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The Sir Vival was a concept car created by Walter C. Jerome of Worcester, Massachusetts in 1958. Jerome created what he termed a "revolutionary vehicle" due to concern with what he saw as 1950's Detroit's lack of concern with safety and focus on planned obsolescence. While never produced commercially the Sir Vival featured many innovative car safety concepts that would later become standard such as seat belts, a roll cage, sliding side doors, rubber bumpers, and side lights. However, the most distinctive feature of the car are a two-part construction that separates the engine and front wheels from the main passenger cab via an articulated universal joint and the driver's turret, an elevated seat where the driver commands a near-360 degree visibility thanks to a cylindrical glass enclosure. Along with the 1957 Aurora it is one of the earliest Experimental Safety Vehicles ever made.
Creating the Sir Vival prototype was a 10-year mission of Walter C.Jerome, a graduate of Northeastern University's College of Engineering. He created it from a 1948 Hudson, purchased from a Hudson dealer in Bellingham, Massachusetts. He drew up blueprints and enlisted students of his at the Worcester Boys' Trade School. The actual Sir Vival bears little resemblance to the original Hudson.
According to the marketing pamphlet written by Jerome entitled "Sir Vival. An Adventure in Safe Motoring" the prominent features of the car were:
Two-piece engine and cab. Perhaps the most noticeable design element of the Sir Vival is the two-part segmented chassis. The engine and front wheels sit in a separate section which in turn is connected to the passenger cab by an articulated joint. The rationale was that in a front or side collision the sections would articulate around the vertical axis and absorb the critical shock of the collision.
Driver turret. The driver of the Sir Vival sat in a single elevated seat about 3 feet above the level of the rear passenger seat. To increase visibility, the Sir Vival "windshield" was a cylinder of glass about one foot high and four feet in circumference.
Marketing and Reception
It was Jerome's belief that the safety of the American motoring public had for too long been ignored by the Detroit manufacturers and that he could lure the safety conscious auto-buyer by stressing safety and the "breathtaking design" of his car. He intended to produce 10-12 cars a year at a retail price of $10,000. This was not an inconsequential price tag given that a Series 62 Cadillac started at around $5,000 at that time.
To market the Sir Vival Jerome created the Hollow Boring Corporation of Worcester and spent many years looking for purchasers and financing. In the process he displayed the vehicle at automotive and popular events such as the International Auto Show, the 1964 New York World's Fair, the Springfield Exposition, and the 1959 Foreign and Sports Car Show in Boston. The Sir Vival received publicity in Life magazine and automotive focused publications such as Mechanics Illustrated and Motor Trend magazines. It was covered in many foreign publications as well. The publications were generally neutral on the viability of the car but stressed the safety features and the technological advancements.
Despite the press and the showings at high-profile venues, Jerome never garnered the funding needed to manufacture another Sir Vival, and so the prototype remains the only version ever produced.
Hi Bob, This year's IMSA race at Road America had a special treat. Chevrolet brought a nice display of vehicles highlighted by the new mid-rear engine'd Corvette. I got a fairly close look at it even with the no-touch limits. Here's a rear 3/4 view:
I was there with my grandson who's first word was "CARS", not Mamma or Dadda. Here's a candid photo I took of him checking out a Grand Sport replica:
Have you had a chance to make it to the track this summer? This weekend is an SCCA regional event on Sat and Sun. Next weekend is NASCAR Xfinity series there. SCCA Pro Trans Am also runs that same weekend and is usually very good racing. Hope you are having a good summer. Tom
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They just won't give up. Corn state pols of both parties keep trying to push more of this crap into our gasoline supplies. No need to rehash all the negative reasons to can the RFS and give us pure gas again, but the one fact that most people are unaware of is that the greater the percentage of ethanol in your fuel, the worse your MPG will be. Here's their latest push..
Ethanol supporters ask Department of Justice to allow fuel blends higher than E15
Disappointed that a recent Environmental Protection Agency ruling effectively barred ethanol-blended fuels beyond E15, several groups of ethanol advocates have joined together to petition the U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a portion of that rule and to allow blends of up to E30 and possibly higher to be sold at gas pumps across the country.
When the EPA permitted retailers to sell E15 in 2011, it only allowed sales for three seasons of the year. The ethanol in E15, like E10, pushes the fuel blend’s Reid Vapor Pressure to above the EPA’s recommended limits during the summer. However, while the EPA granted an RVP waiver for E10 decades ago, it didn’t do the same for E15 in 2011.
However, in determining whether E15 warranted an RVP waiver, the EPA considered whether E15 and E10 were “substantially similar” fuels and found that E15 stretched the “sub sim” rule, largely due to its incompatibility with vehicles built before the 2001 model year.
“We determined that E15 in these vehicles could lead to increases in emissions that result in vehicles exceeding certified emission standards and issues with materials compatibility as auto manufacturers likely did not use components compatible with ethanol in fuel systems,” the EPA noted in its ruling.
I've not been to RA yet. Howard's Grove Silver Dollar Picnic is always on the bigger Vintage race (which I miss going to).
I'm going to try to see the Nascar race as it really is my favorite to watch. Those boys don't mind wrecking sheet metal. <smile>
Understandably the open wheel races and vintage are very protective to the cars.
We've had Houston friends visiting for the last week. Trying to get caught up on the chores.
If we get free for the weekend - I'll give you a shout. Probably on Sunday the way it looks now.
Do you intend on going to the Nascar race?
I love the new mid-engine C8. Its been a long time I've considered buying a new vette - to me it is a game changer. While in school I had a two Lotus Europa midengines and they were fun to do Gymkana events with (but underpowered).
Must finish my 57 fuelie before I even think about one - that's a big project - years.
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