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Follow Your Dreams

Lizzy Jones

1894 drawing of an early Australian Automobile

1894 drawing of an early Australian Automobile

In 1894, the Australian Coachbuilder and Saddler publication claimed that they had not heard of any Australian Automobiles being built. However, they claimed there were several in the ‘minds’ of inventors.

Mr. W Southhall of Goulburn NSW had given the public evidence of his ingenuity as a maker of vehicles and had been ‘engaged’ on the problem three or four years ago, when he devised a vehicle which looked tolerably promising on paper. 

Mr. E. E. Klap of Sydney, had a much more perfect plan than Mr. Southall but had not made even a drawing of it. He is satisfied, however that when it materializes it will be far and away superior to any Horseless Carriage yet devised. In fact, it will do its work so satisfactorily and with so slight expense that he thinks it unlikely that it will ever be improved on! 

Mr. Klap has taken the idea for his automobile from toy locomotives where the spindle of a revolving fly-wheel rests on the outer circumference of the driving wheel to which its motion is imparted by friction. He purposes to make his automobile on exactly the same principle. 

The wheels, which may be either pneumatic or solid rubber; the latter will probably be used on the experimental vehicle when it comes to be made. The weight of the motor will be suspended from the shaft between the wheels. . 

The front wheels (42 inches) will be the drivers, and the back wheels (38 inches) will be attached the steering gear, which is a most important part. It will be designed so that the spindles of the back and front axles line at an angle of 43 degrees, which will enable the vehicle to turn around in little more than its own length. 

The motor will be geared to drive the main shaft at three speeds, 900, 600 and 450 revolutions per minute, which is calculated to give the automobile a speed variable from 10 to either 7 or 5 miles per hour. The speed, of course, may be increased, but Mr. Klap deems 10 miles per hour sufficient to meet all reasonable requirements of traffic on common roads.

Mr. Klap does not propose soon start construction of his vehicle, because, he says, like most great inventors he is a poor man, but if he could find assistance to the extent of about £1000 he would make an automobile to win the Engineers prize, and thus provide an almost immediate and very satisfactory return to whoever finances the concern.

Sadly, these vehicle never came to fruition.

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