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The one-of-a-kind Ford X100, with a $100,000 price tag, is displayed during a European tour that also took it to auto shows in London and Paris.
The one-of-a-kind Ford X100, with a $100,000 price tag, is displayed during a European tour that also took it to auto shows in London and Paris. (Sam Vestal / ©S&S)
The one-of-a-kind Ford X100, with a $100,000 price tag, is displayed during a European tour that also took it to auto shows in London and Paris.
The one-of-a-kind Ford X100, with a $100,000 price tag, is displayed during a European tour that also took it to auto shows in London and Paris. (Sam Vestal / ©S&S)
Under the hood, the X100's features include a 30 horsepower engine and two horns — a loud one for country driving and a softer one for the city.
Under the hood, the X100's features include a 30 horsepower engine and two horns — a loud one for country driving and a softer one for the city. (Sam Vestal / ©S&S)
The console includes switches for such features as the telephone and the automatic jacks for each tire.
The console includes switches for such features as the telephone and the automatic jacks for each tire. (Sam Vestal / ©S&S)
Ford engineer Paul Adams has te best seat in the house for the showing of the X100.
Ford engineer Paul Adams has te best seat in the house for the showing of the X100. (Sam Vestal / ©S&S)
Using a water dropper, Adams demonstrates how the X100's roof closes at the first sign of rain.
Using a water dropper, Adams demonstrates how the X100's roof closes at the first sign of rain. (Sam Vestal / ©S&S)

BONN (S&S) — When the engineering staff of a major American automobile producer lets its hair down to create a "dream car of the future," what do you get?

In the case of the Ford Motor Co., the result is the X100, a sleek, super sports car whose 300-hp motor gives It a "cruising" speed of 130 mph.

The X100, exhibited recently at the Paris and London auto shows and at the HICOG community center in Bad Godesberg, comes complete with telephone, dictaphone and electric shaver.

Ford, which admits it undertook the X100 to keep pace with General Motors' futuristic "Sabre," calls its dream car "a laboratory on wheels for testing new engineering features."

The X100 is a two-door convertible, seats five passengers, has a 12.3-inch wheelbase and weighs 5,900 pounds. The car has 665 pounds of electrical equipment connected by eight miles of wiring.

The X100's overall length Is 220.9 inches, its height 56.9 Inches and its maximum width 81.25 inches. The car contains "more than 50 basic automotive innovations."

Its black steel and aluminum body has a revolutionary sliding roof panel of transparent, non-glare heatproof plastic over the driver's compartment. The panel can be retracted under the stationary roof section either by an instrument panel switch or by added pressure on a push button which opens the car door.

If the sliding roof is open when the car is unattended, the first drop of rain actuates a "rain cell," or moisture-sensitive electrical switch, on the roof, and panel and windows close automatically.

The special, high-compression, overhead-valve engine has an entirely new intake manifold-carburetor system. There is the equivalent of 12 single venturi carburetors.

At low speeds the engine operates on two venturis of a centrally located four-venturi carburetor. At medium speeds, two additional venturis are brought into operation. For full throttle high speed operation, all of the carburetors are brought into use thereby providing all the air and fuel that the engine needs for its high output of 300 hp.

The X100's transmission has an electrically operated gear selector. Independent front and rear suspension assure exceptional roadability. The car is equipped with power steering and: power braking including an electric power-assisted hand brake. Front wheel brakes are cooled by thermostatically controlled blowers when their temperature exceeds 150 degrees.

Front seats are adjustable six ways, up-down, forward-backward, and tilt front and back. The seats are equipped with disappearing-type nylon web safety belts. Electric seat warmers counteract the "cold feel" of the thick, black-and-white leather upholstery in winter.

The power-operated hood and rear deck lids are opened, closed, locked and unlocked by switches on the instrument panel. Each wheel has a built-in electrically operated jack. Push buttons have replaced door handles.

Accessories include a dictaphone, radio-telephone, electric shaver, and a 10-tube signal-seeking radio with separate controls for front and rear seat passengers. There is a soft horn for city traffic and a louder one for country driving.

Four windshield wiper blades are arranged for overlapping action. The massive front bumper-grille combination also serves as headlight housing. Similar rear bumpers provide ports for the engine's dual exhaust system.

The X100's 12-volt ignition system powers 24 electrical motors, 44 electronic tubes, 50 light bulbs:, 92 control switches, 29 solenoids, 53 relays, 23 circuit breakers and 10 fuses.

The "car of the future" has a built-in battery charger. It serves to maintain the battery charge when the automobile's electric devices are being demonstrated while the engine is not running.

The chassis frame is of special construction for maximum rigidity, with new-type body mountings. To hold down weight in body structure, more than 300 pieces of aluminum and other light metals were substituted for heavier traditional counterparts. The substitutions have reduced "lazy weight" in the car body by 250 pounds.

This is the X100, but relax. You'll never own one. The cost is $100,000, but even if you had the coin, you couldn't buy it.

There is only one X100, a hand-built car, and there probably will never be another. "There is no intention to produce the car commercially. It is just a laboratory on wheels. Some of its features will go into future models, some will be junked." Ford says.

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