AN AMERICAN VIEW OF CURRENT AUTOMOBILE DESIGN

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AN AMERICAN VIEW OF CURRENT AUTOMOBILE DESIGN

The following is a quotation from our lighthearted and ever refreshing contemporary the “New Yorker.” While English touring cars on the whole have not yet quite reached this pitch of bulbous instability, who knows what a few years of progress will do ? “Four or five years ago we uttered a complaint about the design of motorcars, and were promptly booed off the lot. Now at last, after years of indulging our fanaticism all alone, we have discovered an ally—a Mr. Pales, who is an M.I.T. professor of automotive engineering. In a speech at the Astor recently, he took the modern car all to pieces, leaving nothing but a couple of old radius rods and some tin ellipses. He pointed out, in brief : that clearance is not adequate; that steering is sluggish (because the ratio has been steadily increased to make the wheel turn easier) ; that the driver can’t see what he’s up to ; that safety has been consistently sacrificed for style : that streamlining isn’t streamlining at all ; that the driver’s seat is a lounging seat tentling to make the driver sloppy and ineffective ; that low roofs and rounded bodies cause blind spots at the wind-shield pillars ; that rear vision is so badly obstructed that backing a car is an adventure, not a manceuvre ;

that inclined wind-shields aren’t as good for the eyes as perpendicular ones with visors ; that many sedans collect lethal quantities of carbon monoxide inside them because of vacuum ventilating systems ; that the power plant has been developed out of all proportion to the road-gripping, braking, and steering properties of a car. Now, all these criticisms seem to us substantially true and just ; they are almost word for word the complaints we made years ago. Happy are we to be simply echoing an expert this time, instead of standing out there taking it on the jaw.”

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