Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Car Without Electricity

  [vote for,

When I was about eight or nine years old, I read a couple of books about UFO's, like "Flying Saucers and Other Mysteries of the Universe" and a book by von Däniken. At night I was afraid to step out of my bed in case the floor would have gotten rubbery and want to absorb me. One thing common in a number of UFO reports was that electricity went haywire and generally disappeared. Street lights and TV's flickered and went out. Car radios (undoubtedly AM radios at the peak of UFO sightings) would crackle static and headlights would dim before cars came to a full stop. This would put the motorist in a precarious position, especially when a flying saucer approached, instilled a feeling of doom and made the windshield hot.

Having a disabled car during a close encounter seemed undesirable to me, so I decided that when I would grow up - something I imagined would happen rather suddenly around age 15 or so, but in reality it just began at that age and never ended - that when I would grow up I would have a Car Without Electricity. This car has a diesel engine and carbide headlights. No battery. It probably has a crank in front to start it. In case a UFO might exist and zoom nearby. And I would still be driving.

That is all the idea there is here.


I have grown up and I have a diesel car. The fuel injection is controlled by electronics and I have learned to believe that electronics can be sufficiently reliable. The headlights are electric too and it has a radio. But if something would approach and I would need to get away, there is a pair of rollerblades in the back.

jmvw, Nov 07 2006

Citroën Rosalie 10D http://www.quaideja...eles/rosalie-diesel
This would be a nice car to start with. Now we need to upgrade to carbide headlights [jmvw, Nov 07 2006]

Carbide headlights http://www.thegreatautorace.com/NYC.jpg
Thomas Flyer with carbide headlights in 1908 race around the world [jmvw, Nov 07 2006]

Dodge Razor http://www.allpar.c.../dodge/scooter.html
[shapu, Nov 07 2006]

Car without electricity http://www.thekidsw...product=3180&cms=57
[Ling, Nov 07 2006]

Prototype http://jacksontechs...houtelectricity.jpg
[jmvw, Nov 07 2006]

stanley Steamer http://www.stanleymotorcarriage.com/
[jhomrighaus, Nov 07 2006]


       heh heh. Diesel engine w/ pilot light.
Zimmy, Nov 07 2006

       You might consider a Dodge Razor. It has a foot scooter in the back [link]
shapu, Nov 07 2006

       Old Dodge diesel pickups from the 1970s had completely mechanical diesel engines with no electronics. These are often used around sensative radio telescopes, since spark plugs, alternators, and the like would interfere with the weak signals.
discontinuuity, Nov 07 2006

       I found a car without electricity! Link.
Ling, Nov 07 2006

       [rasberry re-tart] I might not know how to look for that, but how do you start them? A hook up re-chargeable battery w/ a glo-plug?
Zimmy, Nov 07 2006

       Heck, I'm still not grown up and I was fifteen a very long time ago now.   

       But how can you have a solution to a magic problem, even a half-baked one? There's no way to field test it.
DrCurry, Nov 07 2006

       //There's no way to field test it.//   

       The problem should be caused by EMP, no? Take it to a military EMP test facility where they already do EMP vehicle survivability testing.   

       A more practical reason for this would be continued operation in the event of a nuclear / EMP attack - something that 'we' are already working on. The UFO thing could be billed as an added bonus, just in case.
Shz, Nov 07 2006

       //The problem should be caused by EMP, no?//   

       Nope, its caused by mind control
Chefboyrbored, Nov 07 2006

       That's what we get for giving cars brains.
Shz, Nov 07 2006

       I think it would be EMP, or else ESP. Additional field testing can be done in farm fields near crop circles - the "technology" can also be used on tractors and harvester combines.   

       I posted a prototype. See link.
jmvw, Nov 07 2006

       Good point, [zimmy]. I suppose they had some sort of starting motor powered by a battery, and maybe some kind of alternator to recharge the battery. In some old heavy-duty diesel vehicles, there was a small gasoline engine used as a starter motor until the main diesel engine warmed up. Of course, that wouldn't solve the problem of resisting the effects of an EMP.
discontinuuity, Nov 07 2006

       What you want is a stanley steamer. see link
jhomrighaus, Nov 07 2006

       I think they DO use pilot lights on some diesel engines, but not for autos.
Zimmy, Nov 07 2006

       I like the steam idea, but diesel has the edge in efficiency (15% higher then gasoline) and throttle response.   

       Zimmy, I have to ask now. what is the function of that pilot light?
jmvw, Nov 07 2006

       There is a simple way that many old diesel (and gasoline) engines were started, and it used small explosive charges, a bit like air start on a large diesel, but a fair bit rougher.   

       Watch the movie flight of the phoenix (the old one with that richard attenborough), they use explosive charges to first clear the cylinders, then start the engine.   

       For the life of me I don't know what they were called, and I have to imagine the engine would be set up specially for their use.
Custardguts, Nov 08 2006

       [jmvw], I admit - I don't know. I googled & saw some generators & water pumping engines had them. I assumed it was used for initial ignition. I am under the assumption that a diesel self ignites from heat once started & may be very wrong.
Zimmy, Nov 08 2006

       Oh, it looks like it's a name used for indicator light on generators (i.e. power on), not related to the function of the engine.
jmvw, Nov 08 2006

       oops. If I could blush in text, I would.
Zimmy, Nov 08 2006


       By the way, does the vw stand for vw?   

       Just being reminded that at the time, those volks didn't like us volks too much.
pashute, Apr 20 2023


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