Ford’s Soybean Car
Photo via Wikimedia
In the 1940s, Henry Ford experimented with making plastic parts for automobiles. These experiments eventually resulted in what became known as the Soybean Car or, more recently, the Hemp Car.
The frame of Ford’s Soybean Car was made of tubular steel and had 14 plastic panels attached to it. The exact ingredients of the plastic panels are unknown, but it is believed that they were made from a chemical formula that included ingredients such as soybeans, wheat, hemp, flax, and ramie.
The Soybean Car was designed for a number of reasons. First, Ford wanted to engage in a project that combined industry with agriculture. Second, there was a shortage of metal at the time due to the ongoing world war and Ford hoped that his new plastic materials would eventually replace the traditional metals used in cars. Finally, Ford claimed that plastic panels made the car safer than traditional steel cars.
In 1941, Ford unveiled the Soybean Car at the annual community festival called Dearborn Days. By that time, however, America’s entry into World War II had suspended all auto production. When the war ended, an abundance of cheap metal quickly ended the appeal of the plastic car.
Call me crazy, but I really like the body style of this car. It's clean and sleek, doesn't look boxy or outlandish, and I would imagine that it could be easily modified for anyone wanting to make it sportier.
BTW, you may have noticed that I posted Western Wednesday's post yesterday on Tuesday, so that's the reason for you get Tuesday's post on Wednesday. Thanks for not bringing that embarrassing fact up. Sorry if it caused any confusion besides mine!
Coffee in the kitchen again this morning. Chocolate chip cookies to share!