The slow mutation of the automobile

Avto 14 December, 2017
  • Jacques Duval

    On Thursday 14 December 2017 13:19

    On Thursday 14 December 2017 13:19

    Look at this article

    It is now more than 65 years that I comment on the automotive scene from humble beginnings in a weekly sport called fort about “let’s Talk about Sport”. Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with endormantes statistics.

    My topo is more of an observation of the evolution of this industry which has gone through long periods of emptiness throughout which the real technical innovations were a rarity distressing. The focus was on the big V8 strong engine, but low in power. It is for this reason that they were indestructible.

    The automobile has made progress unimaginable in the past 65 years, even if it has stagnated for too long. Let’s take the example of the disc brakes which have made their appearance only after having been experienced in endurance races. They are not even yet used to the rear on many cars.

    Great strides

    The most beautiful example of advanced automotive is in the statistics surrounding their performance. I will cite an example that concerns me personally and that seems to be irrefutable. There are about 10 years old, I had fallen in love with a sports car whose name alone evoked pure performance and lasts. So much so that I decided to find one on the used market and browse with the world of the old car.

    It was an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce 1959 which was my companion for a year.


    This was not an entry in the sublime in this market?

    In the stop, you had said that it was travelling at 200 km/h except that she was unable to catch a simple Volkswagen, or even a Toyota Corolla of the year, sports edition or not. I had a nice smash to the floor, my Alfa made in Italy was in need of a good 10 km to reach the 130 km/h promised. Nothing to write home!

    In short, the cars were pitiful with their chrome gleaming and a plethora of gadgets alternatively of bébelles useless as the cars “talking” (no kidding) from the home of Chrysler, or all four wheels, courtesy of Honda. They were not doing anything other than to use 4 four tires in a turn instead of two.

    In the course of my 65 years in the automobile business, it was notorious to see the designers pay more attention to the silhouette rather than the mechanical. The devil mechanics, and vive le ado! Thus, the wheel covers went well before the discs became the order of the day.

    The fear of the cushions

    I have also known the time automatic transmissions with three speeds, while the Jeep Cherokee now offers you, believe it or not, 9 reports. This is certainly not a total success, but an evolution all the same noticeable.

    Among the real options of years evolving, there is ABS braking, which began a long time to impose because of reactions (leaps) in the steering wheel. Same thing for airbags in which the public had a sacred fear, fearing that their presence hurt by such a driver who would smoke the pipe to the steering wheel, threatening to swallow it.


    As a result, their tax was going to fall in the controversy. There is no need to clarify that these security measures created a resistance among many motorists, delaying as a result their appearance on the market.

    As an old hand, I’ve also “suffered” the era of the compact u.s. made speed to respond to the success of the japanese manufacturers. It is this which has given us some aberrations called Vega, Valiant, Corvair, Falcon, Comet, and a batch of cars to be unreliable, and mechanically inferior to the creations of foreign.

    I could add many others to the risk to see this article become a kind of bible of automotive. It would take us very far when one sees the arrival of the autonomous car which is a threat to the survival of the automotive industry as we know it.


    One thing remains certain: I hope to be there to follow the mutation.