Last week I said steam under high pressure has been successfully used for propelling vehicles. I asked who was the first designer to use this? It was Cugnot (1725 – 2 October 1804) with his steam tractor in 1769. After running a small number of trials, variously described as being between Paris and Vincennes and at Meudon, the project was abandoned. This ended the French Army’s first experiment with mechanical vehicles. Even so, in 1772, King Louis XV granted Cugnot a pension of 600 livres a year for his innovative work, and the experiment was judged interesting enough for the vehicle to be kept at the Arsenal. In 1800 it was transferred to the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, where it can still be seen today. By the way, he made more than one of them!
So to this week. What car company advised its customers to start in top gear as there was “too much torque for the ordinary motorist to handle”?