Bizarre Powerplants, Moments in History

You Don’t Just Walk Into A Store And Buy Plutonium

At least in 1958 you couldn’t. The hope was that this newly discovered energy source could someday propel our cars. Ford, overcome with delirious hope for the future, even built a model of what they called the Nucleon. It was their take on what a nuclear-powered car in some shimmering future would look like. A small nuclear plant in back would produce steam which would drive the car.

The futurists at Ford were steam punk before there was such a thing.

[Image Credit: Good Old Valves tumblr]

  • I like FoMoCo well enough but prefer my hand-wavingly unrealistic nuclear-powered automobiles to be French, thank you, so I'll stick with the Arbel Symetric:

    <img src="; width="350">

    with its twin Genestatom powerplants:

    <img src="; width="350">

    • The Professor

      Gee, I would have never guessed that…

  • P161911

    But if you know the right mobsters you can get uranium.

  • betterwrappedinbacon

    Apparently, Ford also envisioned a future without road crowns, gutters, curbs, or any of the other reasons why the front lip on my cars are always scratched up.

  • The Professor

    Hmph. I'm sure that I've mentioned it before, but I once proposed a small power source suitable for home use that used a small quantity of plutonium. It was not well received, to say the least. Short-sighted plonkers.

  • Jo_Schmo

    I get all my plutonium from the Libyans.

    • The Professor

      The Japanese have better quality, plus, they know what the f&&k they're dealing with and how to handle it properly. The Libyans think it's glow-in-the-dark clay or something.

  • tiberiusẅisë

    Cab forward much?

  • So, that round thing in the back is the fifth wheel for the goose neck trailer, right?

  • name_too_long

    You're shopping at the wrong stores.

  • TurboBrick

    So, you have the footprint of a Lincoln with the passenger capacity of a Festiva and potential for even better explosions than a Pinto?

  • Sometimes you can just walk into a store and buy plutonium. Once again, Gilbert Shelton got there first:

    <img src="; width="550">

    • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

      I'd say it had reached critical mass at that point all right!

  • As an Englishman, I wholehartedly support the Nucleon concept, or any car that uses pressurised steam somewhere in the drivetrain. It means, with a little plumbing ingenuity, the driver could syphon off a little hot water for a smashing cup of Earl Grey.

    We need this technology, now.

  • Charles_Barrett

    The Nucleon has always reminded me of Robby the Robot in his hot-rod sled in Forbidden Planet, but I am honestly not sure why that association formed in my pre-teen mind…
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