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Author Topic: 1958 Ford Nucleon  (Read 5875 times)

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Offline Rennhack

1958 Ford Nucleon
« on: Oct 02, 2009, 10:31 »
When people think of the nuclear optimism of the 1950s, the Nucleon is the sort of thing they imagine: A passenger car that would be powered by nuclear fission. While the Firebirds were retro-futuristic in design and the Chrysler Turbine was retro-futuristic in execution (if that's possible), the Ford Nucleon was so far beyond them in pure concept that it's hard to believe it was even considered. Power was to be provided by a lead-shielded uranium fission plant situated well back of the passenger compartment and driving twin steam turbines. After about 5,000 miles, the entire plant would be swapped out at a Ford recharging station.

It's hard to say whether this concept was recklessly optimistic or just reckless, in the context of 1958; the same year the Nucleon design debuted, Las Vegas tourists were taking their martinis up to on the roofs of the casinos to watch nuclear bomb tests just 70 miles away, and the scientists of Project Orion were hard at work on a spaceship that would atomically pogo men to the stars by detonating a series of small nuclear charges behind them. In this atmosphere, the prospect of a couple production Nucleons T-boning each other may have seemed like the sort of thing engineers would worry about in due time. As it stood, despite hundreds of hours of conceptual design time, the Nucleon never got beyond the three-eights-scale model stage. The idea itself survives as a symbol of that time between Hiroshima and the Cuban missile crisis when The Power Of The Atom was going to solve all our problems.

« Last Edit: Oct 02, 2009, 10:32 by Rennhack »


  • Guest
Re: 1958 Ford Nucleon
« Reply #1 on: Oct 02, 2009, 11:18 »
My new Ford Fusion doesn't have any of these inherent problems... ;D

Offline UncaBuffalo

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Re: 1958 Ford Nucleon
« Reply #2 on: Oct 02, 2009, 11:20 »
My new Ford Fusion doesn't have any of these inherent problems... ;D

Yeah, but it doesn't look nearly as cool either!  ;)
The days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days. -Ray Wylie Hubbard


  • Guest
Re: 1958 Ford Nucleon
« Reply #3 on: Oct 22, 2009, 01:26 »
I would definitely drive it


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