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Bizarre Vehicles of 20th Century

Ian Harvey

Perhaps the only thing that evolved at ‘light’s speed’ and pretty visibly is the motor industry. All throughout the 20th century, amid war, chaos, famine, civil rights movements and everything in between, innovators kept coming up with amazing and often bizarre models to captivate the market. Following are a few examples from the past century, to give you an idea what could have made to our roads if the industry lacked control and competition.

Constantini Roller Skaters

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You would like to think that mechanized roller skates are somewhat modern idea, but you couldn’t be more wrong. In 1905, M. Constantini a Parisian and motor innovator came up with a bizarre machine and took the world by surprise. His fully functional motorized roller skates were not only light, the rider could maneuver them in plenty of ways.

The Dynasphere

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Some people believe that our modern helicopters’ design was first conceived by one of the greatest innovators ever lived among men Leonardo da Vinci. John Archibald Purvis who was a British engineer came up with a massive wheel-like-vehicle in 1930, that he aimed to introduce as public transport, and believed was inspired by the drawings of Da Vinci, centuries earlier. Well his model did not turn many heads in the industry for obvious reasons.

The MonoWheel

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Just a touch advanced then Dynasphere; this amazing Monowheel was the brainchild of M. Goventosa de Udine, who patented his model in 1931 just a year after Purves made his model public. Udine’s Monowheel was amazingly fast and way ahead of its time, in terms of speed, it could go as fast as 90 mph or 145 kph.

Motorized Ben Hur

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Inspired by the legendary chariots of the antiquity, in 1930’s engineers in Germany came up with chariots drawn by two motor bikes’ halves instead of horses. By the time 1938 came, another two motorcycle heads were added to the chariots controlled by a single rider with controls over all four motorcycles. Though a treat for the audiences in arenas, these models were not really ideal for everyday use purely because of size and lack of productivity.

The Cyclone

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This Amphibious cycle surprised the public in 1930’s when pictures of its first model started surfacing all over Europe. Running on two drum-shaped wheels supported by total of four smaller spheres on top, this innovation had the ability to run on land and water equally efficiently. Originating from Paris, France the ‘Cyclone’ quickly got buried into people’s memory due to World War and investor’s focus shift on aircrafts.(iO9)

The NKL-26

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Perhaps the only vehicle from our list of bizarre machines that actually spent sometime in field, and actually contributed in a War, a World War to be more precise. This Russian design was purely built by Plywood, with an armor plate that was 10mm thick, pretty hardcore for its time. This machine runs ‘smooth’ over ice and had a 7.62 mm machine gun mounted on its top to engage enemy even from a fairly long distance.

VZ-9 Avrocar

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Ever wondered what were those flying saucers that people reported seeing flying all over America and Canada, well some people suggest it was the prototypes of Avrocar that were being built by Canadian Avro Aircraft company for US Army. After extensive experiments and a number of ‘failed’ test flights, these flying saucers were abandoned for the lack of potential. So much for the ET’s and UFO’s.