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Author Topic: Does anyone know anything about the Zulu Motor Cab?  (Read 947 times)
RJBowman
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« on: April 24, 2015, 05:12:46 am »

A photo that appears in several places on the internet:


The photo appears in several places on the web, but no one has much to say about it. From the looks of it, I don't think that it is a functioning vehicle, but more likely a photographer's prop.

Can anyone provide some background?
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Atterton
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2015, 09:12:49 am »

You're right, it seems to have no gearing or other mechanisms to transfer power. A shame.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2015, 02:08:53 pm »

Also the wheels, which look like heavy wagon wheels; not like any wheels i've seen on real cars. And the rough paint detail which is more suggestive of a set piece than a machinist's creation.

The photo can be found in web collections with photos of Zulus in more typical situations so I think that it is a real period photo.
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Cousin Itt
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Kontraptional Ungineer


« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2015, 02:11:35 pm »

Hmm....
I spy what might be the lower loop of either a chain or belt drive between the front, & rear wheels.
The lever the woman is pulling/pushing could be an idler type drive engagement similar to a lawn mower drive.

The ride quality would have to be real rough, due to the lack of suspension and solid wheels.
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Maets
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2015, 02:18:27 pm »

The front axle appears to be up solid against the body and with the wheels fixed on the axle, there is no way to turn it.
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Atterton
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2015, 02:32:45 pm »

I do believe the first cars also tended to use wheels similar to what you might see on a horse cart.

To me the lamps also look a bit solid, but that might simply be a trick of the light.
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von Corax
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2015, 02:49:30 pm »

Hmm....
I spy what might be the lower loop of either a chain or belt drive between the front, & rear wheels.

That could be the drawbar which wagons had joining the front & rear axles.

As for the whole, my first thought was, "Cargo cult." (Pun not intended.) However, as the Zulus afaik had no history of cargo-cultism, I'm going with "set piece."
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Cousin Itt
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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2015, 02:56:54 pm »

The front axle appears to be up solid against the body and with the wheels fixed on the axle, there is no way to turn it.

It could have center of the axle pivot steering like a wagon. Undecided

I saw a very early version of a vehicle at the Henry Ford Museum that was little more than a converted horse drawn carriage that had center pivot steering.
I believe it was a converted Doctors Buggy. The plaque in front of it stated that it had a top speed of about 4 MPH.
It however had springs that supported the axles.
It was powered by a one cylinder engine, and used a hand operated lever that engaged a friction type clutch that engaged/disengaged a chain drive transmission that only had one speed forward/reverse that was controlled by a second hand lever.
It also had tiller (lever) steering to decrease the effort required to turn the front axle.

The Zulu Motor Cab probably is a prop created for the photo though.
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VampirateMace
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« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2015, 08:59:50 pm »

It looks like it might be functional only in the way a motor less cart for downhill racing is, so I vote prop.
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