Every so often, there’s a car so wild and such a hilarious failure that history tries to dance around it. The records of these automotive mishaps are skimmed over with little more than an awkward, “yeah, um, also we kinda messed up—but look at the good things instead!”
I want to believe this story for many reasons: first, it’s a jumping car. A French jumping car from before WWI. Second, this was sent to me by Jeff Lane, the man behind my favorite motor museum. And third, it’s a French jumping car. I think I believe the story; I’m just not sure I think it’s actually true. Get me?
Designers had to get creative in the early days of weaponizing motorized transportation. In one case during the First World War, that meant building a 37mm cannon into the middle of a V8 aero engine.
The fascinating graphic recording shown above depicts artillery sounds from the American front during World War I. It was recorded just moments before and after the ceasefire that would led to the end of the war.