crossing! I want to laugh but this is all so dangerous. I know what the insurance industry would say today but I wonder what they said back then?
This is one of those instances where you’re hoping the whole thing is an ill timed April Fools’ joke, but no, they were actually serious? I can imagine that you *might* be able to limp your car a few miles on this Rube Goldberg contraption under very ideal conditions… like smooth concrete or asphalt. But do flat tires ever occur under ideal conditions.
I’ve had a number of flats and a couple of blowouts over the years, and I don’t remember any of them being in a location that would’ve allowed me to utilize this device. Crazy!
They started selling the leftovers as skateboards, and the rest is history.
Of course this wouldn’t really be possible, but ideally the wheels on the thing should steer like the front wheels on a Tyrrell P34 or Panther Six.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Copyright 2011 - 2021 Curbside Classics. All Rights Reserved.