PDA

View Full Version : Studebaker nuclear car



redvoyager
04-27-2006, 03:16 AM
They were advertising a car show to be held here in Orlando on the radio the other day. They mentioned that a manufacturer had in its plans in the early 60's a nuclear powered car. Of course, as always ahead of its time it was Studebaker. At any rate, they have the car they said minus the engine. Apparently Studebaker was in trouble at the time and couldn't finish it. They alluded to the Tucker which had to be pushed out on stage at its unveiling because it had no engine. Has anyone heard of this car?

Norm
58 Transtar 1 ton dually PU
58 2 door wagon
Davenport, Fl

Chris Pile
04-27-2006, 03:36 AM
Ford had a concept car back in the 60's called the Nucleon that was planned to be nuclear powered.

avantilover
04-27-2006, 04:46 AM
Well, nothing would surprise me as Studebaker were ahead of their time and as they themselves said "Better....by design."

The difficulty would be that a nuclear powered car would in effect be powered by a Nuclear Reactor, and I really can't imagine anyone - even in the 50s when Nuclear energy seemed the way to go - wishing to drive such a vehicle.

Besides, it'd be fun trying to refuel eventually - can see it now - Driver at Mobil - got any Uranium 135 for my Studebaker??? :D:D:D

Also consider the size of and shielding necessary for protection of the public, Nuclear reactors are Big, also those in Nuclear Submarines and ships like the USS Ronald Reagan which came to Australia on it's first foreign voyage (thanks US Navy quite a compliment).



John Clements
Avantilover, your South Australian Studebaker lover!!!

studebakerkid
04-27-2006, 07:01 AM
The documents are not classified but are a bit hard to find. If you dug for information on the Manhattin Project you would be surprised at how small the first reactor actually was. To fit a car no but a two ton truck barely.

Now a hydrogen fuel cell that would work fine.

If you car is ugly then it better be fast.....

65 2dr sedan
64 2dr sedan (Pinkie)
61 V8 Tcab
61 Tcab 20R powered
55 Commander Wagon
54 Champion Wagon
46 Gibson Model A

Transtar56
04-27-2006, 07:08 AM
Mabey thats what powers the new Ford Fusion,is it?
As for the Studebaker nuclear car,I heard the project was a booming success untill one day the whole project just blew up.

Skip Lackie
04-27-2006, 08:09 AM
quote:Originally posted by avantilover

Well, nothing would surprise me as Studebaker were ahead of their time and as they themselves said "Better....by design."

The difficulty would be that a nuclear powered car would in effect be powered by a Nuclear Reactor, and I really can't imagine anyone - even in the 50s when Nuclear energy seemed the way to go - wishing to drive such a vehicle.

Besides, it'd be fun trying to refuel eventually - can see it now - Driver at Mobil - got any Uranium 135 for my Studebaker??? :D:D:D

Also consider the size of and shielding necessary for protection of the public, Nuclear reactors are Big, also those in Nuclear Submarines and ships like the USS Ronald Reagan which came to Australia on it's first foreign voyage (thanks US Navy quite a compliment).



John Clements
Avantilover, your South Australian Studebaker lover!!!


I'm no expert, but I believe that (just like other power systems) the size of the nuclear power generator depends on how much power it puts out. Several NASA spacecraft (those going way out in the Solar System) are powered by very small nuclear power systems, and I know the Navy discussed using similar systems on some of its bottom-mounted hardware. Admittedly, such systems would have to have a LOT more shielding if they were to be used in motor vehicles. They would probably never need to be refueled, but pulling the engine in a junkyard would be a much bigger deal!

Skip Lackie

JBOYLE
04-27-2006, 10:38 AM
quote:Originally posted by Transtar56

Mabey thats what powers the new Ford Fusion,is it?
As for the Studebaker nuclear car,I heard the project was a booming success untill one day the whole project just blew up.



I believe the name would have been the Studebaker Los Alamos...with the optional Bikini Atoll decor package.:D

63 Avanti R1 2788
1914 Stutz Bearcat
(George Barris replica)

Washington State

Roscomacaw
04-27-2006, 01:39 PM
Challenger
Commander
Cruiser
Reactor [:0][:p][8D]


Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

Dwain G.
04-27-2006, 03:51 PM
Oh I wish this had come up at the first of April instead of the last. The fun we could have had with a big long line of BS about this car and its nuclear power plant:
http://home.comcast.net/~jdwain/astral.jpg
In truth this thing never had any power plant. I believe it is now in the possession of the SNM.

Dwain G.

Dick Steinkamp
04-27-2006, 03:57 PM
quote:Originally posted by Dwain G.

Oh I wish this had come up at the first of April instead of the last. The fun we could have had with a big long line of BS about this car and its nuclear power plant:



I think the S/P engineers were watching too many Jetsons episodes :D



http://thenobot.org/images/s2d/s2d_01.jpg

JBOYLE
04-27-2006, 04:20 PM
I wonder how serious they (and Ford) were. Even back then, the hazards and disposal issues were well known.
Can you imagine the infrastructure a dealer/repair shop or even a wrecking yard would need?

Remember, Nukes were the comming thing in the 50s.
BTW: The USAF (and the Soviets) were toying with an idea of a nuclear powered bomber. The USAF even flew a modified B-36 (the NB-36H to be precise) that carried a working reactor (but it did not power the plane).
One drawback was the issue of contamination in case of a crash. It's been reported that whenever it flew it was followed by a C-119 troop transport filled with Marines that would parachute to help contain the situation/guard the wreckage.

63 Avanti R1 2788
1914 Stutz Bearcat
(George Barris replica)

Washington State

N8N
04-27-2006, 04:23 PM
Oh, I *so* wouldn't volunteer for that duty, what if it *did* crash? Think about the poor firemen at Chernobyl...

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

avantilover
04-28-2006, 04:14 AM
quote:Originally posted by Dwain G.

Oh I wish this had come up at the first of April instead of the last. The fun we could have had with a big long line of BS about this car and its nuclear power plant:
http://home.comcast.net/~jdwain/astral.jpg
In truth this thing never had any power plant. I believe it is now in the possession of the SNM.

Dwain G.


I think we're doing quite nicely with all our BS :D:D:D
Glad the museum has it, things like that need to be preserved.

John Clements
Avantilover, your South Australian Studebaker lover!!!

52hawk
04-28-2006, 07:03 AM
The Astral is now on display,on the lower floor. I'd like to have it on the roof of my house.

LaSalle,Il
61Hawk
60Lark

Avalanche325
04-28-2006, 09:58 AM
Remember this. All a nuclear reactor does is make heat. The heat is turned into steam, the steam turns turbines for propulsion or generators.

The reactor could be pretty small. But you still have to have a steam generator, turbine, transmission, shielding, control system, condensor to recover the water from the steam, etc.

I doubt that the auto manufacturers were very serious. They were just pushing a buzz word for their show cars.

I used to run these things on submarines. I wouldn't want to see them out on the road though.

DEEPNHOCK
05-01-2006, 12:41 PM
http://clubs.hemmings.com/clubsites/gatewaysdc/images/Aug28_65a.jpg



quote:Originally posted by redvoyager

They were advertising a car show to be held here in Orlando on the radio the other day. They mentioned that a manufacturer had in its plans in the early 60's a nuclear powered car. Of course, as always ahead of its time it was Studebaker. At any rate, they have the car they said minus the engine. Apparently Studebaker was in trouble at the time and couldn't finish it. They alluded to the Tucker which had to be pushed out on stage at its unveiling because it had no engine. Has anyone heard of this car?

Norm
58 Transtar 1 ton dually PU
58 2 door wagon
Davenport, Fl