Aurora 1957 

USA

 


Aurora


Aurora

The Aurora was manufactured by Father Alfred A. Juliano, a Catholic priest. This safety car Is to be available with a Chrysler, Cadillac, or Lincoln engine, built on a Buick chassis. However, the Aurora Motor Company of Branford, Connecticut, partially funded by Juliano's congregation, went bankrupt after producing just one $30,000 prototype.
Conceived, invented and built by Juliano, the Aurora was an 18-foot (5.5 m) long fibreglass-bodied car that was two years on the drawing board and required three years to build. The high quality of the workmanship was "astounding", particularly in the fibreglass body and the plastic windows. At a retail price of $12,000.00, it would have been priced just under the most costly car in the U.S., the $13,000.00 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. The body, said to be dent, rust, and corrosion proof, was specifically designed for long distance highway travel. The vehicle had a tinted, transparent, plastic "astrodome" roof with adjustable interior metal shades. Dashboard controlled hydraulic jacks mounted in the frame assisted in tire changing. The spare tire, located under the front end, was mounted on a platform which would lower the tire to the ground without manual contact. The car had many car safety-related features. These features included seatbelts, a roll cage, a padded instrument panel, side-impact bars, and a collapsible steering column. The placement of the spare tire under the front end served to absorb impacts. The most innovative safety feature, which has not been incorporated into other cars, was the ability to swivel the seats to face rearwards should a collision seem imminent. The bulging windshield was designed to eliminate impact with occupants' heads while the scoop-like front end served as a large, foam filled bumper, designed to scoop up not only air, but also pedestrians without injury.
The prototype had a fiberglass body over a largely wooden structure built on the salvaged chassis of a 1953 Buick, which was not adequately tested before the scheduled public unveiling in 1957 and broke down 15 times on the way to the press conference, requiring towing to 7 different garages; mainly due to clogging of the fuel system, which had sat unused for the previous four years. After the inauspicious beginning of arriving hours late for its own unveiling, the car did not inspire the public due to its appearance, lack of performance, and high price, and there were no advance orders.