Waterfront, Newburyport, MA
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Als Trabant wird die ab 1957 in der DDR gefertigte Pkw-Baureihe des Herstellers VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau bezeichnet. Zwischen November 1957 und April 1991 wurden insgesamt 3.051.385 Fahrzeuge der Trabant-Baureihe produziert. Beim deutschen Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt waren zum 1. Januar 2007 noch rund 52.400 Fahrzeuge in Deutschland registriert. Viele Fahrzeuge exportierte man zu DDR-Zeiten in die ČSSR, nach Polen und vor allem Ungarn. Anfänglich galt die Baureihe als sparsam und robust, später jedoch veraltete sie aufgrund fehlender Innovationen. Heute gilt der Trabi als Kultauto, das verschiedene Fanclubs würdigen.
Although Trabants had been exported from East Germany, they became well-known in the West after the fall of the Berlin Wall when many were abandoned by their Eastern owners after migrating westward. News reports inaccurately described them as having cardboard bodies. This is likely due to the fact that the body of the Trabant was Duroplast, a material that, in East German production, often made use of varying quantities of different fibers, such as cotton, or occasionally paper.
In the early 1990s it was possible to buy a Trabant for as little as a few marks, and many were given away. Later, as they became collectors’ items, prices recovered, but they remain very cheap cars. Green Trabants are especially popular as they are said to bring good luck.
In 1997, the Trabant was celebrated for passing the "Elchtest" ("moose test"), a 60 km/h (37 mph) swerve manoeuvre slalom, without toppling over like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class infamously did. A newspaper from Thuringia had a headline saying "Come and get us, moose! Trabi passes A-Class killer test".
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The Riley Nine was one of the most successful light cars produced by the British motor industry in the inter war period. It was made by the Riley company of Coventry, England with a wide range of body styles between 1926 and 1938.
The car was largely designed by two of the Riley brothers, Percy and Stanley. Stanley was responsible for the chassis, suspension and body and the older Percy designed the engine.
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Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde /ˈkɒŋkɔrd/ is a retired turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner or supersonic transport (SST). It is one of only two SSTs to have entered commercial service; the other was the Tupolev Tu-144. Concorde was jointly developed and produced by Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) under an Anglo-French treaty. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years.
Among other destinations, Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights from London Heathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York JFK, Washington Dulles and Barbados; it flew these routes in less than half the time of other airliners. With only 20 aircraft built, the development of Concorde was a substantial economic loss; Air France and British Airways also received considerable government subsidies to purchase them. Concorde was retired in 2003 due to a general downturn in the aviation industry after the type’s only crash in 2000, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and a decision by Airbus, the successor firm of Aérospatiale and BAC, to discontinue maintenance support.
A total of 20 aircraft were built in France and the United Kingdom; six of these were prototypes and development aircraft. Seven each were delivered to Air France and British Airways. Concorde’s name reflects the development agreement between the United Kingdom and France. In the UK, any or all of the type—unusually for an aircraft—are known simply as "Concorde", without an article. The aircraft is regarded by many people as an aviation icon and an engineering marvel.
The origins of the Concorde project date to the early 1950s, when Arnold Hall, director of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) asked Morien Morgan to form a committee to study the SST concept. The group met for the first time in February 1954 and delivered their first report in April 1955.
At the time it was known that the drag at supersonic speeds was strongly related to the span of the wing. This led to the use of very short-span, very thin rectangular wings like those seen on the control surfaces of many missiles, or in aircraft like the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter or the Avro 730 that the team studied. The team outlined a baseline configuration that looked like an enlarged Avro 730, or more interestingly, almost exactly like the Lockheed CL-400 "Suntan" proposal.
This same short span produced very little lift at low speed, which resulted in extremely long takeoff runs and frighteningly high landing speeds. In an SST design, this would have required enormous engine power to lift off from existing runways, and to provide the fuel needed, "some horribly large aeroplanes" resulted. Based on this, the group considered the concept of an SST unfeasible, and instead suggested continued low-level studies into supersonic aerodynamics.
Soon after, Dietrich Küchemann at the RAE published a series of reports on a new wing planform, known in the UK as the "slender delta" concept. Küchemann’s team, including Eric Maskell and Johanna Weber, worked with the fact that …
The Aston Martin Lagonda first entered production in 1974, and was designed to be one of the most revolutionary cars ever built, but being revolutionary was something Aston Martin should have had as far off their minds as possible!
When the car was launched, the company had just recovered from bankruptcy, and logically should have been playing things safe to try and recover their losses. But instead, what they did was design a car that was to be the cutting edge of automotive technology.
Designed by William Towns, the intention was to make a car that was so low and smoothly streamlined as was humanly possible. The result was a car that was so low that even when I was kneeling down next to this example it was still lower than me! Although such examples of cars are commonplace amongst Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s, this car is neither, it’s a 4-door luxury limousine, not a two-door supercar!
But the problems with the Lagonda weren’t just about its low styled body, internally the car was like a substation! To try and be cutting edge, Aston Martin designed the car to be digital in every conceivable way. All readings on the Dashboard were displayed with LED’s rather than analogue needles, and everything was controlled by push-buttons, the kind you’d find on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise!
However, cutting edge does not always guarantee outright success, and the poorly made wiring inside the car meant that none of the electrics ever worked. The problem was then compounded by the fact that fitting the electrics to the car in the first place cost 4 times more than the budget of the entire car! The result was that when the first Lagonda left the factory a year late and thousands of Pounds over budget, the car was simply undrivable because of its faulty electrics.
And just to top off what could already be described as an insanely reckless car, the price tag for it was £50,000. Aston Martin were certainly being optimistic with that price tag, probably expecting to make a fortune off of their angular wonderchild. However, they had forgotten to note that there had just been an oil crisis and the idea of driving a £50,000 car powered by a gas-guzzling 5.3L V8 engine didn’t exactly ring everyone’s bells! The result was that Aston Martin only made 645 of these cars during its 16 year construction run, and not one of them made their money back!
So, Aston Martin, cash strapped and barely working, decided to make a car that had an outrageous design, outrageous electrics, an outrageous price tag and an outrageous engine, and expected to make a profit?
Today, many look back on the Lagonda as one of the most abysmal failures of automotive history, frequently popping up on ‘Worst cars ever made’ lists with other ambitious cars of that era such as the Rolls Royce Camargue. But today there is something of a cult following for these curious and crazy …