Auto Factoids for the Week of Feb 2, 2014

2/4/1913- Perlman patents the demountable tire rim

(Few years later – Feb 24, 1925 Lewis K. McClellan got a patent for his improvements.)



Back in the earliest days of the automobile, radiators were brass, headlamps had wicks, cars were made as much of wood as metal, and wheels and tires were a single unit. The tires were solid rubber, and the wheels were wooden hub-and-spoke setups not unlike what you’d find on a horse-drawn wagon. Each one was affixed to the car by a single nut, and they were, for all engineering purposes, treated as a single unit.

The tires were about the width of a business card and provided roughly the same level of grip. On the upside, they were pretty darn tough. But, like everything else on a car, they would eventually wear out. At that point, you had to replace the tire and the wheel, even if the wheel was just fine.

Perlman knew there had to be a better way, and he found it.

His demountable tires (patent No. 1,052,270) worked pretty much like the ones on your car right now. A bead — that’s the inner rim of the tire — held the tire against a groove machined into the wheel. The friction of shallow notches kept the tire from rotating on the wheel, though some early applications used a cumbersome screw-clamp system.

The only downside was the tire-and-wheel assembly had to be balanced to prevent vibrations and ensure a smooth ride, but that wasn’t a big problem. Today no one thinks twice about it (except when they forget to get it done).

Perlman’s invention led to the adoption of pneumatic (inflated) tires, which provide much better performance. It also allowed automobile owners to choose their own wheels, which is one of the most common ways of customizing one’s ride.


From the U.S. Patent Office

From the U.S. Patent Office


From the U.S. Patent Office


2/5/1925 Ethyl Lead gas goes on sale

100% Leaded!!!

100% Leaded!!!


2/5/1970 AMC buys Kaiser Jeep

Now every knows AMC and  that the Jeep went from there to become an part of Chrysler and now is technically part of Fiat, but not too many people, outside of Jeep collectors where it was before that time.   Kaiser Jeep was created out of a merger between Kaiser-Frazer car builders and Willy’s Overland company.  Willy’s Jeep was famous for the jeeps built to support WW II.  Willy’s also made cars, but both companies (Willy’s and K/F) stopped making passenger cars in 1955 and continued to manufacture Jeeps, including the famous Jeep Wagoneer – the first soccer Mom vehicle, and the CJ, under the name Willy Motors.  In 1963 they changed the name to Kaiser Jeep Corporation.  After the AMC purchase the company Jeep Corporation was formed as a subsidiary of AMC.

1967 M715 Kaiser Jeep 1967_CJ-6_ Kaiser_ Jeep_01


2/5/1846 – The founder of Dunlop tires birthday  – John Boyd Dunlop – Dreghorn, England

2/6/1951 – Kaiser introduces it’s Silver Dragon

The Silver Dragon or Dragon was a option package on what was actually just the Kaiser Manhattan.  It had vinyl upholstery that simulated alligator and Kaiser was afraid that customers were shy away from the cars thinking actual alligator was used so they called it Dragon skin and the model was tag as “Dragon”.


Produced from 1951-1953

Produced from 1951-1953

1953 Kaiser

1953 Kaiser

2/7/1942  – U.S. Government “requests” (orders) auto makers to switch to wartime production and stop building cars.

2/7/1958  – The car world is introduced to the 600 Automatic Transmission  – Dutch DAF

The first continuously variable transmission (automatic) developed by the Dutch car manufacturer DAF (although one was used in England circa 1923 – guess it wasn’t a big hit back then).   DAF produced some ‘cute’ cars:

The 600

The 600

The car that made the automatic transmission popular.

The car that made the automatic transmission popular.


Thanks for reading.


kaiser jeep

Wheels Classic Cars: Buick 3800 V-6 Engine

1964, but in an era of cheap gasoline many motorists preferred a V-8. Thus, when GM found itself with more sixes than it needed, it sold the Buick V-6 rights and tooling to the Kaiser-Jeep Corp. in 1967. K-F named it the “Dauntless 225” and used it in
1969 Kaiser M715 – M7.3

“My goal was to build an expedition vehicle. I had been shopping for a truck to design and build for sustained off-road travel,” says Kevin Mackie of Milpitas, California. The story of how he ended up buying and building this ’69 Kaiser M715 began with



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2 Responses to Auto Factoids for the Week of Feb 2, 2014

  1. Bill says:

    The Buick 3.8V6 Jeep story is interesting. It seems during the first energy crisis Buick needed a V6 ASAP. Someone found the tooling at a moth balled Jeep plant, and Buick actually bought the engine back from AMC.

    • admin says:

      Hey Bill. I wasn’t aware that they sold it back. I know that Kaiser Jeep was using the 225 (3.7 liter I think) that was the Dauntless 225 (not the Fireball) as early as 1965 and GM didn’t think it need the V6 any more and sold the design to Jeep in 1967.

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