Today it seems we are faced with an extreme urgency to downsize, make lighter and environment friendlier autos, side bar, unintended result less is less safe. Now, like most of us, I want to save the planet but I still need room and most importantly my families’ safety is not negotiable. I believe many of us feel the same way when it comes to family safety. Thus, faced with the dilemma of sorts I thought to become proactive on this issue. My starting point, history; Wow what I found.
Being from Cleveland, Ohio and having some knowledge of the White Motor Car Company of Cleveland, Ohio I began reading about how the Whites in 1904 might address today’s problem. What I found was simply amazing. The genius inventor behind White Motors Rollin White along with brothers Windsor and Walter, father Tom of the White Sewing Machine, invented a combination steam and gas car called the Whistling Willie, for obvious reasons. The genius of Rollin was inventing a compound engine which used steam twice before leaving the engine. It did this by first using a small high pressure cylinder which exhausts into a significantly larger second cylinder which spreads the lower pressure steam over a larger surface area to yield the same amount of work as the first, this according to Henry Merkel, great grandson. Together they delivered a balanced output. Now I know for most of us this is more tech than one is comfortable with so let me apply this to today’s dilemma.
Rollin White and his car was much greener in 1905 that all of his competition. Water to steam was the ultimate renewable. But here is the real point. Rollin White made a car large in stature, and heavy but used 1/3 the horsepower of all competitors of his day, 20 to 25 to 60 to 65 for the total gas powered competition. And yet the White car was capable of speeds up to 70 miles per hour. Now if this were not enough, The White Steamer was also more powerful then all other cars of the day leading to the statement from Barny Oldfield, the Jeff Gordon of his day to lament, “It was the White Steamer that did me in.” The Steamer oftentimes finished as much as 10 seconds ahead of Barry leading to his quote. Now let us see, The White Steamer of 1905 used less horsepower, polluted less, had more power and tork than all others of the day and sold thousands of vehicles. You know Jay leno talk show host has a White vehicle in his collection. Why are you concluding what history here has shown?
Are we out of geniuses in the car industry? Will the White magic never happen again? Somewhere they must exist and engineer that will design and build what the public wants and what times dictate. If only I could sit down with Rollin, Windsor and Walter and have a little talk. I truly believe if this were possible, within a year, problem solved.