: Things like this is what earned Cadillac the title "The Standard of the World".



ga_etc
01-26-11, 07:40 PM
I remember reading about this car in a magazine years ago, and had forgotten about it until a little while ago while talking to Ian about the auto-dimming high beam feature.


http://www.supercars.net/carpics/4789/1958_Cadillac_EldoradoBiarritzRaindropPrototype2.j pg

http://www.supercars.net/carpics/4789/1958_Cadillac_EldoradoBiarritzRaindropPrototype1.j pg

The car is a 1958 Eldorado Biarritz convertible. It was 1 of 5 cars used as show cars in 1958. This one was specially equipped with a feature called "Humidity Control", also referred to as the "Raindrop" feature. The car had a sensor mounted on the rear deck between the trunk lid and the boot well. When the first drop of moisture was sensed, an automated system kicked in and raised and latched the convertible top, followed by the front windows, then the rears. All of this without anyone in the car. GM had the car destroyed after it's tour of the show circuit was complete. Luckily someone took the time in 1962 to find all of the pieces of the car and begin restoring it. Even after attempts by GM to force the owner to return the car to them, it is still in private hands and was sold at auction last year for $220,000.

That is very cool technology by today's standards, but completely visionary and mind blowing back then. This is the kind of thing that makes me proud to own a Cadillac.

Full article can be read HERE. (http://www.supercars.net/cars/4789.html)

DouglasJRizzo
01-26-11, 07:45 PM
And GM tried to force it back? Yeah, things haven't changed much.

Playdrv4me
01-26-11, 07:47 PM
I don't understand GM's fascination with destroying prototypes (and all the manufacturers). They certainly have kept enough of them, so why they destroy others is beyond me. Spectacular car.

Jesda
01-26-11, 08:03 PM
So, if you parked your convertible and it started raining, it would shield itself? Seems more convenient to just check the weather.

Jesda
01-26-11, 08:09 PM
Also, that is breathtakingly beautiful.

ga_etc
01-26-11, 08:10 PM
This, coming from the man who owns a convertible and drives it, with the top down, in inclement weather. You should know more than anyone that shit happens.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-26-11, 08:12 PM
Cadillac was really on top of the ball in the late '50s. Everyone was catching up. I think they first used the power seat about this time as well.

Playdrv4me
01-26-11, 08:17 PM
So, if you parked your convertible and it started raining, it would shield itself? Seems more convenient to just check the weather.

Does it also seem more convenient to manually turn on your wipers, or flick your high beams, or constantly fiddle with your cruise control?... Cause Cadillac has implemented automation for all of these as well, with surprisingly good results.

Jesda
01-26-11, 08:21 PM
If you drove on a day with a good chance of rain you'd be raising and dropping your top all day long. I keep the top up when there's likely precipitation.

Playdrv4me
01-26-11, 08:22 PM
Cadillac was really on top of the ball in the late '50s. Everyone was catching up. I think they first used the power seat about this time as well.

It is amazing how many of the features we are mesmerized by today already existed at some point in the past and are sneaked back into production as "new" and "high tech". Auto high beams, swiveling headlights, that silly solar ventilation system on the Prius etc etc..

ga_etc
01-26-11, 08:23 PM
I don't know about all the examples you've supplied Ian, but I do like the thought of the car protecting itself in bad weather. I've been known to leave the T-Tops out or forget to close the sunroof from time to time. The other controls are something that you're already in the car to manipulate yourself.

Playdrv4me
01-26-11, 08:25 PM
If you drove on a day with a good chance of rain you'd be raising and dropping your top all day long. I keep the top up when there's likely precipitation.

This depends entirely on where you live. In Midwest climates, it's likely that if there's clouds on the horizon, rain is a comin.... But on the coastal states (where a car like this would likely be driven), rain comes and goes with little advance notice. In Tampa it could be perfectly clear one moment, and be pouring 15 minutes later. Listening to the forecast is worthless because during the entire Summer, all you know is that it might rain at any moment during the day. They call these "sea breeze showers".

ga_etc
01-26-11, 08:26 PM
If you drove on a day with a good chance of rain you'd be raising and dropping your top all day long. I keep the top up when there's likely precipitation.

As do most other people. However, back in the '50s Meteorology wasn't as advanced as it is today and you were more susceptible to pop up showers. This car protected you from that.

Jesda
01-26-11, 08:26 PM
Check this out for a modern implementation:
http://www.my-gti.com/204/volkswagen-golf-auto-rain-closing-windows-and-sunroof

ga_etc
01-26-11, 08:32 PM
Not even close. That just closes up the car if left open for 24 hours. Has nothing to do with outside factors.

Jesda
01-26-11, 08:46 PM
No, read it. Water makes everything close.

Operation of the system
Rain closing activates only when the car has been locked.
The windows and sunroof if fitted will close automatically after 24 hours.

Testing
To test wind down the windows and open sunroof if fitted, lock the car. Wait around 2 minutes and pour some water on the rain sensor (mounted on the glass behind the rear vision mirror) and after a short delay the windows and sunroof will close.

Playdrv4me
01-26-11, 09:01 PM
Man, this would be SO easy to implement on other cars using the EXISTING rain sensor for the wipers (which is exactly what they're doing) be they convertibles or not. VW is sitting on quite a nifty unpublished feature there.

ga_etc
01-26-11, 09:08 PM
No, read it. Water makes everything close.

Operation of the system
Rain closing activates only when the car has been locked.
The windows and sunroof if fitted will close automatically after 24 hours.

Testing
To test wind down the windows and open sunroof if fitted, lock the car. Wait around 2 minutes and pour some water on the rain sensor (mounted on the glass behind the rear vision mirror) and after a short delay the windows and sunroof will close.

The wording lost my interest in the link you posted.

orconn
01-26-11, 11:18 PM
Cadillac was really on top of the ball in the late '50s. Everyone was catching up. I think they first used the power seat about this time as well.

Actually a lot of the items in question were introduced on Oldsmobiles first, cars like nthe 1953 Olds Fiesta and later the Olds Starfires (one of the more intersting minor models of the sixties).

ga_etc
01-26-11, 11:28 PM
Elaborate, please.

orconn
01-26-11, 11:43 PM
It is amazing how many of the features we are mesmerized by today already existed at some point in the past and are sneaked back into production as "new" and "high tech". Auto high beams, swiveling headlights, that silly solar ventilation system on the Prius etc etc..

Actually many of the feature like steering tracking headlights, auto high beams, pneumatic suspension, even front wheel drive had all been invented and were available on cars made in the 1930's and in more sophisticated versions in the 1950's. Packards, Cadillacs an Dusenbergs (among others) could be ordered with driving lights that were linked to the cars steering so they rotated to shine in the direction the car was turning. A later development of these swiveling headlights became standard equipment of Citroen DS models in the around 1956. The first front wheel drive, Franco-Italian Buccialli (sp?) and of course the L-29 Cord and subsequent Cord models. Even more successfully developed and employed by the famous Citroen "Traction Avant" cars of the mid thirties. And Citroen developed and utilized reliable pneumatic suspension and jacking on most of its' models from the mid 1950's. One of the devices that was certainly advantageous was Studebaker's "Hill-Holder" device which kept cars with both manual and automatic transmissions from rolling backward when stopped on a hill, thus making it much easier to get started up the hill or turn into another street from a stop on a hill. The truth of the matter was that GM and Ford were very reluctant to become licensees of technology that wasn't invented in house so many of the innovations had to wait until the patents ran out or the companies could somehow design around the patents. It has always impressed me with how many great ideas for cars were developed and successfully produced by the French, with Citroen's contributions being only one example of this fact!

ga_etc
01-27-11, 05:29 AM
Interesting. Thanks for sharing orconn.

Jesda
01-27-11, 10:26 AM
Oldsmobile got GPS navigation first.

mhamilton
01-27-11, 10:46 AM
Olds was very often GM's "test bench" for new features--Olds advertised the Hydramatic long before Cadillac copy did. Whenever GM wanted to test something out on a car without the risk of tarnishing their flagship's name.

orconn
01-27-11, 01:13 PM
Oldsmobile was the brand for more adventurous souls, as opposed to Buick which catered to the conservative types. I remember many engineers that worked for my father driving Olds, there was something a little too "frumpy" about Buicks for these guys. This was back in the 1950's and '60's when Olds still was on the cutting edge of GM technology. Remember also that during that period it was frowned upon for anyone under the corporate rank of executive vice-president to drive a Cadillac. American corporate culture at that dictated many of the status symbols that an employee could acquire or display and still expect upward mobility or even further employment with a corporation. The GM idea of advancing through their product range from Chevrolet to Cadillac was more of a reflection of social hierarchy than merely a marketing ploy. Cheap available credit plus the diminishing of prestige associated with car brand ownership, plus improved quality and longevity of cars made "used" cars a viable option (back in the fifties and sixties their was a good reason people who could afford it bought a new car ever two or three years .... cars in normal use were deteriorated rattle buckets after four or five years and 40,000 miles of use.

EChas3
01-29-11, 11:09 PM
Orconn has this right. Almost everything on a modern car is simply refinement of technology approaching a century old. Sure the exact control of electronic systems is new but not supercharging or fuel injection or a host of other good ideas. There is an elegance to some designs and new materials just make them easier to produce. Good ideas persist.

Playdrv4me
01-29-11, 11:30 PM
Cylinder deactivation is a fantastic example of quarter-century old technology come 360* with the advent of more appropriate technology to keep it working. In fact, much to my chagrin, a few manufacturers have been quietly implementing complete ENGINE deactivation at a stop. While I don't at all approve of the idea of my starter and engine being run through thousands of on/off cycles, the fact that technology is now able to manage all of this is fascinating.

EChas3
01-30-11, 12:13 AM
FWIW - Hybrids that shut down and start so much usually use the generator to restart the IC engine and not a conventional starter.

Playdrv4me
01-30-11, 12:44 AM
FWIW - Hybrids that shut down and start so much usually use the generator to restart the IC engine and not a conventional starter.

That's the thing, these are NOT hybrids, BMW at least is implementing this on regular gas engines now.