Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder PowerDork
9/15/20 10:57 a.m.

Times of upheaval and need tend to inspire surges of technological and design improvements. During the major world wars, great minds worked overtime to make leaps in medicine, engineering and science. The world’s armed forces soaked up these advancements at first, but in the relatively calm periods after wartime, the population as a whole began to taste the benefits. 

Case in point, technological advances allowed the automobile to permeate the postwar landscape. The demand was there, too: Expanding cities created a new type of habitat, one that made cars a necessary and intrinsic part of society. 

Designing and manufacturing cars for the rich and elite was simple enough—just throw money and resources at the problem until you’ve produced a fancy new car. That wasn’t an option when the masses needed cars, not just the minority.

The trick was to make a truly great car that everyone could afford. It was a challenge that numerous companies undertook, and many became quite successful as a result. Germany’s Volkswagen was one such high point. So was the BMC Mini. People-movers like these brought Europe out of the shell-shocked 1940s and into the second half of the 20th century. 

Innovation and nontraditional designs were the key to getting the job done. Manufacturers tried air-cooling, two-stroke cycles and Wankel rotary engines, as well as smaller unibody chassis structures and unique powertrain packaging. In the end, some great ideas and companies were born out of the ashes of postwar Europe. 

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wspohn Dork
9/15/20 12:36 p.m.

Same old Saab story?   devil

The Saab two stroke triples certainly had an unusual exhaust note. We had a guy that raced a 92 (oddly, he wasn't Swedish, he was Finnish) and his favourite venue was a local lake where they ice raced in winter.

I really like this one

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