22 Dec 2021

Even Our Dumb Ideas Were Kind of Cool

Historic Photograph

In 1965 Ford introduced the wrist twist steering for cars. Despite better visibility, a roomier cabin and allowing you to drive with your arms on armrests it never went beyond the testing stage.

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The twisty controls allowed no fall-back to manual operation in the event of power steering failure.

The system depended on the reliability of power streering. If that system went out, almost no one had the hand/wrist strength sufficient to keep a vehicle on the road with the twisties. The same beneficial effects were obtained with an adjustable steering column supporting a conventional steering wheel.

During about that period, I had to drive the company owner’s Chrysler which had a tendency to stall in traffic. With the conventional steering wheel, I could “horse” it around and avoid other vehicles and large concrete objects, until I could do a restart. With the little twisties, I’d still be filling out accident paperwork.


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