Aurora (1957 automobile)
The Aurora Motor Company was an American automobile manufacturer in Branford (Connecticut) was a resident from 1957 to 1958. Founders were the Catholic clergy Father Alfred A. Juliano and his Order. After production of a prototype for the price of U.S. $ 30,000, the company was forced to declare bankruptcy.
Juliano had studied art before he took a priest, and was interested all his life in automotive design. His family stated that he had received a scholarship from GM, which in enabled to study with Harley Earl, but only reached him when he was already ordained. But he retained his interest in automotive design, coupled with the belief that you still can do a lot to make cars safer.
The Aurora was conceived, designed and built by Juliano. He had a 5486 mm long fiberglass body, whose plans were clamped on the drawing board for two years and was the three years under construction. The high production quality was remarkable, especially in As for the FRP body and the plastic window. The selling price should be at U.S. $ 12,000, just below the price of the most expensive U.S. cars, the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, which cost U.S. $ 13,000. The body, which was insensitive to rust and minor damage was particularly suitable for long distances. The car had a toned, clear plastic " Astrodom " (glass dome ) with adjustable metal blinds inside. Fixed, hydraulic jack, which had to be operated from the dashboard, simplified the tire change. The spare tire was placed on a platform in front of the vehicle, which could be lowered to street level, without having had to touch the wheel.
The car had many safety components, which were then a novelty, but now come as standard. These were, for example, Belts, a roll cage, a padded dashboard, a side impact protection and a safety steering column. The placement of the spare wheel in the car's front extended the crumple zone. The most important change, however, which was not included in any other car in this time was the possibility to rotate the seats automatically by 180 ° when a collision seemed inevitable.
At the Aurora but is remembered above all for his looks and he is frequently mentioned in the list of the ugliest cars, often described as the ugliest ever. In particular, two characteristics led to this assessment: the shovel-shaped bonnet with the wide radiator mouth, which was then typical of futuristic vehicles and the highly curved windshield. Both details were safety: The curved windshield should in time before the deployment of air bags, avoid contact with the heads of the occupants in the event of an accident, while the shovel-shaped front of the vehicle served as a large, foam-filled bumper which not only improve aerodynamics, but also pedestrians should throw up in a collision without injury.
The prototype had a fiberglass body that was connected via a largely wooden subframe to the chassis of a 1953 Buick. He had not been adequately tested before the scheduled public presentation in 1957, went on the way to the press conference broke fifteen times and had to be towed into seven different workshops. Main reasons for this were blockages in the fuel supply, which was four years remained unused. After the car had appeared even in his own imagination hours late, he could not inspire the audience, above all because of its appearance, its modest performance and its high price and there was no pre-orders.
The financial situation of the company was investigated. Juliano was announced that this was done at the behest of GM and compared himself to Preston Tucker. The matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, he was accused by the Catholic Church for abuse of victims ' money and was forced to leave the Order of the Holy Spirit. In fact, he had plunged to finance the company itself in great debt and later had to swear an oath. The finished prototype he lost to a car repair shop as compensation for unpaid repair bills. This prototype went through several hands and ended in 1967 behind a body shop in Cheshire. Juliano died in 1989 of a cerebral hemorrhage.
In 1993 he discovered the British automaker friend Andy Saunders from Poole (Dorset) the car on a sketch in a book about dream cars. He said: " He was incredibly awful. I immediately said to myself: I must have the "! . After years of searching, he finally discovered the car by the name of the workshop on a photo of the car, bought it sight unseen for $ 1500 U.S. $ and had him for more 2000 U.S. $ to the UK. The fiberglass body and the wooden subframe had suffered terribly from storage in wind and weather, as well as the interiors and the windshield made of plastic. The restoration was particularly difficult because no documents, not even photos of the car were available, also Father Juliano could not give more information and were to get any spare parts for the prototype. However, the car was completed in early 2005. The car was presented to the public again astonished at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and is now at the National Motor Museum.
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- Former Automobile Manufacturers Association ( United States)
- Company (Connecticut)
- Concept car
- New Haven County