Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Direct drive internal combustion engined vehicle

No crankshaft, no gears
 
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A cylinder is slung beneath the chassis facing backwards. The piston is attached to a rod, at the other end of which is a spiked plate designed to dig into and grip the road.

Fuel is admitted to the cylinder and ignited, forcing the piston and rod and road backwards, and the vehicle therefore forwards.

The piston rod is attached to a complicated linkage assembly which retrieves it and inserts it once again into the cylinder, but facing forwards this time. The forward momentum of the vehicle allows the road to push the plate and therefore the rod and therefore the piston up the cylinder, compressing the newly-admitted fuel. Just after passing top dead centre, the fuel is ignited.

pocmloc, Apr 16 2018

Steam Horse locomotive https://en.wikipedi...am_Horse_locomotive
Brunton's Mechanical Traveller [8th of 7, Apr 16 2018]

MEDHURST'S GUNPOWDER ENGINE http://www.douglas-...eng/solid/solid.htm
Similar [8th of 7, Apr 16 2018]

Existing Variant Design https://commons.wik..._BR2_Washington.jpg
Now take that existing design, turn it inside out so the piston-rods hit the ground like you describe, and allow the overall engine to rotate. [Vernon, Apr 16 2018]

Ahem. Long-stroke_20singl...ternal_20combustion
[MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2018]

Pedrail wheel https://en.wikipedi.../wiki/Pedrail_wheel
Precursor to tracked vehicles [8th of 7, Apr 18 2018]

Rotary engine https://en.wikipedi.../wiki/Rotary_engine
Early aviation engine [8th of 7, Apr 18 2018]

Single Cylinder Pneumatic Vehicle https://youtu.be/WIFJ4o-pQgw?t=36
[bigsleep, Apr 19 2018]

[link]






       Very similar to Brunton's Mechanical Traveller ...   

       <link>
8th of 7, Apr 16 2018
  

       Does the very complicated assembly account for the inertia of the piston and rod when the moving car tries to pick it up again?
RayfordSteele, Apr 16 2018
  

       Actually ...   

       A pedrail wheel <link> combined with a true rotary 2-stroke IC engine <link> would be interesting. Particularly from the point of view of speed control, because a crankcase-scavenged rotary can't be throttled, only run "hit-and-miss".
8th of 7, Apr 18 2018
  
      
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