Unusual Vehicles of Pre-war Years

These are some of the most unusual and unique vehicle designs I have ever seen. If you take a closer look at these pre-war vehicles, you would not believe that they were actually used during those times the way we use our vehicles today.

Here are some of these vehicles:

Steam Era

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The first steam-powered vehicle was designed by Ferdinand Verbiest, a Flemist Priest in 1678 but was never produced commercially. This was followed by another steam-powered car design by Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot

Cugnot’s design was later found to be impractical and his invention was not developed in his native France. Soon another inventor Richard Trevithick of England introduced his invention, a self-driven steam vehicle but just like the rest, it was also a failure. The more successful steam driven carriage were operated by William Hancock and Sir Goldsworthy Gurney in the 1830’s but was likewise short-lived.

The steam power technology in the 1830’s did not contribute much to the development of cars for private or commercial use but was successful when applied to sea and rail transport in the middle and late 19th century. Several other inventors have come up with various designs and models for steam-powered vehicles but were not really successful in revolutionizing the young vehicle industry during those times.


1912 Stanley 1923 Stanley

One of the successful steam and best selling car produced during the early 19th century was the Stanley Steam-powered car produced in 1898-1924. Innovations were later made after the successful commercial production of Stanley steam cars but when Henry Ford came out with its Ford Model T car, the steam-powered cars lost its popularity leading to its continued decline in sales

The Brass Car Era

The Brass Car Era signaled the beginning of the automotive industry. Brass cars were basically built with forge steel combining it with carriage wood and fitted with either steam engine or electric motors. It was in the early 1900 though that mass production of gasoline engines started which eventually revolutionized the entire car making industry. Henry Ford came up with its Model T car that was a hit in the world market at that time.


When Ford Model T was launched in early part of the 19th century, it gained immediate consumer acceptance and became an instant hit with its introductory price of US$300.00 per unit. Ford Model T practically changed the entire picture of the automotive industry. Because of its popularity, mass production followed that eventually led to massive build-up of infrastructure like roads, gas stations, drive-inn restaurants, movie houses, etc.


Ford Models 1906-1908